Crossover & Midsize

The Ford Explorer Beats the Toyota 4Runner in Crucial Areas

Can the 2020 Ford Explorer take on the infamous Toyota 4runner? Before you go all-in on a 2020 Toyota 4Runner, check out how the Ford Explorer compares. It may have a few qualities that you wish your 4Runner had. 

The Ford Explorer vs. the Toyota 4Runner

When asked, “Which is better, the Ford Explorer or Toyota 4Runner,” there is a lot to consider. There isn’t one answer that suits the bill for everyone. For example, the Toyota 4runner is more of a lifestyle vehicle with more off-roading prowess. 

2020 Ford Explorer towing boat
2020 Ford Explorer | Ford

Meanwhile, the Ford Explorer has more space and comfort for families. However, they are both high-end three-row SUVs that can be difficult to choose between. So, it will come down to price, power, and features. 

The 2020 Ford Explorer comes in with a lower starting price of around 32,765. The 2020 Toyota 4Runner starts at about $36,120, making it about $4,000 extra. Also, the Ford Explorer is superior on gas with the ability to get an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The 4Runner only receives an estimated 16 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. 

Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner Power 

The Ford Explorer has three different engine options and a hybrid powertrain to choose from. The 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine pumps out 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The 3.0-liter V6 engine pumps out 365 hp and 38- lb-ft of torque. 

2021-Toyota-4Runner-Trail-Edition parked in gravel
2021-Toyota-4Runner-Trail-Edition

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You can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, according to MotorTrend. This is pretty fast for a three-row SUV. Also, the 2020 Ford Explorer can tow up to 5,600 lb when properly equipped. 

The Toyota 4Runner has one engine option, which is a 4.0-liter V6. It pumps out 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. It can tow up to 5,000 lb. So, the Explorer has it beat on horsepower and towing, but what about speed? The 2020 Toyota 4Runner can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds, according to AutoBlog.

Both the Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner are available with 4×4. But the 4Runner includes so much more for off-roading. While the Ford Explorer has a terrain management system with intelligent 4WD, the 4Runner has a locking rear differential, crawl control, a kinetic dynamic suspension system, and more. 

Toyota 4Runner and Ford Explorer specs 

In the Ford Explorer, you can access up to 18.2 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk area and up to 87.3 cubic feet of cargo space total. With third-row seats, the Toyota 4Runner has up to 47.2 cubic feet of space, but you can access up to 89.7 cubic feet of cargo space when folded flat. 

Ford Explorer Hybrid parked in sand
Ford Explorer Hybrid | Ford

The Ford Explorer is a bit safer as an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. However, both of these SUVs have tons of advanced safety features available, including automatic high beams, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and more. 

Both of these SUVs have advanced technology with an infotainment center that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. They’re both comfortable, too, with a smooth ride and quiet cabin. You might have to test drive both options.