Eight years into its current model cycle, the 2017 Toyota 4Runner is more relic than cutting edge. Still, its off-road prowess and slick touches make it an ideal companion for weekends in the wilderness.

Pricing and Equipment

Prices for the 2017 Toyota 4Runner start at $35,170 for a rear-wheel-drive model in SR5 trim, and top out at $46,885 for the Limited trim level with four-wheel-drive and equipped with a third row seat. Our tester, in TRD Off-Road trim, had a base MSRP of $37,335 plus a $345 Entune audio package with navigation, a $350 sliding rear cargo deck, and a $1,750 Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System for a total price of $40,220 (including a $940 destination charge). Notable standard features on this trim include:

  • Locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select, and Crawl Control
  • Crawl control, hill start assist control, and downhill assist control
  • 17-inch alloy wheels and all-terrain tires
  • 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity
  • Fog lamps
  • Eight-way power driver's seat
  • Rear-view camera
  • Full-size spare tire

Advanced safety systems like automatic collision notification, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams are not offered.

All 2017 Toyota 4Runners are powered by a 4.0-liter V6 rated at 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. SR5 4x4 models feature a part-time 4WD system with active traction control, while the TRD Off-Road trim adds an electric locking rear differential and Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. The Limited trim comes with a full-time four-wheel-drive system – our TRD Off-Road has a more traditional, driver-controlled system – with active traction control and a lockable Torsen limited-slip center differential, while TRD Pro models come with an off-road capable Bilstein-developed system, unique visual touches, and huge amounts of underbody protection.

Performance Pros

Toyota 4Runner
  • The 4Runner is perhaps the closest competitor to the Jeep Wrangler in terms of outright off-road prowess, especially in TRD Pro trim.
  • Multi-Terrain Select allows even novice drivers to optimize their vehicle for off-road fun.
  • The 4.0-liter V6 feels suitable for everyday use on paved roads, despite the 4Runner's hefty curb weight.

Performance Cons

  • The 4Runner and its off-road suspension are cumbersome – the SUV wallows about in bends.
  • Steering is numb, with very little feedback to the driver.
  • The 4WD 4.0-liter V6 only manages an EPA-estimated 17 miles per gallon in the city, 20 on the highway, and 18 combined.

Interior Pros

  • Plenty of front seat room with a more natural driving position than its rivals.
  • Optional, pull-out sliding rear cargo floor makes loading items a breeze.
  • The power rear window, not seen since 70s-era wagons, helps with loading and natural cabin ventilation.
  • Huge ledge on the top of the door panel – perfect for resting your arm while driving with the windows down.

Interior Cons

Toyota 4Runner
  • Tall ride height makes ingress and egress more difficult – the optional running boards are almost a necessity.
  • Optional third row seating is only suitable for children or short distances.
  • The seating position is upright and typical of an off-roader. It takes a bit of adjusting to.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

All four windows plus the rear window have the automatic up/down feature. Except in the hottest weather, rolling all five down allows a natural breeze to flow through the cabin.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Body-on-frame SUVs aren't supposed to be fuel efficient and, unfortunately, the 4Runner is no exception.

The Bottom Line

Despite being long in the tooth, the 4Runner is an accomplished off-roader that continues to impress us. In fact, Jeep Wrangler buyers looking for a quieter and more comfortable vehicle with room for a family should check it out.