2021 Honda Passport vs. 2021 Toyota 4Runner

2021 Honda Passport vs Toyota 4Runner

Rugged crossovers—you know, the athletic, “let’s get off the grid” types—are among the trendiest of trendy vehicles on the road these days. Nearly every automaker has one, including Honda and Toyota. Now, with their reputations on the line, the two are duking it out to see which model—Honda’s 2021 Passport or Toyota’s 2021 4Runner—is the true utilitarian SUV.


For the average American, bigger is better. Although the 4Runner does have a third-row, that hardly makes it bigger than the rival Passport. In fact, 4Runner’s rear bench seems like an afterthought. It’s roomy enough for prepubescent kids, but adults would fare better tethered to the back with roller-skates strapped to their feet. (Essentially, there are far more spacious 3-row SUVs out there, like the Honda Pilot.)

But we digress. In all areas aside from front legroom, the 4Runner offers less space for passengers than the 2021 Passport. Honda Passport riders get about an inch of extra headroom in the front and second row, more than 4 inches of front and rear shoulder room, and approximately 2 inches of additional hiproom in both rows. And what about second-row legroom? Passport rewards its rear passengers by offering over 6 inches more legroom than the 4Runner.

2021 Passport Sport 2021 4Runner SR5
Headroom (front/rear) 40.1 in/40.1 in 39.3 in/38.6 in
Legroom (front/rear) 40.9 in/39.6 in 41.7 in/32.9 in
Hiproom (front/rear) 59.1 in/57.3 in 56.5 in/55.7 in
Shoulder Room (front/rear) 62.0 in/61.9 in 57.8 in/57.8 in
Total Interior Volume* 62.0 in/61.9 in 144.5 cu. ft.
Interior Space

Riders will certainly feel the squeeze inside the 4Runner, but what about their carry-ons and suitcases? Toyota’s SUV struggles to hang with the Passport in cargo volume, too, offering 47.2 cubic feet behind the second row and 89.7 cubic feet up to the front. The 2021 Passport provides 50.5 cubic feet in the very back and 100.7 cubic feet with the second-row seats folded flat. Better yet, Passport also offers an exclusive underfloor storage compartment that increases cargo capacity. The 2021 Toyota 4Runner doesn’t offer any such accoutrement.

2021 Passport Sport 2021 4Runner SR5
2nd-Row Cargo Volume 50.5 cu. ft.* 47.2 cu. ft.
Max Cargo Volume 100.7 cu. ft.* 89.7 cu. ft.
Underfloor Storage Standard Not Available


What really puts the new 4Runner in the back of its class is its meager fuel economy. Every 2021 Toyota 4Runner comes equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission and ekes out just 16 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway, for a combined EPA-estimated rating of 17 mpg. Those are some of the lowest numbers in the segment. Yikes.

With a 9-speed automatic transmission, the 2021 Honda Passport puts 4Runner’s fuel economy to shame, returning 20 city/25 highway mpg in 2WD models, and 19 city/24 highway mpg with AWD. Honda’s Passport even delivers more horsepower (280) with its 3.5L V6 than the 4Runner’s 270-horsepower 4.0L V6.

Want a real-world example? If you’re like the average driver and drive 12,000 miles per year, you could save approximately $600 in gas annually simply by choosing the Passport over the 4Runner. That’s a lot of cheddar.

2021 Passport 2WD 2021 Passport AWD 2021 4Runner
(city / hwy / combined)
20 / 25 / 22* 19 / 24 / 21* 16 / 19 / 17


All things equal, the 2021 Honda Passport is a more affordable midsize SUV than the Toyota 4Runner.

The price difference between the base trims—the Honda Passport Sport and Toyota 4 Runner SR5—is over $3,000, with the Passport being the least expensive. Not only is its entry MSRP lower than 4Runner’s, but the Honda Passport Sport is also a better value. It comes standard with 20-inch wheels, which are larger than 4Runner’s standard 17-inchers, a more powerful V6 engine, Honda Sensing, the coveted underfloor storage compartment, and remote engine start. You also get standard tri-zone automatic climate control with the Passport Sport—a feature that isn’t available in any 4Runner model.

Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control

Passport EX-L models are over $3,000 less expensive than the comparably equipped 4Runner SR5 Premium models. In addition to the lower price tag, Passport EX-L trims are also fitted with standard features that are either not available or optional in the 4Runner SR5 Premium. Standard Passport EX-L features that aren’t available in the Toyota include leather seats, a 10-way power driver’s seat, a power liftgate, and Honda’s Blind Spot Information System. For an extra charge, the 4Runner SR5 Premium can be equipped with a power moonroof, which would be standard on the Passport EX-L.

Priced nearly $10,000 less than the 4Runner Limited, the Passport Touring comes with white ambient LED lighting, front door courtesy lights, illuminated front cupholders, a hands-free access power tailgate, and heated outboard rear seats.

Towing Capability

Over $6,000 separates the top of each model’s lineup, with the Passport Elite being more affordable than the 4Runner TRD Pro. The Honda Passport Elite comes with rain-sensing windshield wipers and a wireless phone charger, both features of which aren’t available in the 4Runner.

2021 Passport Trim MSRP MSRP 2021 4Runner Trim
Sport 2WD $32,590* $36,340 SR5
EX-L 2WD $36,610* $39,550 SR5 Premium
Touring 2WD $39,480* $45,395 Limited
Elite2WD $43,980* $50,470 TRD Pro


Cargo volume based on SAE J1100 cargo volume measurement standard plus, where applicable, floor space between seating rows and seats in their forward-most and upright position.

Interior volume includes cargo volume and passenger volume.

20 city/25 highway/22 combined mpg rating for 2WD trims. 19 city/24 highway/21 combined mpg rating for AWD trims. Based on 2021 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.

MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $1120 destination charge and accessories. Dealer prices may vary. MSRP does not include $395 charge for select premium colors. $395 charge only applies to 2021 models.