2021 4Runner vs. Bronco Comparison

Many have tried to compete with the legendary off-road capability of Toyotas like the 4Runner and Tacoma. Jeep brought on the Gladiator to compete with the Tacoma and Ford recently revived the Bronco to try to stand up to the 4Runner in the mid-size SUV category. Which off-road capable vehicle will prevail? The tried and true yet long-in-the-tooth 4Runner? Or, the impressive-on-paper all-new Bronco?

Drawing its inspiration from the Hilux pickup truck, the 4Runner, was first introduced to the market in 1984. It has continued to stay true to its rugged, body-on-frame construction through five generations. The Ford Bronco got its start early in 1966 with wagon, pickup, and roadster body styles. After five generations, the Bronco was discontinued in 1996 to be replaced by the less off-road focused Ford Expedition. Now, the Ford Bronco is back for the 2021 model year.

Both SUVs offer an abundance of off-roading styled features. While the new Bronco is expected to have more horsepower and torque according to the current statistics listed on Ford’s official site, the 4Runner provides higher ground clearance and more towing power.

While the 4Runner may have been around longer, it has been updated to include the latest in driver-assistance safety features. Much like other Toyotas, every 4Runner grade comes packed with the standard active safety features of Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P). The base grade Bronco is expected to come with a TSS-P comparable suite of driver assistance features called Ford Co-Pilot360™ Technology, but that base package is not expected to include adaptive cruise control. This feature is expected to be available on higher-grade Broncos.

Despite the 2021 Bronco making a highly-anticipated and long-awaited return, let's see if it can compete with the long-standing reputation of the 4Runner in terms of safety, off-and-on-road performance, and interior features.

Publish Date: 10/30/2020

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Safety

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

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Safety

  • The 4Runner comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P).
  • You also get Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC), which the Bronco does not currently offer.
  • Both vehicles have Roadside Assistance, but only Toyota also includes factory-scheduled maintenance.
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Performance

The all-new Bronco is expected to benefit 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.

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Performance

  • 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.
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Interior

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.

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Interior

  • You get more 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.
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Conclusion: 4Runner vs. Bronco

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Conclusion: 4Runner vs. Bronco

  • Although the 2021 Bronco has a lower expected starting MSRP than the 4Runner, the 2021 4Runner offers more features standard.
  • The 2021 4Runner comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), a higher ground clearance, and more connectivity options than what is expected for the Bronco.
  • You also get more cargo room and seating in the 4Runner than the Bronco.
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