2011 Toyota 4Runner vs. Its Competition

2011 Toyota 4Runner 4WD 4-door V6 SR5 (GS) Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

For those who really need the off-road ability, the 4Runner is a great choice, especially in Trail trim.

With the available KDSS system, the 4Runner won’t rattle you as much as a Pathfinder or Grand Cherokee, while still offering as much ability for most types of off-roading.

The 4Runner also maneuvers and rides a bit better than the Pathfinder, while compared to the Grand Cherokee it gets better fuel economy than the Jeep does in V-6 or V-8 form.

The Ford Explorer is all-new for 2011 and is now built on more carlike underpinnings; it might provide adequate off-road capability for those who occasionally take to the trail, and with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine on the way, should be a much more fuel-efficient choice.

Yet another alternative is the 4Runner's cousin, the Lexus GX 460.

While sharing the same underpinnings, the GX 460 is a luxury SUV of the sort that was popular earlier last decade, with running boards and a V-8 engine.

But with a side-opening hatch (the wrong side) and a complicated power-folding third row that sacrifices, the GX 460 is the inferior of the two in many respects.

2011 Toyota 4Runner 4WD 4-door V6 SR5 (GS) Angular Front Exterior View2011 Toyota 4RunnerBrowse Used Listings2011 Ford Explorer2011 Ford ExplorerBrowse Used Listings2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee2011 Jeep Grand CherokeeBrowse Used Listings2011 Lexus GX 460 4WD 4-door Angular Front Exterior View2011 Lexus GX 460Browse Used Listings2011 Nissan Pathfinder 2WD 4-door V6 SV Angular Front Exterior View2011 Nissan PathfinderBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.2
If off-road capability is a top requirement, the brawny 2011 Toyota 4Runner is a good choice—with surprisingly good road manners to boot.
8.6
The 2011 Ford Explorer a formidable shot right at the heart of the crossover market--one that's sure to pull some of the remaining SUV loyalists off their very high horses.
8.6
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is one capable, good-looking crossover—and a welcome sign of life from Chrysler.
7.8
The 2011 Lexus GX 470 is refined, comfortable, and ready for off-roading or towing; cargo versatility is sorely lacking compared to other SUVs, though.
6.4
The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder is a workhorse SUV that also offers decent comfort and an impressive feature set.
MSRP From    
$30,305$28,360$30,215$53,045$28,570
Gas Mileage    
17 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas V6Gas V6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas V8Gas V6
EPA Class    
Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle - 2WD2WD Sport Utility Vehicle4WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility
Style Name    
RWD 4-Door V6 SR5 (GS)FWD 4-Door BaseRWD 4-Door Laredo4WD 4-Door2WD 4-Door V6 S
Drivetrain    
Rear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive4-Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
57577
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/A4N/AN/A
Body Style    
4 Door SR54 DoorSport Utility Vehicle4-Door SUVSport Utility
Transmission    
Automatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic