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2021 Toyota 4Runner vs Land Cruiser

2021 Toyota 4Runner vs Land Cruiser
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

2021 4Runner vs Land Cruiser - How do they stack up? What are the differences?

SUVs are a popular choice for many drivers. Their imposing structure adds another level of protection against collisions, their higher driving position improves visibility, and they provide greater seating and cargo capacity. With so many options available, it can be difficult to figure out which one to purchase. If you are interested in this type of vehicle, then you should start your search with Toyota. Of their SUV options, both the 2021 Toyota 4Runner and the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser should be at the top of your list.

Size and Styling

With almost 16 feet in length and 6 feet in width, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner definitely asserts itself on the road. Its last design overhaul was in 2010, so there have not been any major updates to its appearance in several years. This may be appealing for drivers who love the classic appearance the 4Runner is known for. For 2021, there is a Trail Special Edition package that gives you the option of adding a Yakima roof rack, and LED headlights are now standard across models.

The 2021 4Runner comes in 9 trim levels, which allow drivers to choose from an array of styling options. Some of these include black or chrome exterior accents, an updated front grille, privacy glass, and fabric or leather trimmed seats.

In terms of interior size, the 2021 4Runner has a seating capacity of up to 7, but in order to get 7 seats you have to opt for the SR5, Trail Special Edition or Limited trim levels. There is 41.7 inches of front leg room, and 32.9 inches of back leg room. There is also an ample 47.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity, which will satisfy drivers who need a great deal of space to transport items. When the rear seats are folded down, there is even enough room for the cargo space to turn into a sleeping area during camping trips.

The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser is even more imposing with a body that spans a little over 16 feet in length and 6.5 feet in width. It comes in only 2 trim levels, which simplifies the decision making process. Like the 4Runner, it has not had any major style updates in quite a few years, so it has maintained its classic style that most people are familiar with. The Land Cruiser comes equipped with LED exterior lighting, and there is a choice between a chrome accented grille and an upgraded grille with black inserts and darkened chrome. The Land Cruiser also offers the option of adding an upgraded Yakima roof rack.

All seating options are leather trimmed, and there is also a Black Interior Package available that offers bronze contrast stitching on the seats. The instrumentation areas are highlighted with turquoise colored lighting, which enhances an already attractive interior appearance.

The 2021 Land Cruiser has a larger seating capacity of 8, it has an expansive amount of front leg room at 42.9 inches, and 34.4 inches in rear leg room. With all seating in place, the rear cargo capacity is only 16.1 cubic feet, but it increases to 57.5 cubic feet when the third row seating area is folded down.

When comparing both models in this category, the 2021 Land Cruiser is able to accommodate more passengers, and it has slightly more front and rear leg room. The 4Runner may be slightly smaller in overall size, but it provides significantly more cargo space when all seats are in place.


The 2021 Toyota 4Runner comes equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission and a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. Two wheel drive is an option with the SR5, Trail Special Edition and Limited trim levels. The 4Runner can tow up to 5,000 pounds, and it gets an average of 16 miles per gallon in the city, and 19 miles per gallon on the highway.

The 2021 4Runner shines the brightest in off road conditions. The multimode four wheel drive system, along with the high ground clearance, allow it to handle choppy road conditions in a stellar manner. In regular road conditions, it offers a smooth ride that maneuvers around corners well. The wind noise, however, while riding inside is slightly noticeable.

Both trim levels of the 2021 Land Cruiser operate with a 5.7-liter V8 engine with 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. Four wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission also come standard with both versions. It has a much higher towing capacity of 8,100 pounds, and gas mileage of 13 miles per gallon in the city, and 17 miles per gallon on the highway.

In terms of handling, the 2021 Land Cruiser also performs best off road. It has a Multi-Terrain Select System that enhances ground traction in choppy driving conditions, and it also has a Crawl Control function that maneuvers expertly through various types of terrain.

On the highway, the transmission and engine perform at acceptable levels, but some drivers may find the steering to be a bit cumbersome. Passengers will enjoy a quiet ride in the 2021 Land Cruiser, but the basic suspension system may cause them to notice the bumps associated with potholes and snowy road conditions.

When comparing the 4Runner and the Land Cruiser in this category, both exhibit stellar performance off road. The Land Cruiser provides better horsepower, torque, and significantly more towing capacity. While both leave some room for improvement in regular driving conditions, only the 4Runner offers a 2-wheel drive option, which may be appealing for drivers looking for this alternative. Smaller in size, the 4Runner also offers slightly better fuel efficiency.

Comfort, Options and Performance

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner sits fairly high above the ground, so some passengers may find it challenging to climb inside. Drivers, however, will enjoy excellent visibility because of the flexible and adjustable seating. The 4Runner comes equipped with Toyota Connected Services, which includes emergency and roadside assistance, remote capabilities, and WiFi access all through an app on your smartphone.

The touchscreen is easy to use, and there is a choice of premium audio systems depending on the trim level. There is dual zone automatic climate control, and the sliding second row seating area also comes with one-touch access to the third row. This feature is not available with the Land Cruiser, and neither is the sliding rear cargo deck with the under-floor storage compartment that is available with the 4Runner.

One of the areas that the Land Cruiser differs from the 4Runner is its luxury classification. All of this is reflected in the premium materials and construction that Toyota has used to produce this vehicle.

While the Land Cruiser is considered to be part of an exclusive class, it is important to point out that with the 2021 Land Cruiser, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available. This may be an instant deal breaker considering how accustomed drivers are to their vehicle having up-to-date technology. It also doesn't offer the full package of Toyota Connected Services that come with the 4Runner.

The seating in the Land Cruiser provides overall comfort, but amenities like a massage function and expanded adjustability are not available like they are in other vehicles in this class. There is, however, an enhanced four zone climate system, heated and ventilated front seats, and a wireless smartphone and device charging system. Second row seating is also heated, as well as capable of sliding and reclining. All doors, including the lift gate, are equipped with the Smart Key system.

When comparing both vehicles in this category, the superior utility is definitely with the 4Runner. The enhanced technology features that it offers, as well as more convenience options, make it a more appealing choice.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.


The 2021 Toyota 4Runner comes standard with Toyota's Safety Sense package. This includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, a lane departure alert system, and automatic high beams. It is also equipped with a brake assist system and Smart Stop technology. There are 8 airbags distributed throughout the cabin, and there is also front and rear parking assist sonar.

The 2021 Land Cruiser adds several more safety features to an already impressive list. There is an integrated backup camera display with a projected path, Hill Start Assist Control, and a blind spot monitoring system with cross traffic alert. Toyota has also built the Land Cruiser with a head-impact protection structure as well as side-impact door beams. The 4Runner is not built with this extra fortification.

The Safety Connect Package comes standard with a one year trial subscription, and it includes emergency and roadside assistance, a stolen vehicle locator, and an automatic collision notification system. This is part of the suite of services offered in the Toyota Connected Services package, which is fully available with the 4Runner. The Land Cruiser has 10 airbags distributed throughout the cabin.

In terms of crash test ratings, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the 2021 4Runner an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. The 2021 Land Cruiser has not been rated yet.

When comparing these two models in terms of overall safety, the 2021 Land Cruiser has a more fortified body, and offers enhanced features when compared to the 4Runner. These factors make the Land Cruiser stand excel when it comes to protecting passengers.

Which Model to Choose?

If total cost is an important factor, then the 2021 4Runner is the obvious choice. It costs significantly less than the Land Cruiser, and it provides comparable performance.

The 4Runner also provides more convenience and comfort features than the Land Cruiser at a much lower price point. Some consumers may find it surprising that a luxury class vehicle like the Land Cruiser does not come equipped with the suite of Toyota Connected Services, or Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These missing technology features also makes the 4Runner a more attractive option.

Drivers may find more peace of mind where safety is concerned with the Land Cruiser, but the 4Runner still offers enough features to ensure a safe ride. Taking all of these things into consideration, the 4Runner is the most reasonable.

Used 2021 Toyota 4Runner: