The Toyota Motor Corporation describes its 4Runner as its “legendary mid-size suv” but there’s more to it than just size. Unarguably this car is a true sport utility vehicle as its dominance of unsurfaced roads is immense.
Driving over rough terrains like rocky roads, sandy, muddy and jagged paths and even mountainous trails is a pleasure with the 4Runner, as it seems to have been built to tackle the most difficult roads. Most SUVs’ are meant to be equipped with the power to tow and with its 5000 pound towing capability the 4Runner performs even this task admirably.
The 4Runner is not however the perfect urban vehicle. On smooth roads it does not drive well and the steering wheel seems disconnected and jammed. Needless to say it is not exactly the best option for a family car but it is more suited for rugged uses.
The 4Runner has been around since the early 1984 and its latest model has a few changes. The inline-4 engine has been discontinued and it is just the powerful V6 engine that remains the backbone of the vehicle. The 4Runner comes equipped with a 4-litre V6 engine of a horsepower of 780. It would have been more consumer friendly if a V8 engine was available as an option.
The car is available at three trim levels. The SR5 costing $30,305, Trail costing $36,555 and Limited costing $38,400. All three are equipped with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), front and rear mudguards but the SR5 is available as either a four-wheel drive or rear wheel drive while the Trail is offered only as a four-wheel drive while the Limited is offered just as an all-wheel drive.
Other exterior features include hill start assist control, downhill assist control and 17-inch alloy wheels while the interiors have your standard air conditioning, 8 speaker audio systems, back-up camera, Bluetooth connectivity and voice activated map-reading systems among a range of features. The interiors are made of hard plastic though there is padding in certain touch points.
As far as seating is concerned, five passengers can fit comfortably in this mid-sized SUV and two more can fit in if you go in for the third seating alternative. These seats are suitable only for little children or extremely small individuals and pushing seven people into a car meant essentially for five ends up leaving the passengers a little squashed but the fact that it is an option makes the car a tad more appealing.
Apart from drive, engine power, technological features and comfort there is another important aspect of cars that cannot be forgotten, the safety. When it comes to safety the 4Runner includes a range of airbags. Right from front seat knee and side airbags to full-length side curtain airbags.
Ultimately like any other car the Toyota 4Runner 2011 has its pros and cons. It is suitable for those car enthusiasts who need a sturdy SUV to conquer rough terrain and has a fair amount of cargo space. For those interested in city driving and more of a passenger vehicle this car is not the one for you.
The first Toyota Land Cruiser made its debut 1954 in and now in 2011 more than fifty years later it is still available for purchase. There has to be a reason a car this old has continued to be a bestseller to this day. The reason is that it is imbued with the experience that comes with time, the modern advancements of today and an incomparable style.
With purchasing the Toyota Land Cruiser comes great style and great responsibility. The first ever SUV that Toyota manufactured the Land Cruiser has weathered the test of time to remain one of the brand’s most expensive and most sophisticated offerings costing $68,920.
Currently Toyota offers offers four different SUVs’ and the Land Cruiser is the most expensive. Why? That’s because the Land Cruiser 2011 is an effective combination of a car that drives equally well on off-roads and on urban roads. This is a quality difficult to combine in an all out sport utility vehicle.
Its engine is a 5.7 litre V8 with a horsepower of an astounding 381 and the ability to tow an incredible weight of 8500 pounds. When the world car manufacturers are trying to make even SUVs’ compact, lightweight and more sleek the Land Cruiser remains an all out tough, huge eight passenger-seating vehicle. In fact the 2011 offering is even wider and longer than its predecessor. The car is equipped with Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System making it effective for driving in the city as well as in off-road terrains.
It even comes equipped with the new crawl control system that makes driving it an even greater pleasure as instead of struggling and thumping through difficult terrain it becomes possible to meander through it smoothly. This system is put into place to automatically control the brakes and engines to travel at a low speed whilst travelling through areas that are filled with obstacles such as mountainous regions, mud and sand.
When it comes to trim levels the 2011 Land Cruiser has just one. It has a four wheel drive system that has active traction control, 18-inch alloy wheels, hill start assist control, front and rear mudguards in addition to the crawl control and Kinetic Dynamic Suspensions system.
Like all other Toyota vehicles the car is equipped with gadgets and gizmos to please all enthusiasts and its has 14 speakers with subwoofers, Ipod connectivity and Bluetooth technology in the car and of course a flawless voice-activated touch navigation system.
When it comes to safety the Land Cruiser comes fitted with Toyota’s safety connect telematics systems that tells the people who respond in emergencies if the airbags have been deployed or if a harsh accident has been detected. It even has airbags all throughout the car. It has front and second row, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags.
The only cons that this car has is that it is too steeply priced and a very heavy car but those can be overlooked if you want a strong, safe car that delivers everything that it promises.
In a departure from sport utility vehicles focusing on off-road excellence but falling back when it comes to being passenger and urban area friendly, comes the Toyota Sequoia.
With its three rows of seats having seven-eight passenger-seating capabilities and Toyota’s excellent engineering it is an extremely reliable car that can be manipulated to function smoothly on all kinds of roads.
The key word for this car is its flexibility and its consumer friendliness. It has a 5.7 litre V8 engine that gives it a horsepower of 310 making it a very quick SUV and its towing capacity when completely loaded is that of 7400 pounds. As far as power goes the car is formidable but what makes it the complete package is its friendly interior as well.
It has three rows of seats and the second-row seats are available as in options of captain’s chairs or split benches. The seats are well spaced giving the car plenty of legroom and they can even be shut to increase the cargo space. If two out of three seat rows are folded it boasts of cargo spaces of 121 cubic feet.
It is available in three trim levels. The Toyota Sequoia SR5 costing $40,930, the Toyota Sequoia Limited costing $51,040, and the Toyota Sequoia Platinum costing $58,080.
All three include the standard features of a sunroof, running boards, full power accessories, 18-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth enabled systems, eight-speaker CD while the Limited has more features along the lines of more sophisticated technology and leather upholstery. The Sequoia Platinum that is priced the highest has even more features like heated and cooled front seats and a touch screen navigation system.
Since the car is a family friend one it safety features become very important and like all Toyota SUVs’ the Sequoia has a number of features like an advanced airbag system for the driver and front passenger, a Star Safety System that includes an Anti-lock Brake System, Brake Assist, Electronic Brake-force distribution and Smart Stop technology.
Smart Stop technology is an innovative system wherein the system automatically reduces engine power when the accelerator and brake are pressed together during emergency conditions. The safety measures also include seatbelts on all seats, child locks on all the rear doors and anti-systems to keep the car secure in all ways.
The Sequoia is available in an array of colours including super white, silver sky metallic, magnetic grey metallic, black, and cassis pearl, sandy beach metallic and pyrite mica. These colours give prospective consumers even more reason to splurge on this car as it is not restricted to just one or two colours.
Finally when it comes to taking a drive in this gentle giant of a car it is a pleasant experience as the car drives smoothly making even tricky manoeuvres faultlessly. The cons however are that the more you spend on the car, the better its performance is as there is a marked difference in the Sequoia SR5 and the Platinum.
Looking at the Toyota FJ Cruiser takes you back to the good old days where you cruise down the weather beaten road with the wind in your hair and rock and roll blasting on your speakers. That’s the retro feel the FJ Cruiser is meant to give you.
Its traditional, boxed shape reeks of ruggedness and when you look at it you see not a sleek, slick vehicle but a rough and tough car. It went on sale in 2006 and the 2011 edition of the FJ Cruiser has a few changes to make it more comfortable than its predecessor.
It has a more developed audio system, wider access to the back seats and folding headrests for the rear seats but because it is only a few years old Toyota has more or less stuck to its introductory formula as far as its features are concerned.
Being a sport utility vehicle the Cruiser is designed to meet most off-road requirements and it does this job well. It rides easily along all kinds of terrain thanks to its rugged exterior and good safety measures. While it is essentially meant for off-road purposes it is a smooth drive even on levelled and concrete roads.
Its engine is powerful with a 4-litre V6 engine much like its sister car the 4Runner. The engine gives it a horsepower of 260 and when completely loaded and equipped the ability to tow 5000 pounds.
However it does have a few flaws. It design consisting of high hood and thick roof pillars make proper visibility difficult. Its boxed shape contributes to creating wind noise when going at high speeds causing interferences and distractions to the driver. Even though the access doors to the back have been increased in size the rear seats are still difficult to access and there are many cars in the market that give more comfortable access.
Only one trim is available of the FJ Cruiser but it is available as a rear wheel drive, a four-wheel drive and both manual and automatic transmission, with the starting price of $25,790 and going up to $27,380. The car is equipped with 17 inch black steel wheels, water resistant seats, a two-toned exterior colour, Bluetooth technology and advanced audio features.
Ruggedness, a good engine and a cool retro feel all contribute in making this car a great collectors item for an adventurous soul but its safety features make it a complete package. The FJ Cruiser 2011 is equipped with a driver and front passenger advanced airbag system, seatbelts with emergency and automatic retractors on all passenger belts and side impact door beams.
Making this cruise worthy car even more appealing is an exterior which is two toned with a body colour and a white roof. It is available in a range of colours that include; silver fresco metallic, black, brick, iceberg, army green, cavalry blue and quicksand. So if you want a wild ride, a good engine and a rainbow of colours to choose from this car is meant for you.