This 4 Runner is fun to drive. With all the options and what I got for the money was a better deal in my mind than I could have gotten for other SUVs on the market. I looked at purchasing an older model with similar options, but found that the value of the used ones were very close to the price I paid for a brand new one, that I like better anyhow. The instrument cluster looks much better than the older ones and is lit with blue LEDs. The seats are not quite as comfortable as other SUVs I tried, but they do the job. The offroad and snow performance even with highway style tires is where this vehicle shines. This is a nice SUV, I am happy with my purchase.
We have had our 4 Runner for about a month now and it has been nothing less than spectacular! When we began our search for an SUV we did not want the new trend of the crossover SUV. IMHO a crossover is nothing but a station wagon and most car companies are switching to that trend. Luckily Toyota has stuck to tradition with the 4 Runner by keeping it a true SUV in every sense. The 4 Runner is a true body on truck frame masterpiece that is very fun and easy to drive on the road and is at home when the pavement ends. It has a strong 4.0 V6 at 270 horsepower and 278 pound foot of torque. It will tow up to 4700 pounds which is enough for and ultra lite travel trailer, boat and other various toys.
I shopped the 4Runner against a G. Cherokee (unattractive/low quality interior), Pathfinder (superb ride quality but felt too much like a car - CVT transmission also a no-go - google Nissan and CVT and see what I mean), and Explorer (a little bland) and the 4Runner won out for superior styling, fit and finish, and third row seat. I've had it since August of 2014 (~15k mi.) with no significant problems. I did have to have the navigation system program updated by the dealer who performed this service free of charge and promptly. It has ample power (I rarely tow but it is up for the job), decent acceleration and relatively good fuel economy for a SUV. I average just over 18 mpg in largely city/suburb driving but it doesn't go up much on the highway if you have a heavy foot in particular. Mine is two wheel drive but I'd take it anywhere any other 2wd in the class may venture and then some. Good ground clearance (running boards are suggested if for looks if nothing else) and traction control performs well in light off road duty. Sharp truck. I was also sold on safety when my wife pulled across the path of a police dodge charger with push bar and under 2k miles and the impact totaled it but not her 2010 Highlander that were it not for a busted radiator and blown tire probably could have been driven away.
Multiple trips back to dealer. Radio/Nav issues with Iphone and Android. Moonroof leaks, drivers window rattles, hood shakes at speed. Not a very well engineered or built vehicle by toyota this time. Poor components. All issues for a vehicle with less than 20k miles.
I purchased a new 2014 4Runner SR5 Premium because of the reduced interest rates for this model. I previously had a 2006 4Runner Limited and a 2000 Limited, which I was pleased with. I chose the SR5 Premium because it had everything except fancy wheels and the leather seats and I felt the Limited would not hold up well on my ranch with its smaller tires/larger wheels. The engine is efficient and the vehicle has more ground clearance than the 2006 4x4 Limited I had.
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.