2019 Toyota 4Runner Review
2019 Toyota 4Runner Review
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Used 4Runner for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Edmunds ContributorJames Riswick is an automotive journalist at Edmunds.
- Off-road capability few other competitors can match
- Variety of configurations to suit many buyers and price points
- Versatile cargo area, especially with optional slide-out floor
- Choppy ride quality compared with more modern crossovers
- Lacks the latest driver safety aids
- V6 engine is not particularly fuel-efficient
- Tall step-in height makes for ungraceful entry and exit
- TRD Pro has new Fox shock absorbers, new skid plate and roof rack, and standard sunroof and JBL sound system
- New Limited Nightshade Edition with black-out color scheme
- Part of the fifth 4Runner generation introduced for 2010
Rarely does a car get more popular with age, but that's exactly what's happening with the Toyota 4Runner. Despite entering its 10th year since it was completely redesigned — an eternity in car terms — the 4Runner sells exponentially better today than it did when minty fresh.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD OFF-ROAD Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.35 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
4Runner TRD OFF-ROAD Premium
Avg. Midsize SUV
Perhaps that has to do with today's SUV-hungry buyers, but the 2019 4Runner is also a distinctive model. It is rugged and off-road capable, yet it's spacious and family-friendly. Sure, it's a bit rough around the edges and lacks many of the technology features you'll find in other SUVs, but there's an honesty to the 4Runner and a just-right goodness that keeps it relevant. It won't be for everyone, but it'll be exactly what a great many want.
So, if you think you might be in that "great many," here are the 4Runner's good bits. Its rugged trucklike construction, abundant ground clearance and legitimate off-road hardware give it go-anywhere credentials few SUVs (and especially crossovers) can match or surpass. At the same time, it has a large cabin with a big, boxy cargo area that'll make packing for a go-anywhere adventure (or just a trip to Grandma's for the holidays) that much easier. You also get a reputation for near bulletproof reliability and a driving experience that's not as cumbersome or trucklike as you'd expect for an off-road-oriented SUV.
However, there are significant drawbacks to consider. The 4Runner's advanced age means it lacks the accident-avoidance tech found on other Toyota vehicles. Its cabin design and materials are more utilitarian than those of similarly priced rivals, and infotainment features route through a tiny 6.1-inch touchscreen. Also, the 4Runner can't match the on-road refinement and fuel economy of more modern crossover SUVs.
These distinct highs and lows are part of that honesty we were talking about, though. The 4Runner is what it is. If you can live with the lows, or weigh them favorably against its distinct highs, the 4Runner should prove its popularity is no fad.
Notably, we picked the 2019 4Runner as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize SUVs for 2018.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.2 / 10
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Toyota 4Runner Limited (4.0L V6 | 5-speed automatic | 4WD).
|Overall||7.2 / 10|
The 4Runner accelerates with authority, with no ropey lag inherent in smaller engines with fuel-thrifty transmissions. This V6 is stout, and the five-speed keeps it in the power. The 4Runner is practically the last one standing for midsize 4x4 SUVs with real off-road capability and rugged sensibility.
The 4Runner exhibits surprisingly smooth, linear and powerful acceleration. Tall gearing and five speeds keep it in the powerband longer, unlike many of today's crossovers that shift to highest gears as quickly as possible. There's no insufferable lag, just ample thrust. It's not fast, but the V6 is surprisingly strong.
The brake pedal has a nebulous feel through two-thirds of the pedal travel, so drivers might need some time to achieve consistently smooth stops. Plenty of stopping power remains in the last third of the pedal travel. There's an abundance of nosedive in emergency stops.
Similar to the brakes, not a lot of real feel comes through the wheel, but the truck responds quickly and accurately. Steering effort is a bit heavy at higher speeds, but it's not fatiguing. At low speeds, it offers an appropriate amount of assist.
The 4Runner is surprisingly stable, even in tight, short turns. Body roll isn't excessive. Controlling it requires deliberate easing off of the throttle, braking, settling, then stabbing the throttle midcorner. The Limited-specific suspension system is at work here, trying its best to make the 4Runner feel somewhat luxurious.
Smooth throttle delivery and seamless shifting make the 4Runner feel less like a truck and more like a crossover, but it's not quite either. The transmission's five available gears enable the driver to wring maximum thrust from the V6, but additional gears would improve fuel economy.
The 4Runner excels off-road, but the Limited model is the least capable due to its 20-inch wheels and low-hanging front fascia. SR5 and TRD models have superior chin clearance and better-suited wheels and tires. The TRD Off-Road trim has a lockable rear differential, and it's the only one with available disconnecting stabilizer bars.
The Toyota 4Runner offers a reasonable mix of comfort that's consistent with its overall mission and truck-based roots. It's not as cushy as today's typical crossovers, but few looking for this kind of rugged capability will take exception to that.
The broad cushions and seatbacks offer a wide surface area for long-distance comfort, although lumbar support feels overly firm. With the optional third-row seating package, the second-row seats can slide and recline, but the third row is for kids only or short trips with average-size adults.
The ride is not quite crossover-smooth, but it's not truck-brutish either. It bounces around on crummy pavement. But if you've driven trucks and can tolerate the kind of vibrations and jostling that can creep into a truck's ride, you'll find the 4Runner more than acceptable because it rides better than a pickup.
Noise & vibration7.0
The isolation of road noise is good most of the time, but the squarish shape isn't particularly adept at quelling wind noise. It's not unreasonable or out of place in this type of vehicle, though.
If you can get past controls that look as if they're from a Tonka set, they're large and easy to use. The climate system works swiftly and without delay. That's a big ask since the cabin is quite large, but front passengers get relief in two minutes or less. The Limited's seat-cooling fans are noisy.
The Limited's interior is a mishmash of materials. The dash has a piece of fake dark walnut capped by silver spray-painted plastic trim. The gauges look pulled from a mid-2000s Toyota Matrix. The design appears genuinely confused about whether it's a nice crossover or a rugged truck. But that sort of sums up the Limited.
Ease of use7.5
The switch gear is big, logical and easy to use, but it looks ancient in 2019. It looked dated in 2009. The infotainment screen is laughably small, too.
Getting in/getting out6.5
This off-road-biased 4x4 naturally comes with a higher step-up height relative to standard crossovers. Access to the front and rear is similar, but grab handles make it easier to gain leverage on entry. Shorter drivers will need to learn to spring up into the seats. The doors open nice and wide.
The 4Runner offers an even higher, more commanding view than most crossovers. Drivers of all sizes will be able to find a good position, although adjustable pedals and more wheel telescoping would be appreciated.
There's plenty of front head- and legroom for tall passengers, although the available sunroof consumes considerable headroom. The back has plenty of headroom but a bit less legroom. But the sliding and reclining rear seats should help even 6-foot-tall passengers find a comfy setting.
It's surprisingly easy to see over the hood and toward the front corners, perhaps due to the simple and boxy design. There's good visibility out the back window, further enhanced by a backup camera. The rear quarters have the usual SUV blind spots, but a fairly level sightline out the sides offers good around-view visibility.
The 4Runner has tight gaps outside and an attractive interior. The premium vinyl upholstery in most trims should be easy to clean, but it won't fool anyone into thinking it's leather. Only the Limited gets the real stuff, which looks good and should hold up over the long haul.
This is why you buy the 4Runner: loads of room and a clean, squared-off shape to enhance cargo capacity and cabin usefulness, along with off-road build quality and capability. Load up the 4Runner with outdoor gear, pets, clothes, duffel bags and go. That's part of this SUV's primary appeal.
For such a roomy cabin, there aren't many places to stash personal items. The door pockets can hold a slim water bottle and some smaller flat items. The center console is deep and wide enough for a cluster of wallets, phones, keys, small items and maybe an iPad Mini. You'll be hunting for stash spaces.
The rear seatbacks fold flat, and it's easy to pack the sizable cargo hold (88.8 cubic feet with seats down; 46.3 cubic feet with seats up) because of its squarish shape. Car campers will love it since it's easy to stretch out a couple of sleeping bags in the back. Available slide-out tray is a unique feature that aids loading.
Child safety seat accommodation8.0
A leather flap backed with Velcro covers the LATCH anchors, but it's easy to pull back and access them. Three tethers are located behind each rear seat. The roomy second row can accommodate car seats in any of the three positions, even bulkier rear-facing models. The square door openings make for easy access.
Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds, a useful figure that covers most boats and many small camping trailers. But the 4Runner doesn't offer a factory electric trailer brake controller. You'll have to go aftermarket to add that capability.
This 4Runner generation is now a decade old and its limited technology offerings show it. There's no safety tech available (other Toyotas come standard with them). And although the infotainment system's functionality is OK, it looks, feels and is dated. That could be a real deal-breaker given its competitors.
Audio & navigation6.5
The navigation system is basic. Most smartphone-based nav apps are more powerful and sophisticated. The 6-inch display is small and there's no upgrade available. The JBL audio system is decent but lacks power and volume.
There's no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, just Toyota's basic Entune app suite. But the USB and Bluetooth audio/phone connections offer a suitable workaround to the clunky Entune interface.
There's a surprising lack of common driver aids such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Many of these come standard on other Toyotas or are offered on competitors.
The rudimentary controls require very specific syntax and speech patterns. Most drivers will have better luck using the voice assistants on their phones.
Which 4Runner does Edmunds recommend?
Much of the 4Runner's value lies in its go-anywhere capability. As such, we think the TRD Off-Road Premium is the sweet spot in the lineup. It's not as hardcore (or expensive) as the TRD Pro, but its locking rear differential and available KDSS suspension help provide off-road capability that few SUVs can match. At the same time, the Premium part of its name indicates the many features that make this 4Runner trim a more livable vehicle.
2019 Toyota 4Runner models
The 2019 Toyota 4Runner is a midsize SUV available in seven trim levels: SR5, SR5 Premium, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, TRD Pro, Limited and Limited Nightshade. All share the same 4.0-liter V6 (270 horsepower, 278 pound-feet of torque), five-speed automatic transmission and 5,000-pound tow rating. SR5 and Limited trims are available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and a two- or three-row seating configuration. The remaining trim levels are 4WD-only and seat five. A low-range transfer case comes on 4WD versions of the SR5, TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trim levels.
The SR5 is the base model, but it's not bare-bones. Standard features include 17-inch wheels, skid plates, foglights, a rearview camera, heated mirrors, roof rails, a windshield wiper de-icer, a power rear window, power front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger), 40/20/40-split reclining and folding second-row seats, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 120-volt power outlet in the rear cargo area. The standard infotainment system boasts a 6.1-inch touchscreen, one USB port, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, a media player interface, and HD and satellite radio.
Stepping up to TRD Off-Road adds a locking rear differential, slightly wider 17-inch wheels, Multi-Terrain Select off-road settings and a crawl control function. The interior wears additional TRD badging. The Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) feature is optional.
Premium variants of the SR5 and the TRD Off-Road get SofTex simulated leather upholstery, heated front seats, navigation, an upgraded 6.1-inch touchscreen and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A sunroof is optional.
Serious off-roaders should consider the TRD Pro, which starts with the TRD Off-Road Premium and adds revised front springs, Fox dampers with internal bypass rear remote reservoirs, matte black 17-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, a special front skid plate, a roof rack and special styling. It also gains automatic headlights, LED foglights, the sunroof and a 15-speaker JBL sound system.
The Limited model is more luxury-oriented and sacrifices off-road capability in the process. It gets a Torsen locking center differential (4WD models only), a full-time 4WD system, and a separate suspension system Toyota calls X-REAS that's designed to reduce body roll without hurting ride quality. The Limited also gains the TRD Pro's extra creature comfort features plus 20-inch wheels, special styling, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, keyless ignition and entry, heated and ventilated front seats, and leather seat upholstery. Power-deploying running boards are optional.
The new Limited Nightshade Edition just adds black exterior trim, replacing much of the Limited's standard silver and chrome accents.
Jump to:Related 2019 4Runner articles
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
65 yr. old woman owner!
SR5 Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
After a year of searching what vehicle to buy this suv came out on top! As a formor owner of a ford explorer limited, this suv knocks all others out of the race. I LOVE this vehicle. It can tow my camper trailer, hual my dog and groceries, and take me on long trips comfortably. I don't have to figure out all the fancy add on technology found in other suv`s that I never used, and its … beautiful to boot!! A great ride and a must have!
5 out of 5 stars
I have had four!
SR5 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
I love my car. I am a tiny woman with a job that requires me to be available in any weather. In my car, I am confident that I will make it in blizzard and unplowed roads. Thats why I am driving my fourth one and would not consider anything else.
5 out of 5 stars
One of the last true SUVs
TRD OFF-ROAD 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
My wife, my daughter, and I love the 4Runner. It's a tried an true design. One of the last true body-on-frame SUVs. It's rugged, capable, dependable, and stylish. Admittedly, it doesn't have all the new driving assistance features like lane assist, forward emergency braking, or auto pilot. You cant go to sleep at the wheel, you have to drive it. But that's what it's designed for. It's … not dependent on pavement. In fact, it prefers to be off the pavement. It's a path finder (not the Nissan), a trail blazer (not the Chevy), a off-road way maker. If that's what you want, this is the apex vehicle for you. Very few other vehicles will be able to show it up. However, if you want a grocery getter, a race car, a autonomous self-driver, a super ECO fuel-saver, or something else, look at something else. This is a purpose built vehicle that exceeds at it's intended goals.
5 out of 5 stars
SR5 Premium 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
I was traveling on interstate and had a brush with a tractor-trailer the sent me into the trees. The gentleman who came to my aide said he was afraid of what he was going to see when he approached my vehicle. I walked away and feel sure had I been in anything else, I wouldn’t be here writing this review...it’s the only vehicle choice for me, it honestly saved my life.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the 4Runner models:
- Downhill Assist Control
- Improves directional control during descent on steep or slippery surfaces.
- Brake Assist
- Applies increased brake pressure when it senses a panic-braking situation.
- Smart Stop Technology
- Reduces engine power when the brake and gas pedals are applied simultaneously.
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger3 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover3 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover24.6%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2019 Toyota 4Runner
Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner Overview
The Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner is offered in the following submodels: 4Runner SUV. Available styles include TRD OFF-ROAD Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SR5 Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SR5 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), TRD OFF-ROAD 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SR5 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), TRD PRO 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited Nightshade Edition 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SR5 Premium 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), and Limited Nightshade Edition 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A). Pre-owned Toyota 4Runner models are available with a 4.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 270 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner?
Price comparisons for Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner trim styles:
- The Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner SR5 is priced between $28,900 and$44,590 with odometer readings between 24223 and89367 miles.
- The Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner Limited is priced between $38,998 and$46,998 with odometer readings between 10377 and74702 miles.
- The Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium is priced between $34,995 and$43,998 with odometer readings between 11248 and81697 miles.
- The Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD OFF-ROAD Premium is priced between $33,933 and$49,998 with odometer readings between 2556 and83665 miles.
- The Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD OFF-ROAD is priced between $37,871 and$49,990 with odometer readings between 19220 and46160 miles.
- The Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD PRO is priced between $40,998 and$55,998 with odometer readings between 17001 and93054 miles.
- The Used 2019 Toyota 4Runner Limited Nightshade Edition is priced between $44,999 and$48,990 with odometer readings between 9094 and35965 miles.
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Which used 2019 Toyota 4Runners are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2019 Toyota 4Runner for sale near. There are currently 111 used and CPO 2019 4Runners listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $28,900 and mileage as low as 2556 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 2019 Toyota 4Runner.
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Should I lease or buy a 2019 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.