Jeep Wrangler Sahara and Toyota 4Runner Face-Off in the Canadian Winter

Both the Jeep Wrangler and the Toyota 4Runner are two of the most respectable off-roaders out there, with one tiny but very important mention: generally speaking, one of them usually requires a little bit of aftermarket work to reach that status.
Toyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler Sahara 7 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Toyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler SaharaToyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler SaharaToyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler SaharaToyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler SaharaToyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler SaharaToyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler Sahara
We're obviously talking about the Toyota, but it's worth pointing out that not all Wranglers are created equal either. They may look very similar, but they hide very different mechanicals under the skin. The legendary abilities of the Wrangler are mostly the Rubicon's fault, a model built to tackle the most difficult trails right off the shelf. Try that in a Sport, and you'll likely get stuck at some point.

The same goes for the Sahara trim, which is aimed toward luxury and not necessarily off-roading prowess. However, at least this makes the comparison between the two much more evenly matched, and therefore more interesting.

In fact, it's the 4Runner that kind of cheats a little by once again dipping into the aftermarket and emerging with a set of winter tires (the quite good Bridgestone Blizzak model), as opposed to the admittedly M+S-rated all-seasons (Goodyear Wrangler) on the Jeep. Considering where the two are about to go - a pristine snow-covered trail - it gives the Toyota a clear advantage.

Well, this kind of turns the whole off-road section into a tire review rather than a confrontation between two SUVs, but it's worth noting that both vehicles managed to navigate the test course. The video does start with the Wrangler stranded in deep snow, but the driver clearly states he was trying to find the vehicle's limits in that sense. Mission achieved, we guess.

The two SUVs differ in a lot more ways than their tires, though. They have very different engines (V6 turbodiesel for the Jeep, gasoline V6 for the Toyota), very different transmissions (five-speed automatic in the Japanese model, eight-speed automatic in the American one), and, most importantly, very different prices. Base price, it's only $3,000 between the two, but as tested, the two were separated by 24,000 Canadian Dollars ($18,740). That's more than enough to make choosing between the two a very simple choice for many.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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