The 2021 Toyota 4Runner and the 2021 Jeep Wrangler are leaders in the SUV market and fan favorites. Drivers who enjoy them keep coming back for more, but if you haven’t driven either, which should you choose? In this comparison, see which legendary vehicle has made the necessary updates to keep up with the times.
Let's start with the Wrangler. Although its interior offerings and size have improved over the years, the Jeep Wrangler still doesn't have the interior space that adventurers can find in a 4Runner. The 2021 4Runner has more cargo volume than the Wrangler.
Another thing the Wrangler doesn't have standard on their base model is an advanced infotainment system. The base-grade Wrangler only has a 5-in. touchscreen display, while the 4Runner SR5 has an 8-in. interactive touchscreen and tons of connectivity options.
Picking a new car is more than just what meets the eye. Explore how the 4Runner and the Wrangler do in categories like safety, interior, and performance.
Published Date: 07/28/2021
No matter what your travels entail, the 4Runner and Wrangler help provide an added sense of security with active safety technology.
All models of the 2021 Toyota 4Runner have Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P). This suite of active safety features includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).
The base model Wrangler Unlimited Sport doesn't have comparable versions of most of these features. For the Wrangler's available Advanced Safety Group package which has Advanced Brake-Assist, Automatic High-Beam Headlamp-Control and Full-Speed Forward-Collision Warning Plus, you'd need to get the Unlimited Sport S or higher. To get these features standard, plus Adaptive Cruise Control w/Stop, you'd need to select the most expensive model, the Unlimited Rubicon 392, which has a starting MSRP of $73,745.
All models of the 2021 4Runner come with eight airbags. The airbag system includes driver and front passenger TAP (Thorax, Abdomen, Pelvis) front seat-mounted side airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, and front and all row (third-row airbags on all models) Roll-Sensing Side Curtain Airbags (RSCA). While the Wrangler has Advanced Multistage Front Air Bags and Supplemental Front Seat Side Air Bags, it lacks a knee airbag.
Get the space you need and the interior technology features you want when you go with the Toyota 4Runner.
One technological advantage of the 4Runner can be found even before you get into your SUV. With the 4Runner's Smart Key System, you can start your car, open the tailgate, and lock or unlock your 4Runner without taking the fob out of your pocket. Plus, the 4Runner has Push Button Start, so no need to turn the key to start the ignition. Comparatively, the Wrangler does not have Remote-Proximity Keyless-Entry or Push Button Start available across all models.
Once you step inside the 4Runner, you'll notice there’s a lot more space to work with, too. The cargo volume of the 2021 4Runner behind the front/second-row seats is 89.7/47.2 cu. ft. You won't find quite as much room with the Wrangler whether you choose the 2-door or 4-door model. The maximum interior cargo volume of the Wrangler 2-door is only 31.7 (cu. ft.) and 72.4 (cu. ft.) for the 4-door models.
If you aren't concerned with how much stuff you can fit but rather people you can seat, the 4Runner base model SR5 has standard seating for five people or optional third-row seating which gives you seating for seven people. The Wrangler 2-Door models can only seat four. If you get the Wrangler 4-Door, it still only seats a maximum of five.
If you want connectivity options, you'll be happy to know that the 4Runner has standard Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Plus, you get SiriusXM® with a Platinum Plan 3-month trial. To get Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and SiriusXM® compatibility standard on the Wrangler, you'll need the Unlimited Sport S or higher. On the base model Unlimited Sport, SiriusXM® is available as an add-on option, but you will need to spend an additional $295.
The base model 4Runner also has an 8-in. touchscreen for easy access to all your apps. The base model Wrangler Unlimited Sport only has a 5-in. display. To get a 7-in. touchscreen, you'd need to get the Unlimited Sport S.
Aside from all the extras, the 4Runner was built with Quality, Durability, and Reliability in mind and has the awards to show for it.
The 4Runner has received the Best Resale Value Award: Top 10 for eight years in a Row (2013-2020) from Kelley Blue Book®. The Jeep Wrangler 4-door did inch out the 4Runner for Kelley Blue Book’s® 2021 Best Off-Road SUV Resale Value winner, but the 4Runner was close behind.
To help keep up with your adventurous lifestyle, Toyota offers 4Runner drivers ToyotaCare, a factory-scheduled maintenance service for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 24 hour Roadside Assistance for 2 years and unlimited mileage. As a new offering, Jeep now offers JEEP WAVE®. However, it only covers your first three oil changes and tire rotations. The Wrangler also comes with 24/7 roadside assistance, which is available for the duration of the 5-Year/60,000-Mile, Powertrain Limited Warranty period.
As an added bonus, the 4Runner can tow up to 5,000 lbs. across all models. The Wrangler 4x4 models can only tow up to 3,500 lbs.
If you want a powerhouse SUV that has the space, standard multimedia, and safety your family needs, the 4Runner has all of that and more.
For starters, the 4Runner has a whole suite of active safety features standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), while the Wrangler only offers the minimum on most of their models.
With SUVs being the go-to choice for customers that want lots of seating and cargo room, the Wrangler falls short in this area. The 4Runner was made to be a big presence on the road.
Plus, the 4Runner has more standard connectivity options including standard Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® compatibility. Both of these features aren't available on the base model Wrangler.
With all these features and more, we think the winner is clear: the 2021 Toyota 4Runner.