Vehicle Comparisons:
Toyota Highlander vs Toyota 4Runner

2019 Toyota Highlander vs Toyota 4Runner

A dependable SUV, like the Toyota Highlander or Toyota 4Runner, is a great option for everyone from families to drivers who love going off-roading. So, which one offers more of what you’re looking for in your next SUV?

To help drivers in the Nashville, Gallatin, and Madison area decide, Ron Hibbard Toyota put together this Toyota Highlander vs. 4Runner comparison. Be sure to contact us with any questions!

Toyota Highlander vs Toyota 4Runner: Performance

Toyota Highlander PerformanceThe Toyota Highlander has standard front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available on all trim levels. Under the hood you’ll have a choice between two strong engines.

The first option is a 2.7L 4-cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). This allows it to get up to 185 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The second powertrain is a 3.5L V6 with VVT-i that gets up to 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque.

The Toyota 4Runner is standard rear-wheel drive, but also offers all-wheel drive. It has one large engine for all its trim levels. It runs on a 4.0L V6 engine that gets up to 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque, and also features VVT-i.

These powertrains allow both SUVs to tow up to 5,000 pounds. They also help each one deliver reliable fuel economy. The Highlander gets up to an EPA-estimated 21 MPG city and 27 MPG highway, while the 4Runner delivers an EPA-estimated 17 MPG city and 21 MPG highway.[i]

Toyota Highlander vs Toyota 4Runner: Interior Dimensions

The Toyota Highlander has three rows of seats and room for up to eight people. The Toyota 4Runner has two rows of seats with space for five people, but offers an available third row that gives it space for up to seven people.

Both SUVs are designed to carry lots of cargo, too. There’s plenty of trunk space, plus folding seats in the second and third rows to help you accommodate even more cargo.


Toyota Highlander

Toyota 4Runner


40.7/39.9/35.9 inches

39.3/38.6/34.3 inches


44.2/38.4/27.7 inches

41.7/32.9/29.3 inches

Shoulder Room

59.3/59.6/55.0 inches

57.8/57.8/57.7 inches

Cargo Room behind row

83.7/42.3/13.8 cubic feet

88.8/46.3/9.0 cubic feet

Toyota Highlander vs Toyota 4Runner: Infotainment System

Inside both SUVs, you’ll find a 6.1-inch screen in the center of your dashboard. This is the home of the Entune™ Audio system. It’s Bluetooth® compatible, so you can sync your smartphone to listen to your music library and take hands-free phone calls.

There are lots of available features, too, like SiriusXM® Satellite Radio and Scout® GPS Link. Plus, you can control the whole system with your voice using Siri® Eyes Free.

The Highlander also offers a larger 8-inch touchscreen, plus an available Rear Seat Entertainment System. This 9-inch screen flips down from the ceiling and allows your second and third row passengers to watch their favorite movies or shows through a Blu-ray™ player. The system also comes with two sets of wireless headphones and a handy remote control.

Toyota Highlander vs Toyota 4Runner: Safety

Toyota Highlander SafetyBoth the Highlander and 4Runner are designed to keep you safe. Each SUV comes standard with the Star Safety System™. This includes several built-in safety features that you can rely on for a more confident drive, including:

Inside, these SUVs continue to protect you with Emergency Locking Retractors on the seatbelts. During an accident, these instantly tighten to remove slack and prevent whiplash. For smaller passengers in the back seats, there are available Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH).

You’ll also be surrounded by an advanced airbag system with eight standard airbags. In both SUVs this includes front and side airbags for both the driver and front passenger, a driver knee airbag, a front passenger seat cushion airbag, and a pair of Roll-sensing Side Curtain Airbags that cover every row of seats.

The Toyota Highlander also looks out for you with a second safety system. The Toyota Safety Sense™ P system bundles together lots of driver assistance features to prevent accidents. This system includes:

There’s so much technology that you’ll even have more awareness when you’re backing up. Whenever you shift your SUV into reverse, the dashboard infotainment screen will switch to a live view of what the backup camera sees behind you. Plus, its display has projected path lines to help guide you into position.

This is just the beginning of your camera system though. By using a series of cameras positioned around your vehicle, the Highlander creates a 360-degree Bird’s Eye View of your surroundings.

While the 4Runner also features an integrated backup camera with projected path, it doesn’t offer Toyota Safety Sense™ P or the Bird’s Eye View.

Toyota Highlander vs Toyota 4Runner: Capability & Design

Toyota Highlander vs Toyota 4RunnerThe Toyota Highlander is a sleek SUV with a streamlined, sporty design. With its three rows of seats, it’s primarily built with families in mind, but gives you an 8-inch ground clearance to help you get through any potholes or through tough weather.

The Toyota 4Runner has more of a bold rugged design. It lets you know that it can conquer any terrain by sitting higher at 9.6 inches above the ground and featuring an eye-catching aluminum skid plate and bumper beneath its large grille.

Underneath, its drivetrain is equipped with Crawl Control and a locking rear differential. While it’s fully capable off-road, a Multi-Terrain Select system lets you seamlessly adjust your drivetrain, so you can be ready for everything from smooth roads to rough trails.

Test Drive a Toyota SUV

Visit Ron Hibbard Toyota to test drive the Toyota Highlander and Toyota 4Runner. Each one offers drivers in the Nashville, Gallatin, and Madison area a comfortable and reliable ride in a stylish SUV. To learn more about this Toyota Highlander vs. 4Runner comparison, contact us or visit our dealership.


[i] 2019 EPA-estimated mileage. Actual mileage will vary.


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