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 4Runner
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2011 Ford Explorer2011 Ford Explorer
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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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2011 Lexus GX 460 4WD 4-door Angular Front Exterior View2011 Lexus GX 460
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2011 Nissan Pathfinder 2WD 4-door V6 SV Angular Front Exterior View2011 Nissan Pathfinder
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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
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2011 Ford Explorer2011 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee2011 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2011 Lexus GX 4602011 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2011 Nissan Pathfinder