Test Drive Notes Library
- This thing looks bad --s. It looks like it could go absolutely anywhere. Some Africans who saw it described it as a “Chief’s car.” Our test car looked particularly good in white, with black wheels. Think Tonka. Brings out the eight-year-old boy in most grown men. Looks even better when it’s dirty.
- It actually does go anywhere. Part of our test happened to include a very steep, potholed dirt road, heading down to a river, with the car loaded with people and belongings. Other cars couldn’t do it, but the 4Runner went down and back with no problem — it even backed up the hill one time.
- Using the electronics that already work the stability control and ABS systems, Toyota has added several, electronically controlled off-road modes that make this thing even more unstoppable. We never had to use them, because even in basic, 4WD-high, the 4Runner never faltered.
- Toyota durability and reliability.
- Reminds us of what the Toyota Land Cruiser used to be, before Toyota upscaled it and starting charging $80,000 bucks for it. The 4Runner TRD Pro is more of a basic, capable, non-luxurious, go-anywhere truck. Although the definition of basic is now $43K, and includes things like a touch screen, Bluetooth, and a few modern safety features.
- Good amount of room in the cargo area, especially with the back seats folded down. Sliding platform helps with loading things.
- We got a little more than 18 MPG combined. For a real truck, that isn’t awful. The much more comfortable (but less off-road competent) Highlander only gets 20 combined.
Test Drive Notes Library
- Unless you’re actually using this thing to do what it’s designed to do, you’ll probably come off looking like a poser. I mean, who needs a quasi-monster truck to go to Starbucks for a decaf latte with 1% milk?
- Women are either intimidated or uninterested in it. So if you’re looking for a vehicle to help you attract women, this is not it. If you’re looking to attract men, however, this is your ride.
- It’s tall. Not a single person entered this vehicle without emitting a grunt while heaving him or herself up onto the seat.
- Rear cargo floor is high off the ground, too, which makes loading heavy objects difficult.
- The huge, off-roady tires are noisy and contribute to loose handling on the highway.
- The ride and handling reflect the 4Runner’s original pickup-truck roots.
- The engine, while it has plenty of grunt off road, wheezes a bit in normal highway driving. It’s an old-style, big, four-liter V6. In these days of much smaller, twin turbo V6s and powerful turbo 4s, this engine feels like it’s ready for an update.
- Touch screen is small, and it’s not always easy to make selections while driving.
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