Toyota Believes There's Room For Both The Land Cruiser And The 4Runner

Photo: Toyota
Photo: Toyota

Toyota is continuing to break into the off-road SUV market with two massive drops: the all-new 4Runner and the all-new Land Cruiser. Both SUVs boast rugged off-road chops, they sit on the same TNGA-F truck platform, and they even share several similar components. Are there really distinct enough audiences to appeal to both of these highly similar machines? I had to find out.

During Toyota’s big drive event for the Land Cruiser, Tacoma hybrid, new Camry and Crown Signia, I spoke to Kalifa Sprowl, senior marketing planner for the Land Cruiser, about the ultimate goals for the Land Cruiser, especially as it sits within Toyota’s greater body-on-frame landscape.

“All of our vehicles have a certain personality that appeals to a certain type of buyer,” Sprowl said. “The 4Runner and Land Cruiser are interesting in that they play in such a growing segment, so we’re speaking to several different customers with our vehicles. The differentiating factor between the two is that if you want something more rugged and more off-road-y, something that has capability baked in and still a great overall style, you’re probably looking at the 4Runner versus the Land Cruiser. If you still want that capability and off-road confidence with a little more refined elegance, you’re looking more toward a Land Cruiser.”


To better illustrate what Sprowl means, let’s take a look at the two TNGA-F SUVs side by side, starting with their similarities. Both feature Toyota’s turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a hybrid system; as a result, both will make 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. Both have 112.2-inch wheelbases and an eight-speed automatic transmission, and both vehicles offer four-wheel drive, though only the 4Runner has a two-wheel-drive option. Both have the same 6,000-lb towing capacity.

Photo: Toyota
Photo: Toyota

The 4Runner is 1.1 inches longer than the Land Cruiser, which allows for an optional third row that the LC does not get, but the Land Cruiser has 5.3 additional inches of height compared to the 4Runner. The 4Runner has 9.2 inches of ground clearance, while the Land Cruiser gets a mere 8.0 inches.

Underneath, both have double-wishbone front suspension and multilink coil rear suspension, plus electronic sway bar disconnects. But the Land Cruiser only has one form of suspension architecture between all of its trims, while the 4Runner has road-going models sprinkled in and amongst its beefy, off-road-specific suspension platforms.

On the Trailhunter trim of the 4Runner, you can expect 32-degree approach and 24-degree departure angles, while the Land Cruiser has a 31-degree approach and 14-degree departure angles.

Basically, styling aside, the biggest difference between the 4Runner and the Land Cruiser is that the Land Cruiser is a little more luxurious and not quite as gung-ho capable as the 4Runner. The Land Cruiser is designed for a more comfortable off-roading experience, while the 4Runner Trailhunter is going to give you a really dedicated, rugged experience. Considering how popular off-road SUVs are right now, there’s easily a market for both machines.

For the latest news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.