When you think of the body on frame SUVs that are still on the market the 4Runner should come to mind as a leading candidate. It may not have the ride or high-tech features of some of the other models, but this is an SUV that takes a beating and comes back up asking for more. You can certainly appreciate the 4Runner not only for the toughness it provides but also for the reputation of capability, longevity and resale value that have been part of the 4Runner name for the entire time this SUV has been on the market.
How much will the 4Runner cost you? The base model starts just below $33,500 for the 2WD SR5 model which is better than most of the other large SUVs. The Trail model will ask for $36,300 to start and the Limited model starts closer to $41,000 while the top of the spectrum brings the TRD Pro Series that will cost you $42,500. When you pit this top model against others you will find this is one of the most affordable of the bunch and with the ruggedness and capability you gain this SUV is the one you want to drive.
Much of the rugged capability comes from underneath the SUV, especially from the engine compartment. The 4Runner only has one engine and it is a 4.0-liter V6 that offers up 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. of torque. This is routed through the five-speed automatic transmission and gives you 17 city/22 hwy mpg for the 2WD models and 17 city/21 hwy mpg for the 4WD versions. With this powertrain at your command you can even enjoy the ability to tow up to 4,700 pounds easily to ensure you can bring everything you need to the campsite, sporting event or to the party to be enjoyed by all.
What makes the 4Runner a great choice? This is an SUV you will love if you want a dependable daily driver that is also perfect for the weekend warrior work you have lined up. You can have this SUV set up with a third row of seats to add smaller passengers to the rear and carry as many as seven people along the way. For 2016 the 4Runner adds a new Quicksand color on the TRD trim and all models add the 2.5 version of the Entune system which allows you to connect your phone navigation to the system along with the enjoyment of Siri Eyes Free if you are an iPhone user.
When it comes to driving the 4Runner deliver comfort and ability, which is what you want on a vehicle of this size. You don’t have to compromise the ability to drive with the need to drive in the 4Runner; the suspension and steering are well matched to the size of the SUV to deliver great performance. Another great feature of the ride is the lack of noise and vibration that make this one of the most pleasant vehicles to ride in on any road to give you the chance to keep children asleep or just to enjoy a great ride.
The 4Runner offers you a good menu of great standard features across the six trims. These trims are SR5, SR5 Premium, Trail, Trail Premium, Limited and TRD Pro Series. The base SR5 includes the Entune audio system with the connected navigation app and Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera and an eight-way power driver’s seat. The Trail and TRD models add the 4WD to the action along with water resistant seat fabric, a locking rear differential and a multi-terrain select with crawl control. The Limited models add leather trimmed upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, dual zone climate control, and a fifteen-speaker JBL sound system with navigation, a moonroof, X-REAS automatic adjustable suspension and 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
The options list isn’t nearly as lengthy but does include the third row of seats, 4WD on the lower trims, Entune premium audio with navigation, a sliding rear cargo deck, the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System with disconnects the stabilizer bar to allow for more axle travel on tougher terrain. With these notable additions you can have a 4Runner that is fully loaded and offers you the capability to tackle nearly every terrain in the world.
As for favorites, there are two that stand out on the 4Runner, the rear liftgate power window and the trim of the TRD Pro Series. This power window makes it easy to load items in the back without the need to lower the liftgate. This can be great for adding ventilation through the cabin and gives you better visibility when this window is covered in mud or dust. The TRD Pro Series trim adds Bilstein custom off-road shocks, aluminum wheels, Nitto Terra Grappler tires and an additional skidplate. This makes for one formidable off road player that can take on nearly every other vehicle that ventures off the paved paths.
When you step up inside the cabin of the 4Runner you will be pleasantly surprised to find a cabin that is simple and roomy at the same time. Instead of being full of touch tech you get to enjoy the dials and buttons that are typical to a vehicle and for most of us are more comfortable to use. The seating is supportive and comfortable to give you a great place to ride. The rear seat is a 40/20/40 split folding rear seat that allows you a wide variety of cargo configurations. With the seats down the cargo area reaches nearly 90 cubic feet of space to give you room to bring anything home you need to.
The exterior of the 4Runner is rugged and aggressive. This gives it the look of a vehicle that can tackle nearly everything in its path and with the ground clearance of 9.6 inches it certainly can do just that. With six trim levels to choose from there is certain to be a set up for the 4Runner that will fit your needs and give you the SUV you want to drive on a daily basis even if that day includes trekking through the jungle.