Jeep vs Toyota - Compare Wrangler to 4Runner

While car-based crossovers have grown in popularity, nothing can replace a true body-on-frame SUV for rugged capability and off-roading. That's why so many Des Moines shoppers are comparing the Jeep Wrangler vs Toyota 4Runner. Both of these SUVs have off-road trim levels, and offer powerful engines. They're also both known to give Ankeny, IA owners great capability and utility. But which of these off-road SUVs is the better complete package?

At, we like to compare and contrast competing vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner, because we know that our Marshalltown customers want to make sure they're getting the right SUV for their needs. We'll compare the Jeep Wrangler vs Toyota 4Runner on areas like interior, off-road capability, driving, and tech features. Des Moines, Iowa shoppers who are considering an SUV like the Jeep Wrangler or Toyota 4Runner will want to read on to compare their features.


Deery Brothers of Ames, Inc.

1700 SE 16th Street
Directions Ames, IA 50010-6430

  • Sales: 515-337-2515
  • Service: 515-520-8406
  • Parts: 515-598-7353

Wrangler vs 4Runner: Off-Roading & Powertrains

Many of our Ames, IA customers have chosen Jeep Wrangler for its off-roading prowess, but the 4Runner has also long been a top option for Iowa drivers looking for a body-on-frame SUV for off-roading. So which one comes out on top? Let's find out.

Both the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner come standard with a powerful V6. The Toyota 4Runner employs a 4.0l V6 producing 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the standard engine on the Jeep Wrangler is a 3.6l V6 at 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The smaller V6 on the Wrangler not only produces more horsepower, but it's also more efficient.

When equipped with 4WD and their respective V6 engines, the 4Runner gets 17/20/18 mpg, while the Wrangler manages 18/23/20. That difference is further amplified when optioning the Wrangler with its new 2.0l turbo engine. Producing 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, the 2.0l turbo also gets 23/25/24 mpg. So Des Moines Wrangler owners with the 2.0l turbo can expect over 33% better fuel economy, with the same horsepower and more torque than the 4Runner.


Of course, engine power is only part of the equation when it comes to off-roading. Both the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner have off-road specific trims for Ames, IA buyers who want to hit the trail. The go-to option for Jeep buyers will be the Wrangler Rubicon, while the 4Runner has its off-road equipment divided among various trim levels.

For Iowa buyers who are serious about off-roading, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon offers a more complete set of equipment, and at a lower price. In order to compete with the standard off-road equipment of the Rubicon (which includes all-terrain tires, heavy-duty axles with shorter gearing, 4:1 low-range gearing, terrain select & crawl, electronic front & rear locking differentials, electronically disconnecting front stabilizer bar, rock rails, skid plates, and tow-hooks), Toyota owners will have to opt for the TRD Pro trim level.

The 4Runner TRD Pro's off-road equipment includes locking rear differential, terrain select, crawl control, revised front springs, Fox dampers, all-terrain tires and a front skid plate. As you can see, Ankeny, IA shoppers will be getting more off-road capability for less money with the Jeep Wrangler. The 4Runner is one of the Wrangler's closest competitors, but can't beat the Jeep.

Interior Features & Design

The Jeep Wrangler was fully redesigned in 2018, and is safer, more capable, and more comfortable than the previous version. Meanwhile, the Toyota 4Runner received some big feature changes for 2020, but hasn't been redesigned since 2010. The result is that the interior of the Jeep Wrangler employs higher quality, more modern materials. If you're comparing 2019 models, only the Wrangler has features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and advanced driver aides.

But for 2020, Toyota has equipped the 4Runner with all of the above, making the competition much closer. However, Des Moines shoppers will notice that the overall cabin quality of the 4Runner lags behind more recently-redesigned rivals.

One advantage that the 4Runner has over the Wrangler is its cargo space. While the Wrangler Unlimited comes close in terms of overall cargo volume, the Toyota 4Runner does boast more space behind the second row. And while its base SR5 trim does come a bit more well-equipped than the base Wrangler Sport, it is also significantly more expensive.

Overall, the design of the Jeep Wrangler is likely to impress more Iowa shoppers than that of the Toyota 4Runner. Toyota has improved its feature content for 2020, but Ames buyers looking for a thoroughly modern 4Runner will have to wait for a redesign. Meanwhile, the Wrangler's interior has received a wealth of praise for its build quality and features, and played a big part in its selection as Motor Trend's SUV of the Year.

Test Drive the Jeep Wrangler in Ames, Iowa

At Deery of Ames, Des Moines, Ankeny, and Marshalltown shoppers can test drive a wide range of Jeep Wrangler models. Despite Toyota's best efforts, the Jeep Wrangler has remained the off-roading king among SUVs. Whether you're shopping for a true off-road beast, or a capable SUV with plenty of high-end features, the Jeep Wrangler will satisfy at a lower price than the Toyota 4Runner.

If you haven't already, check out our inventory of Wrangler and other Jeep models above, and contact us to schedule your test drive here in Ames, IA. As a Jeep dealership that has built its reputation on trust and great customer service, we're here to answer any questions you might have.

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  • Thursday 8:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Friday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed
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