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.