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When it comes to shopping for a 4WD SUV, you’ve got a few options to choose from. Among those options are SUVs like the 2021 Ford Bronco and the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro. While both 4WD SUVs have a solid reputation for going off the beaten path, odds are you aren’t planning on buying both. The good news is that we’re here to help you determine which 4WD SUV is the better pick for you. 

Both 4WD SUVs have a reputation for going off-road

A 2021 Ford Bronco 4WD SUV off-roading on a cloudy day
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

There’s no beating around the bush here. Both the 2021 Ford Bronco and the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro have a reputation for going off-road. After all, that’s what both SUVs are designed to do. In fact, the new Ford Bronco comes stocked with off-road-ready features, including an exclusive Terrain Management System with seven driver-selectable G.O.A.T. Modes. 

This year’s Bronco can also be had with a Trail Toolbox, which includes a suite of off-road technologies such as Trail Control for low-speed trail driving, Trail Turn Assist, and Trail One-Pedal Drive. According to Ford, the 2021 Ford Bronco delivers a “thrilling off-road experience when equipped with such features.”

The 2021 Ford Bronco isn’t the only 4WD SUV that’s capable of conquering the trails either. The 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is designed for off-roading and, according to U.S. News & World Report, shines when doing so. Though, that shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, the 4Runner TRD Pro comes equipped with TRD-tuned FOX high-performance shocks, TRD-tuned front springs, part-time 4WD, a locking rear differential, multi-terrain select, hill start assist control, and crawl control.

The 2021 Ford Bronco offers more choices than the 4Runner

A 2021 Ford Bronco with the roof off
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

While both 4WD SUVs come well-equipped for a day at the trails, it’s important to note that when it comes to personalizing your new SUV, the Ford Bronco offers more options than its Toyota competition. 

Not only is it available as a two and four-door SUV, but it can also be had with your pick of engine under the hood. However, if it’s a 4WD SUV that you’re after, Kelley Blue Book reports that you’ve got two engine options to choose from: a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder and a 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6. The Bronco also offers two transmission options: a seven-speed manual transmission and a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Unfortunately for the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro, the pickings are pretty slim when it comes to body styles and engine options. In fact, this 4WD SUV is only available with four doors. Unlike the Ford Bronco, it doesn’t offer a removable top or doors either. And when it comes to engine choices? The 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro offers one choice and one choice only: a 4.0-liter V6 engine that comes paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. 

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is more reliable

A white 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro crawling up a rockface
2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro | Toyota

What the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro does have going for it is its reputation for being one of the most reliable SUVs on the market. In fact, Consumer Reports gave this year’s model a five out of five predicted reliability rating. Such a high rating isn’t that unusual for the 4Runner either. More often than not, the organization has given the 4Runner a four or five out of five reliability rating.

Unfortunately for the 2021 Ford Bronco, its score was significantly lower. While the 4Runner earned high marks in terms of predicted reliability, this year’s all-new Bronco did not. Instead, Consumer Reports gave it a two out of five rating. 

Which 4WD SUV is the better option?

Shopping for a 4WD SUV doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, both the 2021 Ford Bronco and the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro make for great picks. However, if you value options and are after that open-air experience? Then the new Ford Bronco is likely a good fit for you. But if you find yourself lusting after the 4Runner TRD Pro? Know that it has a solid reputation for reliability, which is far more important than a long list of available options for many.


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