2021 4Runner parked on a steep hill


  • The 4Runner comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P).
  • You also get Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC)standard. The Bronco has Hill Descent Control as an available feature.
  • Both vehicles have Roadside Assistance, but only Toyota also includes factory-scheduled maintenance.

When adventures become unpredictable, you want to trust that you can count on the safety technology in your car to help get you through.

Standard Safety Features

Designed to help keep you safe, the 2021 Bronco has Ford Co-Pilot360® technology which includes Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Auto High-Beam Headlamps. For the Lane-Keeping System and BLIS® with Cross-Traffic Alert, you'd need the Bronco Outer Banks or higher. Adaptive cruise control is only standard on the most expensive Bronco First Edition. The alternative model, the Bronco Sport Base, does come standard with Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, Auto High-Beam Headlamps, Lane-Keeping System, and BLIS® with Cross-Traffic Alert. Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering is only available as an option on the Bronco Sport Big Bend, Sport Outer Banks, and Sport Badlands.

On the other hand, the 2021 4Runner includes Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) with Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Additionally, the 4Runner SR5 4x4 comes standard with Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). Hill Descent Control™ is an available feature of Ford Co-Pilot360®.

All new Toyotas come with ToyotaCare which includes factory-scheduled maintenance and 24/7 Roadside Assistance. The maintenance plans lasts for 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, plus Roadside Assistance for 2 years and unlimited mileage.

Ford offers Ford Roadside Assistance® for up to 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. For scheduled maintenance, Ford drivers will have to pay extra for a Ford Protect Premium Maintenance Plan.

2021 4Runner driving through mud


  • The 4Runner has the option for both 4x2 and 4x4 trims while the Bronco is only expected to offer 4x4.
  • You get higher ground clearance and larger wheels on the base 4Runner SR5 than what is expected on the Bronco base grade.
  • For more storage, the 4Runner comes standard with roof rails and has a better standard towing capacity.

The all-new Bronco benefits from having a more-recently designed engine and drivetrain, but more horsepower and torque doesn’t necessarily equal better off-road performance or towing capacity.

Off-Road Capability

With a 4.0L V6 engine, the 4Runner has 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. torque and offers both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations. The 2021 Bronco base-grade 2-Door 2.3L EcoBoost® engine has 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. torque, while the 4-Door 2.7L EcoBoost® engine has 330 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. torque. Both of these ratings require premium fuel, however. The Bronco Sport Base has a smaller 1.5L EcoBoost® and only 181 horsepower. All Broncos come in a 4x4 configuration.

For off-roading capability advantages out of the box, the 2021 4Runner SR5 offers a higher ground clearance of 9.6 in. compared to the 8.4-in. ground clearance for the 2021 Bronco Base 4-Door.

At the base-grade level, the 4Runner SR5 comes standard with 17-in. 6-spoke alloy wheels while the Bronco Base comes with 16-in. Bright Polished Silver-Painted Steel wheels. The Bronco Sport Base does have 17" wheels with a Sparkle Silver-colored finish, however. The difference in materials between the 4Runner and Bronco is intentional. Alloy wheels, while not as strong as steel, provide a lighter load and smoother ride for regular on-road driving. Steel wheels are good for off-roading but are clunky and add a lot of unsprung weight which affects the vehicles' overall performance both on-and-off road.

Additionally, the 4Runner comes standard with roof rails to help store more gear. You can add Roof Rails with Crossbars to the Bronco Base but it will cost extra. Looking at the Bronco Sport Base, drivers do get Roof Rack Side Rails standard.

You can also haul more behind your SUV with the 4Runner which has a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs across the board. The Bronco has a towing capacity of 3,500 lbs across all models. However, if you opt for any of the Bronco Sport models your towing capacity will be much lower; 2,000 lbs. to 2,200 lbs. depending on which model you choose.

Ford, EcoBoost and Ford Copilot360 are trademarks of Ford Motor Company

2021 4Runner parked on a wet road


  • You get interior space in the 4Runner with 89.7/47.2 cu.-ft. behind front/rear seats.
  • For more seating, the 4Runner has the option to seat 5 or 7 with optional third-row seating.
  • With eight speakers, Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, you have more ways to listen in the 4Runner.

You may have come to this comparison looking for the SUV that can get you farther and up the gnarliest of trails. But, these vehicles also have some impressive interior touches. Having more fun on your next drive could also mean robust connectivity options and more room to spread out.

Comfort and Convenience

For more interior space, you'll find more cargo room with 89.7/47.2 cu.-ft. behind front/rear seats of the 2021 4Runner compared to the 77.6/35.6 cu.-ft. behind the first/second row of the Bronco 4-Door. The Bronco Sport Base is even smaller with 65.2/32.5 cu.-ft. behind the first/second row.

The 4Runner SR5, SR5 Premium, Limited, and Nightshade Special Edition also seat up to 5, or 7 with available third-row seating. The Bronco 2-Door can only seat 4 passengers while the 4-Door seats 5.

Instead of fumbling with the keys, get your car started, lock, unlock, or open the tailgate with the 4Runner's Smart Key System which is standard on all grades. All of this can be achieved without ever having to take the fob out of your pocket. The 4Runner also has Push Button Start. Only the Bronco Outer Banks, Wildtrak, and First Edition have Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start and the Remote Start System.

You also get more standard audio options in the 4Runner with Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The 2021 Bronco Base comes standard with Apple Carplay® and Android Auto™ compatibility but not Amazon Alexa. The 4Runner SR5 also has eight speakers compared to the six that are standard on the 2021 Bronco Base.

Conclusion: 4Runner vs. Bronco

The 2021 Ford Bronco Base has a lower starting MSRP than the 2021 4Runner SR5 4x4, but it lacks a lot of standard 4Runner features. Even with the extras, the most expensive 4Runner, the TRD Pro (starting MSRP of $50,570), costs less than the Bronco First Edition (starting MSRP of $57,410).

  • Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) comes standard with the 4Runner.
  • Hill Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) come standard in the 4Runner.
  • Factory-scheduled maintenance is included with ToyotaCare on all Toyota 4Runner models.
  • 4Runner owners have the option to choose either 4x2 or 4x4.
  • The 4Runner SR5 has larger wheels and higher ground clearance than the Bronco base grade.
  • Roof rails are standard on the 4Runner, and it also has better standard towing capacity than the base Bronco.