Is the 2021 Toyota 4Runner a Better SUV Than the Land Rover Discovery Sport?

If it’s an off-road capable SUV that you’re after, you’ve got a number of options to pick from. But if you find yourself stuck choosing between the 2021 Land Rover Discovery Sport and the 2021 Toyota 4Runner? Well, you might find yourself asking which SUV makes for the better choice. Fortunately, we’ve got the answer.

2021 Toyota 4Runner parked in the mountains
2021 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner comes standard with a V6

First, let’s talk about what’s under the hood of each of these SUVs. While the 4Runner comes standard with a V6, the Land Rover Discovery Sport makes use of a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Unfortunately for the Land Rover Discovery Sport, its base engine is less powerful than the 4Runners. While the 4Runner’s base engine churns out 270-hp, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is only able to manage 246-hp.

According to Consumer Reports, the Toyota 4Runner is also a better off-roader than the Land Rover Discovery Sport. While the 4Runner excels on the trails, Consumer Reports says that the Land Rover Discovery Sport “lacks the low-range gearbox of a true off-roader” and while it comes equipped with a Terrain Response system, the SUV struggled to clamber up Consumer Reports’ steep off-road rock slope. 

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Stick with the 2021 Toyota 4Runner if you value reliability

Odds are you want your next SUV to be reliable. And why not? Buying a new SUV is an expensive endeavor. Fortunately for the Toyota 4Runner, reliability is one of its strong suits. This year’s model earned a five out of five reliability rating from Consumer Reports, which is pretty on par for the 4Runner seeing as Consumer Reports gave most model years a perfect score.

Unfortunately for the Land Rover Discovery Sport, it hasn’t earned such high marks from Consumer Reports. This year’s model earned a one out of five predicted reliability rating, which is the lowest score Consumer Reports gives out. The good news is that J.D. Power gave the 2021 Land Rover Discovery Sport a slightly higher reliability rating. The bad news is that it gave it a ‘Fair’ rating, which isn’t actually that much better than a one out of five.

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How much you can expect to spend on these SUVs

Now, if you’re shopping on a budget, the 4Runner is the obvious pick here. A base model will have you spending approximately $36,590, which isn’t all that bad for an off-road capable SUV. Upgrade to the TRD Off-Road, which adds off-road-ready features like Crawl Control, and you’ll be spending around $40,555. And if you’re looking to treat yourself to a fully-loaded model? You can expect to spend about $50,570 on the 4Runner.

As for this year’s Land Rover Discovery Sport? Well, a base model will have you spending $41,900. Upgrade to the range-topping Discovery Sport SE and you’ll be spending $45,350. Unfortunately, those are the only two trim levels available too.

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Should you buy the 2021 Land Rover Discovery Sport or the 2021 Toyota 4Runner

When it really comes down to it, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner is the better pick here. It’s more affordable, is known for being reliable, and boasts some serious off-road chops. But if you aren’t quite ready to make your final decision? We recommend, at the very least, taking both of these SUVs out for a test drive.