Unlike most midsize SUVs, the Toyota 4Runner is more like a truck than a car. Its engine, suspension design, and frame are all shared with the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, which gives the 4Runner an edge when it comes to tackling rough terrain. It also provides the 4Runner with solid towing capability and the kind of overall toughness that makes it a favorite of owners who spend as much time on the trail as they do the highway. The downside to this commonality is a lack of refinement, below-average fuel mileage, and a cabin that favors functionality over comfort.
Toyota has done a decent job of keeping the 4Runner up to date when it comes to its infotainment system and safety features, but even the most expensive trim levels lack the luxurious look and feel of many midsize SUVs. It does offer an optional third row, so it’s capable of carpool duty in a pinch, and there’s plenty of cargo room for weekend adventures. A TRD Pro model boosts off-road credentials even further for buyers who want exceptional capability right off the lot. Only a few vehicles offer that kind of off-road prowess, mainly the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler, both of which offer a wider range of body styles, engines, and trim levels. Still, the 4Runner has a loyal following, with buyers who appreciate its rugged charm.