4 Ways 2023 Toyota 4Runner Is Better Than Highlander

The Toyota Highlander has many positive attributes. However, in the Toyota lineup, there’s another popular choice for the midsize SUV segment: the 4Runner. Here are four ways the 2023 Toyota 4Runner is better than the 2023 Toyota Highlander.

2023 Toyota 4Runner is better than the 2023 Toyota Highlander for off-road use

Front angle view of black 2023 Toyota 4Runner midsize SUV
2023 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

The first way that the 2023 Toyota 4Runner midsize SUV is better than the 2023 Toyota Highlander is off-road capabilities. Driving off the beaten path is all the rage these days, and for off-road use, the 4Runner is one of the best SUVs available. In comparison, the Highlander is more suitable for on-road city driving.

The better off-road capabilities of the 4Runner is due to multiple factors. For one, the 4Runner has a more advanced four-wheel drive system with an available transfer case — compared to the basic all-wheel drive system for the Highlander. Also, with its higher ground clearance (up to 9.6 vs. 8.0 inches), the 4Runner can more effectively and safely drive over rough terrain. 

Additionally, with the TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trims, the 4Runner has off-road-focused models — unlike the Highlander. The most capable 4Runner model is the TRD Pro trim. It’s ready to hit the trails with features such as off-road drive modes, an off-road-tuned suspension, and all-terrain tires.

2023 4Runner has a higher maximum horsepower output than the 2023 Highlander

Front angle view of Magnetic Gray Metallic 2023 Toyota Highlander midsize SUV
2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The second way that the 2023 Toyota 4Runner is better than the 2023 Toyota Highlander is its higher maximum horsepower output. The 4.0-liter V-6 engine in the 4Runner produces 270 horsepower, compared to 265 horsepower for the Highlander’s turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four engine and 243 horsepower for its hybrid powertrain.

Toyota 4Runner provides more cargo space than the Highlander

Cargo area in 2023 Toyota 4Runner midsize SUV
2023 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

The third way that the 2023 4Runner midsize SUV is better than the 2023 Highlander is cargo space. It has a maximum cargo capacity of 89.7 cu-ft, while the Highlander offers 84.3 cu-ft of space for storage.

Also, the 4Runner has many useful storage compartments for smaller items. This includes a center console storage compartment, door pockets, up to 12 cup holders, and an overhead compartment for sunglasses. Additionally, the 4Runner offers an optional sliding rear cargo deck with under-floor storage.

2023 4Runner is more configurable than the 2023 Highlander

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

The fourth way that the 2023 4Runner is better than the 2023 Highlander is configurability. You can get the 4Runner in a variety of different configurations — much more than the Highlander. This includes a wide range of trims, a choice of either a three-row or a two-row model, flexible cargo configurations, and many feature options and accessories. 

Also, to celebrate its 40th birthday, the 2023 4Runner offers a 40th Anniversary special edition model. It has a sleek color scheme with retro-inspired yellow/orange/red body graphics. Other features in the 4Runner 40th Anniversary model include a TOYOTA heritage grille, bronze-colored 17-inch alloy wheels, a bronze-colored 40th Anniversary exterior tailgate badge, 40th Anniversary floor mats, and unique interior badging.

The 2023 Toyota 4Runner is better than the 2023 Toyota Highlander for off-road capabilities, maximum horsepower, cargo space, and configurability. If you’re making a choice between the two midsize SUVs, then these are advantages to keep in mind.

To find out the ways that the 2023 Highlander is better than the 2023 4Runner, continue reading below.

RELATED: 2023 Toyota Highlander: Features, Specs, and Overview