A rugged, off-road performer!
Since 1984, the Toyota 4Runner has forded streams, crawled rocks, and traversed potholes with the best of them. Through five generations of changes, it has the reputation as one of the most coveted off-road-capable SUVs in today's market. The 4Runner is a capable pavement cruiser with a spacious interior and classic styling — inside and out. If you're looking for a versatile SUV that excels off the paved path, the 4Runner offers practicality with plenty of style and features to match.
Here's what you'll find in this Toyota 4Runner review.
- Key Specs & Features
- 5 Reasons to Buy
- What You Need to Know
- Years in Review
- The Bottom Line
Key Specs & Features
- Since 2010, Toyota 4Runners have been powered by a 4.0L V6 engine and five-speed automatic, delivering 270 hp and 278 lb.-ft. of torque. For the 2010 model year only, a 2.7L four-cylinder engine was available on rear-wheel drive SR5 models.
- All Toyota 4Runner models since 2010 have offered the choice of two-row or three-row seating configurations.
- Since the debut of the fifth generation in 2010, SR5 and SR5 Premium models have been available in rear-wheel drive or four-wheel-drive.
- 17-inch wheels have been standard on the Toyota 4Runner SR5 since 2010.
- 7th - Best Luxury Midsize SUVs
5 Reasons to Buy
1. It's One of the Few Body-on-Frame SUVs Available
The Toyota 4Runner has a body-on-frame construction — a separate body that's mounted on a frame, or chassis. This makes it unique because many SUVs are now unibody-built. The flexibility of the unibody construction is designed to make SUVs lighter with more adept handling and better off-road performance.
2. Great in the Dirt
If you're shopping for a Toyota 4Runner, it's likely that you're looking for a good off-road adventure. If so, the 2015 4Runner TRD Pro may be a good one for you to try out. As the debut year for the TRD trim, this model features Bilstein® dampers with remote reservoirs, 31.5-inch off-road tires, and more.
3. Capable on the Highway
Considering its weight and construction, the 2018 SR5 2WD 4Runner (with a 4.0L engine and automatic transmission) also gets decent gas mileage, with an EPA-estimated 17/21 mpg (city/highway).1
4. Ample Interior Room
With room for seven passengers, the 4Runner is a practical family hauler. Indeed, the current generation (2010–2019) — with third-row seating — has 9.0 cubic feet of cargo capacity. This expands to 46.3 cubic feet with the back row down and 88.8 cubic feet with all rear seats folded.
5. No Nonsense Design, Inside and Out
The Toyota 4Runner has evolved over the years, maintaining its steadfast and timeless design with carefully selected changes and features. That includes black accents on the 2019 Nightshade Special Edition to TRD Pro design elements meant to reflect the rugged nature of the SUV. Inside, the 4Runner keeps the same approach, with a simple and straightforward command center layout and easy-to-understand dashboard.
What You Need to Know
Toyota 4Runner Average CarMax Pricing2
2014-2017 - Average price less than $33,000
2018 - Average price less than $36,000
2010 - 2013 Toyota 4Runner Trims
SR5: The debut year of the 4Runner's fifth generation (2010–present) offers a slightly larger and more powerful SUV compared to its predecessors. That's thanks to a 4.0L V6 engine. A 2.7L four-cylinder engine is also available for the SR5 rear-wheel drive trim, but only for 2010 models. Standard equipment for the base SR5 models includes cloth seats, air conditioning, auto-off headlights, keyless entry, power windows/doors, and more. Options include leather interior, heated front seats, a power driver seat, and satellite radio.
Trail Edition: The 4Runner Trail Edition comes standard with a part-time 4WD system, hood scoop, blackened mirrors/bumpers, backup camera, a vehicle anti-theft system, an electrochromic rearview mirror, and more. The Trail Edition also features an overhead panel for the vehicle's Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select System.
Limited: The top-of-the-line Limited comes standard as a rear-wheel drive SUV, but offers a full-time 4WD system as a separate model. Standard features include leather and heated front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, as well as XM/AM/FM satellite radio.
2014 - 2018 Toyota 4Runner Trims
SR5: Standard equipment includes cloth seats, air conditioning, a six-way power driver seat, a four-way passenger seat, sliding/reclining second-row seats, Entune® Plus audio system, a rearview camera, power windows, power tailgate window, power locks, remote keyless entry, 12V power outlets, and more. Options include running boards, Entune premium, and third-row seating with a sliding second row. The Toyota 4Runner SR5 and SR5 Premium are available in rear-wheel drive or four-wheel-drive configurations.
SR5 Premium: Features include standard heated front seats, upgraded interior material, a moonroof, a power passenger seat, 120-volt outlet in the cargo area, and Entune premium audio with navigation.
Trail: The Toyota 4Runner Trail model includes a locking rear differential, overhead console crawl, and multi-terrain controls. Also standard are 17-inch wheels. Toyota's KDSS® (kinetic dynamic suspension system) is an optional feature.
Trail Premium: The 4Runner Trail Premium adds SR5 Premium features to the Trail trim. Trail and Trail Premium trims come only as four-wheel drive vehicles.
2019 Toyota 4Runner
SR5: In addition to a choice between standard rear-wheel drive and available four-wheel-drive, the Toyota SR5 4Runner provides a bevy of standard equipment, including 17-inch wheels, an Entune infotainment system, Bluetooth®, a rearview camera, keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat.
SR5 Premium: This trim adds heated front seats, navigation, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and leatherette upholstery to the list of standard equipment.
TRD Off-Road: This trim adds black 17-inch wheels, TRD maps, electronic locking differential, Crawl Control, and the Multi-Terrain Select system.
TRD Off-Road Premium: See the SR5 Premium and TRD Off-Road trim for standard features.
TRD Pro: For true dirt warriors, this trim includes Fox® shocks, a TRD skid plate, TRD Pro floor mats, fog lights, and a JBL® audio system.
Limited: Adds 20-inch wheels, leather interior, parking sensors, the X-REAS® Sport Enhancement suspension and more.
Nightshade Special Edition: For 2019, this special edition adds more luxury to the Limited with black accents like door handles, interior trim and more.
Toyota 4Runner Available Colors
The 2018–2019 Toyota 4Runner paint colors include:
- Barcelona Red Metallic
- Blizzard Pearl
- Cavalry Blue (Voodoo Blue in 2019)
- Classic Silver Metallic
- Magnetic Gray Metallic
- Midnight Black Metallic
- Nautical Blue Metallic
- Super White
Years in Review
2010–2019 Toyota 4Runner
The Toyota 4Runner has been riding highways and carving canyons since 1984 and doing so without very many changes. In fact, it's been remarkably simple, consistent and effective: the current generation debuted 19 years ago, in 2010.
2010 Toyota 4Runner
In its fifth generation (2010–present), the 2010 Toyota 4Runner held fast to its reputation for rugged capability and improved its on-pavement performance. Toyota debuted a new 4.0L V6 engine in 2010, producing 270 hp and 278 lb.-ft. of torque while mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The V8 engine option was discontinued in 2010, making this the only engine option.
2014–2017 Toyota 4Runner
Toyota refreshed the 4Runner in 2014, giving it a new front-end design as well as upgrades to the exterior, cabin trim, and infotainment systems. The automaker also added new premium packages. For 2014, a rearview camera and electronic trailer sway control became standard equipment. The TRD Pro off-road model debuted in 2015.
2018–2019 Toyota 4Runner
With the same powertrain, changes in 2018 and 2019 were minimal and included new paint colors and new wheels for the TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro models.
The Bottom Line
For 35 years, the Toyota 4Runner has evolved into a rugged, off-road performer with a livable, on-road character. With its unique body-on-frame design, it's a true truck for you and six other passengers if you desire adventures beyond the pavement — but also want the rugged looks of a daily road warrior.
Looking to learn more about the Toyota 4Runner? Check out these related resources:
1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
2Based on CarMax average prices between August 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include tax, title, tags, and any applicable fees.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.