Both the Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Grand Cherokee are known for being some of the most dependable and durable SUVs in the automotive market. Due to the fact that both of these models have similar capabilities and reliability standards, many drivers may speculate which one is superior. Throughout this guide, we will examine and discuss the different values between the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee.
The 4Runner was first produced in late 1983 as the successor of the Toyota Trekker. The Trekker was discontinued as of 1984 and offered as a test vehicle for the 4runners marketability. The success of the 4Runner has been consistent since its debut due to the notable overall quality of the model and its reputation for longevity. Jeep, a brand that is built upon the same foundation of rugged reliability aimed to produce an SUV with similar values. Hence, the introduction of the Grand Cherokee in 1993. The Grand Cherokee also succeeded a similar SUV that helped garner demand for a similar application, the initial Cherokee XJ.
After both models were introduced to the automotive market, many manufacturers outside of Toyota and Jeep aimed to corner their share of the mid to full-size SUV market. Yet, regardless of the growing market Jeep and Toyota have continued to sustain themselves as the top-shelf options. Let’s now examine and compare some of the values that the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee have sustained their success in the following section. Starting with the current offered configurations and price points of each model below.
Toyota 4Runner versus Jeep Grand Cherokee: Configurations & Prices
As of 2022, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is offered in the following configurations and associated prices below:
- Laredo -$38,325 (290-293 hp)
- Limited -$44,645 (290-293 hp)
- Trailhawk -$54,235 (293-375 hp)
- Overland -$54,240 (290-375 hp)
- Summit -$58,300 (290-375 hp)
The above configurations of the Grand Cherokee have differing levels of horsepower. The models with higher horsepower are those with the 4xe engine system.
The 2022 Toyota 4Runner is offered with a wider variety of different configurations, but with closely similar price points to the Grand Cherokee. Below are the following different configurations offered for the 2022 Toyota 4Runner:
- SR5 -$37,605
- Trail Special Edition -$39,575
- TRD Sport -$40,450
- SR5 Premium -$41,015
- TRD Off-Road -$41,435
- TRD Off-Road Premium -$44,380
- Limited -$47,190
- TRD Pro -$52,420
All of the Toyota 4Runner configurations come with a base of 270 horsepower. The variants listed above differentiate due to packages that offer benefits such as off-roading engine components to luxury seating options. Regardless of the fact that the Grand Cherokee offers a higher range of power, the 4Runner is still considered to be strong enough for many drivers’ needs. Before we dive further into the engine options for both SUVs let’s take a more detailed look at their compared sizes.
As of 2022, the 4Runner has a curb weight ranging from 4,400 to 4,805 pounds. In comparison, the new era of Grand Cherokees weighs between 4,238 to 4,784 pounds depending on the type of trim. However, the towing capacity of the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee are both listed at exactly 5,000 pounds. Certain modifications and upgrades can extend the towing capacity of these models, yet these can often be costly structural modifications. In addition to having similar overall weights and towing capacities, both the Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Grand Cherokee have the same listed fuel efficiency. Both models have an advertised 16 MPG city and 19 MPG highway.
However, both models do differ in terms of height and length. The base dimensions of the Toyota 4Runner are: 190-191″ L x 76″ W x 72″ H. The Grand Cherokee’s dimensions are marginally longer and wider with only a 1-inch overall height difference. The base dimensions for the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee are:194″ L x 78″ W x 71″ H. In summary, both of these models are close to identical in terms of exact size. Regardless of the different aesthetic bodies, both SUVs offer very similar overall value.
As we observed above when listing each configuration, the Grand Cherokee does have an upper hand in terms of stock horsepower. With that said, let’s take a deeper look at the different engine options available for both the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee.
4Runner vs. Grand Cherokee Engine Options
Due to the fact that every Toyota 4Runner comes with the same engine, it should allow us to more quickly explain its capabilities. The 2022 4Runner is powered by a 4.0L V6 engine with VVTi (dual independent variable valve timing with intelligence. These DOHC 24-valve engines produce 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. Toyota plans on introducing a new, more fuel-efficient 2.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine for the 4Runner in 2023. The current era of 4Runner engines has an exceptional reputation for reliability and durability. Most drivers hope to reach the 200,000 to the 250,000-mile mark without severe repairs. However, reaching these higher miles is a product of proper maintenance and upkeep.
Unlike the single-engine type that Toyota offers with the 4Runner, the 2022 Grand Cherokee has 3 different engine options available. The base engine for the 2022 Grand Cherokee is a 3.6L V6 that produces 290 horsepower with 257 lb-ft of torque. Another available powertrain includes the 5.7L V8 engine that creates 357 horsepower with 390 lb-ft of torque. Last but not least, Jeep also offers a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine and electric motor system that produce a combined 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque.
Due to the fact that both the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee have high ratings for durability, let a take a more detailed look into their overall reliability and longevity in the following section below.
Toyota 4Runner versus Jeep Grand Cherokee: Overall Reliability
Toyota, and the 4Runner specifically, have nearly been synonymous with the term reliable. The 4Runner itself has long been held as os one of the most reliable SUVs available on the automotive market. Yet, certain model years are prone to various faults that could make some drivers disagree. In comparison, the Grand Cherokee may not be associated with the reliable reputation that the 4Runner possesses. However, Jeep drivers expect a durable mid-size SUV when they purchase a Grand Cherokee. Throughout the recent years of production, both models have seen somewhat of a drop in those high standards of reliability that some of their older eras possessed.
In 2022, J.D Powersports gave the 4Runner a rating of 81/100 for its overall quality and reliability. Narrowly placing the model in the “Great” category. RepairPal, another consumer-based automotive rating company, gave the Jeep Grand Cherokee a 3.5/5 placing it 15th out of a total of 16 mid-size SUVs that year.
Many drivers anticipate reaching up to 200,000 miles with both of our examined models without severe or costly repairs. Yet, is that still a fair judgment for these SUVs? Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems for each model below, and further detail some of the negative points that might affect their overall reliability.
Common Engine Problems
It may be hard to scrutinize the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee thoroughly for faults. Compared to other similarly sized SUVs, both of these models are the “top shelf” considerations when it comes to reliability. Yet, no engine system is perfect. Regardless of the bulletproof association that the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee may have, both models do have various issues that may be too common to ignore.
Toyota 4Runners Most Common Issues:
Let’s jump into some of the most commonly reported issues associated with the 4Runner from structural issues to problems surrounding transmission.
The buildup of structural rust overtime may be expected for most cars. However, the Toyota 4Runner may be overly prone to such rust due to a variety of different aspects of design. As of 2021, Toyota had to settle a class-action lawsuit for $3.4 billion relating to frame rust issues for its Sequoia, Tacoma, and Tundra models. Thankfully, this didn’t seem to impact the 4Runner substantially enough for drivers to sue. Yet, this is still an issue that many 4Runner drivers experience. This problem seems to affect the fourth generation of 4Runners most prominently. Toyota 4Runners produced between 2003 and 2009 are prone to developing rust on their undercarriage.
Various electrical components can be prone to a fault in many cars over time that experience wear. However, some 4Runner drivers report that worn or corroded solenoids occur quicker than anticipated. Due to the fact that the solenoid manages electrical currents that control the ignition, faulty solenoids can prohibit the car from starting. Faulty solenoids can also result in clunky or difficult shifting due to the bi-product of various transmission issues. Additionally, further automatic transmission issues may be prominent for certain model years of the 4Runner.
Automatic Transmission Problems
Many drivers report issues with their automatic transmissions specifically for 4Runners produced from 1990 to 2016. These issues may resort to their 4Runner reverting to manual shifting, the inability to shift into overdrive, or the inability to shift into drive after start-up. The majority of these issues will affect acceleration, overall power, and shifting. Therefore, many drivers prefer the manual transmission variant of the 4Runner due to its durability and longevity.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly occurring problems for the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Again, many of these problems may not be experienced by Jeep drivers, however, they are consistent enough to make our list. For more information on problems surrounding older eras of the 4Runner check out our previous write-up on the 3 most common Toyota 1GR-FE engine problems.
Jeep Grand Cherokee’s Most Common Problems:
Again, the following problems may or may not occur for Grand Cherokee drivers. However, these issues are prominent enough to make our list. Therefore, let’s jump into three of the most common problems for varying generations of the Grand Cherokee below.
Valve Stem Corrosions
One of the more prominent potential issues surrounding the Grand Cherokee engine systems is valve stem corrosion. Valve stems problems can result in a variety of different issues. Grand Cherokees may have issues with idling improperly, oil leaks, high oil consumption, as well as acceleration, and problems surrounding power. This problem can be deterred greatly by proper maintenance and upkeep, as well as a timely response to any valve stem corrosion problems. Therefore it is essential for most cars, including the Grand Cherokee, to utilize high-quality oil and receive timely repairs. Valve stem issues may not be severe or costly upfront problems, but can by symptoms of or lead to further more extensive engine damage.
Warped Front Brake Motors
Another common source of potential problems for the Grand Cherokee is the front brake rotors. Issues with brake discs will commonly result in that nagging squeaking noise while braking. However, warped brake motors can lead to dangerous driving conditions that require immediate repair to combat. Replacing brake discs can cost up to $400. However, due to the fact that driving on warped rotors can be extremely dangerous, we recommend repairing this issue immediately and refrain from ever driving on warped or faulty brake rotors. This issue is often more compound than just a squeaking or grinding noise. Make sure to nullify and brake rotor issues
Various Electrical Problems
In 2018, the NHTSA received numerous complaints surrounding electrical issues with the Grand Cherokee that frighteningly would result in the car suddenly dying while in motion. Furthermore, after this stalling, the Grand Cherokee wouldn’t start thus leaving drivers in extremely hazardous potential conditions. Certain years and configurations of the Grand Cherokee, such as the early SRT variants are more prone to electrical problems ranging from airbag sensor issues to failed power windows. Unfortunately, this is not an issue that can be deterred by proper maintenance or steadfast upkeep. Many of these electrical problems may be present directly off the lot. Luckily the reputation of the Grand Cherokee’s electrical system has picked up in the past few years.
Notably both the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee have issues surrounding the integrity of the structure of the dashboard. Many 4Runner drivers report dashboard cracks and tears while many Grand Cherokee drivers report dashboard bubbling and cracking over time as well. Due to the fact that these models both maintain high standards of reliability, these small aesthetic issues may be considered noteworthy for some drivers.
Toyota 4Runner versus Jeep Grand Cherokee Guide Summary
Throughout this guide, we have scrutinized two of the most reputable mid-sized SUVs available on the automotive market. It’s hard to specifically create a verdict or judgment on which vehicle is truly better than the other. The Grand Cherokee does have various configurations that offer more base horsepower than the 4Runner. However, some of the generational problems among older Grand Cherokees may deter some drivers from investing in the model. Yet, that doesn’t mean that the common problems associated with the Grand Cherokee are large enough to place it as a lower value when compared to the 4Runner.
Both vehicles offer longevity and durability that is above average in the mid-size SUV category. It seems that any differentiation in value between the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee may be subjective. Sure, the 4Runner may be considered more reliable throughout its entire lifespan. Yet, recently Jeep has made an impressive effort at competitively improving the Grand Cherokee’s standards of overall durability and reliability.
Therefore, in conclusion, both vehicles carry an amazing value for their price points. The 4Runner has different configurations more heavily surrounding 4×4 and offroading options. The Grand Cherokee has more differing configurations surrounding power and performance. Both SUVs are some of the most respected within their class for good reason. Therefore, it’s important to respect the reputation of both while still observing the objective differences we’ve listed above.
Let us know in the comments below your opinion on which is the superior mid-size SUV, the 4Runner or