Toyota Fortuner vs 4runner in the Costa Rican Market

Toyota is a good choice for Costa Rica, it’s always one of the favorite brands among Costa Ricans and has been since the 1960s and 1970s. But some of the models that are sold in North America aren’t so popular here, and other models that aren’t even sold in the US are popular here. The 4runner and Fortuner is one such case. Prior to 2010, the 4runner was sold in Latin America with a diesel engine, and in the North American market with a gasoline engine. As of 2010, Toyota eliminated the diesel 4runner and concentrated on the Fortuner for Latin America, which the company introduced to Costa Rica in 2007.

In Costa Rica the larger SUVs almost always have diesel engine because of the diesel fuel subsidy, and better fuel economy. Also, the 4runner is about $10,000 more expensive than the base version of the Fortuner when they are new. These 2 factors explain why the Fortuner is much more popular here. Both vehicles are less roomy than the Toyota Land Cruiser category of SUVs, the Fortuner compares to the Land Cruiser Prado and the 4runner compares to the Land Cruiser 100 series.

Toyota 4runner Description

2019 Toyota 4runner available by special order only in Costa Rica

The Toyota 4runner is designed for comfort on the highway, without losing off-road capability. It has a longer and wider body than the Fortuner, which translates to more interior room, and it has a softer suspension. The gasoline engine provides superior performance in terms of top speed and also acceleration at highway speeds.

2019 4runner, rear view

The 4runner is more fully equipped than the base version of the Fortuner, including leather seats and vehicle stability control systems. These systems assist the driver in preventing vehicle skidding, and thus rollover. It also has hill assist and hill descent control, and the full time AWD assists with traction in all scenarios. For towing, the 4runner offers trailer sway control as a standard option, which isn’t available in the Fortuner.

2019 Toyota 4runner instrument panel

For more extreme situations, the Torsen center differential provides traction, the driver may select 4L and obtain the full power available for climbing steep hills or crossing rivers.

Toyota Fortuner Description

2019 Fortuner Base Version Front View

The Toyota Fortuner is meant to be more agile and feel sportier than both the 4runner or the Land Cruisers. It shares the chassis and suspension system with the Hilux pickup, and this creates a bouncier ride. Many drivers prefer the way the Fortuner handles. The limited version of the Fortuner is equipped similarly to the 4runner, and the price is also similar.

2019 Toyota Fortuner Rear View

The Fortuner sits higher off the ground by 3.5 centimeters (27.9 vs 24.4), which is an advantage on rough roads or river crossings. The shorter wheel base also confers an advantage in these situations. And the diesel engine provides more torque at lower rpms. The limited edition Fortuner offers most of the same options the 4runner does, and the pricing would be similar.

2019 Toyota Fortuner Instrument Panel, limited edition

Thetable below offers a basic breakdown of the 2019 model specifications for both:

2019 4runner 2019 Fortuner
Fuel Type Gasoline Diesel
80 liters 80 liters
3956cc – 6 cylinder – 24 valve – DOHC Dual VVT-i 2755cc – 4 cylinder – 16 valve – DOHC D-4D – Turbo Diesel Intercooler with Common Rail
POWER / Torque 271 HP @ 5600 rpm | 381 Nm @ 4400 rpm 174 HP @ 3400 rpm | 450 Nm @ 1600-2400 rpm
Tire and
Rim Size
245/70 R17 265/65 R17 or 265/65 R18
4×4 4 x 4 low, TORSEN center differential, locking 4×4 low w/ locking differential
and automatic disconnect
Transmission Automatic only – 5 speed Manual or Automatic, 6 speed
Traction Full time AWD Rear wheel drive and AWD
Air Bags Dual with knee protection in front row, 2 lateral and 4 side curtain Dual with knee protection in front row, 2 lateral and 4 side curtain in Limited Edition
Passenger Capacity 7 passengers 7 passengers
Height x Width
1.78 meters x 1.93 meters 1.83 meters x 1.85 meters
Wheel Base
– Total Length
2.79 meters – 4.83 meters 2.74 meters x 4.79 meters
Weight 2990 kg 2735 kg

If you would like to see information about other vehicle types and models, click here — Vehicle Makes and Models in Costa Rica — for a list of articles on our site.

If you are looking to purchase a used or new car in Costa Rica, can help you with our PASS service. Click here, used car buying assistance in Costa Rica for details. Click here, New Cars in Costa Rica for information on the peculiar process.

Published by Russ Martin

Helping expats locate reliable used vehicles since 2006. I have lived in Costa Rica since 1994.

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