2016 Toyota 4Runner Review

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding off-road capability
  • strong V6 engine
  • ample cargo capacity
  • optional third-row seat.
  • Busy ride
  • third row is for kids only
  • poor fuel economy
  • low towing capacity for a traditional SUV
  • cumbersome setup process for Entune system.
List Price Range
$23,500 - $36,955

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2016 Toyota 4Runner is a rugged body-on-frame SUV with more off-road capability than almost any rival, but as a daily driver it's lacking a bit of refinement.

Vehicle overview

Rowdy, off-road ready, truck-based SUVs were once the hottest segment in the market. But shoppers soon discovered that bouncy rides and poor fuel economy were also part of the deal. That ushered in the crossover, an easy-riding, car-based light utility vehicle that looks a lot like an SUV but lacks its truck-based ruggedness. There are only a few traditional SUVs left these days, and the 2016 Toyota 4Runner stands proudly among them. Boasting available three-row seating, a spacious cargo hold and Toyota's reputation for reliability, the 4Runner stays true to its roots as a hairy-chested SUV that's ready for almost anything.

The 2016 Toyota 4Runner is an unabashedly truck-based SUV with go-anywhere capability.

Even in base SR5 trim, the Edmunds "B" rated 4Runner is primed for off-road action. Standard equipment includes items like mud guards and skid plates, while four-wheel-drive models add a dual-range transfer case, hill-start assist and hill-descent control. Move up the trim ladder and you can add better audio and advanced electronic aids for more precise off-roading. Toyota has even beefed up towing capacity for all models but the Limited trim. If off-roading and towing aren't big on your list of things to do, though, there are better family SUVs available. The 4Runner has a difficult time smoothing out potholes in the city with its busy ride, and its fuel economy is woeful compared to most V6-powered crossovers. And its optional third row seating is best reserved for kids, so if you want adult-sized space back there, you'll need to look elsewhere.

If you don't need a third row of seating, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of our favorites, offering competitive off-road performance, several engine options, more robust towing capacity, better fuel economy and an upscale interior. The related Dodge Durango also has more towing capacity and a premium cabin, comes standard with a third-row seat and also has earned an Edmunds "B' rating. If you can do without all the trail-busting hardware, the "A" rated Toyota Highlander offers room for eight passengers, a carlike ride and superior efficiency and acceleration.

But if nothing less than a rugged three-row midsize SUV will do, the 2016 Toyota 4Runner is the only game in town. It may be among the last of a dying breed, but it still has a lot to offer.

2016 Toyota 4Runner models

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner is a midsize SUV offered in four trim levels: SR5, Trail, TRD Pro and Limited. The SR5 and Trail are divided into standard and Premium sub-trims. Five-passenger seating is standard, but an optional 50/50-split third-row seat on the SR5 and Limited models raises capacity to seven.

The SR5 comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, skid plates, mud guards, a tow hitch, hill-start assist and hill-descent control (4WD only), a rearview camera, foglights, heated exterior mirrors, rear privacy glass, LED taillights, roof rails, a power liftgate window, a windshield wiper de-icer, keyless entry, cruise control, air-conditioning with second-row vents, cloth upholstery, a six-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustment, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and 40/20/40-split folding and reclining rear seats. Standard electronics features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Scout GPS Link cell phone navigation integration, and an eight-speaker audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface, voice controls, a CD player, HD and satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The 2016 4Runner's dashboard continues the blocky, truck-inspired theme.

The SR5 Premium adds a sunroof, upgraded exterior mirrors, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, heated front seats, a power front passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an upgraded version of Entune with smartphone app integration and a navigation system.

Go with the 4WD-only Trail trim and you'll get all of the base SR5's standard features plus unique 17-inch wheels, a hood scoop, silver exterior trim accents, a locking rear differential, selectable terrain modes and crawl control. The Trail Premium model adds the SR5 Premium's standard features.

The 4Runner Trail models are exclusively eligible for the optional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which automatically disconnects the SUV's stabilizer bars in low-speed off-road situations to improve suspension articulation over deep ruts and boulders.

The TRD Pro comes with most of the Trail Premium's standard equipment, adding or substituting matte-black 17-inch wheels with special off-road tires, automatic headlights, a TRD-stamped aluminum front skid plate, Bilstein shocks, upgraded front springs, a higher ride height, a unique black front grille and various TRD-themed aesthetic upgrades.

The 4Runner Limited includes most of the Trail Premium's feature content, but it lacks the mud guards, locking rear differential, terrain-mode selector and crawl control. Its available full-time 4WD system instead employs a locking center differential. Other Limited highlights include 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive roll-reducing dampers (X-REAS), automatic headlights, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats and a 15-speaker JBL sound system and Toyota's Safety Connect telematics.

Many of the higher-end standard amenities are available as options on lower trim levels, but availability can vary depending on the region of the United States in which you live. Stand-alone options include fixed running boards, automatically deploying/retracting running boards, a sliding rear cargo floor (two-row models only) and roof-rack crossbars.

2016 Highlights

The 2016 4Runner gets cell phone navigation integration with its upgraded base audio system, and a slight increase in towing capacity for most models; otherwise, it's a carryover from 2015.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner employs a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is a five-speed automatic. The SR5 and Limited models are available with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, while the Trail and TRD Pro are 4WD-only.

Four-wheel-drive SR5 models have a part-time 4WD system with low-range gearing, while the Limited uses a full-time 4WD system with low-range gearing and a locking center differential. The Trail and TRD Pro models come standard with the part-time 4WD system and also include a locking rear differential, crawl control (for use in low range) and selectable terrain modes. Properly equipped, the 4Runner SR5 RWD or 4WD and the Limited RWD model are rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds; the Trail and TRD Pro models tow up to 4,900 pounds and the 4WD Limited model tows up to 4,700 pounds.

In Edmunds testing, a 4WD 4Runner Trail went from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, which is about average among competing SUVs.

The EPA estimates fuel economy at 19 mpg combined (17 city/22 highway) for RWD models and 18 mpg combined (17 city/21 highway) for all 4WD 4Runners. Those numbers are typical for a traditional SUV, but well behind those of most V6-powered crossovers.


Standard safety features on the 2016 Toyota 4Runner include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front knee airbags and active front head restraints. All 4WD models feature an off-road traction control system known as A-Trac that helps keep you moving on slippery terrain by redirecting engine torque to the wheel(s) that have traction.

A rearview camera is standard across the board, but front and rear parking sensors are available only on the Limited trim level. The Limited also comes with Safety Connect, which includes automatic collision notification, a stolen-vehicle locator and emergency assistance.

In Edmunds brake testing, a four-wheel-drive 4Runner Trail model took 132 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is a long distance by crossover standards but not bad for an off-road-oriented SUV.

In government crash tests, the 4Runner earned four out of a possible five stars overall, including four stars for total frontal-impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 4Runner its top rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests, but the small-overlap frontal-offset crash test resulted in a "Marginal" rating (second-lowest). The 4Runner's seat/head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear-impact crashes.


The Toyota 4Runner is designed to provide real utility when the pavement ends. It's at its best when you're plugging along on off-road trails, and the numerous upgrades on the Trail and TRD Pro trims only add to the fun. At the same time, the 4Runner is refined enough for the daily grind, though lots of bumps make it into the cabin as the rugged suspension and big tires jostle you around. The 4Runner's steering feels a little too light in normal driving situations, but is ideal for off-roading, as it results in reduced wrist-wrecking kickback on gnarly trails.

If you want the ability to keep on driving when you run out of road, the 2016 4Runner is a great choice.

The 4Runner's V6 engine is strong enough for most needs, but there's no denying that you get more grunt from rivals like the V8-powered Grand Cherokee and Durango. The 4Runner's five-speed automatic transmission provides well-timed shifts, but we certainly wouldn't mind another gear to calm the engine on the highway and eke out another mpg or two.


The interior of the 2016 Toyota 4Runner features instrumentation and controls that are well laid out and easy to understand. Most owners will be satisfied with the quality of the 4Runner's cabin materials, which are oriented more toward durability than aesthetics. If you demand something a bit more plush, an alternative such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee will likely be a better fit.

All 4Runners come with a touchscreen audio interface placed high on the center stack. Depending on which trim level you've selected, the touchscreen brings various degrees of functionality from Toyota's Entune suite of smartphone-enabled services and apps. All trims except the base SR5 and Trail include a navigation system. The SR5 and Trail models' audio systems enable integration of navigation from your smartphone.

Cargo capacity is abundant in the 2016 4Runner, especially for a midsize SUV.

As for passenger accommodations, the 2016 4Runner's standard five-person seating arrangement includes a reclining 40/20/40-split folding second-row seat. The optional third-row seat is bound to be a tempting option for carpoolers, but you'll want to make sure your elementary schoolers will actually fit, as this is one of the smallest, tightest third rows of any midsize SUV.

In reality, the real estate in the back of the 4Runner is better suited for cargo. There's a healthy 47 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second-row seats, a number that jumps to an even more impressive 89.7 cubic feet with all the rear seats folded down. This is far more space than the Grand Cherokee offers, and more than many large crossovers (such as the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot) as well.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Honeymoon is over - and I still LOVE THIS 4RUNNER!
D Johnson,12/25/2015
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.
Love my new Trail Premium
Trail Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
l had a 2005 Outback XT wagon (which I loved) for about 10 years and it was time to look for something new. The question I faced was, do I get another outback, or do I go with something new. I wanted a truck, but I do a lot of commuting in the city, so it wasn't really an option. I decided to drive a 4runner and that is what sealed the deal. I liked all the features of the trail premium, especially the 4 wheel drive options, so I settled on it with the addition of KDSS. I read a lot of reviews about KDSS that said it was worth it, and I have to agree. I love being up higher than previously in my outback, and I love the truck-like ride. The seats in the premium are very soft and comfortable. The interior is pretty much perfect, with real knobs for the radio and heat controls. I love the reclining rear seats, which are a really nice feature for the passengers in the back. There is definitely enough room with the rear seats folded down to be able to sleep in the back. I had a great experience working with the Mark Miller Toyota dealership in SLC and they were able to get me exactly the setup I wanted. While I loved my Subie, I really love my new Toyota. I look forward to easily driving this thing for 10 years or more. **A year later and 15,000 miles update** I still love my 4runner. It has performed solidly and it hasn't had a single issue. The 4-WD behaved perfectly last winter, so I look forward to more of the same this winter. The only real difference that I notice between it and my old Outback is the stiffer ride and it doesn't corner so well. Besides that, I am really pleased with it and am happy with my decision to purchase it. ***Two years later and 30,000 miles and I still love my 4runner. I have had the chance to finally get it off road, and the thing is amazing. Two Utah winters, and never one worry about getting up the canyons to ski. I haven't had a single problem with it. It is a great truck, and I wouldn't change anything about it. I would buy it again without a second thought.
SR5 Premium a Great Value
SR5 Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
I purchased a 2016 SR5 Premium 4Runner with 4WD. This SUV is a better value than the Limited model which, due to its larger tires and full-time 4WD has a harsher and noisier ride than the SR5 Premium. The SR5 Premium has a smooth and comfortable ride, far from truck-like. There is also no difference in comfort between the faux leather seats in the Premium and the real leather in the Limited; the only difference is that the faux leather is more durable and easier to clean. The engine is smooth and has adequate power, while the transmission shifts smoothly. However, it could use an extra gear (or two) as the fuel economy is poor. Have only managed close to 15 mpg in town (2 mpg under the EPA rating), and that is driving modestly to keep the revs in the Eco zone. Highway mileage appears closer to the rated 21 mpg. The brakes are also soft, and require a significant amount of force to stop promptly. When you roll the rear window down and open up the sun roof the ventilation is incredible. Rear seats are easy to fold down and the space it creates is immense.
4 Runner Won Me Over
Terry Dymek,01/05/2016
SR5 Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
looking for a vehicle that delivers better 4WD performance than your typical 'Crossover'? Well the 4 Runner sure fit that bill for me. Looked at EVERYTHING in this segment and found the 4 Runner to be the best overall in terms of comfort, performance, quality and value. Don't be put off by reviews that talk about how body on frame vehicles cannot deliver the same ride and handling quality as the typical unibody. The 4 Runner does not ride or handle like a truck ( I have a 2105 Chevy Silverado so I know what a real truck ride is like). While certainly not car-like, the 4 Runner rolls down the road smoothly and confidently. My main requirement was to be able to drive up a very steep and long driveway during New England winters. Other AWD vehicles (Subaru, Rav 4, etc) could not handle the job if there was more than a couple of inches of snow on the ground. The 4 Runner has absolutely no problems with any snow depth. Sure, I could have bought and Audi Q series but for the money and maintenance costs over the long run, you just can't beat the Toyota 4 Runner


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover24.6%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2016 Toyota 4Runner

Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner Overview

The Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner is offered in the following submodels: 4Runner SUV. Available styles include SR5 Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SR5 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SR5 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Trail 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Trail Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), TRD PRO 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SR5 Premium 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), and Limited 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner Limited is priced between $27,888 and$36,955 with odometer readings between 29149 and107715 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner SR5 is priced between $25,000 and$34,960 with odometer readings between 21679 and114370 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium is priced between $28,901 and$33,990 with odometer readings between 29355 and87061 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner Trail is priced between $25,995 and$35,000 with odometer readings between 26344 and108759 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium is priced between $23,500 and$31,998 with odometer readings between 70255 and167205 miles.

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Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 Toyota 4Runner for sale near. There are currently 43 used and CPO 2016 4Runners listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $23,500 and mileage as low as 21679 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 Toyota 4Runner.

Can't find a used 2016 Toyota 4Runners you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota 4Runner for sale - 4 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $9,398.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 10 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $23,230.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota 4Runner for sale - 2 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,475.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 5 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $16,795.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 Toyota 4Runner?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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