2021 Toyota Highlander vs 2021 Toyota 4Runner

2021 Toyota Highlander vs 2021 Toyota 4RunnerView Inventory

2021 Toyota Highlander vs 2021 Toyota 4Runner

If you love the Toyota brand and are in the market to purchase or lease a new sports utility vehicle, then you have an interesting choice to make with the Highlander and 4Runner. The team at Drive Taylor has a great deal of experience helping our customers compare the 2021 Toyota Highlander vs 2021 Toyota 4Runner and determine which model is best for them. While both of these vehicles are midsize SUVs, you could say that they are aimed at different audiences. But the concept of audience in the auto world paints consumers in broad strokes, and we know that each customer has unique needs and tastes.

Hermitage PA - 2021 Toyota Highlander's Overview

Exterior – Toyota Dealership serving Hermitage

The Highlander is the larger vehicle, but as you will see from this 2021 Toyota Highlander vs 2021 Toyota 4Runner comparison, the difference is not substantial. The Highlander has a 112.2-inch wheelbase and measures 197.4 inches in length, which is approximately 16.5 feet. The 4Runner, on the other hand, has a 109.8-inch wheelbase and measures 190.7 inches in length, which is approximately 15.9 feet. Toyota takes a different approach with the aesthetics. The Highlander boasts a sleek and modern look that feels at home among crossovers whereas the 4Runner has the boxier visuals often associated with trucks.

Hermitage PA - 2021 Toyota Highlander's Exterior

Interior – 2021 Toyota Highlander in Hermitage

While we will not dig too much into the mechanical aspects in this section, it is important to note that the Highlander is a crossover, which means that it will deliver a smoother and more comfortable ride overall. The 4Runner uses body-on-frame construction, which makes it seriously capable off the road but also makes the ride a bit stiffer. Something else to consider is seating and spaciousness. Front legroom is roughly the same at about 42 inches. The 2021 Toyota Highlander, however, provides much more second-row legroom: 41 vs 33 inches. The Highlander seats seven in its default configuration and provides about 28 inches of third-row legroom. The 4Runner seats five in its default configuration. You can opt for a third row, which ups the seating capacity to seven and provides about 29 inches of legroom. The Highlander has 16 cubic feet of dedicated cargo space. A draw of the 4Runner is that it has a whopping 47 cubic feet, but that is reduced to just 9 cubes with the third row.

Hermitage PA - 2021 Toyota Highlander's Interior

Technologies – 2021 Toyota Highlander dealer

It is a toss-up when it comes to the technologies because the standard and optional features are mostly the same. Both vehicles come standard with an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with the Entune software and features like Android and Apple device integration. Both vehicles also have a wide collection of standard driver-assistance technologies, including adaptive cruise control, a frontal collision mitigation system and a lane departure warning system.

Toyota Highlander Powertrain specs

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner is available in either rear- or four-wheel drive. Some trim levels, such as the Trail Special Edition and TRD Pro, are exclusively 4×4 vehicles. The Highlander is available with either front- or all-wheel drive. All 4Runner models have a five-speed automatic transmission with a 4.0-liter V6 that makes 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque and which can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The gas Highlander models have an eight-speed automatic with a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 hp and 263 lb.-ft. and which can also tow up to 5,000 pounds. The Hybrid models have a CVT and make 243 hp.

Hermitage PA - 2021 Toyota Highlander's Mechanical

Toyota Highlander Trim Levels

Some automakers have trim level naming conventions that they will use across their lineup. This is not the case with Toyota and in particular with these two vehicles. The 2021 Toyota 4Runner is offered in four core trim levels: SR5, TRD Off-Road, Limited and TRD Pro. There are also a few special packages, such as the Trail Special Edition, SR5 Premium and TRD Off-Road Premium. The 2021 Toyota Highlander is available in five core trim levels—L, LE, XLE, Limited and Platinum—and if you want the Highlander Hybrid, you have that option with all of the trim levels with the exception of the base L model.

Request more 2021 Toyota Highlander vs 2021 Toyota 4Runner information

The team at Drive Taylor is here to help you find the perfect Toyota vehicle for you whether you want to lease or own. If you want to shop these vehicles in person, you can visit our showroom and test-drive them both without an appointment. We are also available to help you online. Our website offers live chat and lets you research the models, compare trim levels and options and much more!

*Informational / opinion based review. Please contact the dealer for complete details.

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.