2019 Toyota 4Runner Review
2019 Toyota 4Runner Review
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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 SR5 4dr SUV (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 $3.12 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$207/mo for 4Runner SR5
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!
Donna Hankins, 04/25/2019
2019 Toyota 4Runner 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!
2019 Toyota 4Runner 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
2019 Toyota 4Runner 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
Jennifer , 05/27/2019
2019 Toyota 4Runner 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.
2019 Toyota 4Runner video
[MUSIC PLAYING] TRAVIS LANGNESS: That's Calvin Kim. CALVIN KIM: And that's Travis Langness. TRAVIS LANGNESS: What I've done today is brought out the all-new Subaru Forester for testing. Basically, the Subaru Forester was one of the original crossovers, and it's still pulling off all the same tricks. It does all the SUV stuff, but with more comfort and tech along the way. What did you bring to compete with it? CALVIN KIM: I brought out the Toyota 4Runner. It's an old school SUV-- body-on-frame construction, solid rear axle. But on top of that, it seats five, carries a lot of stuff, and you can tow with it. You could say it's the ultimate adventure vehicle. TRAVIS LANGNESS: While that may be true in people's minds, I think the Subaru can go most of the places that your 4Runner can. And I think it'll be better for the days in between those adventures. But let's put them to the test, head to head, and see which one comes out on top. CALVIN KIM: Do it. Before any adventure, you got to pack. TRAVIS LANGNESS: So we brought all the camping gear we own, and we'll see which rig can hold more of it. CALVIN KIM: Let's do it. Wow. It all fit with room to spare. TRAVIS LANGNESS: Yeah. Let's take it all out and see what the Subaru does. These one-touch folding seats are nice. The 4Runner doesn't have that. CALVIN KIM: Yeah, so I guess it fits. TRAVIS LANGNESS: Kind of. I mean, you can't see out the rear view mirror. And when we had it loaded in the 4Runner, there was room to spare. But it's all in there. CALVIN KIM: You know what? I'll take this one then. Ugh. Let's hit the road. TRAVIS LANGNESS: For more videos like this, subscribe to the Edmunds YouTube channel. And now we're going to hit the road, head for the mountains. [MUSIC PLAYING] CALVIN KIM: Let's get one thing out of the way first. If you like to argue about 31s or 33s fitting under your fenders, get out of here. Go back to T4R.org and argue about transfer box gear ratios or something. This video is about regular people doing the 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. And maybe once or twice a month, getting the family out and enjoying nature. The Toyota 4Runner started out life based on a truck. It has body-on-frame construction, a solid rear axle, and beefy suspension. And this model is absolutely no different. Some people may think of it as a utilitarian crossover type vehicle, and they're wrong. It's still a truck. And one of the compromises to its truck-based design is in its handling. Now this 4Runner is equipped with beefy all-terrain tires. And while I'm sure they work great off road, they're not ideal on the road. For one thing, they make a lot of noise. And when you push them at all, especially through cornering, they howl. The steering itself is very light, but you don't get a lot of feel. The 4.0 liter V6 engine on front makes 270 horsepower, which is pretty good. But then it's made it to a 5-speed transmission that's very sluggish. When you're going up hills or you're fully loaded, it likes to hung around. It'll downshift frequently from fifth to fourth to third. And frankly, it's annoying. On initial application, the 4Runner's brakes are light and squishy. There's not much going on. But then they get grabby the harder and deeper you get into it. But most importantly is you're going to notice the nosedive. I think Toyota could've done better. One area where this old design truly excels in is in its utility. Three adults can fit in the back seat, no problem. Fold those seats down, and you get a gigantic cargo area with a flat load floor. You still need more cargo than that, you crazy hoarder? This thing will tow 5,000 pounds. Suck it, crossover. The 4Runner is a lot more expensive than a Forester, but you'd never know it when you look inside. There's a lot of hard plastics, synthetics. Yeah, sure, there's some soft touchpoints. And frankly, the seats are comfortable enough for all-day driving. But they're not heated, and the Subaru gets heated back seats. Toyota didn't prioritize technology inside the 4Runner. For one thing, there are no driver's aids-- no blind spot detection, no adaptive cruise control. You only get a rear view camera. And then there's infotainment. Toyota's entering system can be found throughout their lineup. And to use some of their higher-end functions, you got to download an app onto your smartphone, pair it up, sign in to an account, sign in to more accounts-- it's frustrating, and frankly, we're not fans. But we are fans of Toyota's off-road technology. Now there's a lot of acronyms involved, but all we need to know is, it allows you to off-road like a pro. TRAVIS LANGNESS: Now that we've been on the road for a while, let's take a look at the inside of the Subaru Forester. And let's talk about why we brought this particular car. This one, the Touring model, is topped out. It's the most expensive one you can get, and it's about $35,000. And that's the same price as a base SR5 4Runner. And even the 4Runner we have here, though, that's more, isn't as nice as this Subaru is on the inside. I mean, you've got leather seats, heated front and second row. You've got Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. This infotainment interface is so much nicer-- way better graphics, way easier to use. And you get Subaru's EyeSight system, which has a lot of cool tech features. You've got adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep assist. And you get Subaru's driver-focused system. There's a camera-- an infrared system-- looking at me to tell whether or not I'm paying attention to the road-- whether I'm getting drowsy. It has real audible and visual alerts that keep me aware of what's going on in front of me, and whether or not I should pull over and take a nap-- have a little bit of a rest. For on-road comfort, this one's a winner too. It's got nice, comfortable seats, good seating position, plenty of leg room in the front and the rear. And basically, a really quiet, comfortable highway ride that translates to the city too. It doesn't beat you up over potholes. And if you're taking it on a long road trip, I mean, there's no doubt this is the one to go with. One of the benefits of driving a crossover instead of a body-on-frame SUV is you get much better handling. Coming up these mountain roads, yeah sure, this Forester's no sports car. But it's definitely more enjoyable to drive. It's lighter, and it feels more agile around corners. It doesn't have a lot of that body roll that's typically associated with a big SUV like the 4Runner. Now there is a downside to this Forester that's pretty significant, and that's in power. And that 4Runner has almost 100 horsepower more than this Forester, so, clearly, this isn't going to be the one you're going to tow with. But the upside is fuel economy. The Forester gets much better fuel economy-- city, highway, and combined. And really, when you're going in between adventures-- when you're driving hundreds of miles to get to a mountain road-- it's going to cost you a lot less cash to get there if you're driving one of these. When we hit the trail tomorrow, the 4Runner-- yeah, it's going to have a little bit easier time. But I still have a lot of confidence in the Subaru-- X-MODE, all-wheel drive, plenty of ground clearance. And honestly, I'm excited to see how far this thing can go. [MUSIC PLAYING] TRAVIS LANGNESS: So we're all done with the on-road stuff and made it up to the campsite here on the mountain. I had a good time in the Forester. How was your ride up in the 4Runner? CALVIN KIM: The 4Runner did just fine. I mean, I sure could've used some of the creature comforts in the Forester though. But I'm really looking forward to seeing how well it does off the road tomorrow. TRAVIS LANGNESS: Yeah, I mean, we're going to camp out tonight, get an early start in the morning. And I'm looking forward to hitting the trails as soon as we can. [MUSIC PLAYING] TRAVIS LANGNESS: We packed up our camp and started out onto the trail to see what these vehicles could do. The Forester has 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is more than enough to clear most off-road obstacles. It also has all-wheel drive and Subaru's X-MODE software, both of which manage wheel spin and traction to keep you moving forward in the dirt, sand, the mud, or even deep snow. And the Subaru's unibody construction means better handling, a better ride, and its space-efficient design allows me to fill it with all my camping gear. The Forester is built for these kinds of adventures. CALVIN KIM: When the pavement fades away and the going gets dirty, the 4Runner starts to shine. This is its element. And all the compromises that we mentioned on the road become irrelevant. And the ability to shift into 4Lo let you go places the Subaru couldn't even dream of reaching. Yeah, the Subaru can hang on these backcountry trails and will probably satisfy most people looking for an adventure. But for those of you who want to really get off the beaten path, there is no discussion. The 4Runner is virtually unstoppable. If you want to know more about these capabilities, click the link in the top-right corner. Let's see what you get for your money. Well, you get Multi-Terrain Select. Multi-Terrain Select adjusts the speed of each individual wheel so that you have traction over varied surfaces like rocks, moguls, and sand. But the real deal is in with this right here, which is Crawl Control. Crawl Control even takes care of the acceleration part-- the throttle. Think of it as off-road cruise control. And when you combine it with the built-in locking rear differential and kinematic dynamic suspension system, or KDSS-- the Toyota's hydraulic sway-bar articulation enhancement system-- it's an amazing system that allows anyone to tackle the toughest terrains with ease. That's just something the Subaru can't do. All right, I'm now in the Forester. Let's put the X-MODE in dirt and see what it'll do. The important thing is to try to keep the body level to allow the traction control system to do as much work as you can, but-- ugh. Yeah, I don't think it's going to do it though. Yeah, I don't want to go much farther than this. [MUSIC PLAYING] TRAVIS LANGNESS: So we're coming back down the backside of the mountain. We got through all the hard stuff. And honestly, I wouldn't have been able to talk to you if that was the section I was driving through now. We're on the easy kind of flat downhill bits here. And I'm super surprised at how capable this Subaru is. There were several sections-- rocks, jagged portions, things getting real close to the edge-- and a lot of articulation that I didn't think this Subaru was going to be able to do when we got to them. It hung a leg or two up in the air. It definitely felt almost vertical at times. But it made it down unscathed. And what that tells me is that a vehicle like this is totally adventure-friendly. Sure, you're not going to crawl up a sheer rock face at 50 degrees. But for most of the stuff that I like to do-- getting out into the wilderness, off the beaten path-- this is great. CALVIN KIM: So we just got done with the more difficult part of the trail, and we're on relatively flatter ground. As to be expected, the 4Runner didn't even break a sweat. It can get out of situations that are mind-bogglingly difficult. Having said that, you do lose out on a lot of on-road comfort and stability. And the reality is, I think most people spend their time on the road more than on the trail. So that's going to be a compromise that you're going to have to make. TRAVIS LANGNESS: I seem to be a lot more comfortable than Calvin. I mean, basically, this car is absorbing the bumps better. And I'm not bouncing around as much on the inside of the cabin, nor am I worried about all my stuff in the back hopping up and over and hitting me in the back of the head. CALVIN KIM: But either way you go, the 4Runner is definitely a fun and adventurous vehicle. TRAVIS LANGNESS: This off-road stuff is great, and the Forester is great at it. Honestly, I wasn't very confident in certain spots, especially the big rock ruts and things where it sticks a rear wheel way up in the air, and times when it feels like it's vertically going down the face of a mountain. But once you get to these bouncy, bumpy sections, the Subaru is more comfortable. And it made it down all that other stuff I was talking about completely unscathed. Sure, it's dirty and dusty, but hey, that's what we came out here for, right? CALVIN KIM: So what did we find out? TRAVIS LANGNESS: Well, after all that on-road stuff and all the off-road stuff coming down this mountain, 95% of the time, I would rather live with the Subaru. Sure, the 4Runner is better in those small case scenarios when you're going over those rock gardens, and stuff gets really hairy. But this one is more comfortable on road. It's got more equipment for the money, and it's less expensive than that 4Runner. CALVIN KIM: You know what? I'm a body-on-frame traditionalist, and I love the 4Runner. I love its adventuresome and fun nature. I love its durability. But I got to say, if we're asking the question, has the crossover caught up to the SUV? I think the Forester is proof that it has. TRAVIS LANGNESS: I agree. For more information on these vehicles, or any of their competitors, visit Edmunds.com to find your perfect car. Let us know what you think about this video. And be sure to click Subscribe. You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook.
2019 Toyota 4Runner vs 2019 Subaru Forester: Which Is Best On and Off the Road?
Edmunds editors Travis Langness and Calvin Kim take the new Subaru Forester and Toyota 4Runner on a trip to the local mountains to showcase each vehicle's strengths and weaknesses on and off the road. It's all to answer the pressing question: Does the car industry's near ideal… crossover have what it takes to challenge Toyota's very definition of an SUV? How do these two fare on the roads that real people drive every day? How are they when asphalt turns to dirt? Find out as we answer these questions!
2019 4Runner Highlights
|Combined MPG||18 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$207/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
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.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestMarginal
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood