The Toyota 4Runner and Ford Explorer are two of the few remaining true SUV-styled SUVs out there. While many SUVs on dealership lots are more truthfully defined as crossovers only, the 4Runner and Explorer are undeniable in the styling and their capability. Not only that, but Toyota and Ford are major competitors as automakers, with a lot of brand loyalty making this comparison more of a talking point than a research tool.
But for those who are truly interested in researching both to pick the best SUV for their family, this comparison will compare features against features and specifications against specifications for an honest view of both. Since both the 4Runner and the Explorer are enduring names for their respective brands, it is important to use the facts and avoid biases.
2021 Toyota 4Runner
2021 Ford Explorer
|23.0 Gallons||Fuel Capacity||18.6 Gallons|
|9.6 Inches||Ground Clearance||7.9 Inches|
|109.8 Inches||Wheelbase||119.1 Inches|
|47.2-89.7 Cubic Feet||Cargo Space||18.2-87.8 Cubic Feet|
The two models used as examples for this comparison are the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD OFF-ROAD Premium 4WD and the 2021 Ford Explorer Limited. Both have nearly the same starting MSRP, but, as the table above shows, the specifications are not the same. The larger fuel tank in the 4Runner is partially to compensate for its lower fuel economy, but it also makes the 4Runner more practical in terms of fuel reserves when off-roading. The higher ground clearance and tighter wheelbase also make the 4Runner leader in terms of off-roading. The Explorer has 3 rows of seats, making the minimum cargo capacity smaller. Even when both vehicles have all of their seats folded down, the 4Runner remains the winner in terms of cargo space.