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Toyota 4Runner vs. Toyota Highlander

Compare repair costs, reliability, and owner reviews

Toyota 4Runner

$494
Average Annual
Repair Cost

Toyota Highlander

$460
Average Annual
Repair Cost

Overall Reliability Rating

4
Group 4
Group 4
Excellent
The Toyota 4Runner Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which ranks it 10th out of 26 for midsize SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $494 which means it has lower than average ownership costs. Repairs are less severe than average, and the frequency of these issues is average, so major repairs are not common for the 4Runner.
4
1
2
Group 4
Group 4
Excellent
The Toyota Highlander Reliability Rating is 4.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 8th out of 26 for midsize SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $460 which means it has lower than average ownership costs. The frequency and severity of repairs are both fairly average when compared with all other vehicles.
Cost
Average annual repairs total
$494
inexpensive
expensive
$460
inexpensive
expensive
Frequency
Average annual repair shop visits
0.46
not often
very often
0.41
not often
very often
Severity
Percentage of annual repairs that are urgent
9%
not urgent
urgent
11%
not urgent
urgent

Overall Car Ratings & Details

5
(9)
4
(42)
3
(17)
2
(0)
1
(0)
The Toyota 4Runner ranks highest in exhaust and ranks lowest in brakes.
“Purchased a used 2005 Toyota forerunner V6 with 76,000 miles based on Consumer Reports and Edmunds.com reviews. Other than a new battery and a starter, we've had no issues for several years. At 1...”
“Purchased a used 2005 Toyota forerunner V6 with 76,000 miles based on Consumer Reports and Edmund...”
5
(12)
4
(15)
3
(3)
2
(1)
1
(0)
The Toyota Highlander ranks highest in engine and ranks lowest in body.
“I bought the 2002 Highlander Limited used with 52,000 miles. The best vehicle that I have ever owned. I had the transmission rebuilt at 212,000 and just replaced both knock sensors at 223,500 mil...”
“I bought the 2002 Highlander Limited used with 52,000 miles. The best vehicle that I have ever o...”

Vehicle Comparison Rundown

The Toyota Highlander and the Toyota 4Runner are both midsize SUVs. But the similarities end there — these are different vehicles built for different buyers. 

The Toyota Highlander is a three-row SUV that comes with front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The standard engine has 185 horsepower, with options up to 295 horsepower, including a hybrid version. The Highlander is a great everyday family vehicle — smooth riding, spacious and comfortable.

The Toyota 4Runner is a two-row, body-on-frame SUV. It comes with four-wheel drive standard and its engine has 270 horsepower. The 4Runner is a tough and capable SUV that’s always ready to go off-road, but can handle everyday duties just fine. 

Choosing between the Toyota Highlander and 4Runner is a matter of priorities. If you need something to haul the family and all your stuff through the everyday slog, with occasional long-distance trips, the Highlander will serve you well. If you love to hit the backroads, but still want a vehicle to get around town, the 4Runner will be a good companion.


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