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Toyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler

A collage of Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Wrangler.

Gas guzzler or not, I love Jeep Wranglers. I remember renting one and driving to Savannah, Georgia and our pockets paid the price. However, it was a really exciting albeit not overly comfortable trip and the handling wasn’t bad. That was 2015.

Fast forward to 2022, how does the Wrangler stand up to its competitors, and is it any better with fuel? Today we’re comparing it to the formidable opponent, the 2022 Toyota 4Runner, which is also a beast when it comes to off-roading.

Keep reading to see what I discovered after testing both vehicles and decide which would best suit your lifestyle.

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The 2022 Toyota 4Runner

The TRD Sport variant, which was previously exclusively available on the Toyota Tacoma, will be added to the 4Runner roster in 2022. The 20-inch wheels, the hood scoop, and Sport insignia from TRD Sport don’t give it a sporty appearance.

Adjustable dampers help with handling, unlike other 4Runner models (except for the Limited, which has a more sumptuous interior). The TRD Sport’s interior is adorned with faux-leather upholstery instead of cotton.

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As of 2022, all-new Toyota 4Runners will be equipped with standard LED high lights. A 4.0-liter V-6 paired to a 5-speed automatic transmission provides 270 horsepower in every 4Runner.

Rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive are the only ways to get decent acceleration out of a dated engine. The 4Runner tops off at 114mph and accelerates to 60mph in 7.7 seconds.

The 2022 Jeep Wrangler

A photo of a white Jeep Wrangler.

There’s nothing like cruising down a remote track in a 2022 Jeep Wrangler with the top down, looking for excitement around the next corner.

Retro styling pays respect to the WWII-era Jeep, but modern conveniences like touchscreen infotainment and cruise control are included in the vehicle’s interior. 

With a power-operated soft top, onboard Wi-Fi, in-dash navigation, ambient lighting, and leather upholstery, up-level trims may be downright opulent.

To maximize room for passengers and goods, the Wrangler Unlimited version should be considered above the standard two-door model. 

Even though the Wrangler is available with a variety of different powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid and a powerful 6.4 liter V-8, it comes standard with four-wheel drive. To get from zero to 60 miles per hour in a straight line takes just 6.8 seconds.

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner vs. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler: Price

Five powertrain options are available for the Jeep lineup: a gas-powered V6, a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a diesel V6, a massive V8 with plug-in hybrid assistance, and four-wheel drive.

The standard 2-door Wrangler Sport features a soft top, 6-speed stick shift transmission, 4WD, as well as a 285-hp 6-cylinder engine for $31,590. The cost of adding four doors to this trim is an additional $3,600. 

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The entry-level 4xe plug-in hybrid costs $55,390, while a fully equipped Rubicon 392 with Jeep’s 470-horsepower V8 costs over $90,000. There are many fewer alternatives to the 4Runner.

It’s been a long time since Toyota sold the 4Runner in two-door form or with a manual transmission. 

Buyers are limited to a 270-horsepower V6 and five-speed automated transmission options. It is possible to order the 4Runner with RWD in all but the TRD Pro, TRD Off-Road Premium, and Off-Road trims. It costs $38,820 for the SR5 4×2 and $53,635 for the TRD Pro.

At $39,385 versus the 4Runner’s $40,695, the Jeep Wrangler comes out on top when both vehicles are outfitted with hardtops as well as an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner vs. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler: Off-road Capabilities 

A photo og Toyota 4Runner on the road.

Every Wrangler has the off-road capability built in, whereas the 4Runner may be configured to be more road- or trail-oriented depending on the model and options you pick.

Every Wrangler comes with a 4WD setup as standard, and the Jeep has an advantage over the Toyota when it comes to driving over stones and logs because of its better approach and departure angles and higher ground clearance. 

Furthermore, while it won’t aid in trail-climbing, the retractable roof of the Jeep Wrangler certainly does. These two vehicles had two-speed transfer cases, locking rear differentials, along with electronically disengaged anti-roll bars that you could engage or disengage. 

In this case, the differential that locks in the front as well as larger tires for all-terrain on the Jeep Wrangler, provide it with an advantage over other competitors.

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Probably the most notable distinction between these SUVs that are body-on-frame is how well they handle road imperfections. Both the 4Runner and the Wrangler are equipped with independent back and front suspensions. 

For better on-road maneuverability and a smoother ride than the Wrangler’s, Toyota’s suspension is superior. The Wrangler has a harsh ride and an unresponsive steering feel. Before deciding on a specific model, think about how much off-road capability you need.

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner vs. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler: Features

Even though off-roaders are equipped with creature amenities and cutting-edge technology, that isn’t why you should buy one. These vehicles are sought after because of their high resale value and their reputation for durability and community support.

No matter how capable your 4Runner or Wrangler is, you’ll want to feel at home behind the wheel.

Several Toyota convenience and safety features are included as standard on the Jeep, but they are only available as an option on Toyota.

Power-adjustable passenger seats, front parking sensors, and power-operated run-boards make it easier to get into the SUV for those with disabilities. The 4Runner’s seating capacity rises from five to seven with the addition of a third row.

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner vs. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler: Safety

A car rearview system monitor reverse video camera.

Front and side airbags are standard on both the Wrangler and the 4Runner, as are plastic fuel tanks, anti-lock brakes on all four wheels, rearview cameras, electronic stabilizing systems to deter sliding, traction control, daytime running lights, blind-spot alert, sensors for reverse parking on the 4Runner and the Wrangler.

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Both vehicles also come standard with rearview cameras.

NHTSA front collision tests are conducted at 35 MPH. The NHTSA tests show that the Wrangler is far more secure than the 4Runner, even though both have four-star safety ratings.

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner vs. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler: Engine & Fuel Efficiency

The EPA estimates combined city/highway mileage for 2021 Jeep Wranglers equipped with a V6 at 19 to 21 mpg. With the Xtreme Recon option, Wranglers should expect to get a lower mpg.

The Jeep gets 22-23mpg blended with the turbo 4-cylinder engine. Diesel Jeep Wranglers get between 23 and 25mpg on the highway. 

The Wrangler 4xe PHEV has a combined fuel economy of just 20 mpg. However, it has an all-electric range of 22 miles. The combined fuel economy of the Wrangler Rubicon 392 is 14 mpg.

A single-engine option is available for the 2022 Toyota 4Runner. That V6 engine produces 270 ponies and 278 lb-ft of torque. The standard is a 5-speed automatic transmission.

However, the 4Runner’s V6 and turbo 4-cylinder engines aren’t far off from the Wrangler’s turbo 4-cylinder as well as V6 engines when it comes to accelerating at highway speeds.

Jeep’s quick 8-speed automatic transmission outshines maintaining its engines in the core of their power ranges, unlike its clunky old 5-speed automatic.

For the 4Runner, Toyota offers two types of 4WD systems: one for occasional use and another for daily commuting.

The automatic torque distribution between the front and back wheels is standard only on the Limited model, and it uses a Torsen-type center differential.

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However, the locking differential on the back of the top trim levels is part-time 4WD only. In addition, Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select system comes standard on these models.

In terms of off-road capability, the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is the only model that comes close to the Wrangler Rubicon. Standard on the TRD Pro is all-terrain tires and a one-inch rise in ride height compared to the stock suspension on other 4Runners.

Even yet, aftermarket modifications are required to match the Rubicon.

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner vs. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler: Towing Capabilities 

The 5,000-pound towing capacity of a fully outfitted 4Runner is solid, but don’t expect to get anywhere quickly with a trailer attached at the back. All 2022 Jeep Wranglers have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

The Jeep is more fuel-efficient than the Toyota 4Runner in 2022. In combined driving, all the 2022 Toyota 4Runners get 17 mpg.