2023 4Runner vs. 2023 Land Rover Defender: A Head-to-Head Comparison

The Land Rover Defender and 4Runner compare fairly. Both cars have strengths and shortcomings based on several factors.

4Runner vs. Land Rover Defender 1 2023 4Runner vs. 2023 Land Rover Defender: A Head-to-Head Comparison

What’s the difference between the Toyota 4Runner and the Land Rover Defender?

The 4Runner is known for its excellently priced value for new and used vehicles. On the other hand, the Land Rover Defender shines in areas of base engine power and fuel efficiency. Overall, both vehicles have a lot to offer, and a comprehensive comparison can help you make the right choice.

I was wondering which vehicle to purchase for my off-road escapades. I had a few options, but they seemed to revolve around the Land Rover Defender and 4Runner.

I decided to visit my local mechanic and driver friend to discuss which of the two would serve me best for my off roading escapades. Here is a detailed comparison of the two models.

4Runner vs. Land Rover Defender

As a person who enjoys spending time outdoors, it’s important to get the right off-road vehicle. The best vehicle should have the features you need, be fuel efficient, and within your budget.

Before rushing to buy the 2023 Toyota 4Runner or placing your money on the 2023 Land Rover Defender, you may want to understand what each of them offers. While they are both excellent for off road experiences, the new model of the Land Rover Defender performs better than its predecessors.

To understand these SUVs better, let’s first  look at each individually before comparing. This is the easiest way to know and appreciate the advantages and build confidence regarding a specific car.

The Toyota 4Runner 

4Runner vs. Land Rover Defender 3 1 2023 4Runner vs. 2023 Land Rover Defender: A Head-to-Head Comparison

This is rated as one of the best midsize SUVs with the best resale value. It also has a rating as the best reliable midsize SUV. Overall, it is ranked as one of the best midsize SUVs for the money/value it offers.

However, there are still some concerns when it comes to mileage and safety, as the SUV does not perform very well according to ratings.

The 4Runner has features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Leather Upholstery. However it lacks key features such as Wireless Smartphone Charging and Heated Steering Wheel which are available in the Defender.

To appreciate this car better, we have to look at the pros and cons. Some of its benefits include:

  • It is a rugged SUV. It is known to have a mean rugged off-road capacity
  • It has one of the lowest depreciation/ an outstanding value retention
  • It can have excellent towing capabilities when it is properly equipped

On the downside, though, this SUV has a few disadvantages that, include:

  • Unfavorable fuel economy performance
  • Its design is outdated /aging
  • The interior space is limited when compared to other SUVs in its category

The vehicle’s engine size is 4 liters, while its configuration is a V with six cylinders. It has an automatic transmission. 

The Land Rover Defender

4Runner vs. Land Rover Defender 1 1 2023 4Runner vs. 2023 Land Rover Defender: A Head-to-Head Comparison

This is one of the pricier SUVs in the market. It performs averagely with moderate rankings for the two categories. It is available as a Luxury SUV that comes with three rows, giving it the best resale value. We also have the Small luxury SUVs offering the best resale value

Most of the latest Land Rover Defender specs have yet to be released. This is the only reason it is not very easy to compare each element with the Toyota counterpart.

However, its engine size is 2 liters with an inline configuration. It has four cylinders and an automatic transmission. Most of the optional features it comes with are pretty standard.

Comparing the Two SUVs

While the Land Rover Defender and Toyota 4Runner are quite different, they have similarities that make it easy to compare and contrast. Add the Jeep Wrangler to the mix and get a unique performance comparison that may guide your choice of off-road vehicle.

Below are a few different parameters the 4Runner and Land Rover compare more. By the end of the comparison, you can decide which one you prefer for your needs and budget.


The Toyota 4Runner is an excellent off roader. However, that is not why it stands out compared to the Land Rover Defender. The Toyota 4Runner is better priced for its value; hence more people are likely to afford it, while the Rover is more expensive. 

The two SUV vehicles are worth investing in. However, the Toyota is a better option if you are on a budget or trying to save money.

When comparing these two SUVs, the fuel economy, purchase price, and cargo/seating capacity are important considerations. Additionally, you also need to focus on the other standard features.

The Land Rover Defender is a bit higher for the price factor. While the specific pricing will vary based on the model in question, Land Rover Defenders are pricier than the Toyota 4Runner, which has been equipped in a similar fashion.

For example, for both the vehicles’ 2023 models, the price of the Land Rover Defender Vs. 4Runner is $87,420 and $43,349, respectively. The pricing may vary depending on the company selling the SUVs. The monthly payment breakdown also differs; the rover defender payment is $1550, and the Toyota will be $785.

Fuel Economy Comparison

Another vital comparison for drivers would be the fuel economy. The Land Rover Defender shines slightly more than the 4Runner as it delivers a better mileage. Getting a Land Rover Defender means getting 17 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on highway terrains.

On the other hand, the Toyota 4Runner delivers 16 MPG in the city and 19 MPG on the highway. This is a lower performance compared to the Land Rover.

Seating and Cargo Comparison

Space and cargo are essential for all off roaders. You will need to bring enough items to stay comfortable on your trips hence the need to have sufficient cargo space. On the same note, having enough space for your passenger friends/ camping buddies is essential.

You cannot ignore these features when buying a truck, jeep, or SUV. The difference between the Land Rover Defender and the 4Runner in terms of space and cargo capacity is that the Land Rover Defender gives a maximum of 27.1 cubic ft with all seats intact. 

The space is even more significant when the rear/ second row seats are folded as the passenger space increases to 66.2 cubic ft. Note that SUVs with a third seat row have less cargo space.

The Land Rover Defender’s interior space is also reasonable. It has sufficient legroom in the second row, although it is much less than the 4Runner. The Land Rover has 39.1, whereas the 4Runner has 41.7. 

4Runner vs. Land Rover Defender 2 2023 4Runner vs. 2023 Land Rover Defender: A Head-to-Head Comparison

However, the Land River shines in the second row legroom space as it has 38.4, which is higher compared to 4Runner‘s space of 32.9.

Interior Dimension Comparison

The two vehicles differ in dimensions too. The Toyota 4Runner seems to have more features compared to the Land Rover. Below is a list of the two vehicles compared.

  • The Land Rover has a Front shoulder room size of 60.8”, while the 4Runner measures 57.8”.
  • The Land River has a second leg room size of 38.4”, while the 4Runner has 32.9”.
  • The Land Rover has a leg room size of 39.1”, and the 4Runner size is 41.7”.
  • Both cars have a passenger capacity of 5 each
  • The Land Rover has a second headroom of 40.4”, while the 4Runner measures  38.6”.
  • The Land Rover has a second shoulder room measuring 59.2”, while that of the 4Runner measures 57.8”.
  • The Land Rover’s front headroom is 40.6, and that of the 4Runner measures 38.6”.
  • The 4Runner has a front hip room measuring 55.5”, but the Land Rover does not .
  • The 4Runner has a second hip room measuring 55.7”, but the Land Rover does not have. it.

Exterior Dimension Comparison

Besides looking at the engine, you also want to consider the exterior dimension of the SUVs. These may affect what the car is capable of. These features include:

  • Minimum ground clearance measuring 8.5” for the Land River and 9.6” for the Toyota.
  • The Land Rover is longer as it measures 197.5” compared to the 190.2” of 4Runner.
  • The Land Rover is higher as it measures 77.4” compared to the 4Runner’s 71.5”.
  • The Land Rover is wider, measuring 66.9”, compared to 4Runners’ 63.2”.
  • The wheelbase of the Land Rover measures 119”, while that of the 4Runner measures 109.8”.
  • The maximum width for mirrors is 79.1” and 75.8” for the Land Rover and 4Runner, respectively.
  • The track width and font for the Land Rover is 67.1”, and 4Runner’s measures 63.2”

Comparison of the Brake System

  • Both use the 4-wheel brake ABS system.
  • Both have a disc front.
  • Both have a 4-wheel disk brake type.

Which is Better?

While it all depends on the qualities and features one goes for, both vehicles are decent off roaders. However, despite the higher prices, the Land Rover Defender seems to have a higher rating than the 4Runner. Most reviews gave an average rating of 4.94, while the Toyota 4Runner received a rating of 4.46. However, this is still subjective since different people focus on varied ratings.

The Wrangler and the Land Rover Defender tend to compete almost equally, considering they are close in many ways. However, the mid-sized Toyota 4Runner does exceptionally well, too, considering the circumstances.

It sounds like an excellent option for people who want to experience the goodness of off-road adventures but not break the bank while getting an appropriate car for them.

With its pretty decent features, most important being the passenger and cargo space, the 4Runner does well in this front. While it may need the boost of the engine’s power to get through some challenging climbs, which the wrangler and Rover won’t, the 4Runner remains a pretty good competitor in this category.

If you mind spending a few thousands more on a vehicle delivering slightly better results, you should consider sticking to the 4Runner. It moves around n with a lot of ease and still gets you the comfort you need on a road trip. 

In the end, it is one’s budget and general preference that determines the vehicle they pick for their off roading adventures. Both the 4Runner and Land Rover Defender compete favorably. If you choose to go with either, you will not lack much since they both perform incredibly well. Choose what works for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Always consider the place and things you will be doing when choosing a car
  • Compare features that matter and match your needs when selecting a car
  • Price is a significant factor when choosing SUVs for off road experiences
  • The Land Rover Defender is a great off roading option
  • The Toyota 4Runner has an excellent resale value 

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