2020 Toyota 4Runner review: The old dog gets a few new tricks

    Seriously, how cool does the 4Runner TRD Pro look?
    Emme Hall/Roadshow
    While many automakers declare their SUVs have tough and rugged, go-anywhere attitudes, few can truly ship that form of efficiency. When it involves climbing rocks and getting correctly muddy, you want a real 4×4 SUV to deal with the tough stuff. Enter the tried-and-true Toyota 4Runner.

    LikeUnmatched off-road abilityStandard driver-assistance technologyWide vary of accessible trims and choices

    Don’t LikeHarsh on-road journey qualityOld V6 is hardly fuel-efficientToughest competitor is a used 4Runner

    The 4Runner is among the few SUVs accessible at present with body-on-frame building, versus the car-based crossovers which might be more and more in style with buyers. Available with seating for as much as seven passengers, as stripped-out or totally loaded as you want, the 4Runner could be many issues to many individuals. But all four-wheel drive fashions pack severe off-road chops, with a two-speed switch case and 9.6 inches of floor clearance. No, the 4Runner is not as easy and cozy on-road as car-based crossovers, however for those who plan to hit the paths, its talents are exhausting to match.Under the hood is a positively historic 4.0-liter V6, pushing out 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque although a five-speed computerized transmission. In a world the place eight-speed automatics are more and more the norm, this outdated fiver does not fairly lower it. Sure, it shifts easily, nevertheless it does not do the 4Runner any favors so far as gasoline effectivity is anxious. The EPA claims the 2020 4Runner ought to obtain 16 mpg within the metropolis, 19 mpg freeway and 17 mpg mixed. During my week with the off-road-ready TRD Pro trim, I noticed simply 14.6 mpg. Yeesh.

    On the highway, the 4Runner is barely enough. Sure, it retains up with site visitors simply fantastic, and you realize, turns and stops, nevertheless it’s not precisely pleasing to drive on pavement. At the top of the day, the 4Runner is a truck and it behaves like one — effectively, one from a decade or so in the past, since that is how outdated its underpinnings are. While newer midsize vehicles are a lot smoother on the highway, the 4Runner is stiff and bouncy, jouncing alongside the freeway. If you intend to make use of your new SUV for commuting, one thing like the brand new Toyota Highlander or smaller RAV4 are in all probability a greater wager.However, in case your objective is to get out and benefit from the nice open air, the 4Runner is a wonderful selection. The TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trims include an electronically locking rear differential, a Multi-Terrain Select four-wheel drive system and Crawl Control, all of which assist drivers scamper up and over obstacles like they ain’t no thang. For extra impressions of these options, check out my earlier take a look at the place I took a 4Runner on a visit from Moab, Utah, over to the mountains to Ouray, Colorado.

    Though the bones of the 2020 4Runner are outdated, the know-how has lastly moved into the current day. Toyota’s suite of driving aids, Safety Sense P, is now commonplace throughout all trims. Yes, your old-as-dirt 4Runner now comes with fashionable conveniences like lane-departure warning, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, computerized excessive beams and adaptive cruise management. The bummer right here, nevertheless, is that the adaptive cruise does not work beneath 25 mph, so it is fairly ineffective in stop-and-go site visitors, which is the place I need to use it most. Blind-spot monitoring can also be conspicuously absent.

    In-dash tech will get an improve as effectively, with an Entune infotainment system that’s lastly suitable with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Heck, even Amazon Alexa is a part of the sport now. The 8-inch coloration touchscreen is nothing actually to write down dwelling about, however its usability is ample. Front passengers get one USB and 12-volt outlet plus one other 12-volt within the heart armrest. Rear seat passengers are handled to 2, 2.1-amp USB charging ports. In the cargo space there’s a 120-volt/400-watt three-prong outlet in addition to one other 12-volt, to maintain all of your tenting gear up and working.Inside, the 4Runner can solely be described as utilitarian at finest. The knobs are huge and ponderous, however straightforward to make use of with gloves on, and all of the off-road controls are on the headliner above the rearview mirror. Staggered cupholders means there’s by no means a debate over whose Diet Dr. Pepper is whose and enormous door pockets can accommodate all types of swag. For some cause, the built-in tissue field holder on the within lid of the middle console simply charms the hell out of me.The controls are huge and chunky, however hey, the infotainment system lastly helps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
    Emme Hall/Roadshow
    The 4Runner is fairly spacious, with loads of room within the rear seat and 46 cubic toes of area within the cargo space, with a nifty slide-out deck accessible, for simpler loading and tailgate seating. Fold the rear seats flat and the rear maintain expands to accommodate 89 cubic toes of cargo. Both numbers are larger than the 4Runner’s primary off-road opponents, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, however about the identical as a brand new unibody crossover just like the Kia Telluride.You can pull 5,000 kilos behind the 4Runner, which is not too shabby. That’s greater than the pathetic 3,500 kilos the Wrangler can deal with, though the Grand Cherokee can tow a most of 7,200 kilos.Yes, you may get a Toyota 4Runner with two-wheel drive, however I am unable to think about why. If you are not planning on utilizing four-wheel drive functionality, the sacrifices in on-road consolation it’s a must to make within the 4Runner merely aren’t value it. Just get a extra environment friendly, car-based crossover and name it a day.But for those who do want go-anywhere talents — or, if like me, you similar to the appear and feel of a truck — then I extremely advocate the TRD Pro trim seen right here. You get Nitto Terra Grappler tires and a couple of.5-inch Fox inside bypass shocks, with rear distant piggyback reservoirs. The Pro additionally has a cat-back exhaust and a 1-inch entrance carry. All of this comes along with the aforementioned off-road goodies.The 4Runner is before everything a formidable off-roader.
    Emme Hall/Roadshow
    All instructed, my dream 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is available in at $50,885, together with $1,120 for vacation spot; the one you see right here prices slightly extra, at $52,147. And don’t fret, you may get into one in every of these for lots much less. A base 4Runner SR5 begins at $37,140, together with vacation spot. Two new particular editions, the Venture and Nightshade, are available in at $45,405 and $49,780, respectively.But I’ve to ask: If you are shopping for this as an off-roader, why get a brand-new one? Yes, the driver-assistance tech is sweet, as is the upgraded infotainment, however because the 4Runner has basically gone unchanged for greater than a decade, there are a ton of them accessible on the used automobile market for lots much less cash. I do not typically advocate for used vehicles in my new automobile critiques, however when a 2020 mannequin is barely totally different than a 2010, there is a strong case to be made for going pre-owned.The 2020 Toyota 4Runner is a distinct segment car at coronary heart. If you are going to spend so much of time within the nice open air, this truck-based SUV is a wonderful selection. It seems nice and it will climb a mountain for those who ask it to. Unfortunately, with that nice off-road functionality comes a harsh journey and lackluster gasoline financial system. If you settle for the 4Runner for what it’s, and use it accordingly, you will not be disenchanted.

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