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Expert's Rating

3.9Good | Details

MPG

17 City / 20 Highway
Contributing Editor -

For some time, the vehicle market has been loaded with likable five- and seven-passenger crossovers, but only a few midsize SUVs like the Toyota 4Runner are available. What's the difference? That’s easy. Built with body-on-frame construction, the 4Runner sits atop a traditional truck platform. More than unibodied crossovers are capable of, a 4Runner can easily take you through deep snow and potholed pavements, whether on your way to work or on a true off-road adventure.

What's New for 2017

Toyota added new TRD Off-Road and Off-Road Premium grades – essentially the Trail and Trail Premium grades from the 2016 model year – to the 4Runner lineup for 2017. Otherwise, apart from new badging and body-color choices, little has changed for 2017.

Toyota 4Runner

Choosing Your Toyota 4Runner

Every 4Runner starts with a 4-liter V6 that develops 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, working with a five-speed automatic transmission that incorporates a sequential shift mode. Owing to the 4Runner's truck roots, all examples come with a tow hitch, underbody protective plates, and hill start and descent assists. The third row available on some models boosts seating capacity to seven.

Four-wheel drive with low-range gearing and 9.8-inches of ground clearance is either standard or available on all trim levels. Drivers can choose two-wheel drive, part-time four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case, or full-time multi-mode 4WD with a locking center differential.

A 4Runner can tow up to 5,000 pounds. A Multi-Terrain Select system for TRD versions selects a mode to match terrain and conditions.

Toyota offers the 4Runner in your choice of six trim levels:

SR5

Starting at $34,150 (destination charge included) with rear-wheel drive, the popular SR5 comes smartly equipped with a rearview camera, heated power mirrors, a power liftgate window, remote keyless entry, a power driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth upholstery, Bluetooth phone and audio, 17-inch alloy wheels, and an eight-speaker stereo with integrated smartphone apps and satellite radio. Four-wheel drive is optional ($37,025), as is third-row seating.

SR5 Premium

For $36,980 with rear-drive, the SR5 Premium adds SofTex leather-like vinyl upholstery, heated front seats with passenger power, heated power mirrors with integrated turn signals, a rear spoiler, and a navigation system with additional apps and voice-to-text capability. Four-wheel drive raises the outlay to $38,855.

Limited

Raises the luxury quotient with leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 15-speaker JBL audio system with HD radio, and adaptive shock absorbers for a smoother ride. The Limited rolls on machine-finished 20-inch wheels. The available power-operated running boards are exclusive to this trim level. As with the SR5, you can add a third row for seven-passenger capacity. Limited is the only 4Runner with a chromed grille insert and exterior trim. Pricing starts at $43,465 with two-wheel drive, or $45,500 with 4WD.

TRD Off-Road

The former Trail trim, this entry-level TRD (Toyota Racing Development) model includes a four-wheel-drive system that's specially tuned for off-roading. You also get body-color exterior trim; an overhead console; a 40/20/40-split reclining fold-flat second-row seat; and 17-inch alloy wheels. The optional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) automatically disconnects the stabilizer bars when needed to tackle off-road obstacles, extending wheel travel at slow speeds. All other equipment is similar to the SR5 with one exception: the third row is not available. Starting price is $37,335.

TRD Off-Road Premium

Previously called Trail Premium, this $39,295 step-up model combines the TRD Off-Road's off-road features with the extra appearance details and conveniences of the SR5 Premium. Heated front seats are SofTex-trimmed.

TRD Pro

Designed for serious off-roading, the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Pro comes with a beefier suspension system, high-performance shock absorbers, Nitto Terra Grappler all-terrain tires, and a thicker front skid plate. Four-wheel drive is standard, of course, as are special styling touches throughout. Other equipment is similar to the Premium lines. Sticker price is $42,400 – not so much higher than other 4Runner and TRD models.

CarsDirect Tip

The SR5 and Limited are geared toward active families who want a go-anywhere vehicle with room for everyone. The TRD Off-Road is a better choice for drivers who regularly leave the road for recreation, while the TRD Pro is best suited to dedicated off-road enthusiasts.

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