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Toyota 4Runner vs. Toyota Highlander: which SUV is right for you?

Toyota 4Runner
Toyota Highlander

Toyota 4Runner vs. Toyota Highlander: which SUV is right for you?

When choosing the perfect family SUV in Stellarton, NS, the Toyota 4Runner and Toyota Highlander emerge as top competitors. Each brings unique strengths, catering to different family needs and lifestyles. Anchor Toyota is here to guide you through the nuances of these two exceptional models, helping you make an informed decision for your family's next adventure.


The Toyota Highlander, powered by a 2.4-litre intercooled turbo regular unleaded I4 engine, produces 265 horsepower and a notable 310 ft-lb of torque, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. This setup provides a balanced mix of power and efficiency, making it ideal for those who prioritize a smooth, responsive ride for city commutes and highway travel. The Highlander's power steering and advanced fuel system enhance its performance.

Conversely, the Toyota 4Runner opts for a more rugged approach with its 4.0-litre regular unleaded V6 engine, delivering 270 horsepower and 278 ft-lb of torque. Toyota outfitted the 4Runner with a 5-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. The 4Runner is built for off-road adventures, offering robust performance and durability on challenging terrains. 

Fuel Efficiency

Focusing on fuel efficiency and capacity, the Toyota Highlander showcases its prowess in fuel economy, achieving 11.0 L/100 km in the city and 8.4 L/100 km on the highway. Its combined city/highway fuel consumption ranges between 8.4 and 11.0 L/100 km, supported by a fuel tank capacity of 68.0 litres. This efficiency makes it an appealing option for those who value fuel economy in their daily drives and longer journeys.

In contrast, the Toyota 4Runner demonstrates a thirstier nature, with fuel consumption figures at 14.8 to 14.9 L/100 km in urban settings and 12.5 to 12.6 L/100 km for highway travel. Its combined fuel consumption spans from 12.5 to 14.9 L/100 km, having a larger fuel tank capacity of 87.0 litres. It indicates the 4Runner's design leans towards maximizing performance and off-road capability at the expense of higher fuel consumption, aligning with its adventurous spirit.

Exterior Dimensions

Regarding dimensions and off-road capability, the Toyota Highlander and Toyota 4Runner display clear distinctions catering to different preferences. The Highlander boasts a wheelbase of 2,850 mm, an overall length of 4,950 mm, a width of 1,930 mm without mirrors, and stands 1,730 mm tall. 

It offers a minimum ground clearance of 203 mm, which is suitable for light off-road activities and ensures a comfortable ride in urban settings. With a base curb weight of 1,870 kg, it balances size and manoeuvrability, making it ideal for those needing a spacious yet efficient vehicle.

Conversely, the 4Runner is slightly more compact in length at 4,829 mm but offers a robust off-road capability with a higher minimum ground clearance of 244 mm. Its wheelbase is 2,789 mm, its width without mirrors is 1,925 mm, and its height is 1,781 mm, providing a commanding view of the road and trails. 

The 4Runner's base curb weight ranges from 2,121 to 2,180 kg, reflecting its rugged construction and capability to tackle challenging terrains easily. It makes the 4Runner a preferred choice for outdoor enthusiasts who demand durability and superior off-road performance.

Exterior Style

Exterior Style

With its 2020 redesign, the Toyota Highlander offers a familiar yet refined silhouette that showcases subtle evolution in its aesthetics. Introducing sleeker swept-back headlamps and a broader grille enhances its modern appeal. A blacked-out A-pillar creates an illusion of a floating roof, adding a touch of sophistication. This design philosophy extends to the rear, where the tail lamps, also sleeker, distinguish it from its predecessor. 

In contrast, the Toyota 4Runner exudes a more rugged demeanour, with a design that makes it stand out in traffic. Despite having dimensions close to the Highlander, its boxy style makes it taller and narrower, highlighting its off-road persona. The 4Runner, especially in its TRD Pro trim, embraces an aggressive stance with unique styling features that amplify its toughness.

Interior Dimensions

Interior Dimensions

The Toyota Highlander and Toyota 4Runner cater to different passenger capacity and cargo space needs, each offering unique benefits depending on your requirements. The Highlander is designed to comfortably seat up to eight passengers, presenting a perfect option for families seeking ample space for every member's comfort or those needing extra seating. 

It provides ample cargo space, with 453 litres behind the third row, 1,371 litres behind the second row, and a generous 2,387 litres when you fold both rear seats down. This versatility ensures that the Highlander adapts to your needs, whether you're hauling luggage, sports equipment, or shopping bags.

On the other hand, the 4Runner offers a more flexible seating arrangement, accommodating between 5 and 7 passengers depending on the configuration. It excels in cargo capacity, offering up to 2,540 litres behind the first row, 1,337 litres behind the second row, and between 255 and 1,337 litres behind the third-row seats. 

The 4Runner's cargo space is more versatile, catering well to adventure-seekers who might need to pack bulky gear alongside carrying passengers. Additionally, including a sun/moonroof in the 4Runner adds an element of openness and luxury. It improves the journey by inviting in sunshine and fresh air making your drive feel close to nature.



The Toyota Highlander shines as the quintessential family SUV, outfitted with various technological advancements. It features a robust 12.3-inch infotainment system on the Platinum trim alongside an 11-speaker JBL Audio system, ensuring high-quality entertainment for all occupants. The Driver Easy Speak system facilitates clear communication from front to back, akin to an intercom. 

Safety-wise, it's well-stocked with standard equipment like pre-collision systems, pedestrian detection, and lane-keeping assistance, though blind spot monitoring is absent in the base model. Additional perks like trail modes and dynamic torque vectoring are exclusive to the AWD versions, underscoring its adaptability.

In contrast, the Toyota 4Runner caters to the adventurous with its straightforward, durable tech setup. Necessities such as a reverse camera, cruise control, air conditioning, ample charging ports, and a 12V household plug in the cargo area are standard, ensuring functionality and convenience. 

While it may lack the Highlander's extensive driver assistance and safety technologies, it compensates with practical features like a JBL stereo option and an impressive count of 10 cupholders, emphasizing its readiness for rugged escapades. The 4Runner is designed for those who prioritize adventure over luxury, making it the ideal choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Choosing Between the Highlander and 4Runner at Anchor Toyota

In the quest for the perfect family SUV in Stellarton, NS, the Toyota Highlander and Toyota 4Runner each stand out with their unique offerings, catering to diverse preferences and lifestyles. The Highlander, with its blend of technology, safety, and efficiency, is the ideal companion for families seeking comfort and reliability on city streets and long highway journeys. 

Meanwhile, the 4Runner appeals to the adventurers at heart, offering robust performance, superior off-road capabilities, and a design as bold as the paths it's destined to explore. Anchor Toyota invites you to discover which SUV, the sophisticated Highlander or the rugged 4Runner, aligns with your family's needs and adventures, ensuring your next vehicle meets and exceeds your expectations.

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