If you’re in the market for a rugged, family-friendly SUV with plenty of seating and cargo space, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota 4Runner are two vehicles well worth considering. These versatile mid-sized SUVs can excel in many areas, including off-roading, towing cargo, and infotainment technology. We’ve highlighted some of the most important features in both vehicles and compared them for you.
Engine and Performance
The Grand Cherokee’s base engine is a 295-horsepower V6 which is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but you can upgrade to all-wheel drive if desired.
There are also three V8 engines to choose from, which are likely to serve you better if you do a lot of off-roading or want to tow heavy loads. The first V8 is a 360-horsepower offering, while the other two provide an impressive 475 horsepower and 707 horsepower respectively.
The 4Runner’s base engine is a 4.0-liter V6 that’s good for 270 horsepower. It also features rear-wheel drive as standard, with four-wheel drive offered as an optional upgrade. Power is shifted to the Toyota’s engine by a five-speed automatic transmission. Unlike the Grand Cherokee, there are no options for an engine upgrade in the 4Runner.
The 4Runner is available in two seating configurations: a standard five-seater setup and a three-row seven-seater layout. The seven-seater option is available in the SR5, SR5 Premium, Limited, and Nightshade trims. Both front rows are spacious for passengers of all ages, while the third row is smaller and best used for kids.
The Grand Cherokee is a two-row SUV seating up to five in all configurations. Both rows of seats offer roomy accommodation for adult passengers. Cloth upholstery comes standard, but you can upgrade to synthetic leather and genuine leather upholstery if desired. There’s also an option to add heated and ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Cargo Space and Towing
Behind this Jeep’s second row, you’ll find 36.3 cubic feet of cargo storage space. This grows to over 68 cubic feet with the second row folded down. The Grand Cherokee can also haul 6,200 pounds with its V6 engine or a whopping 7,200 pounds with its V8s.
The 4Runner offers 46 cubic feet of storage behind the second row, which rises to 88 cubic feet with the second row down. If you have the optional third row of seating, there will only be 9 cubic feet of storage space behind it. On top of that, the 4Runner is capable of towing a 5,000-pound load at the rear.
Thanks to 9.6 inches of ground clearance and an absorbent suspension system, the 4Runner copes well going over rocks or larger objects. All four-wheel drive 4Runners get a two-speed transfer case to help with traction on rough surfaces.
The Grand Cherokee is equally proficient over rough terrain, especially in its Trailhawk trim. This configuration features all-terrain tires, a two-speed transfer case, skid plates, and a limited-slip rear differential. Jeep’s Quadra-Lift air suspension gives this SUV a remarkable 10.8 inches of ground clearance in its highest setting.
Infotainment and Technology
The Grand Cherokee’s base infotainment system includes a 7-inch screen and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which makes it easy to link with your phone. You’ll also get Bluetooth connectivity and two USB ports. For fans of good music, you can enjoy satellite radio through the Grand Cherokee’s six-speaker stereo.
You can upgrade to an 8.4-inch infotainment screen, a 19-speaker sound system, and a built-in navigation system. If you travel a lot with your kids, you may also want to consider the rear-seat infotainment system, which gives back-seat passengers their own entertainment screen to control.
In the 4Runner, an 8-inch infotainment screen comes standard. In terms of connectivity, there’s four USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and a wireless hot spot. Optional upgrades include a navigation system and a 15-speaker audio system.
The 4Runner features a good selection of standard safety features, such as forward collision warning with pedestrian detection. This system will provide you with audio and visual warnings if a pedestrian or an object is up ahead. You also get adaptive cruise control and automatic high-beam headlights. The only optional safety upgrades are front and rear parking sensors.
The Grand Cherokee’s standard safety features include rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are available as optional upgrades.
The Grand Cherokee is available in 10 trims: Laredo, Laredo X, Limited, 80th Anniversary, Trailhawk, Overland, High Altitude, Summit, SRT, and Trackhawk. The Trailhawk trim is a must-have for all off-roading fans, while those of you looking for a more luxurious cabin may prefer the High Altitude. The SRT and Trackhawk trims at the top of the lineup are ideally suited to anyone looking for remarkable speed and power.
The 4Runner is sold in nine trim levels: SR5, SR5 Premium, Trail Special Edition, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, Venture Special Edition, Limited, Nightshade, and TRD Pro. As their names suggest, the TRD Off-Road and Off-Road Premium trims are well equipped to cope with rough terrain. The TRD Pro is also aimed at attracting off-roaders, with standard four-wheel drive and upgraded skid plates. The Nightshade trim is perfect for buyers looking for interior luxury, since it’s equipped with genuine leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and a dual-zone climate control system.
We hope that our comparison of these two mid-sized SUVs with strong off-roading abilities has helped your search. While both vehicles compete well in managing rough terrain and hauling heavy loads, the Grand Cherokee offers a little more variety due to its strong engine lineup. If you have questions about any of the features we’ve discussed, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Huffines CJDR Plano, our team of auto experts is proud to assist buyers like you in finding your ideal SUV. Browse through our online inventory or drop into our showroom to inspect our wide range of Jeep SUVs.
Image via Jeep.com