Full 2007 Toyota 4Runner Review
What's New for 2007
Toyota's popular and off-road-ready SUV carries over to the 2007 model year with no significant changes.
Now in its fourth generation, the Toyota 4Runner is largely unchanged for 2007. It still has the expected rugged good looks and true off-road capability of a stout, no-nonsense sport-utility vehicle. While other SUVs in its class have evolved into softer, kinder, gentler versions of their originals, the 4Runner has retained much of its truckish character. This might seem like a misguided philosophy when you consider that few SUV owners actually go off-road, but Toyota looks at the situation a bit differently. It sees the 4Runner's all-terrain capability as a selling point over its rivals. If you want a "soft roader," there are plenty to choose from -- Toyota's own Highlander is a perfect example and the Honda Pilot and Mitsubishi Endeavor are also good choices. But if you want a genuine sport-utility vehicle that actually goes off-road, the Toyota 4Runner is still the real deal.
This body-on-frame SUV has two available engines: a 4.0-liter V6 or a 4.7-liter V8. There's a decent amount of cargo room with a maximum capacity of 75 cubic feet, but the Toyota 4Runner still lags behind the competition in this regard. Toyota isn't completely oblivious to this fact, as the company offers a foldable cargo shelf that allows for two-tiered loading. Those hoping for a third-row seat are in luck, as it's optional, but the bad news is that it doesn't fold flat into the floor like other midsize SUVs.
Overall, the 2007 Toyota 4Runner stacks up favorably against just about any other midsize sport-ute on the market when it comes to creature comforts and standard equipment. Add in the powerful engines, advanced vehicle control systems and stout underpinnings, and there's little doubt this Toyota SUV upholds the legacy of the numerous 4Runners before it. It's great off-road, comfortable on-road and will suit most families with its adequate cargo-hauling capacity.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Toyota 4Runner is a midsize SUV. It comes in three trim levels: SR5, Sport and Limited. Standard features on the base SR5 include 16-inch wheels, automatic climate control with rear vents, a CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary input jack, remote keyless entry, cruise control, a trip computer and full power accessories. Stepping up to the Sport Edition adds larger 17-inch wheels, "X-REAS" shock absorbers, color-keyed exterior mirrors, power front seats, special seat fabric and a telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. High-dollar Limited models pick up illuminated running boards, 18-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 115-volt power outlet, leather upholstery and heated front seats. Options include a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a premium JBL audio system and a third-row seat. The X-REAS shocks are optional for the Limited and come with a height-adjustable rear air suspension.
Powertrains and Performance
The Toyota 4Runner is available with rear- or four-wheel drive and one of two engines. The standard 4.0-liter V6 makes 236 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The optional 4.7-liter V8 generates 260 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque. All 4Runners get a five-speed automatic transmission. Towing capacity is 7,300 pounds on V8 models, while V6 models top out at 5,000 pounds.
All Toyota 4Runner models come with antilock disc brakes and stability control (called VSC). The 4WD versions also come with hill-start assist and downhill assist. Optional on all models are front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags for first- and second-row passengers. In NHTSA crash testing, the 2007 Toyota 4Runner earned four out of five stars in the frontal-impact category and a perfect five stars for side impacts. In IIHS frontal-offset testing, the 4Runner received a "Good" rating, the highest.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Toyota 4Runner offers roomy quarters for four to five passengers and maybe a few kids if you opt for the 50/50 third-row seat. To make way for cargo, each half of the third-row seat can be stowed in an upright position along the sideboards or removed completely, but it does not fold flat into the floor. The overall design of the interior is both aesthetically pleasing and seriously functional, with most controls easy to find and use. Our only major ergonomic complaint concerns the climate controls, which look like intuitive dials but work more like joysticks. Maximum cargo capacity is 75 cubic feet, which trails behind most of the 4Runner's midsize competitors.
Both engines move the 4Runner out quickly. Although the V8 is a must if you plan on doing any serious towing, most buyers will be happy with the less expensive and more fuel-efficient V6. When driven on pavement, the 2007 Toyota 4Runner delivers a smooth, controlled ride, and handling around turns is surprisingly tight and responsive for a traditional body-on-frame sport-ute. Models with the X-REAS system have their dampers diagonally linked. (The front left damper, or shock, is linked to the rear right and the front right is linked to the rear left.) The system helps improve on-road handling and dampens body roll and pitch. Taken off-road, this Toyota SUV is right at home, tackling steep passes with little drama and delivering an almost luxurious ride even on rutted trails.