2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 4Runner: Hi Big Brother!

Toyota has no shortage of high-quality SUVs in its model lineup, which includes the compact RAV4 and the midsize 4Runner. Check out the differences between the two SUVs in this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Toyota 4Runner comparison.

2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Toyota 4Runner: What are the differences?

Super White 2023 Toyota RAV4 crossover SUV driving down a hill
Super White 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

In this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Toyota 4Runner SUV comparison, we analyzed multiple factors. This includes performance, gas mileage, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, and price.

RAV4 vs. 4Runner: Performance

Front angle view of 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary SUV with Midnight Black Metallic exterior paint color option
Midnight Black Metallic 2023 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

On the performance front, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner has a higher base engine horsepower, but the 2023 Toyota RAV4 provides a higher maximum horsepower. Buyers of the RAV4 have a choice of three engine options: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (203 horsepower), a hybrid (219 horsepower), and a plug-in hybrid with the RAV4 Prime (308 horsepower). In comparison, all 4Runner models are equipped with a 4.0-liter V-6 engine, which produces 270 horsepower.

For greater maneuverability, the RAV4 has a turning circle as low as 36.1 feet, compared to 37.4 feet for the 4Runner. 

RAV4 vs. 4Runner: Gas mileage

The RAV4 is more efficient than the 4Runner. The fully gas-powered RAV4 has an estimated fuel economy of up to 30 combined mpg, while the RAV4 Hybrid has a gas mileage of up to 40 combined mpg. Also, the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid has a fuel efficiency of 94 MPGe when in electric-only mode and 38 combined mpg in hybrid mode. In comparison, the 4Runner has an estimated gas mileage of up to 17 combined mpg. 

RAV4 vs. 4Runner: Towing

The 2023 4Runner can tow more than the 2023 RAV4. It has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, compared to 3,500 pounds for the RAV4.

RAV4 vs. 4Runner: Off-road capabilities

Both the RAV4 and 4Runner are good choices for off-road use. However, the 4Runner has the edge — as it’s widely considered to be one of the best off-road SUVs available. For one, the 4Runner’s advanced four-wheel drive system with an available transfer case is more effective at driving over challenging terrain than the all-wheel drive system offered for the RAV4.

Also, the 4Runner has higher ground clearance than the RAV4 (up to 9.6 vs. 8.6 inches). Additionally, while the RAV4 has off-road-focused models, including the Woodland Edition, Adventure, and TRD Off-Road trims, they don’t match the capabilities of the off-road-focused models for the 4Runner. This includes the 4Runner TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, and TRD Pro.

RAV4 vs. 4Runner: Safety

Given its history, the RAV4 has the advantage for safety. For the previous model year, the 4Runner earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick award. However, the 4Runner didn’t receive any safety award from IIHS.

RAV4 vs. 4Runner: Passenger and cargo space

Which Toyota SUV is bigger: the 2023 RAV4 or the 2023 4Runner? The 4Runner has a total passenger volume of 128.0 cu-ft for the three-row model and 93.7 cu-ft for the two-row model, compared to 98.9 cu-ft for the RAV4, which is only available as a two-row model. Also, while the RAV4 and the two-row 4Runner have a five-passenger seating capacity, the three-row 4Runner can seat up to seven people.

Additionally, the 4Runner provides more storage space than the RAV4. It has a maximum cargo capacity of 89.7 cu-ft, compared to 69.8 cu-ft for the RAV4.

RAV4 vs. 4Runner: Warranty coverage

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For warranty coverage, the RAV4 and the 4Runner are backed by a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Also, both SUVs have a free maintenance plan, with two years or 25,000 miles of coverage.

RAV4 vs. 4Runner: Price

Which Toyota SUV costs more: the 2023 RAV4 or the 2023 4Runner? The starting price of the 2023 4Runner ranges from $38,805 MSRP for the SR5 trim up to $53,270 MSRP for the TRD Pro trim. 

For the 2023 RAV4, the official price information is not yet available. However, the 2023 RAV4 will probably cost slightly more than the 2022 RAV4. The starting price of the 2022 RAV4 ranges from $26,975 MSRP for the LE trim up to $43,625 MSRP for the RAV4 Prime XSE trim.

2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Toyota 4Runner: Which SUV is better?

In this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Toyota 4Runner comparison, each SUV has various advantages. For the 2023 RAV4, advantages include maximum horsepower output, maneuverability, gas mileage, and safety. Conversely, advantages for the 2023 4Runner include base engine horsepower, towing, off-road capabilities, cargo space, and passenger space for the three-row model.

RELATED: 2023 Toyota 4Runner: Features, Specs, and New 40th Anniversary Model