Car Reviews

2023 Toyota 4Runner Review: 14 going on 40

Professionals: Tried-and-true mechanicals; cargo-carrying champ; roll-down rear window; a number of variants

Cons: Sluggish; inefficient; imprecise dealing with; antiquated inside

The Toyota 4Runner has been kicking round now for 40 years. For almost all of that point, new generations would daybreak each six years, injecting Toyota’s midsize SUV with a contemporary design and extra refinement. For the previous 14 years, although, together with the 2023 Toyota 4Runner, we’ve been graced with era 5. Principally, there ought to’ve been two new 4Runners by now, and though there have been wanted upgrades and welcome additions, you’ll be able to completely inform.

Now, being historical is not all unhealthy: It has the identical rugged truck-based chassis, succesful suspension, ample clearances and bulletproof reliability that make it a darling amongst off-roaders in every single place (and maintain its residual values sky-high). Its ample inside house has additionally allowed it to be a sensible various to extra family-friendly midsize crossovers. And, frankly, new vehicles might be awfully sophisticated. An easier one can be mighty interesting to lots of people.

Then again, there is no escaping the ravages of father time (and all its rivals being redesigned/launched previously few years). Its V6 engine has much less energy than a Camry’s, the transmission has 5 (!) fewer gears than a Ford Bronco’s, the gas financial system of 17 mpg mixed is dismal even when in comparison with Broncos and Wranglers, and calling the dealing with “imprecise” could be an understatement. The inside, regardless of these upgrades and its beneficiant house, continues to be a relic of one other time. As such, the 4Runner will not make sense for everybody, and the introduction of the Bronco (when you can really get one) means there’s yet another competitor to make the 4Runner look its age.

Inside & Expertise   |   Passenger & Cargo House   |   Efficiency & Gasoline Financial system

What it is prefer to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Ranges   |   Crash Scores & Security Options

What’s new for 2023?

For one 12 months solely (naturally), the 4Runner fortieth Anniversary Version can be supplied. It takes the modest SR5 Premium trim and provides bronze 17-inch wheels, TRD-style TOYOTA grille, particular badging and the way-cool yellow/orange/pink physique striping on a alternative of white, black or Barcelona Pink. Solely 4,040 can be accessible. The equally geared up Path Version, pictured above, would appear to be on hiatus together with its particular Military Inexperienced and Cement paint decisions for 2023. Different updates embrace LED headlights and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning added to all trim ranges. There’s additionally the annual custom of a brand new, one-year-only TRD Professional colour: Photo voltaic Octane orange replaces final 12 months’s eye-searing Lime Rush, which is now an choice on the TRD Off-Street.

What are the 4Runner inside and in-car know-how like?

After vital upgrades three years in the past, the 4Runner cabin’s characteristic content material and know-how are moderately in keeping with what you may discover in vehicles designed throughout this decade. That mentioned, this stays an antiquated inside with its blocky design that dates again to Barack Obama’s first 12 months in workplace. The plastics high quality can also be subpar for a car that simply crests $40,000 and might high $50,000 – a RAV4 is nicer in some locations. The assorted small bins and cubbies are additionally just a bit too small for contemporary gadgets, having clearly been designed once we carried flip telephones and iPods. There’s even old-school switchgear just like the curler heated seat controls and one-blink-only flip indicators. The SR5, TRD Sport and fortieth Anniversary Version do not even have computerized headlights or auto local weather management.

However, it is all put collectively fairly effectively, controls are logically positioned, and there is definitely one thing to be mentioned for a rugged off-road car that has a rugged inside. The usual 8-inch touchscreen can also be of a typical measurement and has a suitable quantity of characteristic content material, with customary Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa integration. Easy duties like altering radio stations are usually simple to carry out (in contrast to Toyota’s new system), however it’s gradual to reply and antiquated in look (in contrast to Toyota’s new system). The Jeep Wrangler, and to a lesser extent Ford Bronco, put this infotainment system to disgrace.

How large is the 4Runner?

Right here is an space the place the 4Runner is completely positive as-is. The cargo space flooring is kind of low for a truck-based SUV, whereas the house past is an enormous, boxy 47.2 cubic toes. Even while you add the novel slide-out cargo flooring that reduces capability, there’s nonetheless a big quantity of house. We all know, we crammed it up in our cargo space Baggage Check, after which discovered that it smoked its off-roader competitors. Most cargo capability with the again seat lowered is 89.7 cubic toes, which rivals many three-row crossovers (the Highlander has solely 84.3) and surpasses varied two-row fashions.

There are additionally intelligent cargo space options. The non-compulsory slide-out cargo flooring makes loading and unloading super-simple, whereas the 4Runner-trademark energy rear window permits you to safe lengthy gadgets like surf boards or lumber out the again whereas protecting the remainder of the liftgate closed. It additionally permits for freer airflow within the cabin, and canine usually find it irresistible as effectively (that large boxy space generally is canine pleasant).

Human legroom is kind of good throughout. The usual energy driver seat affords loads of adjustment, whereas the again seat is mounted at a pleasant top and reclines to an virtually absurd diploma. That mentioned, headroom is usually a bit tight up entrance must you go for the sunroof. There is a third-row seat accessible, however its house is extraordinarily restricted and it reduces cargo house. Actually, in order for you a third-row seat, crossovers just like the Kia Telluride or Jeep Grand Cherokee L could be a greater family-hauling alternative.

2019 Toyota 4Runner

What are the 4Runner gas financial system and efficiency specs?

Whereas a lot of this fifth-generation 4Runner has been up to date over the numerous years, the engine bay has mainly gone untouched. That’s not an excellent factor. The 4Runner is simply supplied with a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. That is not rather a lot given how a lot the 4Runner can weigh (particularly the TRD Professional) and the truth that the lighter Toyota Highlander produces greater than 300 horsepower. As such, the 4Runner is kind of gradual, and it is not helped by a normal five-speed computerized transmission that does it no favors by way of gas financial system. A Bronco’s computerized has 5(!) extra gears (and there’s an non-compulsory handbook).

In accordance the EPA, the 4Runner returns 16 mpg metropolis, 19 mpg freeway and 17 mpg mixed no matter drivetrain, which is fairly unhealthy given its weak-sauce energy output. And it will get worse. The TRD Professional’s off-road tires, heavier weight and blunter aerodynamics resulted in us averaging solely 17 mpg in about 250 miles of freeway driving in a TRD Professional. We noticed the low teenagers round city. Against this, we have been seeing 18 to 19 mpg on the freeway within the Path Version, which could not seem to be an enormous distinction, however it’s.

The non-compulsory four-wheel drive system gives excessive and low vary. It’s chosen with a standard mechanical shifter on TRD fashions, whereas the SR5, TRD Sport and Path Version make the most of a knob that engages the identical switch case with a servo. Principally, it is easier to make use of and due to this fact friendlier for the much less off-roading-versed house owners extra seemingly to purchase these trim ranges. The Restricted additionally has the knob, however it controls a full-time four-wheel-drive system that features a locking middle differential.

Regardless of its rugged body-on-frame building, each 4Runner’s towing capability is simply 5,000 kilos.

What is the 4Runner prefer to drive?

Horrible. And in addition superior. It actually will depend on the way you take a look at it. Must you examine the 4Runner to a different midsize SUV just like the Honda Passport, you will discover this rugged Toyota to be gradual and noisy, with ponderous dealing with that really will get worse while you go for a extra off-road-oriented mannequin (the all-terrain tires make the steering particularly sloppy and imprecise). Then again, must you examine it to a Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco, the 4Runner can be comfier, considerably quieter and simply usually extra civilized. On the similar time, it is a lot slower than each, with a transmission that does the engine no favors with its inadequate variety of gears.

Off-road, the 4Runner is a monster, and you do not have to get the top-of-the-line TRD Professional to understand its potential. Any 4×4 variations will do the job simply positive, although the candy spot is definitely the TRD Off-Street that goes past the SR5 and Path Version with a locking rear differential, wider tires, Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Choose system, Crawl Management (basically a low-speed cruise management for getting out of particularly difficult off-road conditions) and the non-compulsory KDSS disconnecting sway bars that enhance each off-road wheel articulation and on-road dealing with. The latter really aren’t accessible on the TRD Professional, which solely ups the ante barely with upgraded shocks and tires. Then once more, each the Path Version and TRD Off-Street provide distinctive colours and gear, which can finally sway the needle of their favor.

What different Toyota 4Runner opinions can I learn?

2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Professional Inside Evaluation

Take a deep dive into the 4Runner’s inside to see simply what we imply by it being antiquated.

2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro


Suspension Deep Dive of the 4Runner TRD Off-Street with KDSS

Engineer Dan Edmunds takes you below the 4Runner for an in-depth take a look at how the TRD Off-Street and the KDSS suspension choice does what it does.


2020 Toyota 4Runner Baggage Check

Here is one other deep dive of a distinct selection. We discover out simply how a lot you’ll be able to stuff into the again of the 4Runner whereas additionally testing the non-compulsory pull-out cargo tray. 


2020 Toyota 4Runner First Drive | Nonetheless ruggedly conventional

We broadly go over final 12 months’s vital revisions after giving the 4Runner a radical exercise in Moab, Utah.


2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Street Premium Evaluation | The perfect 4Runner worth

We take a look at the TRD Off-Street Premium, which is just about the candy spot within the lineup. 

2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium

What’s the 2023 4Runner worth?

First, a warning: the 4Runner is an extremely fashionable mannequin and as such, you’ll be able to count on sellers to markup costs and cost greater than the MSRPs you see beneath. All costs beneath additionally embrace the $1,335 vacation spot cost, and are available customary with four-wheel drive until in any other case acknowledged.

SR5 (RWD): $40,140
TRD Sport (RWD): $43,000
SR5 Premium (RWD): $43,200
TRD Off-Street: $43,985
TRD Off-Street Premium: $46,565
fortieth Anniversary Version: $47,705
Restricted: $49,375
TRD Professional: $54,605

It’s vital to notice that these trim ranges don’t simply symbolize a gradual improve in gear like in different Toyotas (LE, XLE, and so on). The TRD Sport and Restricted are extra on-road oriented with an adaptive suspension system, greater wheels and totally different, less-rugged styling (the Restricted will get probably the most luxurious options, too). The TRD Off-Street trims provides customary four-wheel drive,  a locking rear differential, wider tires, Multi-terrain Choose off-road settings, Crawl Management (a form of off-road cruise management), and totally different exterior trim. The KDSS suspension improve is unique to the TRD Off-Roads. The TRD Professional might not get KDSS, however it’s nonetheless probably the most hardcore off-roader of the group due to its Fox shocks, TRD-tuned entrance springs, a TRD cat-back exhaust (it is loud and annoying), an enormous roof rack, LED foglights, 1/4-inch thick entrance skid plate, distinctive styling, 17-inch matte black wheels, Nitto Grappler all-terrain tires (they make the steering worse) and particular flooring mats. That is additionally the one trim accessible in Photo voltaic Octane.

What are the 4Runner security scores and driver help options?

In addition to ABS and eight airbags, each 2023 4Runner comes customary with ahead collision warning with pedestrian detection and computerized emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, and computerized excessive beams.

In authorities crash exams, the 4Runner obtained 4 out of 5 stars for total and frontal crash safety, 5 stars for aspect safety and a three-star rollover score. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security gave it the best-possible score of “Good” in all crash classes besides the latest “small overlap entrance: driver aspect” class the place it received a second-worst “Marginal.” This is not shocking on condition that the 4Runner was engineered lengthy earlier than this take a look at was devised and producers have been obliged to design crash constructions to accommodate it. The IIHS hasn’t up to date its headlight score but for the ’23 4Runner and its newly customary LEDs.


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