Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Jeep Wrangler VS 2014 Toyota 4Runner Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 Jeep Wrangler

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VS

2014 Toyota 4Runner

Safety Comparison

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To allow off-road and deep snow capability, Four Wheel Drive is standard on the Wrangler. But it costs extra on the 4Runner.

Both the Wrangler and the 4Runner have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available front seat side-impact airbags and head airbags.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is safer than the 4Runner:

Wrangler

4Runner

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest forces

40 g’s

43 g’s

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Index

452

524

Chest forces

43 g’s

52 g’s

More stars indicate a better overall result. Lower numbers indicate better individual test results. Not comparable with post-2010 results.

Warranty Comparison

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Jeep’s powertrain warranty covers the Wrangler 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the 4Runner. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the 4Runner ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

There are over 2 times as many Jeep dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Wrangler’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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The Wrangler has a solid front axle with a floating power axle for durability that the 4Runner 4x4’s independent front suspension and exposed front driveshafts don’t offer.

Engine Comparison

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The Wrangler’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 15 more horsepower (285 vs. 270) than the 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Jeep Wrangler is faster than the Toyota 4Runner (automatics tested):

Wrangler

4Runner

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.2 MPH

87.3 MPH

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The Wrangler stops shorter than the 4Runner:

Wrangler

4Runner

60 to 0 MPH

135 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Wrangler Unlimited’s wheelbase is 6.2 inches longer than on the 4Runner (116 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

The Wrangler’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the 4Runner’s (53.6% to 46.4%). This gives the Wrangler more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Wrangler 2dr’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the 4Runner’s (34.9 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Wrangler Sahara 2dr has a greater minimum ground clearance than the 4Runner (10.3 vs. 9.6 inches), allowing the Wrangler to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

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The Jeep Wrangler may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 500 pounds less than the Toyota 4Runner.

The Wrangler Unlimited is 1 foot, 4.8 inches shorter than the 4Runner SR5, making the Wrangler easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Wrangler Unlimited has a much larger cargo area than the 4Runner with its rear seat up (31.5 vs. 9 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Wrangler 2dr easier. The Wrangler 2dr’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.8 inches, while the 4Runner’s liftover is 30.7 inches.

The Wrangler’s cargo area is larger than the 4Runner’s in almost every dimension:

Wrangler 2dr

Wrangler Unlimited

4Runner

Max Width

58.7”

58.7”

57.7”

Min Width

44.7”

44.7”

42.4”

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Wrangler Sahara/Rubicon Automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The engine computer on the Wrangler automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The 4Runner’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

The power windows available on both the Wrangler and the 4Runner have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Wrangler is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The 4Runner prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Wrangler offers an optional locking fuel cap. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Wrangler is less expensive to operate than the 4Runner because typical repairs cost much less on the Wrangler than the 4Runner, including $262 less for a water pump, $181 less for an alternator, $325 less for a starter, $110 less for fuel injection, $238 less for a fuel pump, $1223 less for a timing belt/chain and $391 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Jeep Wrangler will be $818 to $5882 less than for the Toyota 4Runner.

Recommendations Comparison

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The Jeep Wrangler won the Best Resale Value award in Kiplinger’s 2013 car issue. The Toyota 4Runner didn't win any award.

Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. With a Total Quality Index of 864, Strategic Vision rated the Jeep Wrangler  21 points higher than the Toyota 4Runner for 2012. With a Total Quality Index of 862, the Wrangler Unlimited is rated 19 points higher than the 4Runner.

The Wrangler was selected by Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine as their 2012 4x4 of the Year. The 4Runner has never been chosen.

The Jeep Wrangler outsold the Toyota 4Runner by over three to one during the 2013 model year.

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