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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Toyota 4Runner

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Expert's Rating


MPG 17 City / 21 Highway
  • Second and third row seats fold flat
  • Impressive off-road ability
  • Plenty of cargo room
  • Less towing capacity than competitors
  • Styling may not be for everyone
  • Large wheels make ride feel stiff
, Automotive Editor -
For a reasonable price, the 4Runner can ferry children, pull a trailer and safely navigate the roughest trails all - in a day's work.


The rugged Toyota 4Runner stands alone among other SUVs this year. Refusing to conform to car-like chassis like much of its competition, the 4Runner doggedly clings to its tough-guy roots, pulling heavy loads and rumbling down the road—or off of it—with a powerful 4-liter V6. If you want to commute to work during the week and take an adventure off the beaten path on weekends, the 4Runner fits the bill.

The five-seat, midsize SUV comes in three trims: the base level SR5, upgraded Trail and decked-out Limited. All models have the same 270-horsepower engine. The SR5 can be had with rear-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel drive; the Trail comes with full-time four-wheel drive; and the Limited offers rear-wheel drive or full-time four-wheel drive. The 4Runner's towing capacity maxes out at 5,000 pounds.

All 4Runners come standard with six-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels; an integrated towing hitch and wire; Hill Start Assist Control; halogen headlights and fog lights; power windows and rear liftgate; a six-way adjustable driver’s seat; and a four-way adjustable front passenger seat. Safety features include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, active head restraints and an array of airbags.

The 4Runner Trail has upgrades like a moonroof, rearview camera, sliding rear cargo deck, and water-resistant seat covers. Crawl Control provides auto braking and throttle for tough off-road conditions.

The Limited increases luxury with heated leather seats, push-button start, dual zone automatic climate control, optional third-row seating, and Toyota’s Safety Connect system, which features auto collision notification, roadside assistance and stolen-vehicle tracking capabilities.

Upgrade packages are available at each trim level. The SR5 Premium Package offers amenities usually found on the Limited: third-row seating, adjustable leather-trimmed seats and a moonroof. Also available are navigation and the Entune system, which uses Bluetooth to support popular smartphone apps.

The Trail's Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System bumps up off-road performance with extra support and articulation for tough terrain.

The Limited package provides 15 speakers, a subwoofer, NavTraffic, a four-disc AM/FM/CD changer, and a voice-activated DVD navigation system.

With all of its brawn, the 4Runner isn’t for everyone, and probably isn't the best choice for families who are less inclined to leave the comfort of paved roads. Cargo space and third-row seating are tight, and engine noise can be intrusive.

Yet the 4Runner has a lot to offer the right buyer—in addition to an interior that's one of the best in the segment, and superlative resale value.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Toyota 4Runner
Starting price

2013 Toyota 4Runner Limited

Recommended for: Drivers who want the complete performance and luxury experience

The Limited houses a 4.0L V6 engine with 270hp and offers the option for full-time AWD with lockable center differential. In addition to the Trail trim level's upgrades, the Limited trim also includes 20" alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, HD radio, push-button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated front seats. The Toyota Entune system provides iPhone integration, and other infotainment includes SiriusXM Radio, iPod and USB connectivity, 12v power outlets, hands-free support, and a touchscreen audio system.

Safety features are the same as those found in the SR5 and Trail trim levels, including antilock bakes, traction control, stability control, front seat and front knee airbags, side curtain airbags, and active head restraints. Added for the Limited level is Toyota's Safety Connect system, which provides auto collision notification, roadside assistance, and a stolen-vehicle tracking tool.

The optional Limited package upgrades buyers to a 15-speaker, subwoofer system, NavTraffic, and a voice-activated touch-screen DVD entertainment system.

2013 Toyota 4Runner
Starting price

2013 Toyota 4Runner SR5

Recommended for: Drivers who value practicality over extra perks

The 4Runner's base model SR5 has plenty to offer, starting with its strong 4.0L V6 engine. RWD is standard, but the SR5 can also be equipped with Part-Time 4WD, both of which will tow up to 5,000 pounds. Standard options include 17" 6-spoke alloy wheels, integrated towing hitch and wire, power windows and rear liftgate, programmable auto locks for doors, halogen headlights with auto-off, 2nd row 40/20/40 split reclining or flat folding seats, tilting and telescoping steering wheel, and Toyota's signature Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) system. Infotainment isn't the main job of the 4Runner, but it offers a respectable number of options, including SiriusXM Radio with 90-day trial, iPod connectivity, hands-free capability, plus USB port and 12v power outlets.

Standard safety features for all trims include antilock bakes, traction control, stability control, frontseat and front knee airbags, side curtain airbags, and active head restraints.

SR5's optional Premium Package upgrade offers third row seating, adjustable leather-trimmed seats, power moonroof, navigation system, and Entune, which connects with Smartphones to access mobile apps.

While a bit bumpy on highway and slightly cramped as far as seating is concerned, the 4Runner performs admirably offroad, has a classy interior, and outranks other midsize SUVs in the resale value department.

2013 Toyota 4Runner
Starting price

2013 Toyota 4Runner Trail

Recommended for: Drivers who like their rugged ride with a helping of indulgence

The 4Runner Trail comes with a 4.0L 6-cylinder engine, 5-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift mode, offroad tires, and Part-Time 4WD. Standard features include power windows and rear liftgate, halogen headlights and fog lights, 2nd row 40/20/40 split reclining or flat folding seats, and a telescoping and tilting steering wheel. SiriusXM Radio, iPod and USB connectivity, 12v power outlets and hands-free support round out the infotainment options. Water-resistant seat covers, power moonroof, rearview camera, and sliding rear cargo deck come standard at the Trail trim level, as does the Crawl Control auto braking and throttle system, which allows drivers to focus solely on the terrain around them when offroading.

Standard safety features for the Trail include antilock bakes, traction control, stability control, front seat and front knee airbags, side curtain airbags, active head restraints and rear parking sensors.

The optional Trail Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) further enhances offroad suspension and capabilities.

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