2021 Ford Bronco vs. Toyota 4Runner: The Bronco Has Some Surprising Advantages

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J.D. Power knows there are a lot of consumers out there looking for a midsize SUV. To help those potential buyers make the best choice, the company has put together a helpful rundown of two popular SUVs.
The 2021 Ford Bronco and the 2022 Toyota 4Runner both offer great off-road capabilities. But what makes them each unique, and which vehicle is the best for you?
Wide shot of a red Ford Bronco from the side on a neighborhood street.
The Ford Bronco beats the Toyota 4Runner in power, efficiency, and safety.

How did J.D. Power compare the Ford Bronco and Toyota 4Runner?

J.D. Power looked at the Bronco and 4Runner side by side in several different categories.
The first category is price and value. While each vehicle comes in quite a few trims with varying costs, the 4Runner is the pricier option overall. It starts at $37,305 and climbs up to $52,120, while the Bronco ranges between $28,500 and $46,980.
Other points of comparison include performance, infotainment and technology, comfort, and safety. It was hard to compare reliability because the Bronco was an all-new offering in 2021 and wasn’t included in the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.
Neither vehicle took the prize for comfort: the Bronco was declared more reconfigurable, but the 4Runner was deemed more convenient for hauling gear.
Beyond these categories where they tied, here’s where each vehicle shined.

The 2021 Ford Bronco takes the prize in power and efficiency

When it comes to performance and efficiency, J.D. Power gives the nod to the Bronco, which offers several different powertrain choices. The base Bronco engine is a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque.
But consumers wanting even more power also have the option of a 2.7-liter V6 engine with 330 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque.
The numbers on the 4Runner aren’t as impressive, and it only offers one engine option: a 4.0-liter V6 with 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. As a result, J.D. Power deems the 4Runner’s performance “never more than adequate.”
The Bronco also wins in the category of safety, thanks to the number of safety features that it offers on its Mid package. Some of these same features, such as blind spot warning and lane departure warning, are either not offered or don’t function as well on the 4Runner.
Continuing its winning streak, the Bronco also takes home the prize when it comes to infotainment and technology. Both the Bronco and the 4Runner come with an 8-inch touchscreen display, and both support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
What gives the Bronco the edge, though, is what J.D. Power calls the “so-so” voice recognition in the 4Runner’s navigation system.

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner has the benefit of its reputation

The 4Runner still edges out its competitor in one important area: reputation. The Ford Bronco was reintroduced in 2021 after its production was stopped in 1996. This long hiatus means many drivers are unfamiliar with the classic Ford offering.
The 4Runner, meanwhile, has been going steady since 1984. With that kind of history under its belt, it’s got a reputation as a reliable, go-to SUV that clearly knows how to please consumers.
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