If a refined vehicle is what you are looking for, stop reading. Go back to my webpage and read about the line-up of Mazdas. If functionality is your forte, check out my review on the Chrysler Pacifica.
The Toyota 4Runner is rugged. No ‘Crossover’ here, it is everything that an SUV should be. Every single time I climbed in it this week it felt powerful, adventuresome and ready to be put to work.
Well, it so happens that the week I test drove the 4Runner I made a jaunt down to the San Antonio Auto Show. I was happy with the nearly four hour drive south. The vehicle was powerful, able to get up and go; if only I could make a PSA…… “Slow moving traffic, kindly move to the right”, we made the four hour drive in slightly over three. Plenty of passing capability.
While in San Antonio, the need arose to haul some equipment back home, the cargo space was suddenly full of backdrops, banners, trophies and general av/sound systems. Where would I put my suitcase? No worries, the 4Runner had plenty of room and the suitcase sat snug among the rest of the load.
My adventure may not have taken me off-roading like I would have liked, but I was able to get in plenty of city driving, not just in San Antonio, but Dallas as well, and naturally plenty of time spent on the highway between the two.
The 4Runner may drive like a truck and the gas mileage may not be the very best, I was averaging 19 on the highway (although it may have something to do with making that trek in three hours instead of four). The 4Runner is heavy. The V6 engine with hp measuring in at 270 feels every ounce of its 4,805 pounds. But again, it got the job done when driving. Stopping seemed to take more effort. The brakes were effective, just have to stand on them a little more than other SUVs. I might add too that the turning ratio is limited, do not expect to make sharp u-turns.
Like the cargo space, the passenger space is roomy too. The 4Runner holds five passengers comfortably. There is a third row option, but I can only assume one would purchase a 4Runner more for its adventuresome ways rather than carting around third row passengers. In other words, I see the fun in this vehicle as more of ‘what’ I can haul versus ‘who’ I can haul. I picture camping and hiking, etc.
The interior isn’t fancy, but it is durable. The interior cabin primarily has hard surfaces and large oversized controls that are easy to use, even if wearing gloves. The instrument panel and the 6.1 inch touchscreen infotainment display are uncomplicated, allowing the driver to see info at a quick glance.
The Toyota 4Runner uses the Entune App Suite. Entune services are subscription free and include free apps like Yelp™ and Pandora® as well as real time traffic and weather info.
I do not live in a cold climate but for snow purposes, the 4Runner would be a no-brainer. Living in Texas, I do live near enough to the Hill country that I would definitely enjoy the 4Runner on the weekends to go off-roading.
The Toyota 4Runner is not a vehicle that you buy for comfort or safety necessarily but if you are the type of person to purchase a 4Runner then those two things probably aren’t at the top of your list anyway. That being said, would I purchase a Toyota 4Runner? Yes. A thousand times, yes.
The 2017 TRD Off-Road model that I tested begins at $37, 335 and comes in 8 different exterior colors. The one pictured here is Barcelona Red Metallic.