Dependable though it may be, the Japanese utility vehicle has a lot of drawbacks over the retro-styled Bronco. Not only did Toyota roll out the fifth-gen 4Runner a whopping 12 years ago, but it’s costlier than the Ford at $36,765 and far more archaic in terms of engine and tranny choices.
Rated at 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet (377 Nm) of torque, the 4.0-liter V6 is paired to a five-speed automatic whereas the Bronco has two EcoBoost mills, a seven-speed manual with a crawler gear, and a 10-speed automatic. It’s also worth highlighting that even the base 2.3-liter turbo is more potent at 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet (441 Nm) on premium fuel while 87 octane drops those figures to 275 hp and 315 lb-ft (427 Nm).
But wait, there’s more! At the 3:36 timestamp, Toyota says the Bronco offers 8.3 to 8.4 inches of ground clearance for the four- and two-door body styles without even mentioning the optional Sasquatch Package’s maximum ground clearance of 11.6 inches. Keeping this kind of information away from potential customers is shady, to say the least, especially in a comparo video.
Trying to act like a third option after the Bronco and Jeep Wrangler isn’t going to win Toyota any customers, more so because Toyota dealers partake in ridiculous markups. As much as I love the 4Runner as the thinking man’s SUV and as much as I critique Ford for all of its Bronco fails, we can all agree that the hottest utility vehicle for the 2021 model year is the Bronco.