Thinking of going from Tacoma to 4Runner


I dont need a pickup. Work gives me a new full size truck every 150k and also have a trailer for it. I am looking for a bit more comfort on and off trail and as all of us Tacoma owners know the seats pretty much suck. I am thinking of taking one for a test ride and then doing the same route in my Tacoma I know the stock runner will be more comfy since it’s stock doesn’t have MT on it and no lift but since I do not have a friend with one can’t really do an honest compare. For those with a 4Runner how are they on trails
Just test drive a 4Runner and a 3rd gen Taco back to back at a dealership if you're looking for a stock-to-stock comparison. The 3rd gen is mechanically similar enough to a 2nd gen that as far as ride and driving position go it'll be a reasonable approximation of how yours would've been stock.


I test drove a 19 Tacoma TRDOR DCSB and a 19 4Runner TRDORP back to back last week. The 4Runner was much more comfortable, rode better, and was a lot more solid feeling on-road. The 2020 Tacoma may be better with its adjustable seat, but I couldn’t sit in the driver’s seat of the Tacoma with my cap on (5’8”, truck had sunroof). Both are good rigs, but I am definitely more interested in the 4Runner than the Tacoma after driving them both in the same dealership visit.
If you need a truck to do truck stuff get a full size, I have a 4runner and a diesel f250 and both have their uses. I love the 4runner for jamming around and exploring. I plan to build a flatbed camper for the big truck for longer trips but it will be less maneuverable. Different tools for different jobs.

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The 4runner is ultimately a better-built vehicle...that's not to say the 3rd Gen Tacoma is crap.

4runner rides nicer, carries a heavier payload (in theory), offers a more comfortable seating position and better NVH/insulation comfort and has somewhat better build quality (subjective on my part).

The Tacoma is a great offroad vehicle, but its payload is lacking, the 3.5l v6 lacks low-end torque and just seems to be a bit more eventful when you're driving it hard.


New member
I own a 2nd gen Tacoma dclb and my wife just bought a ‘19 4Runner TRD premium. I agree with the people commenting that the 4Runner is much nicer and we always grab the keys for it when taking a drive. I can’t wait for the day she gets bored with it and let’s me have it permanently.

However, when it comes to camping, the Tacoma is still our favorite. I have a canopy on the back and we leave the sleeping platform and all camping gear in it unless we have to move something big. Makes grabbing the keys and heading out for the weekend much easier.

Also, our dog is pretty large and he enjoys being able to stretch out in the backseat and leave us by ourselves in the bed. We’ve found having our driving space separate from our sleeping space to be much nicer. Also, it is better if we’re bringing guests. All of this is a non issue if you tent camp though.


Overloaded springs are gonna be harsh regardless. At least with leaf springs it's easy to put a fail safe overload spring in. With coils you have to wind them progressive so you end up with either compromised travel or harsh ride to carry the payloads. It's ultimately the same problem either way with a pickup that might see a widely varying cargo. Coils have been tried, those old C10 Chevys in the 1960s and Rams recently. Ultimately you have to match your springs to what you're carrying.
+1....ride comfort / load carrying capacity is spring rate based, coil or leaf.


The 4runner is ultimately a better-built vehicle...that's not to say the 3rd Gen Tacoma is crap.

4runner rides nicer, carries a heavier payload (in theory), offers a more comfortable seating position and better NVH/insulation comfort and has somewhat better build quality (subjective on my part).

The Tacoma is a great offroad vehicle, but its payload is lacking, the 3.5l v6 lacks low-end torque and just seems to be a bit more eventful when you're driving it hard.

Agree. Hard to compare the 4Runner to Tacoma build quality. It's definitely superior.


For what it's worth, I've done this:

1st gen Taco ->
1st gen Tundra ->
1st gen Taco ->
LX450 ->
GX470 ->
GX470 #2

No regrets in moving to an SUV, and Lexus build quality is lovely.


I've had both 4runners and Tacomas of different generations. Definitely 4runner for everyday use, and a real truck is my favorite choice. The Tacoma is hardly a real pickup for hauling, and when I need a needs to be a real truck, full size bed/full size truck. Classic C10 is my first choice ;)


Captain Obvious
I've always been partial to the 4runner, but the Tacoma was my dream. Bought a second gen 4 years ago, and due to a second kid on the way I sold it in Feburary, traded the wifes car and picked up a 2018 4runner SR5. My work truck is a third gen DCLB Tacoma.

- 4runner still has the 4 liter
- Coils make for a better ride, much more comfortable all round
- Extra weight just makes it feel more solid
- Turning radius is so much better
- More comfortable and aesthetically pleasing overall

- Fuel economy leaves a lot to be desired
- Along with that, an extra 50-70hp would be ideal
- The 4th gen is getting long in the teeth

Tacomas don't have enough cab room to be a viable option for me. I'm 6'3", so no one can sit behind me, and a car seat is out of the question.
Also, with the plastic beds there really isn't a lot of weight in the back. When it snows up here, truck pretty much has to be in 4wd while the 4runner rarely sees 4wd engagement during normal conditions


Well-known member
Not a huge difference, 4runner vs Tacoma. Being shorter and lighter the 4runner will definitely be a better off roader. As stated by everyone yer gear will ride better inside than in the box. The only downside will be less space but that can be an upside too. Less space means getting rid of some stuff you really never use or need making the unit lighter too.

I had a YJ then an LJ now a TJ. I got rid of the LJ because it was just bigger. The YJ and TJ have all the space I need for everything I do and I have 5x10 deck trailer when I need a "pickup" which hauls way more than any pickup. I had pickups for 30 years. The SUV and trailer is a way better combination.


I acted out of safety and family first. 07 Taco access, to 18 Runner. I h8 the automatic, the engines seem completely different, feel like the 07 was just more torquey. I miss the throwing muddy clothes, chainsaws and firewood in the bed. Off-road I think the Taco has a much lower CG! and all that extra gear and weight is lower too. It just seems that every runner I see is top heavy and in a precarious position, i dont know if it's wheelbase, or what, just off road, i felt much more confident in the taco. So, for me, it's a hands down keep the taco, but I was cramping my kids in it and they were smashing their heads into the windows back there. Why am I not going back? Shorter wheelbase, passenger comfort and 7 passenger ability. If i was to do it again, I would have come home with a 6 spd dbl cab 5' bed and put an extra seat in the bed to tell the wife it's a 7 passenger. So many options with a bed. Canopies, rack systems, slide ins, 5th wheels...
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I have both....

2010 DCLB Sport
2006 V6 Sport

Both have pros and cons. 4runner has amazing turning radius. Tacoma has more room (fiberglass topper) for camping gear and our dogs.

If I could only have one.....probably tacoma. More versitile.


Like to Camp
My wife has a 2018 4Runner Limited, and I recently bought a 2019 Tacoma TRD Off-Road Access Cab.

The 4R has a softer ride, softer brakes, and the transmission is more immediately responsive. The interior feels spacious. We took two friends on a week long trip with us and we had plenty of room for four adults. The 4R would really make a nice "overlander," to include drawers in back and a fridge as there is a lot of room behind the rear seats, and then a roof top tent or tow an off-road trailer. The Limited we have also is always in four-wheel full-time (unless put in part-time), which I have to say is just nice for wet roads where you wouldn’t use part-time. The ride is also a little quieter (no rear tire noise like with the Tacoma). The rear window that slides down is also nice to just reach in the back. I do find the seats although larger, less comfortable, and could use some more padding.

The Tacoma has better MPG (2 to 3), and well just having a truck bed is nice. It doesn’t matter what it is, can be dirty, you can trow it in the composite bed and who cares… later just wash it out. The bed has tie downs and options for racks. Payload is however low (1150#s on mine which double cabs have less). Of course, everything you put in the bed is subject to weather conditions. I can see why a lot of guys put roof top tents on Tacomas, as they don’t have to be up as higher. Plus, I’m considering a Four Wheel Camper “Project M” for it which is an option along with other camper tops. Also, the seating is lower to the floor then the 4R, which doesn’t bother me, but some people mention it. The ceiling and the door opening height is also less, which I'm 5' 11" and I feel like I have to duck my head a bit when getting in. I think if someone was well over 6', they would be too tall to sit and see out the windshield. I also really like my two-door access cab as I just don't need rear seats that just take up room (not to mention that I can't imagine adults traveling for long in the back seat of a double-cab Tacoma).

I honestly like both! They do feel like they’re both the "previous model" compared to competition, but both are solid and well built. The 4R's plus is the large rear seat, and well just a large interior, if that's part of your needs.
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