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#12

in Affordable Midsize SUVs

MSRP: $33,210 - $43,620
Invoice: $30,553 - $40,129
MPG: 17 City / 22 Hwy
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Toyota 4Runner Review

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner ranks 12 out of 12 Affordable Midsize SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Toyota 4Runner, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner is ranked:

Though its interior and ride quality don't match those of many competitors, the 2015 Toyota 4Runner earns critics' appreciation for its significant off-road prowess and sturdy demeanor. 

Automotive writers say the 2015 Toyota 4Runner's base V6 engine has adequate power. According to reviewers, the 4Runner lacks the agility of rivals with six or more gears because the 4Runner's automatic transmission only has five gears. Fuel economy for the 4Runner is slightly low for the class, at an EPA-estimated 17/22 mpg city/highway. Test drivers say the Toyota 4Runner is a very capable off-road SUV, adding that it rides fairly softly on pavement for an off-roader. Unlike most SUVs in the segment, the 4Runner is not a car-based crossover SUV, and some reviewers find that it doesn’t ride as comfortably as many rivals, and they note that its steering offers little feedback.

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner's dashboard has a basic, tough look that appeals to some reviewers and turns off others who find the cabin materials low-grade. A few test drivers say the front seats could be more comfortable, and several wish the second row were mounted higher. The optional third row is spacious enough for children, critics say, but adults will find it to be too cramped. Compared with two-row SUVs, the 4Runner offers a good amount of cargo space, though a number of three-row competitors offer more overall. Standard features include a rearview camera, a USB port, Bluetooth and Toyota's Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touch screen. A 15-speaker JBL audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control and navigation are optional. Several critics comment that Entune has a confusing menu structure and is slow to respond to commands.

  • "Softer crossover SUVs with adventurous sounding names like Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse and Dodge Durango may offer advanced 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems, but they are not designed to roll over boulders, logs or other immovable objects the way a 4Runner can. Its poor fuel economy and a somewhat truck-like ride aside, Toyota's rugged 4Runner SUV can rival its crossover competitors for on-road performance. …" -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With a few exceptions, automakers simply aren't making SUVs like the 4Runner anymore. That's a shame, because the 4Runner is a well-rounded vehicle. In addition to its off-road ability, it boasts an available third-row seat and a decent array of technology features. You don't have to be a hardcore adventurer to appreciate the 4Runner's appeal, because it's pretty good at being civilized, too." -- AutoTrader
  • "Even with a refresh that's hot off the griddle, the 4Runner offers little in the way of on-road refinement. An archaic driveline, iffy fuel economy, and woeful dynamics are stark reminders that body-on-frame SUVs lost their luster for a reason." -- Road and Track (2014)
  • "With the 2014 4Runner, Toyota continues to appeal to a niche of buyers that want the knowledge that they can go anywhere in their SUV, and that SUV is tough enough to take it. No, the 4Runner doesn't feel like a Highlander on road, and it shouldn't. What it offers is a unique driving experience, one that doesn't have to end when the pavement does." -- Truck Trend (2014)

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Other SUVs to Consider

Test drivers say the Nissan Pathfinder has an adult-friendly third row, an upscale cabin and a cushioned ride on pavement. The Pathfinder also has more cargo space behind the third row and gets better fuel economy than the 4Runner.

The five-seat Jeep Grand Cherokee is revered for its off-road capability in addition to its well-mannered ride. Reviewers like the Grand Cherokee’s responsive eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as its first-rate cabin materials.

Compare the 4Runner, Pathfinder and Grand Cherokee »

Details: 2015 Toyota 4Runner

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner seats five, or seven with an optional third row. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional. A 4.0-liter V6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission are standard. The 4Runner is available in six trims: SR5, SR5 Premium, Trail, Trail Premium, Limited and new-for-2015 TRD Pro Series. Aside from the new TRD Pro Series model, the 4Runner sees few changes for 2015. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2010 through 2015 model years.

See 2015 Toyota 4Runner specs »

Review Last Updated: 4/16/15

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