If you dont live or drive in a rural or wild area, the alot of the virtues of this vehicle may be meaningless to you. I think thats why alot of the magazine reviews call it "old school" body on frame, needs more power, more gears, etc. IMHO, the 4Runner is the real deal if you need to transport moderate quantities of horse (2) dog(2) and human supplies, have to go "off road" regularly ...to pass oncoming vehicles on our country roads and pull a 3000 gvw utility trailer when needed. Cheap to own and operate. Great VALUE for the dollar. Clean it up and it looks and drives good enough to go anywhere including 1200 mile trips from PA to FL twice a year with 2 Labs in the back. Understand, I am in a bit of a downsize mode. The suburbans, 4-door duallys and gooseneck trailers are gone, but we are just a 2 horse operation now and the kids are gone. Had an interlude of X-5 BMWs' and M and GL Mercedes too. Great in many ways but overpriced and over-complicated for what I really need a vehicle to do. If you like good value and understand and appreciate good engineering and design, 4runner will work for you. If you need to keep up with the Jones's there are a ton of other choices out there.
First the obvious - it's a Toyota. If you take care of Toyota's they will run forever. My beloved 2002 4Runner Sport had 115K miles on it when I traded it in. The factory battery lasted 11 years. Original exhaust. Burned less than a cup of oil in 3k miles. No rust. You can't ask for much more than that. I decided it was time for that new car smell and traded it in on a 2015 4Runner Trail in Attitude Black Metallic. I got the KDSS suspension and the Entune Upgrade sound/media system. I have not had a chance to test out the KDSS offroad in the mountains yet, but the truck has done very well in snow (as expected) thus far.
Living in Colorado, I needed a vehicle that would get me to work in extreme snow storms, take me to the mountains for recreation, and still be refined enough to use as a daily driver. The Toyota 4runner does this better than any other SUV out there. Ride quality with the KDSS system is outstanding, off road and on road. Dash is layed out well and very intuitive. Cabin is extremely quiet. Upgrade to NAV was comparatively cheap, and the stereo rocks! Very comfortable cloth seats, this is the first car seat I've had that has more lumbar support than I need. Price is very reasonable.
The 2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is the best 4x4 of the year
written on 04-14-2015
TRD PRO 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
I was first attracted to the 2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro because I loved it's appearance; especially in the Inferno Orange color. After driving it, I fell in love with it. Ignore the other reviews that claim it is less than enjoyable to drive on the road; that just isn't true. This truck is just awesome. It's comfortable, handles well on road AND off, and the stereo system is the best sounding stereo I have ever heard in any vehicle. The TRD suspension, shocks, wheels, tires and 1/4 inch thick skid plates underneath it make it a street legal urban tank. You will see heads turning and get lots of thumbs up from total strangers. I wanted a FUN vehicle for once in my life, and I got it!
I've spent the last 14 years trapped in company cars: a 2000 and 2003 Dodge Caravan, and a 2007, 2009, and 2012 Ford Explorers. The Caravans were transmission eating monsters. The 2007 Explorer was fairly problematic, the 2009 was surprisingly reliable, and the 2012 was plagued with engine, transmission and brake problems - and it was the worst vehicle I've ever driven in the snow. When my company told me in late 2014 that they were eliminating company vehicles and switching to an allowance, I jumped at the chance to buy a 4Runner. I just hit 12 months and 22,000 miles in my fairly basic SR5 4Runner. The only upgrades it has are the Entune system, running boards, and the 3rd row seat. Voice recognition with Entune is worthless... I say "take me to the nearest Dunkin Donuts, "and it tries to take me to the Holiday Inn in Deluth, MN. The running boards are a necessity with younger children. The 3rd row seat is cramped but works for extra kids in a pinch. The Edmund's editors like to slam this vehicle for it's unsettled ride, a result of old-school body-on-frame construction. Some people like that type of ride. The 2012 Explorer I used to drive couldn't handle any weight in the back, sagged miserably, and as a result I was constantly high-beamed by oncoming drivers at night. The 2015 4Runner is solid, with very little sagging under a heavy load. They complain about the hyperactive, old school, five speed transmission, and suggest that adding an extra gear or two would improve fuel economy. The engine is not the fastest out there, but you don't buy a 4750 lb vehicle and expect it to take off like a race car. The current 4Runner powertrain has been around for over 10 years and has proven that it is almost bulletproof. I have a couple of friends who have 4Runners with 200,000+ miles on them, and one friend at last check had 326,000 miles and has only changed oil, brakes, and tires. The 4Runner is a tank in the snow. Last winter I got caught in a Syracuse lake effect snow storm and barreled right through a foot of standing snow in the road, blowing past Subarus and Dodge pickups buried in ditches. If you want an overgrown station wagon, go buy an Explorer. If you want a tank that can drive through a house during a blizzard in the middle of the zombie apocalypse and not skip a beat, the 4Runner is the vehicle for you. By the way, the resale value on the 4Runner is one of the highest of any vehicle on the road.