Toyota’s blocky, function-first 4Runner has made a reputation in SUV and off-roading circles as a reliable-as-a-rock brick that may go almost perpetually and with out a lot care or feeding. A donkey with out the bouts of recalcitrance. A camel with out the spitting. A devoted canine with out the fur. Whereas the present 4Runner is now in its 11th 12 months in manufacturing, making it outdated in fashionable automotive phrases, these searching for off-road functionality favor the sturdiness of confirmed mechanicals and primary building slightly than the most recent and gee-whizziest. And since Toyota has adhered to this quite simple components, 4Runner gross sales have plodded alongside steadily with out a lot characteristic updating through the years.
Nicely, that modifications now, as a result of the 2020 4Runner gives all the most recent options within the Toyota field of tips, making it maybe the most effective it has been since a V8 engine choice was pulled within the 2000s.
First off, all of the implied off-road efficiency of the 4Runner is fulfilled by the TRD Professional model ($51,419 as examined), with severe off-roading suspension, clingy all-terrain tires, a number of terrain modes for rocks, sand, downhill, and dirt for the four-wheel drive system, skid plates to guard the differentials and different susceptible items beneath, and some particular trim items that others within the know will acknowledge. The 4Runner can tow 5,000 kilos (2,268 kg), as nicely. Nevertheless, 4Runners may also be had in much less trail-ready variations for extra devoted road use just like the SR5, SR5 Premium, and Restricted, in each rear-drive and four-wheel drive. Within the soiled and muddy, the 4Runner TRD Professional primarily matches Jeep-levels of capability, which can anger the Jeep devoted, however there it’s.
Suburban imply streets see it fall behind car-based crossover SUVs like Toyota’s personal Highlander, the Honda Pilot, or Ford Explorer due to the 4Runner’s extra rudimentary suspension design, however that design is a requirement for actual off-road functionality. The straightforward look as a rugged, pretty roomy, shoeboxy off-roading SUV leaves no room for pretense. Particularly within the TRD Professional model on check right here, the 4Runner retains its visible promise, which may typically be a veil of false functionality within the SUV universe.
One other advantage of the blockhouse measurement and form is cargo capability. The 4Runner has a beneficiant 46 cubic toes (1,303L) of cargo area behind the second row of seats, whereas Toyota’s personal Highlander crossover SUV has simply 42 cubic toes (1,189L). The 4Runner’s inside has a stark performance to all the things, with plenty of little storage areas and clearly marked controls. Rear seat passengers will respect the addition of two USB ports to cost their gadgets. There’s additionally a grounded rear electrical outlet. Basic consolation inside is nice however not excellent.
The 4Runner can be that uncommon throwback SUV with a rear window that rolls down whereas the tailgate stays in place, making it pleasant for furry snouts to relaxation whereas ready as you get your buying achieved.
It now entertains you whenever you’re not crawling over boulders
The large information, although, is an all-new infotainment system for 2020. There’s now an Eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with Siri and Alexa compatibility, all of which debut for the primary time in a 4Runner. Toyota had lengthy held out to deploy its personal proprietary smartphone integration system however lastly capitulated just lately to . That is an excellent factor, although it took far too lengthy to take action; it ought to have merely gone with many of the trade and adopted CarPlay and Android Auto years in the past. Evidently, it really works very nicely and is glitch-free.
One other huge 4Runner replace for 2020 is Toyota’s TSS-P lively security characteristic set adopted throughout all 4Runner trim ranges. This makes ahead collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise management, and automatic high-beams normal—one other welcome replace. Computerized unlocking makes a debut, too, the place each driver’s and passenger’s facet door handles want solely to be touched to lock or unlock them.
The 4Runner’s four.0L V6 engine makes 270hp (201 kW) and 278 lb-ft (377 Nm) of torque, which is satisfactory, although nothing that may gentle the dragstrip on fireplace. It is also fairly a rough engine, with a sure degree of thrash when pushed into greater revs. That V6 mates with a conventional 5-speed computerized that reveals its classic in on-road habits, shifting with lurchy suddenness beneath heavy acceleration. Nevertheless, it is simply effective in regular on-road driving. When off-roading, it additionally performs nicely and with out surprises.
In suburban and freeway environments on pavement, the 4Runner TRD Professional pitches fore-aft and rolls back and forth a bunch, due to that off-road-focused chassis, however you adapt and change into used to it after 50 or so miles (80 km).
Being heavy and lugging round severe four-wheel drive mechanicals whereas additionally presenting itself to the wind just like the unaerodynamic brick that it’s, the 4Runner wins no gas economic system trophies, returning a mixed 17mpg (13.8l/100km) score. We noticed some journeys on both facet of that determine, however many of the crossovers of the identical basic measurement might by no means deal with off-roading just like the 4Runner, both.
Although the 4Runner isn’t fairly as poised on the highway as crossover SUVs based mostly on automotive platforms like Toyota’s personal Highlander or the aforementioned Ford Explorer or Honda Pilot, the up to date 4Runner is a vastly rugged and dependable SUV able to strenuous off-roading. It would not give a rattling about style and cares solely about operate. And with a major injection of higher comfort and lively security know-how, it makes the general image of dwelling with a 4Runner day by day extra compelling. The 4Runner covers the conventional duties of commuting, carpooling, and buying with out a lot fuss, although its coronary heart is within the woods.
Itemizing picture by Toyota