• Nov 24th 2010 at 11:00AM
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2010 Toyota 4Runner
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2010 Toyota 4Runner – Click above for high-res image galleries

Consumer Reports, bastions of a straightforward, no-frills automotive testing regime focused on the consumer, compares in its December 2010 issue the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 2010 Toyota 4Runner, both of which were completely redesigned within the last several months. Interestingly – and despite the fact that the Jeep has not yet had enough time to set a reliability score – the testers at CR have seen enough from the Grand Cherokee to vault it over its rival from Toyota, which scored too low to recommend.

The magazine praises the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee for its comfortable on-road ride and quiet interior while heaping discontent on the 4Runner in the exact same categories. When it comes to prowess off the beaten path, Toyota's body-on-frame 'ute regains some ground, though CR is quick to point out that the Jeep handles the rough stuff equally well when equipped with the right options, such as low-range gearing and the available Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive system with its height-adjustable suspension.

Also drawing ire from CR's testers is the Toyota 4Runner's interior with "leather seats [that] look like vinyl," "cheap-looking plastics." The 4Runner was also lacking some notable features one would expect at its $37,425 asking price. Want to read more from CR regarding its comparison of two classic sport utility vehicles? Click past the break, or wait for the full report in the December 2010 issue.

Photos copyright ©2010 Zach Bowman and Chris Shunk / AOL

[Source: Consumer Reports]
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Consumer Reports: Redone Grand Cherokee Speeds Ahead Of Toyota 4Runner

The redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee midsized SUV earned a Very Good road test score and outscored its traditional rival, the Toyota 4Runner, which earned a Good score, in a recent face-off between the two vehicles conducted by Consumer Reports.

The Jeep's ride, quietness and interior won it points, though it was hampered by its emergency handling. By contrast, the 4Runner, redesigned for 2010, fell short on the road (though it showed terrific off-road prowess) and scored at the bottom of its class.

The Grand Cherokee is the first new model that Chrysler has released post-bankruptcy, and it's based on the next generation Mercedes-Benz ML.

"The Grand Cherokee is a big improvement over the previous model, with refinement on par with models that cost a lot more," said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Conn. "The 4Runner, which still uses a body-on-frame design, is disappointing on the road. The 4Runner doesn't let you forget you're driving a truck."

Prices for the vehicles were $39,010 for the Grand Cherokee and $37,425 for the 4Runner.

The Grand Cherokee is too new to have reliability data and the 4Runner scored too low in CR's testing to Recommend it. CR only Recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR's Annual Auto Survey of its more than 7 million print and Web subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.

The Grand Cherokee rides well and is quiet and steady on the highway. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X 4WD ($39,010 Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price as tested), is powered by a 290-hp 3.6- liter V6 engine that is smooth and gets 18 mpg overall in CR's own fuel economy tests. During CR's emergency handling tests the Jeep was difficult to control in the avoidance maneuver. The five-speed automatic transmission is smooth and responsive. Braking is Very Good. Cargo room can be increased by folding the rear seatbacks.

The 4Runner's ride has constant body motions and body lean is pronounced in corners, even at a leisurely pace. Its overly light steering is slow to respond. The Toyota 4Runner SR5 4X4 ($37,425 MSRP as tested), is powered by a 270-hp, 4.0-liter, V6 engine that is punchy and gets 18 mpg overall. The five-speed automatic transmission is responsive. Braking is Very Good. Cargo room can be increased by folding the rear seatbacks.


The Jeep has the more upscale interior of the two SUVs, with soft-touch panels and nicely detailed leather seats. The Toyota is more utilitarian, with hard, cheap-looking plastics. The leather seats look like vinyl.

Drivers sit up high in the Jeep and have plenty of room. The tilt-and-telescope steering wheel helps most drivers to find a good position. The front seats are supportive but firm and have full power adjustments.

You sit close to the floor in the Toyota, and the seat's short cushion compromises thigh support. There is ample room, and the tilt-and-telescope wheel and driver's power, lumbar-support adjustment were appreciated. Headroom is tight even for average-sized drivers. The cabin's low roof and high dash encroach on visibility and make you feel a bit claustrophobic.

The rear seats of the Jeep and Toyota are roomy enough for two or three adults, but the Jeep's seats were more supportive. The seatbacks recline in each. The 4Runner offers a small third row as an option.

Gauges are large and backlit in the Jeep, and most controls are simple and straightforward. Radio and climate controls are mounted high and within easy reach, but the radio is controlled mostly by tapping an intricate and awkward touch screen instead of simple buttons.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota gettin' slammed for everything Jeep used to be criticized about. My how times ave changed. And good god that 4Runner looks like some boxy bloated little kids toy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      When's Toyota going to go out of business? Their building some of the worst cars in the world now...
        • 4 Years Ago
        You're a fool if you think Toyota's going out of business. And you're a bigger fool if you think they build some of the worst cars on the road.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The GC is quite impressive.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hell yeah a JEEP is better than a toyota!
      • 4 Years Ago
      The toyota is ugly,not to mention their regular cars have killed nearly 100 people in the past couple of years.Ive always thought toyotas were the ugliest cars on the planet but honestly for me toyotas have always looked like something from 5 years that they are making today.......NOT A GOOD LOOKING MACHINE that toyota.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I drove a new Grand Cherokee with the HEMI recently and was blown away.

      It is amazing it is a Chrysler product. It is easily the nicest American SUV money can buy, at any price and one of the nicest SUVs on the market period.

      If Chrysler can put this kind of focus on their entire product lineup then they can certainly become competitive again.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I absolutely love my 08 4 Runner Sport. Never a problem, looks and runs great. MOPAR is notorius for cheap, unreliable vehicles.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now that its on a Mercedes platform I am going to give this one a look, but not till they get with the modern age and put a 6 speed (min) in it. SRT-8 should be a hoot too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Its getting an 8-speed ZF trans.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hate to say, but Consumer Reports has started to lose it's mind. Ever since they received hate mail because they rated the Tundra reliable and all the domestic lovers thru a fit, they have started to down play Toyota products. I have driven both models and yes I will agree a little on the cheaper plastics, the fit and finish of the 4Runner still best the Grand Cherokee. Plus the 4Runner rides smooth for the vehicle that it is, and who it is meant for. Also Autoblog, I truly am starting to believe that you HATE Toyota. Anytime there is an article that down plays them, you just have to post it. As far as your true news, it is great, but stop being so biast!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Everytime i-rate's stupid comments get voted up on here, I lose a little more respect for AB.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Pot calling the kettle black.

        Every automaker has it's ups and downs... the sheep-le are finally starting to see that Toyota does cut back to save money too.

        Welcome to reality, Toyota's are not perfect, nor have they ever been.
      Albert J. Reine
      • 4 Years Ago
      Chrysler Service and their dealers Stink ! Poor Service, Rude and Bad Customer Service ! In Reality this is Obama Motors, or American Tax Payers Big Spending Mistake ! The Italians know how to make something look pretty and nice looking, but remember the FIAT or most Italian/Joint Business Deals will just cost you money, while they laugh all the way to the bank. Toyata has a better product ! Name A Good Italian Airplane ! Michael Angelo did some real nice paintings and art work; Do Not Be Blind by looks !
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah wait for the Jeep to start leaking oil at 40K JUNK!!
      • 4 Years Ago


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