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
Honeymoon is over - and I still LOVE THIS 4RUNNER!
written on 12-24-2015
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.
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.
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.
We bought a new 2016 4Runner Limited in January. The vehicle looks great is fairly comfortable and handles well. Our biggest complaints are:
1. The navigation system seems unnecessarily complicated. Nothing is intuitive when trying to use it.
2. The tan leather interior picks up dye from your clothing immediately. We owned a 2007 Sequoia previously with tan leather and had virtually no staining with it. In the 4Runner, within two weeks there was already a dark blue patch on the drivers seat. Toyota definitely failed on the leather selected.
Added Oct 2016. After 1o months of owning the car:
3. The noise level is high in the 4runner when driving.
4. Related to #3 and something I saw in my Ford Explorer, the window glass is thinner than seen on cars in past years. Not only is noise a problem but windshield breakage is a problem.
5. Stereo system is a disappointment. Impossible to get any type of surround sound effect in the front seat. Only the front speakers can be heard.