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What might seem obvious to you isn’t always for everyone. The 2022 Toyota 4Runner is the most recent version of a heritage model that’s been a top-performing off-road SUV for many years. This should give the 4Runner an advantage over the 2022 Ford Bronco, but that’s not necessarily the case.

What do these two off-road SUVs have in common?

The 2022 Ford Bronco and 2022 Toyota 4Runner offer similar dimensions and 4WD but, beyond that, these are two extremely different vehicles.

Toyota hasn’t given us a new generation for the 4Runner since 2009. The Bronco has become so popular since returning to the market in 2021 that Ford can’t build it fast enough. The generational age is a point in favor of the Bronco that we didn’t count.

Here’s why J.D. Power recommends the Bronco over the 4Runner.

The 2022 Ford Bronco offers a lower starting price and better overall value

2022 Ford Bronco Everglades Edition
2022 Ford Bronco Everglades Edition | Ford

The base version of the 2022 Bronco off-road SUV starts at $30,800. The price range reaches up to $68,500, which is much higher than the 4Runner, but there are more trim options for the Bronco. The trims of the Bronco are base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, Wildtrak, Everglades, and Raptor.

You’ll find two body styles for this Ford midsize off-road SUV, a two-door model, and a four-door version. Every Bronco comes with standard 4WD, and most trims offer the choice of either a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine or a turbocharged V6.

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner is easier to buy and more plentiful, but the starting price is $38,105. The price range goes to $52,920, and only one powertrain for the 4Runner. This powertrain uses a naturally aspirated V6 engine.

Toyota gives the option of either 2WD or 4WD, and the 4Runner comes in several trims, including SR5, Trail Special Edition, TRD Sport, SR5 Premium, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, Limited, and TRD Pro.

The off-road SUV with better performance and efficiency is the Bronco

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor front corner
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Ford Bronco has a base powertrain comprising a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and either a 7-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain makes 275 horsepower and 315 lb-ft of torque.

Moving to the more powerful setup, the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine mates to a 10-speed automatic transmission that returns 315 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque.

Both powertrains reach somewhere between 17 and 20 mpg combined for the Bronco.

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner only has a 4.0-liter V6 engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain returns 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. Fuel mileage for the 4Runner is 17 mpg combined.

The 2022 Ford Bronco has a more comprehensive safety package than the 2022 Toyota 4Runner

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor front corner view in the snow
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Every version of the Bronco off-road SUV comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. The Ford Co-Pilot 360 package is available at the Big Bend trim level. This package includes:

  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic warning
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keeping assistance

If you want adaptive cruise control and the evasive steering assistance system you’ll need to choose the Outer Banks trim.

Turning to the 4Runner, you’ll find the standard safety package that includes:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Lane departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Rear-seat reminder

This Toyota off-road SUV might start with more safety features, but the Ford Bronco lineup offers more features to protect you while driving.

The newer Ford off-road SUV has an advantage in technology

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor interior
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The new Sync 4 infotainment system gives the 2022 Ford Bronco a serious technological advantage over the 2022 Toyota 4Runner. This system includes wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto while allowing over-the-air updates. The standard screen in the Bronco is 8 inches with a 12-inch upgrade at higher trims.

The 4Runner brings an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system which is useful but not nearly as advanced as what you find in the Bronco.

Does the 2022 Toyota 4Runner have any advantages compared to the 2022 Ford Bronco?

A lime green 2022 Toyota 4Runner SUV off-roading
2022 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

Currently, the only advantage J.D. Power lists for the Toyota off-road SUV is the reliability factor. This should remain a strength because the 4Runner wears the Toyota badge. The Ford Bronco is too new to unseat the 4Runner’s reliability.

What’s the verdict?

2023 Ford Bronco Sport driving off-road, with Ford as only American car brand that lost Consumer Reports recommendations
2023 Ford Bronco Sport | Ford

If we assign one point for each of the categories used by J.D. Power, The score would be 4-1 in favor of the 2022 Ford Bronco. The 2022 Toyota 4Runner is still a dependable and useful off-road SUV, but if you want a modern take on off-road fun, the Bronco is the way to go.

Next, learn why ground clearance is important, or watch this comparison video below: