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Toyota Mid-Size SUV Comparison: 2021 Highlander Vs. 2021 4Runner

2021 Toyota Highlander vs. 2021 Toyota 4Runner

Motorists searching for a mid-size crossover or SUV have multiple options within the lineup of new Toyota automobiles for sale. The 2021 Toyota Highlander is here, as is the 2021 4Runner, two mid-size utility vehicles that offer dependable performance and highly versatile interiors.

While both models are classified as mid-size, there are plenty of differences between them. The team at Coad Toyota Paducah is here to help crossover and SUV shoppers from Murray, Kentucky, and well beyond with determining if the new Toyota 4Runner or Highlander is the better option for their unique preferences, needs, budget and lifestyle.

Consider the following comparison table and review of the 2021 Toyota Highlander and 2021 Toyota 4Runner while you are shopping for a new sport-ute or CUV. We hope that a head-to-head comparison will help you during your search for your next vehicle. Feel free to contact our Toyota specialists should you seek additional information on how these two Toyota models stack up against one another!

2021 Toyota Highlander
VS
2021 Toyota 4Runner
Toyota Highlander L Standard Vehicle Comparison Toyota 4Runner SR5
$34,810* Base Price MSRP $36,340*
3.5L V6 Engine 4.0L V6
295 Horsepower 270
263 lb-ft Torque 278 lb-ft
21 City / 29 Highway MPG EPA-Estimated Fuel Economy 16 City / 19 Highway MPG
17.9 gallons Fuel Tank Capacity 23.0 gallons
8 Seating Capacity 5, Optional 7
16.0 cu. ft. Standard Cargo Capacity 47.2 cu. ft.
84.3 cu. ft. Cargo Capacity, Rear Seating Down 89.7 cu. ft.
8.0 inches Ground clearance 9.0 inches
5,000 pounds Max Towing Capacity 5,000 pounds
Standard Toyota Safety Sense™ Standard
Available Features On The Highlander
Available Features On The 4Runner
  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • Power tilt/slide moonroof with sunshade
  • Dynamic Navigation
  • Leather-trimmed front- and second-row seats
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging
  • Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay® & Amazon Alexa
  • LED front lighting
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Premium Audio with JBL® speakers
  • 7-passenger seating, heated second-row captain's chairs
  • 10-inch color Head-Up Display (HUD)
  • Bird's Eye View Camera with dynamic gridlines
  • Smart Key System with Push Button Start
  • SofTex®-trimmed seats
  • Dynamic Navigation
  • Heated front seats
  • Multi-Terrain Select (MTS)
  • Crawl Control (CRAWL)
  • Locking rear differential
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Dual zone automatic climate control
  • Perforated leather-trimmed seats
  • Premium Audio with JBL® speakers
  • Heated and ventilated front seats

Differences Between the Toyota 4Runner & Highlander Models

If you're after the dependable performance of a Toyota with the versatility to take on any adventure, both the 2021 Highlander and the 2021 4Runner qualify. Still, some key differences between these Toyota mid-size offerings may make one the better choice for you.

For starters, the Highlander is a dedicated family-hauler that comes standard with 8-passenger seating in three rows. In contrast, the 4Runner boasts a classic, 5-passenger mid-size SUV layout in most versions; an optional third row brings available seating capacity up to seven.

Where the Highlander is a smooth-riding soft-roader tailored for large and growing families, the 4Runner is an adventurous, all-terrain SUV that can easily double as a family vehicle. The 2021 Toyota 4Runner boasts an extra inch of standard ground clearance and offers an array of available off-road performance features that make it the clear choice for drivers planning on taking their new utility vehicle off the beaten path.

While the 4Runner may be the more rugged of the two, both of these Toyota mid-size vehicles can easily handle all sorts of terrain, road conditions and weather. Available all-wheel drive (AWD) provides the Highlander with added grip and confidence while taking on slick roads. The 4Runner's available part-time 4WD system and Multi-Terrain Select ensure that the SUV is primed for all-weather and all-terrain performance!

The Highlander's passenger area is the roomier of the two, thanks in part to the vehicle's longer overall length. However, when all rear seats are folded, the 4Runner edges out the Highlander in maximum cargo capacity. Both models can be fitted with 7-passenger seating in select trims.

Six cylinders power these Toyotas, with the Highlander utilizing a 3.5-liter unit and the 4Runner equipped with a 4.0-liter V6. However, the Highlander's more aerodynamic shape, lower ride height and smaller V6 engine contribute to this crossover SUV providing greater city and highway MPG than the more rugged and performance-focused 4Runner.

Toyota Safety Sense Technologies

A suite of intelligent safety systems and driver-assistive technologies, called Toyota Safety Sense, is included as standard equipment on both the 2021 Toyota 4Runner and the 2021 Highlander. However, the 4Runner sports Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), while the Highlander gets the automaker's very latest safety suite: Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+).

So what are the differences between the new Highlander's TSS 2.5+ and the 4Runner's TSS-P? Well, TSS-P is Toyota's core package of driver aids that includes a Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert and Automatic High Beams. Then, TSS 2.5+ builds upon these features with system enhancements as well as additional technologies.

The 2021 Highlander's standard TSS 2.5+ package adds pedestrian detection (even in low-light situations) to the pre-collision system. This next-generation safety suite also supports full-speed range of the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, meaning the system can bring the vehicle to a complete stop until traffic clears, then accelerating to the pre-selected speed and following distance.

Road Sign Assist is also included with every 2021 Highlander, courtesy of the TSS 2.5+ package, and alerts the driver to road information like the current speed limit that may have otherwise been missed.

Secure Your New Toyota at our Paducah, KY, Auto Dealership

Have you now determined which of these Toyota mid-size utility vehicles is the right choice for you and your crew? Both models are offered in a vast array of trims and configurations, so why not start shopping for your preferred Toyota SUV now?

Whether you opt for the new Highlander or 4Runner, you'll enjoy a roomy and versatile new ride with legendary Toyota reliability! A generous factory warranty backs every Toyota, and the new 4Runner and Highlander models also come with ToyotaCare, a no-cost maintenance plan that adds value and peace of mind to your driving experience.

If you're shopping for a new Toyota for sale in the Paducah, KY, area, there are many reasons why you should lease or buy at Coad Toyota Paducah. Beyond our extensive inventory and competitive pricing, we're home of the Nationwide Lifetime Warranty! This non-factory lifetime warranty is good at participating dealerships and covers the same components as the factory limited powertrain warranty.

Ready to get pre-approved for financing instantly? Then complete our simple and secure online credit application as you shop for your new Toyota SUV near Murray, KY.

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MSRP excludes the Delivery, Processing, and Handling Fee of $955 for Cars (Yaris, Yaris iA, Yaris Liftback, 86, Corolla, Corolla iM, Corolla HB, Camry, Camry HV, Prius LB, Prius c, Prius Prime, Avalon HV), $1,120 for Small/Medium Trucks, SUVs and Van (C-HR, RAV4, RAV4 HV, Highlander, Highlander HV, 4Runner, Sienna, Tacoma), $1,325 for Large SUVs (Sequoia, Land Cruiser), and $1,595 for Large Truck (Tundra). (Historically, vehicle manufacturers and distributors have charged a separate fee for processing, handling and delivering vehicles to dealerships. Toyota's charge for these services is called the "Delivery, Processing and Handling Fee" and is based on the value of the processing, handling and delivery services Toyota provides as well as Toyota's overall pricing structure. Toyota may make a profit on the Delivery, Processing and Handling Fee.) Excludes taxes, license, title and available or regionally required equipment. The Delivery, Processing and Handling Fee in AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC and TX will be higher. The published prices do not apply to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Actual dealer price will vary. Source: Toyota.com
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