Toyota has a lot of history tied up in the 4Runner, an off-road ready SUV that first joined the Toyota lineup in the 1980s as a compact based on the brand's pickup truck model of the time. Since then, it has grown into a mid-size utility that can accommodate up to seven people in three rows of seating.
There are no changes for 2018, so the 4Runner carries over powered by a 4.0L V6 making 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. All models use a five-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
While the 4Runner's main purpose is conquering rough terrain, it can also tow up to 2,268 kg and comes standard with a trailer sway control system, hitch and 4+7 pin trailer wiring.
A seven-seat interior is standard in the entry-level SR5 trim and is optional in the Limited model, while TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro models are strictly five-seats.
The SR5 trim includes 17-inch alloy wheels, part-time 4WD, fog lamps, towing package, power sliding tailgate window, sunroof, running boards, tire-pressure monitoring, cruise control, leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, trip computer, eight-way power driver's seat, four-way power adjustable passenger's seat, heated front seats, three rows of seating and a 6.1-inch touchscreen display with navigation, text messaging assistant, and Bluetooth.
The TRD Off-Road adds multi-terrain ABS brakes, dark metallic brushed trim, rear disconnecting differential, rear locking differential, lever-type 4WD system, multi-terrain select, four-wheel crawl control, hood scoop, black roof rails, Optitron gauges, Softex-upholstered seats, disconnecting anti-roll bars, and off-road wheels and tires. The TRD Off-Road does not come with third-row seating.
The TRD Pro builds on this with unique wheels and Nitto off-road tires, unique grille, stamped skid plates, TRD interior accents, TRD badges, TRD springs, and Bilstein shock absorbers with remote reservoirs.
The Limited 5-Passenger is the upscale member of the family, gaining a 15-speaker JBL audio system, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key with push-button start, front and rear parking sensors, full-time four-wheel drive, chrome exterior trim, running boards, alarm, automatic headlamps, puddle lamps, steering wheel audio controls, heated and ventilated leather upholstery, driver memory, full-size spare with alloy wheel, X-REAS suspension, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
The Limited 7-Passenger adds a third-row seat.
The 4Runner faces surprisingly few competitors: The Jeep Wrangler is one, but even in its four-door Unlimited guise it has a smaller interior that's less family-friendly than the Toyota. Jeep also has the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, but the former is not as rugged and the latter more expensive. You could cross shop the 4Runner against the Chevrolet Tahoe or GMC Yukon, but they line up more closely with Toyota's big Sequoia. Surprisingly, the Land Rover Discovery Sport compares well on price and is, like all Rovers, a capable off-roader, but it's a smaller truck that lacks a seven-seat option.
Fuel consumption ratings are 14.3/11.9 L/100 km (city/highway).