Barcelona Red Metallic, Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System ($1,750 -- disconnects the vehicle's stabilizer bars to increase axle travel and suspension articulation in slow and difficult terrain); Display Audio With Navigation and Entune ($585 -- includes 6.1-inch touchscreen navigation system with integrated backup camera display, AM/FM HD Radio and single-CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability and eight speakers, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio with 3-month trial subscription to XM Select Package, iTunes tagging; auxiliary audio jack and USB port with iPod connectivity, Vehicle information display, Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free phone capability, phone book access, advanced voice recognition, text-to-speech with programmed and customizable text responses and wireless music streaming); Rigid Running Board ($345); Carpet Floor and Cargo Mat Set ($225); Cargo Divider ($149); Exhaust Tip ($90); Hitch Ball Mount ($60 -- requires trailer ball).
Naturally aspirated, port-injected V6
DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
270 @ 5,600
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
278 @ 4,400
Five-speed automatic with console shifter and Sport/Competition modes
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
There's a lot of vehicle for this V6 to move, but it does all right. With traction control off it gets some front wheelspin. The engine gets a bit rowdy as the tach climbs over 5,000 rpm. Shifts aren't overly quick, but they're pretty smooth. In Drive or Sport mode it upshifts around 5,500 rpm, but the quickest run came using the manual-shifting mode along with power braking (overlapping throttle and brake at launch). By manually upshifting at 5,600 rpm, the slow-shifting tranny would accomplish the upshift around 5,800 rpm, just shy of the 5,900-rpm rev limiter. Manual shifting is via the console lever (pull back for downshifts). Does not blip the throttle on manual downshifts.
Lots and lots of nosedive from the big suspension travel. Pedal was nice and firm, with an intuitive amount of travel. Not surprisingly the 4Runner exhibited big brake odor by the fourth stop, though the pedal remained consistent. Considerable squirm with each panic stop, enough to require some steering correction. The first stop was the shortest at 132 feet. The fourth and fifth stops were longest at 137 feet.
Slalom: What a beast! Heavy and soft, the suspension really rolls over on itself. Steering is slow, takes a considerable amount of turning to get this thing around the cones. Feels very tall and top-heavy. The stability system is pretty active, and strangely it was more intrusive with traction control off than it was with all systems full on. Skid pad: This is basically just a front-end plow-fest. Major body roll/lean. The stability control is extremely intrusive with all systems on, cutting throttle significantly and adding some brake. Interestingly, because it was adding brakes to the proper wheels, the stability control ON time was actually slightly better than with everything OFF.