When the blacktop ends, off-roading enthusiasts will appreciate the unrelenting capabilities of the 2019 Toyota 4Runner, which comes with available Multi-Terrain Select and Hill Start Assist Control (HAC). Meanwhile, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers similar off-road functions with its available Base Selec-Terrain System and Hill Start Assist. In this off-roading vehicle centric head-to-head comparison, we will take a closer look at the on and off-road functions of these two vehicles as we compare the 2019 Toyota 4Runner and the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee in important categories such as reliability, interior features, and performance.
Published date: 04/07/2019
Both the 4Runner and the Grand Cherokee are capable off-road vehicles. When carving a new path, off-road enthusiasts know that having functional features is important: in the spirit of this, 4Runner TRD trims offer an active sway bar system, which is not available on the Grand Cherokee. Plus, the 2019 4Runner SR5 4x4 has a lower gross vehicle weight rating at 6,300 lbs vs. the Grand Cherokee Laredo 4WD, which weighs 6,500 lbs.
Off-Road Performance and Power
4Runner gives its drivers peace of mind while exploring. With a greater minimum ground clearance of 9.6-inches, 4Runner handles rough terrain better than Grand Cherokee, which has a minimum ground clearance of 8.6-inches. In addition, the 4Runner has more wheel lugs per wheel, which offers longer wheel-bearing life, less chance of rotor-warping, and greater strength.
In the V6 engine category, 4Runner provides more power compared to Grand Cherokee. Its 4.0 DOHC V6 engine produces a significant 18 lb.-ft. more torque (278 lb.-ft. vs. 260 lb.-ft.) than the Grand Cherokee's standard 3.6 DOHC V6. However, the Grand Cherokee does offer four different engine options, including a Supercharged 6.2L V8, whereas 4Runner offers one engine option.
Being able to rely on your off-road vehicle means more time for exploring, and less time in the shop.
Maintenance and Roadside Assistance
With ToyotaCare, all leases and purchases of new Toyota vehicles receive free 24-hour Roadside Assistance for two years/unlimited miles plus no-cost scheduled maintenance for 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. To compare, Grand Cherokee comes with a 60-month roadside assistance plan up to 60,000 miles, but factory scheduled maintenance plans come at an additional cost.
It's no surprise that Toyota's focus on reliability earned them the title for Best Resale Value Brand for 2018 according to Kelley Blue Book®. For 2018, Grand Cherokee was named the "Ideal Vehicle in the Mid-Size SUV Segment" in AutoPacific's 2018 review.
Plus, Toyota vehicles were shown overall to be more reliable than Jeep vehicles, according to a 2019 J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS) of the owners of three-year-old vehicles. In the same study, Toyota was ranked 2nd overall for reliability.
Off-road explorers seek out two important interior features in their vehicles: roominess and comfort. The 2019 4Runner takes the cake in both. With 41.7-inches of front legroom, the 4Runner offers more comfort for its driver compared to the Grand Cherokee which has significantly less front legroom at 30.3-inches. Plus, the 4Runner also has available third-row seating, which allows it to seat up to seven passengers. The Grand Cherokee has seating for a maximum of five.
Comfort and Cargo Space
With 4Runner's significant amount of cargo space, drivers can take more of their stuff with them. With rear seats folded down, the 2019 4Runner provides 89.7 cu. ft. of volume – considerably more than Grand Cherokee's 68.3 cu. ft. with rear seats folded down. The 2019 4Runner also offers an optional sliding cargo floor capable of holding 440 lbs that makes loading and unloading easy. Grand Cherokee does not have an optional sliding cargo floor.
The 2019 Toyota 4Runner delivers a unique combination of off-road prowess, reliability, and interior function that makes it a tough competitor against any off-road vehicle. In terms of comfort, the 4Runner offers significantly more legroom than the Grand Cherokee, plus optional third-row seating means it can seat up to seven passengers. Grand Cherokee has a maximum seating of five.
Functional touches give 4Runner a leg-up on competition as well. The 2019 4Runner features a higher payload capacity than Grand Cherokee at 1625 lbs vs. 1370 lbs. Plus, the 2019 4Runner has significantly more cargo capacity and its cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.7 inches vs. Grand Cherokee's 32.4 inches.
When looking at reliability, don't forget that J.D. Power 2019 ranks Toyota tied for 2nd in reliability, above the industry average and well above Jeep's 25th ranking. Toyota is also a Kelley Blue Book® Best Resale Value Brand for 2018.
While the Jeep Grand Cherokee initially starts at a lower base MSRP of $31,945 vs. 4Runner's base MSRP of $35,110, performance models of the Grand Cherokee such as the SRT and Trackhawk can quickly cost more than double the price of the 4Runner (MSRP of $68,145 and $86,650, respectively).
Looking at all the great performance, interior, and reliability features of the 2019 Toyota 4Runner, it is clear why it is the winner of this off-road centric head-to-head competition.