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Toyota 4Runner vs. Toyota Highlander

Toyota 4Runner

Toyota Highlander

At a Glance: 4Runner vs. Highlander

Toyota 4Runner

The 2023 Toyota 4Runner and the 2023 Toyota Highlander are high-performance SUVs, bursting with superior off-roading technology, safety features, and modern conveniences. Choosing between the two models is a matter of determining which one better suits your everyday needs.

Do you need a hardcore, high-powered engine to rip around open terrain? Or do you need an accommodating vehicle to take the kids both to school and out camping?

At Crabtree Toyota, you can explore our wide selection of Toyota SUVs. If you’re around Watertown, CT, stop by for a test drive! For now, let’s take a closer look at this 4Runner vs. Highlander comparison to see what makes these two SUVs so unique. Let’s go!



270 HP | 265 HP
4Runner vs. Highlander



7 | 8
4Runner vs. Highlander



15 | 11
4Runner vs. Highlander

See the Difference for Yourself
Select a category below to learn more about how the Toyota 4Runner compares to the Toyota Highlander.


Toyota 4Runner

Whether you’re busy on the go or living life on the edge, we all need a vehicle with a quality engine to help us travel around in style.

Under the Hood

When comparing the 4Runner and the Highlander, they both offer exceptional engine options, as you can see below:

Engine 2.4L 4-cylinder 4-liter V6
Horsepower 265 HP 270 HP
Torque 310 lb-ft 278 lb-ft

As evident from the specs, both engines are respectable in terms of their size, horsepower, and torque. The 4Runner offers extra horsepower, while the Highlander offers extra torque.

This means the 4Runner provides a bit more when it comes to speed. The Highlander, on the other hand, provides that extra power kick for passing vehicles or towing cargo.

Efficiency or Off-Roading?

Each Toyota SUV offers a unique performance element. With the Highlander, you gain access to an available hybrid variant that produces 186 horsepower and achieves an EPA-estimated 36 city/35 highway MPG rating!* So, when you’re enjoying me-time, you won’t have to stop by the gas pump before you head home.

On the other hand, the 4Runner is built for the off-road. It’s available with two capable 4-wheel drivetrains, a 9.6-inch ground clearance, and other helpful off-road hardware and tools that make traversing tough terrain look like a cake walk.

So, which one do you prefer?



Toyota 4Runner

The 4Runner and the Highlander are both SUVs, making them spacious and highly capable companions. However, they offer different purposes that are accentuated by their unique design schemes.

Ready for Anything

The build of the 4Runner and the Highlander showcases their main differences right away. The Highlander is built with sleek trim lines for speed and style. The 4Runner is built for heavy business, with sharp edges and a sturdy box shape.

The 2023 Highlander’s standard tires are all-season, which means their durable design provides good traction all year-round. You won’t have to switch out tires when a different season arrives. Enjoy trekking to a ski resort with your family or visit the lake in the summer without the need to swap out your vehicle’s tires.

The 2023 4Runner, however, offers extra resistance against inclement weather with standard Mud-and-Snow tires. When rain leaves behind puddles and drenched earth, these tires will get you through the muddy, off-road terrain. An optional upgrade is all-terrain tires for serious off-road conditions.

Match Your Needs

How many seats do you need to chaperone your kids and their friends? How much stuff are they taking with them to after-school activities? How much sporting gear do you need to pack for that off-road adventure? When it comes to interior space, there’s plenty of wiggle room in both SUVs:

Seating Capacity 8 7
Cargo Room Behind Front Row 84.3 cu. ft. 88.8 cu. ft.
Cargo Room Behind Second Row 48.4 cu. ft. 46.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Room Behind Third Row 16 cu. ft. 9 cu. ft.

While the 4Runner offers an optional 7-seating capacity on even the base model, the Highlander has additional passenger and cargo room. That makes it more ideal for traveling around with a large family and extra luggage and gear.



Toyota 4Runner

Toyota packs its vehicles to the brim with advanced technology, from cockpit infotainment systems to driver-assistance aids. Despite sharing a manufacturer, the 4Runner and the Highlander equip different features across the board.

Sight and Sound

The 4Runner’s and the Highlander’s infotainment suites are made up of several components, including impressive touchscreens and booming sound systems. However, each SUV has different options available!

If you’re looking for more speakers, the 4Runner comes standard with eight speakers, or you can choose a trim with 15 JBL® speakers. The Highlander, on the other hand, attempts to keep up with six standard speakers and 11 available JBL® speakers.

If you’d prefer a larger touchscreen, the Highlander takes the win. Although both SUVs come with an 8-inch multimedia display, the Highlander is also available with a 12.3-inch touchscreen. The 4Runner only offers one screen size.

Your SUV’s Sixth Sense

Toyota is a safety forerunner. They equip each of their models with a standard safety suite to ensure drivers feel at peace behind the wheel. The 4Runner and the Highlander both have a version of Toyota Safety Sense™ on board, and they share these features in common:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert
  • Automatic High Beams
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

A Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert is offered with both models; however, you’ll find it’s standard on the 4Runner and available on the Highlander.


Test Drive a Toyota!

Toyota 4Runner

Toyota Highlander

At the end of the day, the 2023 Highlander is the ideal choice for a family SUV, while the 2023 4Runner provides an optimal off-road experience. Now that you have a better idea of what these two Toyota SUVs are all about, maybe it’s time to take a look at the real thing.

If you’re near Watertown, CT, contact us or stop by Crabtree Toyota today to explore your options. Drive safely!

All of the tools you need to move forward with experiencing a new 2023 4Runner for yourself are conveniently available right here online.

* EPA-estimated 22 city/29 highway/25 combined mpg rating for 2023 Highlander L FWD, LE FWD, XLE FWD, XSE FWD, Limited FWD and Platinum FWD; EPA-estimated 21 city/28 highway/24 combined mpg rating for 2023 Highlander L AWD, LE AWD, XLE AWD, Limited AWD and Platinum AWD. EPA-estimated 36 city/35 highway/36 combined mpg rating for 2023 Highlander Hybrid LE FWD, Hybrid XLE FWD, Hybrid Bronze Edition FWD, Hybrid Limited FWD and Hybrid Platinum FWD. EPA-estimated 35 city/35 highway/35 combined mpg rating for 2023 Highlander Hybrid LE AWD, Hybrid XLE AWD, Hybrid Bronze Edition AWD, Hybrid Limited AWD and Hybrid Platinum AWD. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary for many reasons, including your vehicle’s condition and how/where you drive. See www.fueleconomy.gov.