Toyota Highlander vs 4Runner

Toyota Highlander vs Toyota 4Runner

The paved roads and hilly terrains of Trevose, Philadelphia, and Bensalem, PA, are no match for the Highlander and 4Runner. Each Toyota SUV is designed to help you thrive as you win every weekend. Plus, they each have a long list of features to help keep you happy while you conquer the task at hand.

Deciding which SUV is right for you will depend on various factors. To help you out, we created this informative Toyota Highlander vs. Toyota 4Runner comparison. Learn all about each midsize SUV below and contact us at Faulkner Toyota Trevose if you have any questions.

Comparing The Highlander and 4Runner

Toyota Highlander

Toyota 4Runner

42 inches

First-Row Legroom

41.7 inches

84.3 cubic feet

Maximum Cargo Volume

89.7 cubic feet


Standard Horsepower


5,000 pounds

Maximum Towing Capacity

5,000 pounds

Which SUV Has More Passenger Space?

Although the Highlander and 4Runner are midsize SUVs, their seating capacity differs. The 2021 Toyota Highlander seats up to seven or eight people. You can opt for the standard second-row bench or the available second-row captain’s chairs. The 4Runner normally seats five people, however, you can also add third-row seating and seat up to seven people.

No matter which vehicle you choose, everyone will have plenty of room to stretch out. In the Highlander, you’ll get 42 inches of first-row legroom, 41 inches of second-row legroom, and 27.7 inches of third-row legroom.

Toyota Highlander

Toyota 4Runner

First-Row Legroom

42 inches

41.7 inches

Second-Row Legroom

41 inches

32.9 inches

Third-Row Legroom

27.7 inches

29.3 inches

If you get the three rows in the 4Runner, then you’ll have 41.7 inches of first-row legroom, 32.9 inches of second-row legroom, and 29.3 inches of third-row legroom.

Drivers and riders in the third-row have similar amounts of legroom in both SUVs. You’ll find more passenger room in the second-row inside the Highlander.

Does The Highlander or 4Runner Have More Passenger Space?

2021 Toyota Highlander InteriorThere’s also plenty of cargo room for all of your essentials in both SUVs. The Highlander gives you up to 84.3 cubic feet of cargo space when the second- and third-rows are folded down.

If you are traveling with a full house in the 4Runner, you have nine cubic feet of cargo volume behind the third-row. What if you need more room? In the 2021 Toyota 4Runner, you can get up to 89.7 cubic feet of cargo space to work with. Plus, the SUV has a power liftgate with auto up/down and jam protection that you can roll down to accommodate especially long items.

What does this mean for you? While you have more cargo room inside the 4Runner, both SUVs have the space to help you store:

  • Luggage
  • Camping gear
  • Boxes on moving day
  • Fishing rods
  • Coolers

Both SUVs are designed to help you pack up for adventure. You’ll find that they also have power for the road ahead.

Toyota Highlander vs 4Runner Engine Performance

Once everyone and everything are loaded inside, it’s time to hit the road. Both vehicles offer the power you need to handle hills and accelerate with confidence.

The Highlander comes standard with a 3.5L V6 that produces 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. Plus, it offers a Stop and Start Engine System. When you come to a complete stop, the engine will shut off, helping you save more fuel. When you press off the brake pedal, the engine will seamlessly restart, so you can be on your way. This is especially helpful when driving in stop-and-go traffic, to help make your gas last as long as possible.

Toyota Highlander

Toyota 4Runner



270 lb-ft



278 lb-ft

The 4Runner, meanwhile, comes with a 4.0L V6 engine that delivers 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. Plus, it comes with many features to help make off-road driving easier.

There’s plenty of total power at your disposal, now let’s take a look at how the SUVs can handle the road less traveled.

Which Vehicle Is Better for the Off-Road?

Toyota 4RunnerNo matter if you’re driving the Highlander or 4Runner, you’ll get a comfortable ride quality. However, the Toyota Highlander is better on the smooth, city streets, while trims of the Toyota 4Runner are designed to shine off-road.

Both vehicles are equipped to tow up to 5,000 pounds. You’ll be able to haul hefty items like:

  • Boats
  • Campers
  • Work equipment
  • Trailers

While this shared towing capacity can help you travel to where you want to go, how you get there changes in both vehicles. Each offers an available Multi-Terrain Select (MTS) system. You can choose from different modes for optimized traction. Whichever mode you select, the engine throttle settings and traction control will be adjusted to help provide maximum traction on various off-road trails.

If your weekends are ready for adventure, the TRD Off-Road trim of the Toyota Highlander is calling your name. The SUV partners with Crawl Control (CRAWL) and Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) to provide balance when you are handling tricky terrain.

High-Tech Features in Toyota Models

No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll want to make sure you can easily stay connected and entertained. Luckily, that’s easy when you’re riding in the Toyota Highlander or the Toyota 4Runner.

They both come standard with a sleek infotainment system. All your media options will be shown on an 8-inch touchscreen, and you’ll get Bluetooth® technology to easily stream audio and make phone calls hands-free.

Plus, they each offer an App Suite. With this feature, you can utilize popular apps like:

  • Android Auto™
  • Apple CarPlay®
  • Amazon Alexa

This feature can help you send and receive text messages while you keep your eye on the road. You can also dial into your favorite podcasts and playlists.

If you are bringing the whole family on your next trip, they may enjoy WiFi Connect. Available with a 3-month trial, this makes it easier for everyone to scan the internet or post pictures that turn your journey into a memory.

Test Drive These Toyota SUVs Today

As you can see, both the Toyota Highlander and Toyota 4Runner are impressive SUVs. If you want to experience either vehicle near Trevose, Philadelphia, or Bensalem, Pennsylvania, don’t wait.

Schedule a test drive at Faulkner Toyota Trevose today!