2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Toyota 4Runner

 

Introduction

Though Jeep has long been ruling the roost in the SUV world, it's worth looking at how other manufacturers are trying to catch up, as with the 2017 Toyota 4Runner. Here we've put together a comparison to see why the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is our pick of the SUVs available this year.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the perfect family vehicle, but labeling it as just that would be selling it short. Few other family vehicles are as comfortable jumping off-road, ferrying VIP clients, towing a trailer or performing workhorse duties.

The Toyota 4Runner, on the other hand, is somewhat of a relic, not quite retro-cool but certainly not modern in style. It's being kept in the stable by Toyota for stubborn buyers who don't want to upgrade to something more elegant and functional, but holding onto old technology has its downsides, as evidenced by the 4Runner's choppy ride, imprecise steering, and poor fuel economy.

You'll find the excellent 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale at State Line Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Kansas City, near the communities of Overland Park, KS; Merriam, KS; Shawnee, KS; Lenexa, KS; and Excelsior Springs, MO.

Price

For starters, consider that the more stylish and better equipped Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in much less expensive than the Toyota 4Runner. It's almost unbelievable to see how the cool Grand Cherokee can undercut the 4Runner by so much; we can only assume that Toyota has overpriced the 4Runner for a larger profit margin, hoping that people won't notice the better-equipped models from competitors that are at a much lower price.

 

The cheapest 2017 Toyota 4Runner has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $34,210, and the lowest trim 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is $30,175. At over $4,000 cheaper, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is the clear winner in the value for money stakes.

Styling

Even on the base models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee you get 18-inch aluminum wheels, whereas the 4Runner only gives you 17-inch wheels.

For looks in the city, there's no contest between the Grand Cherokee and the 4Runner. We think even Toyota would agree. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is an extremely handsome 'ute, with its understated grille and distinctive SUV shape. There's nice detailing around the LED taillights. The interior is the best you'll find in the sector, with great layout and design on even the base model. Move up to the higher trims and the cabin is resplendent, easily competing with luxury badge models.

The Toyota 4Runner, on the other hand, is rife with over-styling (the slashed intakes, the retro grille, and the excessive chrome-coated plastic). It's gaudy and a little silly.

Performance

The engines in the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2017 Toyota 4Runner trade blows. Both run on regular unleaded, and both vehicles come with two-wheel drive as standard and an automatic transmission, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee's transmission has eight gears. While the 4Runner has a 4.0-liter engine and the Grand Cherokee has a 3.6-liter engine, the Jeep engine is significantly more advanced and is able to offer more horsepower. You'll get 293 horsepower at 6300 rpm, whereas the 4Runner can only manage 270 horsepower at 5600 rpm.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee doesn't stop there - it has two more engines on offer. There's the awesome 5.7-liter V8 that'll get you 360 horsepower, and there's the excellent turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 that'll get you a useful 420 lb-ft of torque and 30 miles to the gallon. It also offers the best towing you'll get in the class - up to 7,400 pounds. The 4Runner looks like a toy SUV in comparison to these formidable numbers.

The turning circle on the Jeep Grand Cherokee is smaller, making it easier to maneuver in tight spaces. The rear brake rotor diameter is larger, arguably making for some better ABS stopping power.

Use of Space

There are significant differences in how the 2017 Grand Cherokee and the 2017 4Runner make use of their space. On the whole, the vehicles are largely the same size from the outside, with less than one or two inches separating them. But inside, the Jeep Grand Cherokee apportions a lot more of the space to the passengers than the 4Runner does. While the 4Runner has more cargo space, the Grand Cherokee offers a much more comfortable ride for passengers.

You get an extra inch of shoulder room in the front in the Grand Cherokee, and almost an inch more headroom.  The second row, too, enjoys much more space, with more head room, shoulder room, legroom, and hip room.

 

You should consider choosing the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee if you are often going to be transporting people in the rear seats, as there are a lot more comfortable and spacious than in the 2017 Toyota 4Runner.

Comfort

While the 4Runner is relatively bare-bones inside, it's worth noting that The Car Connection gave the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee a full 10/10 for Comfort and Quality. Consider that the Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango both ride on the same, long wheelbase, but the Durango is meant to seat seven where the Grand Cherokee seats five, and you'll begin to see how much room there is to stretch out in this luxury vehicle.

There's room to stretch out in every direction, and the seats are well bolstered. Even those over six-feet tall will have no problem in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It's easy enough to flip the seats to get yourself a lot more cargo space in case you need to transport something massive, and that's made even easier with the available power liftback. There's also a wealth of small bins throughout the cabin, including removable bins near the spare tire.

The touchscreens and electronic gauges in the interior are of the highest quality and they fit in perfectly with the rest of the styling. Much work has gone into perfecting the higher level trims, with the Summit edition a sumptuous interior you want to leave.

The 4Runner just can't compete - despite a 2014 redesign the interior is decidedly 1990s, which was possibly a design choice to appear as a throwback vehicle but it just feels cheap and outdated. There are a lot of hard dials to contest with, and the thick roof pillars and tall window sills make for a claustrophobic feel, especially when compared to the refined Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Gas Mileage

All across the board, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is more economical with gas than the Toyota 4Runner. On the highway you'll get 26 miles to the gallon instead of the 4Runner's 21 miles. In the city you'll get 19 miles to the gallon compared to the 4Runner's 17 miles. Overall, you'll be getting 3 more miles to the gallon combined in the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Be aware also that the 2017 Toyota 4Runner is significantly less friendly to the environment than the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Over the course of 15,000 miles, driving the Toyota 4Runner will output 1.5 tons more C02 into the atmosphere than the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Safety

The safety of your passengers is of course of paramount importance, and consumers first check the safety ratings that vehicles have received before they make a choice about their next vehicle. While traditional off-road Jeeps are not known for their advanced safety tech, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a whole new ballgame. In fact, as we shall see, it completely dominates the 2017 Toyota 4Runner in safety, making it a much safer purchase for a concerned consumer.

Crash test ratings for the Jeep Grand Cherokee are outstanding. Aside from rollover tests where it tied with the 2017 Toyota 4Runner, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has received full five star results all across the board for every test performed, from side crash ratings to frontal crash barrier tests. It's an incredibly safe place to be when on the road.

The Toyota 4Runner, on the other hand, falls down in a great number of areas. Earning a four-star rating overall, it fell short of the Jeep Grand Cherokee on overall frontal barrier crash tests, frontal barrier crash tests for the driver seat, frontal barrier tests for the passenger (where it received just 3/5 stars), and side pole crash rating for the driver seat. These are all areas where the Jeep Grand Cherokee got full marks but the Toyota 4Runner fell well short.

Summary

Across the board the Jeep Grand Cherokee beats the Toyota 4Runner. It's better priced, it has more powerful and more economical engines, it offers better towing prowess, it has better safety results, there's more room for passengers, and it's more stylish. It dominates the 4Runner in every category, so it makes for a much wiser choice.

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available for sale at Stateline Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, serving Kansas City, MO, Lee's Summit, Odessa, and Independence. Consider a test drive today.

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