2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs 2021 Toyota 4Runner

March 31st, 2021 by

If you’re looking for a capable SUV with plenty of passenger and cargo room, you’ve probably narrowed it down by now to the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Toyota 4Runner. Exterior style and interior comfort and convenience are important to you, but it isn’t always easy to compare brands with all the different trim levels and option packages. That’s why we’ve done it for you, with this head-to-head comparison of the best features of the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2021 Toyota 4Runner.

Available Trims

a red jeep grand cherokee

Image via Flickr by Autoviva.com

Image via Flickr by Autoviva.com

The Grand Cherokee comes in 11 trim levels, while Toyota offers the 4Runner in only three trims. The obvious conclusion is the abundance of Jeep Grand Cherokee trims gives you more options to suit your needs and budget. Several affordable Grand Cherokee models like the Laredo and Laredo X trims come in at the same price point as the stripped-down 4Runner SR5 trim. The Limited, Limited X, and 80th Anniversary Edition Jeep Grand Cherokee trims have more options while still pricing out around the 4Runner’s middle-tier SR5 Premium trim. 

The Overland, High Altitude, and Summit trims from Jeep meet or beat the 4Runner’s top tier Venture Special Edition in both features and price. And we haven’t even talked about the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, an off-road warrior or the SRT and Trackhawk trims that tear up the asphalt with speed and power. When it comes to options, the Grand Cherokee has the edge over the 4Runner. 

Powerful Engines

Jeep uses their iconic 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine as the base model and pairs it with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain puts out 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. An optional 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine ups the power game significantly with 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque.

The Grand Cherokee SRT trim comes with a 6.4-liter SRT V-8 engine that cranks out an impressive 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Not to be outdone, the Trackhawk uses a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine that puts out a monstrous 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of track-tearing torque.

All three Toyota 4Runner trims use the same 4.0-liter V-6 engine and a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. This powertrain puts out 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. 

The edge isn’t even close, going to the Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee’s base engine has more horsepower and comparable torque to the 4Runner. If that were the only engine, this might be a tie, but the Grand Cherokee’s three additional engines far outstrip the 4Runner.

Capability

When you talk about capability in an SUV, you think of all-wheel-drive systems. Yet, the Grand Cherokee’s Quadr-Drive II 4×4 system impresses. It features a rear electronic limited-slip differential and Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction management system. These systems make the harshest weather seem like a day at the beach, letting you range wherever you like.

When you choose to leave the pavement behind, Jeep’s Trailhawk can handle the most challenging terrain. It has earned Jeep’s coveted Trail Rated badge for passing a series of rugged off-road tests in water fording, articulation, ground clearance, maneuverability, and traction. Three 4×4 systems conquer just about anything, plus the Quadra-Lift suspension lets you raise your Grand Cherokee by up to 10.8 inches, which means you can go over more considerable obstacles. 

The high air intake system on the Cherokee combined with special water sealing for the cabin lets you ford water up to 20 inches deep. Rugged skid plates, Kevlar-reinforced all-terrain tires, and selectable off-road crawl modes get you over, around, and through the nastiest terrain around.

The 4Runner comes with a part-time four-wheel drive and features an active traction control system that performs admirably on the pavement, but performance drops dramatically when you go off-road. You lose a full inch of ground clearance with the 4Runner, and only the Venture Special Edition features a terrain management system and crawl control.

The Grand Cherokee can tow up to 7,200 pounds, which is the best in its class. The 4Runner can tow 5,000 pounds. Enough said.

When comparing the 4Runner and the Grand Cherokee capabilities, it’s like comparing apples to rocket ships. They aren’t even close. The edge here goes to the Grand Cherokee with Jeep’s legendary 4×4 systems and superior towing capacity.

Interior Comfort

The Grand Cherokee comes standard with premium cloth seats on the lower trims. The upper trims come with premium leather in various styles like Laguna or Nappa and colors like black tungsten and bridle brown, delivering a refined look and feel. Heated and ventilated seats are standard on the upper trim, along with a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Toyota’s 4Runner doesn’t even offer leather. Instead, you get SofTex seating material that may be durable but doesn’t deliver leather’s comfort or sophistication. 

A panoramic moonroof comes standard on the Grand Cherokee’s upper trims, opening up the cabin with all the light and air you love. The 4Runner doesn’t have an option for a moonroof. 

Only the lower trims maintain some semblance of comparability. Leather options and a moonroof give the Grand Cherokee another win in the comfort zone.

In-Vehicle Tech

The Grand Cherokee comes with an 8.4-inch touch screen with Bluetooth, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto capability. The 4Runner uses an 8-inch touch screen and Bluetooth, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto support. Both vehicles offer a Wi-Fi hot spot system that can connect multiple devices. 

A 12-channel, 506-watt Alpine premium audio system with nine speakers and a subwoofer in the Grand Cherokee produce theater-quality sound. A generic eight-speaker sound system in the 4Runner doesn’t compare well. Both vehicles offer multiple USB charging ports and wireless charging pads.

This category might be the closest these two vehicles get to one another. A slight edge must be given to the Grand Cherokee for its larger touch screen and superior audio system.

At Oxmoor Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we know what you want in a full-size SUV. That’s why we stock so many Grand Cherokee models with various powertrains, 4×4 systems, and interior amenities. We encourage you to browse our inventory online or visit our showroom. One of our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be happy to show you our vast selection of Grand Cherokee models and let you test drive your favorite.