Toyota 4Runner Vs. Jeep Grand Cherokee: Of-Road-Ready SUV Shootout

By Justin Cupler | December 19th, 2018

With crossovers taking over showrooms, it’s a breath of fresh air to see two legit SUVs battle it out. That’s exactly what you have when the 2019 Toyota 4Runner and 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee fight for SUV supremacy. Which of these family-ready, go-anywhere SUVs is best for our Fox Lake area buyers? Keep reading to find out.

Exterior

Though they compete in the same class, the 2019 Toyota 4Runner and 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee take on two distinct styling angles. The 4Runner shoots for the aggressive, truck-based look it inherits from its donor vehicle, the Toyota Tacoma. This gives it hard angles, a high ride height, and an overall rugged look. The Grand Cherokee, on the other hand, focuses more on style and class with its subtle lines and predictable angles, even in its aggressive SRT and Trackhawk models.

These midsize SUVs are similar in size. The 2019 4Runner checks in at 190.2 to 191.3 inches long, 75.8 inches wide, and 70.1 inches to 70.6 inches tall. It rides atop a 109.8-inch wheelbase and features 9 to 9.6 inches of ground clearance for handling off-the-beaten path driving.

The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee measures 189.8 inches long, 76.5 inches wide, and 67.9 inches to 70 inches tall. It sits on a 114.7-inch wheelbase and has 8.6 to 10.8 inches of ground clearance.

Advantage: 2019 Toyota 4Runner

  • More base ground clearance
  • Old-school, truck-style looks

Advantage: 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • More refined appearance
  • Higher overall ground clearance

Interior

Inside, these SUVs draw clear lines in the sand. The 2019 Toyota 4Runner features a simple cabin with truck-like features like chunky knobs, a thick steering wheel, horizontally oriented dash, and a few truly high-end features. The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee has its simpler and more rugged sides, but its luxury ceiling is much higher. Examples of this ceiling include available quilted seating, Napa leather, an 825-watt audio system.

In its front seats, the Toyota 4Runner offers 39.3 inches of headroom, 41.7 inches of legroom, 57.8 inches of shoulder room, and 56.5 inches of hip room. The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s front seats come up 1.4 inches short on legroom, but they offer an extra 0.6 inches of headroom, 0.9 inches of shoulder room, and 0.5 inches of hip room.

In its second row, the 4Runner tightens up with 38.6 inches of headroom, 32.9 inches of legroom, 57.8 inches of shoulder room, and 55.7 inches of hip room. The Grand Cherokee has an extra 0.6 inches of headroom, 5.7 inches of legroom, 0.2 inches of shoulder room, and 0.5 inches of hip room.

In its optional third row, the 4Runner has 34.3 inches of headroom, 29.3 inches of legroom, 57.7 inches of shoulder room, and 43.3 inches of hip room. While this rear seat is tight, the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee doesn’t even offer a third row.

Cargo room is a huge deal in this class, and the 2019 Toyota 4Runner has plenty. Without the optional third row, it boasts 47.2 cubic feet with the second row upright and a whopping 89.7 cubes with the second row folded. With the third row installed and upright, it has just 9 cubic feet, and 46.3 cubes with the rear seat installed and folded.

The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee loses in cargo area relative to the 4Runner with just 36.3 cubic feet when the rear seats are upright and 68.3 cubes with the rear seats folded.

Advantage: 2019 Toyota 4Runner

  • More front legroom
  • Huge cargo advantage
  • Old-school-feeling interior
  • Optional third row

Advantage: 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • More options to dress it up
  • Tons more second-row legroom

Performance

The Toyota 4Runner comes in just one flavor, but it is more than competent. It boasts a 4.0-liter V-6 engine with 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can choose from standard rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee, on the other hand, rivals Baskin-Robbins for number of flavors. The base engine is a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces up to 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs to an eight-speed automatic transmission that ships power to the rear wheels or all four.

Buyers looking for added thrift or massive torque can pick the optional 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 engine with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Like the base engine, this diesel can ship its power to the rear wheels or all four wheels and pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The third engine in the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup is the 5.7-liter V-8 engine that produces 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. This engine also pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission, but four-wheel drive is mandatory.

Want something even wilder? Opt for the SRT model and its 6.4-liter V-8 with 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. This engine also uses the standard eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. This powertrain combines for a 4.3-second sprint to 60 mph.  

Feeling really daring and want one of the fastest SUVs ever built? Go with the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and get a supercharged 6.2-liter that churns out 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque. This engine also uses an eight-speed automatic transmission, but it’s specially tuned for this engine. Four-wheel drive is standard in the Trackhawk model. The 2019 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk delivers a supercar-like 3.5-second 0-to-60 sprint time.

Towing is yet another determining factor when buying an SUV, and the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee do OK for themselves. The 4Runner can tug up to a 5,000-pound trailer, while the Grand Cherokee can pull a trailer that weighs 6,200 to 7,400 pounds. That peak weight is with the diesel engine and rear-wheel drive.

Fuel economy will never be great in SUVs like the 2019 4Runner and 2019 Grand Cherokee, but they have gotten better throughout the years. The 2019 Toyota 4Runner turns in EPA-estimated fuel economy of up to 17 mpg city, 21 highway, and 18 combined.

The Jeep Cherokee has several ratings because of all its engines. The base 3.6-liter engine turns in ratings of up to 19 mpg city, 26 highway, and 21 combined. The 5.7-liter V-8 hits up to 14 mpg city, 22 highway, and 17 combined. The 6.4-liter engine drops a bit at 13 mpg city, 19 highway, and 15 combined. And the supercar-quick Trackhawk also has a supercar-like appetite at 11 mpg city, 17 highway, and 13 combined.

The 3.0-liter diesel engine is the odd powerplant out as the EPA has yet to release its official numbers for 2019. For reference, the 2018 Grand Cherokee with this engine was quite thrifty at up to 22 mpg city, 30 highway, and 25 combined, and we see no reason for it to stray too far from that.

Advantage: 2019 Toyota 4Runner

  • More standard torque helps off the beaten path

Advantage: 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • Huge power advantage with V-8 engines
  • Legendary Jeep off-road prowess
  • Optional diesel will deliver significant fuel-economy advantage

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Toyota 4Runner is available in seven trim levels — SR5, SR5 Premium, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, TRD Pro, Limited, and Nightshade Special Edition — and prices range from $34,910 to $47,000.

There are also seven available trim levels for the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee — Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, SRT, and Trackhawk — and prices range from $30,895 to $86,200.

2019 Toyota 4Runner Key Features and Pricing by Trim

SR5: $34,910

  • 4.0-liter V-6 engine
  • Five-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Integrated tow hitch receiver
  • Projector-beam headlights with smoked trim
  • Daytime running lights
  • LED taillights with smoked sport trim
  • Integrated front fog lights
  • Engine/front suspension, fuel tank and transfer case skid plates
  • 17-inch six-spoke alloy wheels
  • Color-keyed front and rear bumpers, door handles, heated and power outside mirrors, overfenders, side rocker panels
  • Silver-painted roof rails with silver end caps
  • Aerodynamic variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist cycle
  • Windshield wiper de-icer
  • Privacy glass on rear side, quarter and rear liftgate windows
  • Front and rear mudguards
  • Color-keyed rear spoiler
  • Air conditioning with air filter and second-row vents
  • Rearview camera with guidelines
  • Fabric-trimmed front seats
  • Eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support
  • Fabric-trimmed 40/20/40 split-reclining second-row seat
  • Cruise control
  • Remote keyless entry system
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down and jam protection in all positions
  • Power rear liftgate window with auto up/down and jam protection
  • Power door locks
  • Multi-Information Display with outside temperature, clock, average fuel economy, and distance to empty
  • Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Overhead console with sunglasses storage
  • Dual sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors and extenders
  • Glare-resistant mechanical inside rearview mirror
  • Two front, two rear, and one cargo area 12-volt power outlets
  • One cargo area 120-volt power outlet
  • Entune Audio Plus with Scout GPS Link
  • 6.1-inch high-resolution touch-screen display
  • Eight-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system
  • USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity
  • Advanced voice recognition
  • Bluetooth® connectivity with streaming audio
  • Siri® Eyes Free
  • SiriusXM® Satellite Radio
  • HD Radio
  • HD Radio traffic and weather
  • Hill-start assist
  • Downhill-assist control (4×4 only)

SR5 Premium: $36,740

  • All SR5 features, plus
  • Mirror-integrated turn signal indicators and puddle lights
  • Leatherette-trimmed seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Four-way power adjustable front passenger seat
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Homelink® universal transceiver
  • Entune Premium Audio with integrated navigation and App Suite

TRD Off-Road: $38,085

  • All SR5 Premium features, plus
  • Four-wheel drive
  • 17-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels with black-painted accents
  • Power-assisted 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with Multi-Terrain ABS
  • Locking rear differential
  • Multi-terrain Select
  • Crawl Control
  • Heated and power outside mirrors,
  • Hood scoop, and rear spoiler
  • Silver-painted roof rails with black end caps
  • “TRD Off-Road” badges
  • Overhead console with Multi-terrain Select and Crawl Control switches
  • Fabric-trimmed 40/20/40 split reclining and fold-flat second-row seat
  • TRD Off-Road Floor Mats
  • TRD Shift Knob
  • Entune Audio Plus with Scout GPS Link
  • 6.1-inch high-resolution touch-screen display
  • Eight-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system
  • USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity
  • Advanced voice recognition
  • Bluetooth® connectivity with streaming audio
  • Siri® Eyes Free
  • SiriusXM® Satellite Radio
  • HD Radio
  • HD Radio traffic and weather

TRD Off-Road Premium: $39,995

  • All TRD Off-Road features, plus
  • Color-keyed front and rear bumpers with silver accents
  • Mirror-integrated turn signals and puddle lights
  • Power tilt/slide moonroof with sunshade
  • Leatherette-trimmed seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Four-way power front passenger seat
  • “TRD” red lettering on driver and front passenger headrests
  • Homelink® universal transceiver
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Entune Premium Audio with integrated navigation and App Suite

TRD Pro: $46,415

  • All TRD Off-Road Premium features, plus
  • Auto-on/off headlights
  • TRD-stamped aluminum front skid plate
  • 17-inch matte-black TRD alloy wheels
  • Nitto Terra Grappler all-terrain tires
  • Color-keyed front and rear bumpers with black accents
  • Unique “TOYOTA” front grille
  • Black “TRD PRO” external hard badges
  • TRD Pro floor mats

Limited: $43,225

  • All above features, plus
  • 20-inch split six-spoke alloy wheels
  • X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension
  • Color-keyed front and rear bumpers and side rocker panels with chrome inserts
  • Chrome door handles with touch-sensor lock/unlock feature
  • Chrome-accented front grille insert
  • Rear license plate garnish
  • Silver-painted roof rails with silver end caps
  • Power tilt/slide moonroof with sunshade
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control with air filter and second-row vents
  • Perforated leather seating
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory
  • Four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
  • Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite
  • 15 JBL® GreenEdge speakers

Nightshade Special Edition: $47,000

  • All Limited features, plus
  • Black-painted front and rear bumper spoilers, outer mirrors and door handles, window moldings, rocker panels, door garnish, roof rails, and badging
  • Black-chrome front moldings on grille and exhaust tip
  • Black 20-inch wheels
  • Black-accented steering wheel, center cluster and console panels, shift knob and shifter panel, and inner door grips

2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Laredo: $31,695

  • 3.6-liter V-6 engine
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Eco suspension I
  • Body-color grille
  • Body-color rear spoiler
  • Automatic quad-halogen headlights
  • Daytime running lights
  • Premium fog lights
  • Power heated mirrors
  • 17-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels
  • Variable intermittent wipers
  • 7-inch multiview cluster display
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Cloth seating
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Two 12-volt power outlets
  • Two USB ports
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Uconnect 4 infotainment system with 7-inch display
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Hill-start assist
  • ParkSense rear park assist
  • Rearview camera
  • Remote keyless entry and push-button start
  • Trailer-sway control

Limited: $38,945

  • All Laredo features, plus
  • Bright exhaust tip
  • Body-­color front fascia with bright inserts
  • Power liftgate
  • Chrome mirrors
  • Auto-dimming driver’s mirror
  • Remote start
  • Bright roof rails
  • 18-inch Tech Gray premium wheels
  • Cargo area cover
  • Memory system
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Leather seating
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated second-row seating
  • Eight-way power front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 115-volt power outlet
  • SiriusXM with one-year trial subscription
  • Uconnect 4C NAV with 8.4-inch display
  • Navigation
  • Two remote charging USB ports
  • Security alarm
  • Universal garage door opener

Trailhawk: $44,045

  • All Limited features, plus
  • Heavy-duty engine cooling
  • 18-inch off-road wheels
  • Selec-Speed Control
  • Increase-travel suspension
  • Quadra-Lift air suspension
  • Load-leveling rear suspension
  • 7-and 4-Pin Wiring Harness
  • Class IV Receiver-Hitch
  • Delete rear tow hook
  • Neutral Grey grille
  • Neutral Grey roof rack
  • Trailhawk leather-and-suede seats
  • Heated second-row seats
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Nine-speaker Alpine audio system with 506 watts
  • Uconnect 4C NAV with 8.4-inch display

Overland: $45,745

  • All Limited Features, plus
  • Headlight washers
  • Bi-xenon HID headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED fog lights
  • Dual-pane panoramic sunroof
  • 20-inch aluminum wheels
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Perforated Nappa leather seating
  • Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Wood-and-leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Nine-speaker Alpine audio system with 506-watt amplifier

Summit: $52,040

  • All Overland features, plus
  • Bright grille insert
  • Premium LED fog lights
  • Deluxe cargo compartment
  • Perforated Natura leather seating and smooth Natura Plus bolsters
  • Harman Kardon 19-­speaker, 825-­watt sound system
  • Adaptive cruise control with full-stop
  • Forward collision warning with automatic braking
  • Parallel and perpendicular parking
  • Rear cross-path alert

SRT: $68,145

  • All Summit features, plus
  • 6.4-liter V-8 engine
  • Four-wheel drive
  • Selec-Trac traction management
  • Active damping
  • Quadra-Trac Active On Demand
  • Body-color front fascia with bright inserts
  • Black grille
  • Body-color mirrors
  • 20-inch Satin Carbon split-spoke wheels
  • Leather-and-perforated-suede SRT seats
  • Leather-wrapped performance steering wheel
  • Performance pages
  • Nine-speaker Alpine audio system with 506 watts

Trackhawk: $86,650

  • All SRT features, plus
  • 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine
  • Bright quad-tip exhaust system
  • Body-color front fascia with gloss-black inserts
  • 20-inch forged polished-face aluminum wheels
  • Suede-and-Napa performance seats

Who Should Buy the 2019 Toyota 4Runner?

The 2019 Toyota 4Runner is for buyers who miss old-school, off-road-ready SUVs from the early 1990s and late 1980s. It boasts all the off-road ruggedness while still offering plenty of room inside and just enough upscale features — just like the old days.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Buyers looking for something more luxurious will appreciate all the 2019 Grand Cherokee offers. Plus, for the wilder buyers, the Grand Cherokee SRT and Trackhawk are just the right amount of crazy.

Ready to head off the beaten path in the rugged and stylish Toyota 4Runner? Swing by Garber Fox Lake Toyota’s new-car showroom serving the Waukegan, McHenry, and Crystal Lake areas for a test drive. Can’t make it in today? No worries; you can check out our online inventory to see if we have a 4Runner in stock that suits your needs then schedule a test drive.