The 2016 Toyota 4Runner endures as one of the most rugged and off-road-capable body-on-frame midsize SUVs. It remains mostly unchanged, sustaining its duties to serve the dual purposes of a daily driver and occasional trail-going vehicle with seating for up to seven when properly configured. For the 2016 model year, the 4Runner gets an upgraded audio system standard with cell phone navigation integration and a slight bump in towing capacity.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2016 Toyota 4Runner is offered three trim levels starting at $33,510 for the base SR5. Moving up a notch is the 4Runner Trail starting at $36,415, and then the Limited priced from $41,825. The TRD Pro, with its unique style and off-roading prowess, starts at $41,550.

At the top of mainstream 4Runner trims, the Limited adds many creature comforts and styling for an attractive package that competes with many two- and three-row crossovers, such as:

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Chrome-colored body accents and door handles
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • 15-speaker JBL audio system
  • Leather upholstery

The 2016 Toyota 4Runner in either trim is a rather unique offering in the growing SUV market, being one of the rare body-on-frame offerings in the midsize segment. The 4Runner SR5 and Limited trims offer optional three-row seating raising the total capacity from the standard five to seat seven.

Performance Pros

Toyota 4 Runner Front

The Toyota 4Runner has a 4-liter V6 with 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The proven engine and transmission give the 4Runner plenty of low-end grunt to tow up to 5,000 pounds in the SR5 two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive trim, as well as in the Limited trim rear-wheel drive variant.

  • On road, the 4Runner exhibits confident power, with assured and predictable acceleration to 60 mph from a standstill in 7.8 seconds.
  • An available four-wheel-drive system incorporates low-range gearing, locking rear or center differential, crawl control, and selectable terrain modes.

Performance Cons

  • Excessive body roll on the street when taking tight corners or sharp exit ramps at speed.
  • Underwhelming EPA fuel mileage estimates at 17 mpg city and 21 mpg highway for the four-wheel drive models. (17 mpg city/22 mpg highway with rear-wheel drive.)
  • Exceptionally light and artificial steering feel.

Interior Pros

Toyota 4runner
  • Good fit and finish through clever user of molded plastics throughout the cabin conveying long-lasting durability.
  • Simplistic control layout on the dashboard with user-friendly infotainment tech features.
  • Plentiful seating room up front and in second-row seats.

Interior Cons

  • Unwanted body motions going over bumps are transmitted into the cabin, especially in the Trail and TRD Pro trim variants.
  • Abundant use of hard plastics diminishes perception of quality.
  • Cramped third-row seating, which is best suited to small children.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The 4Runner has a multi-purpose demeanor -- it excels at going off-road but still proves to be an acceptable vehicle for commutes, family trips, and utilitarian duties.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

With the growing precedence of car-like crossover utility vehicles that get exceptional fuel mileage figures, the 4Runner seems to fall quite short of being economical at the gas pump.

The Bottom Line

In a segment that has switched almost entirely to car-based crossovers, the 2016 Toyota 4Runner endures as a truck-based SUV that delivers off-road ruggedness, utility, versatility, and a history of providing reliable transportation.