Most of today’s SUVs are designed for everyday on-road use. They’re optimized for comfort and fuel economy rather than rugged conditions. And they’re more likely to be styled like luxury cars or performance machines than hardy trucks.
Two popular mid-size models that buck this trend are the 2022 Subaru Outback and the 2022 Toyota 4Runner. They’re outdoorsy rather than elegant, while they also have enough room to be useful family cars. But there are some important differences between these two vehicles. Fundamentally, the 4Runner is a truck-based traditional SUV while the Outback is a car-based crossover. We tested both models so we could evaluate what this difference could mean for you. Over the following pages, we’ll discuss how the 4Runner and Outback compare in each of eight categories and name our overall winner. Keep reading to learn which one we picked and which one sounds like the better choice for you.