The Ultimate Comparison: Jeep Cherokee XJ vs Toyota 4runner

The Jeep Cherokee XJ is the first SUV to use a custom-made unibody chassis for more car-like efficiency and design attributes. The XJ is short for “eXperimental Jeep.”

This model is groundbreaking in prototype.

On the other hand, we have a Toyota 4runner. It is a midsize sports SUV. The inspiration behind the name came from a copywriter, and it came from the word “forerunner.”

The 4runner is a perfect name for this model when considering it has 4×4 capabilities and seating for four people. 

In this article, you will witness the most remarkable fight this week—the Jeep Cherokee XJ vs. Toyota 4runer. May the best one win!

The Jeep Cherokee XJ Profile

The Jeep Cherokee XJ is the first SUV to use a custom-made unibody chassis for more car-like efficiency and design attributes. The XJ is short for “eXperimental Jeep.” This model is groundbreaking in prototype.

Jeep Cherokee XJ vs Toyota 4runner

The Jeep Cherokee (XJ) is a compact sport utility vehicle produced by Jeep for a single generation from 1983 to 2001 and worldwide until 2014. 

It came in:

  1. two or four-door, 
  2. five-passenger, 
  3. front-engine, 
  4. rear-wheel drive, or 
  5. four-wheel-drive versions.
ENGINECHASSISSPACEEXTRASOFF-ROAD
2.5-L 4-cylinder or a 4.0-L 6-cylinder engineUnibodyFor up to five peopleThe first one to combine all-terrain prowess, practicality, and road manners, lightweight unibody structureUnibody architecture, high-functioning suspension

Toyota 4runner Profile

On the other hand, we have a Toyota 4runner. It is a midsize sports SUV. The inspiration behind the name came from a copywriter, and it came from the word “forerunner.” The 4runner is a perfect name for this model when considering it has 4×4 capabilities and seating for four people. 

The Toyota 4Runner is a tiny, later midsize sport utility vehicle manufactured by Toyota and sold worldwide from 1984 to the present.

ENGINECHASSISSPACEEXTRASOFF-ROAD
4.0L V6 EngineBody-on-frameFor up to seven peopleTRD Sport’s advanced capability,
Locking Rear Differential,
Crawl Control,
Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS),
Multi-Terrain Select
KDSS, A-trac

Both of these cars will show the best and worst in the next five rounds. May the best car win. 3, 2, 1 – GO!

Round 1: Engine

Welcome to the first round. The two models will fight off to show which has the best roaring heart: the engine! To make this a fair fight, we will cover the same details for both. Which one do you think will win?

Jeep Cherokee XJ’s Engine

  • ENGINE: 2.5L TurboDiesel VM 425
  • HORSEPOWER: 185 hp 
  • TORQUE: 221 lb⋅ft (300 N⋅m) at 2,000 rpm
  • 0-100 IN SECONDS: 10.1 sec 

Toyota 4runner’s Engine 

  • ENGINE: 4.0L V6 Engine with Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i)
  • HORSEPOWER: 270 hp 
  • TORQUE: 278 lb.-ft.
  • 0-100 IN SECONDS: 8.6 sec 

The winner of ROUND 1 is . . . . Toyota 4runner! This is not a surprise, considering it is a newer car. But, the specs don’t lie, by providing faster accelerating times, more horsepower, and better torque, the Toyota 4runner gets the points!

Round 2: Chassis

The chassis provides the necessary strength to sustain the various vehicle components—for example, the cargo and keeping the vehicle rigid and safe. Overall, the chassis is an integral part of the total safety system. 

Jeep Cherokee XJ’s Chassis

The XJ used a lightweight unibody structure rather than the traditional body-on-frame design. Using the unibody allowed the new Cherokee to lose around 1,000 pounds of curb weight while maintaining the same interior space. 

The term “unibody” refers to the body being a component of the car’s structural integrity. In essence, the body is the frame.

Toyota 4runner’s Chassis

The body-on-frame platform of the Toyota 4runner is similar to that of a truck. It possesses the mass, strength, and capability of a truck. To sum it all up, a truck ladder frame supports the Toyota 4runner.

The winner of the ROUND 2 is . . . Toyota 4runner! Who wouldn’t love a good, strong chassis! The ring has a clear winner for this second round.

Round 3: Space

Everybody knows that the space in the car is something essential for most owners. So, let’s see if the XJ is able to overturn the score table!

Jeep Cherokee XJ’s Space 

The Jeep Cherokee XJ has a capacity for five passengers. Also, the sliding rear seats provide a little more legroom if needed.

XJ has a lot of cargo space as well. You can fold down the rear seat row for cargo. It has up to 54.9 cubic feet of storage capacity. 

Toyota 4runner’s Space 

The regular two-row 4Runner has a capacity of 47.2 cubic feet behind the back seats. Also, it has 89.7 cubic feet if you fold the back seats down. 

However, the three-row version offers seats for up to seven passengers and the same cargo as the two-row version when the seats are folded. For a midsize SUV, these are above-average numbers.

The winner of the ROUND 3 is… TOYOTA 4runner! Again! Being a newer and bigger car, it provides all the space you’ll ever need.

Round 4: Extras

First, let’s define what “extras” mean. For us, the extras are all the things that people could live without but that add something to make your life on the road easier.

Jeep Cherokee XJ Extras

It was one of the first modern small sport utility vehicles. At least the first one to combine all-terrain prowess, practicality, and road manners that were everything but ogreish.

The Jeep XJ possessed Jeep’s hallmark all-terrain prowess, but you could also drive it on the road. XJ was and still is affordable to a wide variety of purchasers.

Toyota 4runner Extras

  • TRD Sport’s advanced capability
  • Locking Rear Differential
  • Crawl Control
  • Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)
  • Multi-Terrain Select

The winner of the ROUND 4 is… Jeep Cherokee XJ! Of course, 4runner has impressive features, but you can’t fight with the first car that combined all-terrain prowess, practicality, and road manners!

Round 5: Offroad

This is an important section. Off-road driving is an everyday thing with SUVs, and you need to make sure your car has all you need for fun weekends away. 

Jeep Cherokee XJ Offroad

The XJ’s exceptional off-roading skills are because of the unibody architecture. The concept was so popular that it had become the standard for SUV construction.

In addition to being a functional vehicle, the Cherokee XJ was and continues to be a lot of fun to drive. Also, it is capable of going practically anywhere. 

Its high-functioning suspension lets it manage a wide range of terrain. Moreover, that high-functioning suspension allowed millions of people to go along less-traveled roads. 

The XJ was a successful predecessor of today’s Jeeps, which can handle off-road terrain better than any other brand.

Toyota 4runner Offroad

A specific Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) is available on some versions. 

KDSS is an electronic, hydraulic suspension system that automatically adjusts to enable more wheel movement. The KDSS works when you find yourself off-roading over rugged terrain.

A-Trac is another proper off-road function that comes standard on 4WD versions. 

A-Trac directs power to the wheels with the best traction while slamming the brakes on those that don’t. You can apply a constant throttle while it’s turned on. Also, this function can help you get out of some difficult situations. 

A locking rear differential is also available on some 4Runners. It works similarly to A-Trac. But, it’s much better at assisting the rear wheels in powering over obstacles. It is even better while one wheel is off the ground.

The winner of the ROUND 5 is… Well, we will go with the Jeep Cherokee XJ. We know that the features that Toyota 4runner offers are outstanding and close to “what we need” today. But, we have to credit the successful off-road capabilities of Jeeps. 

Summary: Overall Winner

Now that we have seen all the specs and details on both cars, we need to decide which car is the best.

Based only on the most wins, we can say that our #1 is the Toyota 4runner! Impeccable design and features got him in the first place. 

But, we can’t forget the Jeep Cherokee XJ. It’s a classic, and it was revolutionary. If we judge solely based on the sentimental value, the winner is the XJ. 

These cars are simply amazing, and we hope you enjoyed this match!

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