2021 Land Rover Defender vs. 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro: Which Rugged SUV Is Best for You?

Shopping for an off-road capable SUV can be a challenge. After all, not all SUVs are capable of taking on the trails. Fortunately, however, both the 2021 Land Rover Defender and the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro are well-equipped for a day in the dirt. Here’s how these rugged SUVs compare.

The 2021 Land Rover Defender values options

First things first, let’s talk about what the 2021 Land Rover Defender has going for it. There’s no denying that this rugged SUV has a solid repudiation for going off-road. In fact, according to Kelley Blue Book, the Land Rover Defender is one of only a handful of SUVs (including the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco, Toyota 4Runner, and Toyota Land Cruiser) that’s built specifically for taking on the trails.

Of course, its reputation as an off-roader isn’t all that this rugged SUV has going for it. As it turns out, the 2021 Land Rover Defender also values options. In fact, unlike the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro, the Land Rover Defender can be had as a two-door or a four-door SUV. This year’s model also offers multiple engine options, including a 296-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and a 395-hp turbocharged six-cylinder engine. 

Unfortunately for the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro, it can only be had as a four-door SUV. While that’s certainly not unusual, for those in the market for a two-door SUV, that could present a problem. The 4Runner TRD Pro is also available with one engine and one engine only, a 4.0-liter, 270-hp V6 that comes teamed with a five-speed automatic transmission.

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro has its advantages over the Land Rover Defender

While the 2021 Land Rover Defender values options when it comes to things like body styles and engine choices, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro does have its advantages. For instance, when it comes to reliability ratings, it’s the 4Runner TRD Pro that has the edge. In fact, while Consumer Reports gave the Defender a one out of five predicted reliability rating, it gave this year’s new 4Runner a five out of five reliability rating. 

The 4Runner TRD Pro has the edge when it comes to resale value too. In fact, according to CarEdge, you can expect the Defender to depreciate 63% after five years. But the 4Runner? CarEdge reports that the Toyota 4Runner will depreciate 35% after five years. That’s a significant difference that’s definitely worth considering, especially if you plan on selling your new SUV sometime in the future.

Which of these rugged SUVs is cheaper?

A white 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro climbing rocks
2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro | Toyota

When it comes to pricing, the 2021 Land Rover Defender is the cheaper option. However, that’s if you stick with a two-door Defender 90, which is essentially the base model. It starts at $46,100 and includes features like an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 3D surround-view camera, and a 10-inch touchscreen display featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

But if you want more features than that? Upgrading to a higher trim level will cost you a pretty penny. In fact, at its most expensive price, the 2021 Land Rover Defender will have you spending upwards of $80,500, which is certainly not chump change.

The good news is that the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is significantly cheaper than a fully-loaded Land Rover Defender. In fact, this year’s model starts at $50,745. It also comes well-stocked with features, including dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and an 8-inch touchscreen display with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, navigation, and Wi-Fi Connect.

Choosing between these rugged SUVs is going to take a test drive

If you’re in the market for a rugged SUV, both the 2021 Land Rover Defender and the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro make for excellent choices. To find out which is the best for you, we recommend hitting the road for a couple of test drives.

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