Honeymoon is over - and I still LOVE THIS 4RUNNER!
Trail Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Simple review: Buy one if you want to off-road more than the average bear!
Reason for purchase: 4x4 alone quite often and needed a reliable vehicle to get me into the middle of nowhere. As an amateur astronomer, I also needed room for dry/clean storage. Also needed an interior long enough for sleep (I don't tent).
To me it's a truck with extra seating and storage. The 4x4, including crawl, locker, and terrain select have been used quite extensively by this driver. I've been in back country fresh snow (a few times now), mud, and desert. The factory Dunlop GrandTrek tires remain as the Achilles heel when playing in fresh deep snow or mud. So far (knock-on-wood) the 4Runner has taken everything I've thrown at it. Of course keep in mind being alone miles from nowhere I've had to keep a conservative approach to things!
Engine: (in my opinion) - this is a truck with a large but factory choked V6. Toyota probably keeps it detuned for long lasting and reliable reasons! I'm certain this rig is easily capable of 325+ HP if tuned.
Transmission: The 5 speed is dated (albeit reliable as it approaches the end of the development cycle).
Even with these minor noted issues, there are no driving complaints. There are no issues merging with traffic or anything like that. I have not towed with it (probably never will), so I can't comment on the 5000 lb rating.
Interior - seats are great, heated too. No issues with steering or controls in general. Surprisingly no rattles yet; however I anticipate them as the vehicle ages and is used for intended purposes. Touch screen could be a little bigger. Love the dual map mode - use if often. Audio system is a non-issue - works great. Be nice to have more USB ports.
REAR WINDOW DROPS. Yeah, capital letters there - big deal, that rear window....a BIG factor in my purchase of this vehicle. Hauling lumber in an SUV - no prob here. See if you can name all the current SUV's that can drop the rear window?
I could type forever and bore you with details for which you will not really 'get'. Let's just say if you want a capable vehicle that will 'mostly' keep up with a stock Wranglers the 4Runner may be your ticket.
6/26/17: Yes, I still own this rig. Still drive it daily. This 4Runner is taken off-road frequently. 4WD is locked in (high and low along with ATRAC, DIFF LOCK, Crawler mode, etc) often. While the truck has accrued a few deep brush scrapes, the mechanical and operational, along with safety systems, has remained flawless. I have no qualm with taking this 4Runner, fully loaded, on a weekend excursion of any kind. Snow is nothing but fun! Only modification is WeatherTech floor liners - - great for snow especially if panning in remote creeks. Buy one, now.