Jeep Grand Cherokee Beats Toyota 4Runner in Consumer Reports Showdown

The Jeep Grand Cherokee earned a Very Good road test score, while the Toyota 4Runner earned only a Good score during a recent Consumer Reports challenge.

"The Grand Cherokee is a big improvement over the previous model, with refinement on par with models that cost a lot more," David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ auto test center in East Haddam, Conn., said in a statement. "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."

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Consumer Reports said that the Jeep Grand Cherokee (pictured above) rode well and was quiet and steady on the highway. It had a nicely-finished interior, with soft touch panels and leather seats.

The 4Runner’s ride caused riders to move around a lot, especially in corners, even at a leisurely pace, and its steering is slow to respond. But the 4Runner (pictured below) did well off-road, the magazine said. Consumer Reports said the 4Runner’s interior had cheap-looking plastics.

2011 Toyota 4Runner

Consumer Reports tested the $39,010 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X 4WD and the $37,425 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4X4.

In October, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee had a $399 monthly auto lease incentive for 36 months with $2,499 due at signing, or 1.9 percent auto loan financing for 36 months. Jeep’s November new car incentives will be announced sometime this week.

The 2011 Toyota 4Runner didn’t have any manufacturer auto loan or lease incentives in October. It does currently come with Toyota’s two-year free maintenance program though. Toyota’s November incentives will also be announced this week.