The Toyota 4Runner is a rarity in a dwindling segment. Based on architecture underpinning the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, this midsize SUV seats five or seven and is prized for its off-road capabilities. An available four-wheel drive system makes the 4Runner a worthy complement to the larger Toyota Land Cruiser.
2010 to Present: Toyota 4Runner
The fifth-generation Toyota 4Runner was introduced for the 2010 model year. It exudes a powerful presence with an aggressive front fascia dominated by a pronounced grille. Its front end is characterized by a broad hood and strong shoulders.
Distinctly arched wheel wells, a linear roofline and beltline and alloy wheels mark the 4Runner’s profile. From the rear, small combination lights, a spoiler, body sculpting and chrome touches are evident.
Inside, the 4Runner provides room for five or seven. Front bucket seats and a split-folding second-row seat are included. Also available is a 50-50 split-folding third-row seat.
Drivetrain choices for the fifth-generation Toyota 4Runner include standard rear-wheel drive, part-time four-wheel drive and full-time four-wheel drive. All four-wheel drive models are powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine making 270 horsepower, which is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.
A 157-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine was standard on the base rear-wheel drive model at launch, but discontinued after the 2010 model year. Models with this engine come with a four-speed automatic transmission.
When it debuted, the fifth-generation 4Runner came with a very basic list of standard features. Changes through the years include new audio and connectivity features beginning in 2012, when satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB port became standard.
In 2014, the Toyota 4Runner was refreshed to provide a more aggressive and refined appearance. A new grille and additional alloy wheel choices distinguish the updated model. New standard features were also added, including a rearview camera and a touch-screen audio system.
In 2015, Toyota added a TRD Pro Series that brings in Toyota Racing Development (TRD) springs and high-performance shocks, Nitto Terra Grappler tires and a front skid plate.
Direct competitors to the Toyota 4Runner have been falling to the wayside in recent years as manufacturers switch from truck-based SUVs to crossovers. The Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango and Nissan Pathfinder are a few models that have made the switch. Other contemporary models to consider include the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Volkswagen Touareg.
Earlier Toyota 4Runner Models
Introduced in 1984, the Toyota 4Runner is one of the longest continuously produced SUVs in the industry.
The fourth-generation Toyota 4Runner was sold from 2003 to 2009. This model offered the largest engines yet, including a 4.0-liter V6 and a 4.7-liter V8. At launch, the V6 was paired with a four-speed automatic transmission and the V8 was paired with a five-speed automatic. The V6 model gained a five-speed automatic starting with the 2005 model year.
All fourth-generation 4Runners come with standard features like keyless entry, cruise control and a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel. Four-wheel drive models are outfitted with a front skid plate, a transfer case and hill-start assist.