2018 Toyota 4Runner Review

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In order to keep it as updated as possible, Toyota just revealed the 2018 4Runner. While the changes have been kept to a minimum, they did work on its pricing as well as to its trim levels. The result is a 2018 Toyota 4Runner which comes with more features than before while costing less. Even so, the 4Runner still remains a rather tough pill to swallow. While it still is one of the most capable SUVs in off-road, its on-road driving characteristics definitely let it down. On top of that, it isn’t all that great when it comes to performance or even refinement. While they will eventually release a new model, in the meantime the 2018 update will have to do.

What is it?

The car is a body-on-frame crossover, one of the very few still standing. It shares its ladder frame chassis with the Tacoma pickup, but it does feature a slightly different suspension geometry. This is actually quite a bit better on the road than the truck but it still can’t really match a true car.

What changed?

For starters, there are now three different trim levels for the 4Runner which is a big change from the previous year. Toyota is no longer offering the TRD Pro or any other higher end version. Instead, there is the base SR5, the SR5 Premium as well as the Limited. All three come with roughly the same powertrain. This consists out of a 4.0 liter naturally aspirated V6 which powers all four wheels via a five-speed automatic. If this sounds ancient, well it is. The SUV is quite slow to respond, and it doesn’t really feel all that fast even though it offers well over 250 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Another interesting fact about the 2018 Toyota 4Runner has to be its fuel consumption. All versions will offer around 17 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway. Considering its size and engine, this makes it one of the worst cars in the US when it comes to efficiency.

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2018 Toyota 4Runner Source: caranddriver.com

The new Limited

The 2018 4Runner Limited is Toyota’s all-new flagship trim level. Unlike the previous versions of the car, this one is mostly intended for an on-road use which is definitely an interesting approach. The bumpers and side-skirts are lower than on the regular model, the wheels are considerably larger, and the SUV will come with standard road-tires. The best part about this is its price. For around $45,000 it offers pretty much everything Toyota could’ve crammed into the car.

2018 Toyota 4Runner Price and Trim Level

  • 2WD Limited
    Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L,Rear Wheel Drive
    Invoice/MSRP – $ 39,307/$ 42,725
  • 2WD SR5
    Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L,Rear Wheel Drive
    Invoice/MSRP – $ 31,657/$ 34,410
  • 2WD SR5 Premium
    Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L,Rear Wheel Drive
    Invoice/MSRP – $ 33,341/$ 36,240
  • 4WD Limited
    Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L,Four Wheel Drive
    Invoice/MSRP – $ 41,178/$ 44,760
  • 4WD SR5
    Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L,Four Wheel Drive
    Invoice/MSRP – $ 33,382/$ 36,285
  • 4WD SR5 Premium
    Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L,Four Wheel Drive
    Invoice/MSRP – $ 35,066/$ 38,115
  • 4WD TRD Off Road
    Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L,Four Wheel Drive
    Invoice/MSRP – $ 34,532/$ 37,535
  • 4WD TRD Off Road Premium
    Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L,Four Wheel Drive
    Invoice/MSRP – $ 36,334/$ 39,495
  • 4WD TRD Pro
    Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L,Four Wheel Drive
    Invoice/MSRP – $ 39,262/$ 42,675

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The 4Runner is Toyota’s SUV aimed at people that want a classic, off-road vehicle, which has stayed loyal to its roots. It comes with excellent off-road prowess, a powerful engine, and a tough look. However, the car has been around for more than half a decade now, and an update is already in the works. Unfortunately, there are quite a few reliable sources saying that the new 2018 Toyota 4Runner will go to a unibody design. 

This move is less likely to happen. The chances are bigger that Aichi-based company won’t change its off-roader all that much. Their plan will probably rely on 4Runners loyal customers sticking to 4Runner as they are accustomed. Staying on Toyota Prado platform rather than shifting to a TNGA means that they will, despite rumors claiming otherwise, stick to the body-on-frame chassis.

The changes will mostly be aimed at design upgrades rather than on improving the platform. Toyota will necessarily replace some of the parts on the outside where some of the steel parts are going to be substituted by an aluminum but will nonetheless be placed on a steel frame. There was no news about Japanese manufacturer developing an exclusive platform for this model, and putting it on one used by RAV4 or Highlander would make 4Runner lose its purpose. With making it lighter, Toyota would anyway succeed in making it more fuel-efficient, reduce the price and satisfy the market all at the same time.

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Toyota 4Runner; Previous Model

See Also: Honda Accord’s New Turbo-Four Engine

2018 Toyota 4Runner Release Date and Price

With the changes on exterior and improvement on the inside, future 2018 Toyota 4Runner aims to be the best one ever made. It won’t be an all-new model as we all were expecting, but it will be improved just as much it was needed. At this moment it is hard to estimate whether it will be better in off-road handling than the previous model ( which would be a feat worth admiring), but Toyota will be working on that.

In any case, the price will go up. This model is held in very high regard by Toyota’s head honchos, and they will look to cash in on its popularity. The current model starts at little under $33,000 while the most expensive 4Runner goes for $42,500. These numbers are just right for the quality this SUV offers but expects an increase in price in the region for $2,000. The increase is going to be justified by all the improvements that will 2018 4Runner undergo in not so distant future.

Moving onto the date of release, there is not even one substantial information regarding the exact time. The model will probably be thoroughly tested at first, so we should expect to see test mules any day now. Considering that for 2017 MY Toyota only introduced new trims for this model and the rest of the lineup was transferred unchanged from the previous year, this SUV deserves and improvement. Expect late 2017 presentation of a new Toyota 4Runner 2018 while the first models are going to be delivered in dealerships with the start of a new year.

Read about New Toyota Tundra 2018

Exterior

When it comes to the exterior of 2018 4Runner, there won’t be too many changes. The thing is all of those who are in awe of this model love it for its square-like look and its rough appearance. The outgoing model was well accepted, and its design lasted for quite a while, and in that period Toyota decided to keep changes to a minimum. This time around they will also try to preserve 4Runners authentic look, but some improvements will be made. Expect that the upcoming model borrows some design cues from the current generation of Tacoma especially up front.

The grille should be bulky and standout just like on Toyota’s popular pickup with a little longer hood. Some of the differences between current edition and 2018 Toyota 4Runner will be seen on the rear end. This part of the vehicle is by far the most outdated. The changes will be made by creating 4Runners back a little more rounder with wider taillights. There is a possibility that Toyota is going to try to make it a bit more sportier by lowering the rear part of the SUV compared to the flat line currently present.

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Toyota 4Runner; Previous Model

2018 Toyota 4Runner Specs & Dimensions

2018 Toyota 4Runner
Dimensions And Weight
Wheelbase 109.8 inch; 2788.92 mm
Length 190.7 inch;  4843.78 mm
Height 70.1 in; 1781 mm
Width 75.8 in; 1925.32 mm
Weigh 4525 lbs 2.052 kg
Engine And Transmission
Engine type 3.5 liters naturally aspirated V6
Displacement 3,5 liter
Power/torque 300 hp and 270 lb-ft
Transmission 5-speed automatic transmission
Performance
0-60 mph 7,5 sec
Top speed 115 mph
2018 TOYOTA 4RUNNER PRICE RANGE: Starting at $30,000 (est)
Competitors: Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer, Grand Cherokee Limited

Interior of Toyota 4Runner 2018

The largest changes for the new 2018 Toyota 4Runner should happen inside the cabin. Here, the new model, thanks to the new platform, there should be a lot more space. As standard, the 4Runner will likely get seven seats and unlike the previous model, will feature a much lower floor. This will not only offer more space, but it will also give the driver a much better driving position. 2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro comes with a bold grille and black bezel headlights. It is equipped with specially designed all-terrain tires for maximum traction on-road and off-road. The cabin is delivered with iHeartRadio, Pandora and Destination Search. The Entune Premium Audio System takes the audio system on a completely another level. The shift knob is covered in leather and provides greater durability.

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Toyota 4Runner Interior; Previous Model

TRD Pro Variant

The TRD Pro variant features sliding rear cargo deck that can carry up to 440 pounds. It is most likely that a 4.0-liter V6 will be placed under the hood. The V6 delivers around 270 hp which is close to the base model. Every year TRD Pro comes in exclusive color. There were Inferno Orange, Quicksand and Cement. While the color of the 2018 model is still being kept off the record.

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Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Series (2015)

Engine Lineup

The move to a uni-body design won’t meant only good things. The engine will get smaller, likely less powerful and it might offer the torque at higher revs. This means that the car will get worse at towing. However, the result should be a better on-road vehicle which a smoother ride than before. The engine will most likely be Toyota’s 3.5 liters naturally aspirated V6 which just recently received a direct injection and a few other upgrades. The output might be around 300 horsepower and less than 270 lb-ft of torque. This should be more than enough for a seven-seat SUV.

However, because the torque will be moved closer to its redline, the fuel consumption while towing will increase dramatically. The good part is that the engine will be more efficient. This will also be improved with its new eight or nine-speed gearbox. In any case, the new 2018 Toyota 4Runner might end up offering as much as 30 MPG on the highway in which case most of these tradeoffs should be well worth it.

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Toyota 4Runner Previous Model

2018 Toyota 4Runner Competitors

There three main competitors of the 4Runner: Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer and Grand Cherokee Limited. One of the most important things is costs, so we’ll focus on the price and fuel economy. The Toyota’s SUV has the lowest price, but not significantly. It is only $500 cheaper than Pathfinder and the price of the most expensive one, Grand Cherokee Limited, doesn’t exceed $40,000. In terms of fuel consumption, it is once again leader among these four SUVs. With 20/27 mpg is far more efficient than the Explorer and Pathfinder which fuel economies stand at 17/21 and 17/24 mpg. They are all Sport Utility Vehicles and come with a V6 under the hood. The horsepower and torque vary, but differences are more than subtle.

However, when it comes to towing capacity Pathfinder and 4Runner are way better than the other two. All transmissions are automatic while the Japanese automaker was the only one who decided to use variable transmission. If you are looking for a vehicle with seven seats, then don’t choose Grand Cherokee and Nissan’s SUV. The safety equipment is standard on all cars, and there are no major differences among them. In conclusion, when you compare all important features of these four SUVs it is easy to realize the 4Runner gives you the best at that price.

What do you think about this upcoming 4Runner? Would you drive it?

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2017 Toyota 4runner TRD Off Road – Old Stuff, Fancy New Name

Mid-size SUVs featuring body on frame chassis became species under extinction. They were simply overwhelmed by the huge tide of crossovers, aka Nissan Xterra, while some of them managed to switch sides, yet another Nissan or Pathfinder (but this one survived). Still, recently sales of those which stuck to their routes exploded. Wrangler and 4Runner managed to double the annual figures compared to some time ago; which will naturally draw more players to the game very soon. As far as mid-size “proper” SUV segment goes, Japanese made sure that adequate product exists for every corner of the globe. So if 4Runner doesn’t ring a bell, Land Cruiser Prado or Fortuner will. Anyway, let’s get back to 4Runner and see what does it have to offer in one of its beefier states, so 2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road.

Naming Scheme

TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development or in-house tuning gig that in this case gave some attention to 4Runner. This is not TRD Pro or ultimate off road treatment for this SUV, also found with Tundra and Tacoma, nor it is simple cosmetic exercise as TRD Sport package is. This is a sort of middle ground, and honestly, we are referring here to previously called Trail model, renamed this year, purely because any mention of TRD simply boost its appeal.

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2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road 

So, What’s the Deal?

TRD Off Road puts you in between basic model and fire spitting TRD Pro one. As for its basic intention, which would be thoughts of nature conquered, it comes fairly equipped. Ladder frame is there with solid rear axle and 4WD system for a start, but then it separates itself from base SR5 trim with selectable modes for different terrains (gift for unexperienced), crawl control (which you’ll cherish on steep downhills), rear differential locker (which you’ll adore when it gets rough), and finally KDSS or ability to disconnect front sway bar (so you’ll never regret front independent suspension while hood is pointed toward sky). That is a lot of off road gizmos, you’ll agree, for around three grand above starting price tag; while also around five big ones less than ultimate TRD Pro introducing Bilstein dampers and special approach to suspension tuning.

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2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road 

The Rest of the Story

No matter which form of 4Runner did you choose; naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V6 pumping out 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque, along with 5-speed automatic is what you get. It is hard to pinpoint most archaic side of it while you choose between (too) long piston’s travel; port fuel injection, meek power output and speed lacking gearbox. While 0-60 time might even appear fine with 7.6 seconds, the weight of over 4700 pounds doesn’t, as it severely damages your wallet with frequent pump visits (city/highway- 17/21 mpg).

Same brand’s product, but falling on crossover side or Highlander comes with much more modern, more powerful and more efficient 3.5-liter V6. Still, for “truck-ish” SUV this powertrain approach is far from unusual, thus acceptable since its unstressed nature promise high durability. 5000 pounds of towing ability in case of this SUV is another plus side, while extensive body roll, bouncy ride, and generally unrefined road manners are not, but again nothing uncommon for this type of the game.

If You Connected the Dots…

Then you’ll understand what 2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road stands for. Serious off road ability in the alluring visual package. Alluring? Yes. In a masculine and tough sense, this Toyota looks cool, with all its rough and square edges mixed with hints of Japanese weirdness. Those headlights! For other stuff, if you’re comparing it to crossovers you’re getting it wrong. Compare it to the proper rival as Wrangler, and you’ll even appreciate “hush” and “lavish” cabin. Again just Wrangler wise off course and smooth(-er) road behavior.

2017 Toyota 4Runner Trd Off Road Price and Release Date

It was already released a long time ago. The Just name was recently changed. Base SRT5 trim starts at $34.7k, while TRD Pro shoots for $42.8k. TRD Off Road found the sweet spot in between at $37.6k, and while it may not reach highest TRD heights, famous badges are now included.

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2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road 

Take a look at the previous version while we wait for the new 2018 Toyota 4Runner:

2017 Model Gallery

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