The Toyota 4Runner is the last—and best—of its kind. Its body-on-frame and live rear axle appeal to buyers who still expect their mid-size SUV to do the things for which SUVs were actually invented: go off-road and tow. Those who spend most or all of their time traversing parking lots and highways might want to stick with the Highlander, because the 4Runner suffers from a bumpier ride and less-confidence-inspiring steering. That said, the 4Runner, last redesigned for 2010, is a much more refined and efficient vehicle than the mid-size trucks that dominated the sales charts even ten years ago. For one, it comes only with a V-6 engine, the same 4.0-liter that Toyota offers in the FJ Cruiser and the Tundra pickup. The interior isn’t luxurious (there needs to be a reason for the Lexus GX460 to exist, after all), but it is comfortable and nicely laid out, with fold-flat second- and (optional) third-row seats. It also incorporates a neat party trick, literally: at the push of a button, the stereo will send full power to the back speakers, creating a lively atmosphere for tailgate parties.
Front, side, side curtain, and knee air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; a backup camera; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard.
- Real SUV utility and capability
- Handsome inside and out
- More refined than one expects
You won't like:
- Trucklike driving dynamics
- Not very fuel efficient
Key Competitors For The 2013 Toyota 4Runner
- Ford Explorer
- Honda Pilot
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Nissan Pathfinder
The mid-size SUV for people who really want an SUV.