Toyota 4Runner: Top Alternatives for 2021/2022

Toyota 4Runner Alternatives

The Toyota 4Runner is a much-loved five or seven-passenger SUV. The rugged 4Runner has built a solid reputation for reliability, durability, and quality. The 4Runner can be a family vehicle or an overlander.

The 4Runner really occupies two segments. First, it competes with vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler. Second, it also fills the same roles that the tamer Toyota Highlander does for many owners.

Our alternatives for the 4Runner will include both serious off-roaders and some crossover SUVs that can fill the family-oriented utility roles and still get your kayaks to the lake.

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Toyota 4Runner Weaknesses

The Takeaway: The 4Runner is a proven SUV with many fans, but it is a narrow product line and has infotainment that could be better.

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Toyota dealers are presently marking up the 4Runner to prices well above MSRP. Used 4Runners are selling near or above new prices.

Those looking for an alternative to the 4Runner have many choices, and most have a better infotainment system than Toyota offers. Toyota also offers just one engine for the 4Runner.

Toyota 4Runner vs. Competitors

ModelApproximate Price RangeSeatsVehicle TypeIncluded Maintenance Years
Toyota 4Runner
$38K - $53K
5 or 7
Body-on Frame SUV 4X4
Jeep Wrangler
$38K - $89K
Body-on Frame SUV 4X4
Ford Bronco
$30K - $65K
Body-on Frame SUV 4X4
Honda Passport
$34K - $47K
Crossover SUV with AWD
Nissan Pathfinder
$35 - $50K
Up to 8
Crossover SUV with AWD
Land Rover Defender
$48 - $90K
5 to 7
Crossover SUV with 4X4

1. Jeep Wrangler

Jeep-Wrangler-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-4RunnerThe Jeep Wrangler competes well with the Toyota 4Runner for those seeking a five-passenger SUV that can go off-road. Jeep’s line includes both two and four-door models and a wide array of trims and options that Toyota cannot match. The Jeep also features multiple convertible options, doors that come off, and a windshield that drops down.

Jeep also offers three engine choices. In addition to its V6 engine, which matches the standard offering from Toyota, Jeep also offers a plug-in hybrid four-cylinder turbocharged powertrain and a V8-equipped muscle SUV.

Jeep also offers three years of included maintenance compared to Toyota’s two years. Finally, you get to enjoy a friendly wave from legions of fellow Jeep owners as you pass them in traffic.

The Takeway: Those seeking outdoor adventure will find the Jeep Wrangler SUV line has everything the 4Runner offers and much more.

Current Jeep Wrangler Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2023JeepWrangler$445/month for 42 months, $3,995 due at signing2/28/23

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Jeep deals and average prices paid.

2. Ford Bronco

Ford Bronco 4Runner AltThe Wrangler is no longer the only game in town for those that want a truly off-road SUV. Ford has brought back the Bronco and went all-in. The Bronco line is just as expansive and all-encompassing as the Jeep line and has many of the same cool features, such as removable panels.

Like the Wrangler, the Bronco is a two-row SUV with seats for five. It has the locking differentials, a detachable front sway bar, a low range transfer case, and all the other hard-core rock hopping and mud whomping stuff serious off-roaders look for.

Did we just lose you? No worries. Our next couple of alternatives are for folks who don’t speak 4X4.

The Takeaway: The Ford Bronco is yet another choice for serious off-roaders.

Current Ford Bronco Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Ford deals and average prices paid.

3. Honda Passport

Honda-Passport-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-4RunnerHonda wants in on the adventure SUV market, but understands its owners aren’t headed to Moab directly from the dealer lot. To add more off-road chops than any prior Honda, the company adapted much of the Pilot’s basic formula to one that will go farther and be more utilitarian. In the process, it dropped the third row.

The Passport counts among its advantages over the 4Runner, better on-road driving dynamics and better infotainment. Inside, the Passport has a massive cargo area behind the second row. Drop the seats, and you could slide in a small kayak or a pair of fat-tire bikes.

Honda is the brand for practical people who like things neat and square. The Passport fits the bill.  Unless you want serious off-roading for the sake of it, the Passport will likely be more than enough for your weekend adventures in nature.

The Takeaway: If you are team Honda and want to know which model they produce that might be an alternative to the 4Runner, this is it.

Current Honda Passport Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2022HondaPassport1.90%$369/month for 36 months, $5,199 due at signing2/28/23
2023HondaPassport2.90%$399/month for 36 months, $4,999 due at signing2/28/23

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Honda deals and average prices paid.

4. Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan-Pathfinder-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-4RunnerIf you need an all-road vehicle more than you do an off-road vehicle, a crossover SUV has many advantages. Fuel economy, ride comfort, and space are just a few. Like the Passport, the Nissan Pathfinder is a crossover SUV with all-wheel drive.

Before you shrug off the Pathfinder as a mall-crawler, bear in mind it was recently redesigned and has more power than the 4Runner and can tow 20% more. We also found the infotainment system to be simple and effective.

We recently tested the new Pathfinder and found it to be more rugged than the prior generation, and we're pleased to see a multi-terrain drive selector switch. Even our mid-trim tester had a proper trailer hitch integrated into the rear end. The Pathfinder may not win a king of the mountain match with the 4Runner, but getting to the mountain will not be a problem.

The Takeaway: The Pathfinder is a great alternative to the 4Runner for families that need all-road capability and want three rows of seating.

Current Nissan Pathfinder Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2023NissanPathfinder0.00%$369/month for 24 months, $4,669 due at signing2/28/23

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Nissan deals.

5. Land Rover Defender

Land-Rover-Defender-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-4RunnerWhy not stretch the budget a smidge and drive home in something a bit more interesting than the everyman’s 4Runner?

Land Rover’s new Defender is available in a wide range of prices that overlap the 4Runner, has a similar 5 plus 2 seating option available, and looks so much cooler.

The Defender is a half and half vehicle that combines many of the best elements of a crossover SUV with a body-on-frame SUV. It has the ability to go anywhere a 4Runner can and a legacy the 4Runner can only aspire to.

The Takeaway: The Land Rover Defender is a “think outside the box” alternative that matches up surprisingly well with the the 4Runner.

Current Land Rover Defender Deals & Incentives

You may qualify for deals and incentives, check out this month's Land Rover deals and average prices paid.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I get instead of a 4Runner?

The Toyota 4Runner seems to gain new competitors with each passing year. Those looking for a five-passenger off-road SUV can now choose from the Jeep Wrangler or the Ford Bronco. Those who want a 5+2 SUV should give the Land Rover Defender a look. If you don’t need a serious off-roader, the Honda Passport and Nissan Pathfinder are perfect substitutes with many advantages.

Is the 4Runner outdated?

Heck yes! The 4Runner is outdated and not by accident. Toyota has retained the 4Runner’s classic body-on-frame 4x4 design while also offering a wide range of crossover alternatives.

Are Toyota 4Runners worth the money?

Yes, assuming you pay near MSRP, a Toyota 4Runner is like money in the bank. The vehicle depreciates very differently than most of the industry’s similar vehicles. Like the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota’s Tacoma, a Toyota 4Runner barely depreciates if kept in good conditions and with limited miles.

Which is better, the Toyota 4Runner or the Toyota Tacoma?

Neither is better. One is an SUV (4Runner), and one is a midsize pickup truck. Both have many worthy competitors that are arguable “Better.” These include the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco SUVs, and the Nissan Frontier and Jeep Gladiator pickups.