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Toyota 4Runner vs Toyota Highlander



  • abtsellerabtseller Posts: 291
    03 4Runner. Its an SR5 4wd. Nicely equipped. Very nice vehicle. Much bigger than the 02. Has the 4.7L V8 from the Tundra/ Sequoia. These babies will be bringing full sticker for a while. Lots of back seat room/ leg room.

    MSRP on this one is $34,xxx, it has a sunroof, all the airbags, the aluminum wheels, roof rack, mats, and the dual cargo area.

  • esswebessweb Posts: 51
    The 4 Runner V8 Sport is about 3k more than a similarly equiped highlander V6 non-limited. Other than the off-roading which few of us do, the 4 Runner offer a V8 engine that doesn't consume any more gas(a little more), a 5 speed auto vs. a 4, and more JBL speakes if you option, a side curtain airbag instead of side airbag in the HL. Oh, and the suspension is enhanced in the Sport version also. I think all that worth the 3K extra, if it is still within your budget.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    SR5 highlanders rarely top $30K, and have to be fully loaded to do so. If you want a 2WD, their range is around $28K. 4Runner sport V-8 starts at $34K, so that is $6K, not 3. Perhaps you meant the SR5, which is $30K, and is only about $2K more than HL with the V-6.

    But in that case, you do not get the sport suspension in the Runner, and the mileage is 15/19 Runner vs 18/22 HL. As soon as you option in the JBL sound system in the Runner, the price gap widens again.

    It remains to be seen (and varies widely around the country) whether good deals can be had on the Runner right now, given its newness, whereas dealers are bargaining on HLs.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • esswebessweb Posts: 51
    4 Runner V8 Sport + DJ + GY = 29986 (invoice)

    HL V6 SR5 + AG + CQ + HE + VD +BE = 26688 (invoice)

    In order to get the VSC and Side Airbag in HL, you probably have to order all those other things. And 4 runner does offer more standard features like privacy glass, remote keyless and stuff.
  • mabucfanmabucfan Posts: 5
    I have to call in the experts here! We are down to models in our search for a new vehicle: the 4Runner and the Highlander. The reviews for the Highlander have been spectacular, and I enjoyed the ride. Drove the 4Runner yesterday - and really enjoyed that ride as well!

    The issues I have, and what I'm looking for advice on:

    1. My key considerations for the new vehicle: storage space (I've been driving a Civic for 7 years) and enhanced handling in inclement weather - is the AWD a better option, or 4WD? I am not a hardcore off roader.

    2. On the 4Runner - can you stay in 4WD with the SR5 V8? If I stick with the V6, are the 4WD modes easy to understand, and get into while driving?

    Any help here is appreciated.

  • twobrownstwobrowns Posts: 52
    I recentlly purchased an 03 highlander. Prior to the purchased I test drove both back to back and I prefered the car like handling of the Highlander and the better gas milage and I would seldom get off road . The 4runner is a terific veh. and I am certain I would have been satisfied with this veh.
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    I traded a 2001 Highlander for a 2003 4Runner. Both are excellent vehicles. I would not have traded except 1) I prefer a truck based SUV for towing our pop-up camper, 2) occasionally I need to go through a blizzard (drifting snow) in the middle of the night to get to work, 3) I expect to do some light off roading (fire roads, that sort of thing) more often in the future, and 4) I frequently carry two dogs in the back and like to be able to roll the back window down part way for better ventilation (while parked).

    The HL was a little more comfortable (for me anyway--definitely more car-like), had better gas mileage, and I thought was a little more fun to drive. It was also cheaper to insure and had lower property taxes. I didn't notice a whole lot of difference in interior room between the two, but you can check the exact measurements in the specs. If space is your main concern you might also check out the Honda Pilot. The HL did just fine in inclement weather, even ice and snow (but doesn't have the ground clearance or locking differential for really deep snow). If you want/need a truck based SUV the Runner would probably fit your need better. If you want/need a car based SUV look at the HL. Except reasons mentioned above I would probably rather have my HL back. However, for a truck the Runner is VERY nice and you don't give up much comfort (for highway cruising) at all.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    1. split decision - Runner has more storage space, but if all you will be facing is rain and snow on pavement, the AWD is all you really need. The edge goes to HL - save yourself a few $$.

    2. On the V-8 Runner, you are in 4WD all the time. On the V-6, you go to 2WD (rear drive) by pressing a button on the dash - it is very easy and you will not even notice it.

    Runner is much heavier, will drive as such, and will get worse gas mileage. BUT if interior space is your number one priority, it does have an advantage over HL.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gklatvgklatv Posts: 35
    I own '00 4Runner and '03 HL. Most likely you will be happier with HL in a long run - quieter and more comfortable car-like ride, plenty of interior room and cargo space, AWD system with V6, better gas mileage. I love my 4Runner, but prefer wife's HL going places with family.
  • If you drive an 03 4Runner I think you would agree it is a much nicer vehicle than the 00 4Runner. I'm sure there is a big differnce in ride quality between your 00 4Runner and your 03 HL but the difference(after driving both 03 models) in my opinion is insignificant.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    is not AWD, not even close.

    Well, it really is, but only with good traction.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    been a quiter!

    Still trying to head off Bush's war, even today.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    are promised nightly here in San Francisco...

    Loved that post about the asphalt/concrete comparison...even though no-one has laid concrete around here in 50 years due to the cost, so that what there is left is cracked and buckling, causing that rough ride that highlander owner posted about....

    Of course, concrete doesn't last as long.

    And some AWD is better than no AWD, even in mid-priced Toyota crossovers! LOL

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • brad_22brad_22 Posts: 154
    ...recently gave the Highlander a "9" out of 10 when compared against the off-roading capability of some other cross-over SUVs. I know this doesn't qualify the HL as a boulder-basher, but they did have some nice comments about the Highlander's performance in the snow.

    That "AWD" has to be good for something! : )
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I suppose the X5 and ML aren't crossover vehicles.

    "concrete doesn't last as long..."

    IMMHO concrete will last a lot longer than asphalt provided the under-layment is properly prepared.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    that was what I meant to say: asphalt doesn't last as long.

    Soon you will need a hummer just to traverse the supposedly-paved roads of California...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It would really help a lot if we could outlaw studded tires or even put a surcharge on them based on the number of days they were not needed in each county.

    Surcharge would be dedicated to repairing the roadbed damage by stud useage.
  • afmsc89afmsc89 Posts: 1
    Reading through the messages, everything boils down to preference. My wife has a 02 HL Limited with AWD V6 and I have the 4R Limited V8. I had the opportunity to drive the HL to Columbus OH from SA,TX and to handled and performed as well as my 4R. If you're a person mover I would go with the HL if you do outside activities and want a more eclectic SUV I would pick the 4R. Either way, they are both worth the $$$ Both SUVs provide the quality and dependiblity I have expected and come to appreciate for over 25 years.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Your 4R could have made that trip safely in the worse snow/ice storm of the century, the HL wouldn't have gotten more than a block fromyour home.

    If the HL is as comfortable and reliable as my 01 AWD RX (it is, close anyway) then you made the right choice for a fair-weather drive.
This discussion has been closed.