The Toyota 4Runner, last redesigned for 2014, and unchanged from 2016 to 2017, is Toyota’s offroad SUV, with its truck-like body-on-frame chassis. It hasn’t crossed over from the rugged days, unlike the Highlander, although it isn’t rough.
It comes with a smooth 4.0-liter V6 making 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque that makes it quick, and a five-speed automatic transmission, which feels like enough gears if you haven’t driven the eight- and nine- and ten-speeds, many of which have been disappointing.
The 4Runner drives better than it should. It’s even easy to maneuver in parking lots. It’s comfortable for long hours, with a fairly smooth ride and very little road noise.
Inside, it’s less refined than the Ford Explorer or Dodge Durango, two main competitors. And since the 4Runner’s bolted-on body is narrower and its floor higher, there’s less cargo space than in a same-sized crossover.
The TRD Off Road and TRD Pro Series models only come with 4WD. The TRD Pro is serious, with Bilstein shocks having remote reservoirs, Nitto all-terrain tires, TRD front springs, skid plates, exclusive wheels, and TRD trim and badging.
The 2017 4Runner TRD Off Road model is new in name, having been called the Trail previously.
Eight airbags are standard. It scores well in crash testing, but not always the top rating in each test by NHTSA and IIHS.
The base SR5 model with rear-wheel-drive is EPA rated at 17 miles per gallon City, 22 Highway, and 19 Combined; four-wheel drive gets 1 mpg less.
The 2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 comes with rear-wheel drive ($34,210) or four-wheel drive ($36,085). Standard equipment includes power driver seat, roof rack, audio system with satellite radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, and Toyota’s Entune services. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
4Runner Premium comes with 2WD ($36,090) or 4WD ($37,915). The Limited 2WD ($42,525) and Limited 4WD ($44,560) comes with dual power front seats, navigation, and a 15-speaker JBL sound system.
The 4WD TRD Off Road ($37,335) and TRD Pro ($42,400) are tuned for rugged terrain.