GO
Avg. Price Paid:$12,186 - $18,222
Original MSRP: $27,635 - $38,385
MPG: 18 City / 22 Hwy
Search Used Listings:

2007 Toyota 4Runner Performance

This performance review was written when the 2007 Toyota 4Runner was new.

Reviewers agree that the 4Runner offers very good ride quality both on- and off-road and in both the two- and four-wheel-drive versions. "They felt smooth and powerful on both pavement and dirt tracks," says AutoWeek.

While reviewers complain about low fuel economy, they rave about the V6 and available V8 engines. Another plus is the smooth handling, which reviewers describe as refined and sophisticated.

Acceleration and Power

Under the hood, the SR5 base model packs a 4.0-liter, 236-horsepower@5200 rpm V6 engine. A more powerful 4.7-liter, 260 horsepower@5400 rpm V8 engine is available on the SR5 and the more upscale Sport Edition and Limited models. The majority of reviewers recommend the larger engine for buyers looking for that extra punch and better towing capabilities. "The V6 provides adequate power and torque, but if more potent acceleration is desired, the V8 hits the spot," comments Automobile Magazine. Other reviewers also speak highly of the V8 engine. "From a standstill, a tap of the gas pedal sends this SUV practically lunging ahead. Acceleration while passing and merging is wholly confident," says Cars.com. However, the V6 didn't disappoint either. Kelley Blue Book described the smaller engine as "more than adequate to move this vehicle with gusto."

However, most reviewers express distaste for the 4Runner's fuel-thirsty engine (and 23-gallon fuel tank), whether V6 or V8. Estimated EPA economy for the SR5 with the V6 engine is 14 to 16 miles per gallon in the city and 18 to 21 on highway, according to the EPA. About: Cars comments, "You're going to be feeding your 4Runner regularly." Both the V6 and V8 engines include a cranking system to keep the starter engaged until the engine fires up (system known as Toyota Direct Ignition (TDI). This frees the driver from holding the key until the engine turns over. "This is a nice feature, and one usually associated with expensive luxury sedans," New Car Test Drive comments.

The only transmission available is a five-speed electronically-controlled automatic, which most reviewers describe as a smooth shifter. However, "it can be hesitant when the throttle is abruptly applied, as when passing," Automobile Magazine notes. The transmission is equipped with Artificial Intelligence Shift control (could not verify AIS moniker. Toyota website refers to 5ECT-i, five-speed electronically controlled transmission with intelligence), a system that changes gear-shifting patterns according to driving conditions and driver intent.

Handling and Braking

Despite its reputation as a trucklike SUV, reviewers are finding that the 4Runner can also ride like a soft sedan. Car and Driver compliments, "It drives like the sophisticated and refined sport-utility vehicle it is. For its class, the 4Runner defines state of the art." U.S. News' Rick Newman similarly reports, "The 4Runner was nimble in traffic too, and blissfully smooth on the highway, compared with other SUVs that bounce down the road like kangaroos." A few reviewers even found an added bonus -- the 4Runner is easy to parallel park. The About.com reviewer raves, "A tight turning radius combined with short rear overhang make squeezing in to the curb a breeze."

MSN describes the 4Runner's variable-gear rack-and-pinion steering as "suitably fast." Indeed, the majority of reviewers feel the steering is "a cut above the truck-based SUV norm," as Cars.com puts it. Edmunds echoes the positive sentiment on the handling: "In road tests and reviews, we found the Toyota 4Runner to be surprisingly light and responsive for a truck-based SUV. It feels spirited and taut."

The 2007 4Runner features standard double-wishbone front suspension and a four-link rear suspension with coil springs, the same basic design as on the last two generations, but with new components. Thanks to the improved features, MSN says, "Handling is decent for such a tall, heavy sport-ute." The Limited trim level offers an optional, Yamaha-developed diagonal-linked relative absorber sport enhancement suspension system, dubbed X-REAS by Toyota. The system cuts down on body pitch and lean in corners. Automobile Magazine comments on the car's suspension, "The 4Runner's rugged chassis provides an ideal foundation for tackling rocky terrain, while enabling fine suspension tuning for tackling the suburban jungle."

But not all reviewers praise the new suspension. Motor Week comments that, though ride quality was close to that of a luxury car, "the soft four-link suspension produced a lot of body roll in corners." MSN also has a few complaints, saying, "The ride in the 4Runner still conveys a bounce now and then on rough off-road terrain and on uneven road pavement. ... I felt subtle vibrations and jiggles over road bumps, but none was harsh." Still, the reviewer describes the car as "the best-riding 4Runner so far." For towing or hauling heavy loads, the 4Runner Limited features an optional rear height control air suspension, which includes the X-REAS system and automatically adjusts the ride height according to the vehicle load.

The Toyota 4Runner features power-assisted four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with standard anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brakeforce distribution. All 4Runners also feature brake assist, which automatically maximizes braking power in situations where a driver may not be pressing the brake pedal hard enough. New Car Test Drive confirms, "Overall, we've found the 4Runner's brakes worked well."

An overwhelming majority of reviewers are very impressed with the capabilities of the new braking technology. However, they caution that it can't do all the work. The Detroit Free Press notes, "In a downhill test at Alpine Valley Ski Area in White Lake Township, the system made the brakes groan and shudder a few times as it slowed the 4Runner to a controlled crawl. But once the truck settled in, it walked smoothly and noiselessly down the slope."

Off-Roading

Rear- and four-wheel-drive models are available. In four-wheel-drive trim, the 4Runner nets a ground clearance of 9.1 inches. But reviewers are pleased with the performance even on the two-wheel-drive model. "We found the two-wheel-drive models impressively capable on rugged terrain; indeed, a 2WD 4Runner is more capable off-road than many all-wheel-drive SUVs," praises New Car Test Drive.

When they are venturing off-road, buyers can take comfort in the help they'll get from the 4Runner's advanced technological systems. The new hill start assist control system, which comes standard in all 4Runners, controls the brakes to keep the vehicle from rolling backward on hills. It starts working automatically when a driver's foot comes off the brake pedal. Also standard on four-wheel-drive 4Runners is a downhill assist control (DAC) system, which works with the engine throttle and brakes and active wheel speed sensors to keep the vehicle pointed in the right direction when descending a hill. Stepping on the gas or brake pedal overrides the system.

"This is a truly amazing vehicle in the muck," confirms New Car Test Drive. "Having the 4Runner walk you down a steep, muddy incline with both feet off the pedals, the system selectively applying the brakes to individual wheels as needed, is an impressive display of technology and engineering." But one reviewer cautioned that the advanced technology isn't perfect. AutoWeek says, "It worked, but after several seconds with HAC engaged, the motor would stall. Toyota acknowledged the problem, and says more extensive throttle tuning should cure it."

Towing

Reviewers find both the V6 and V8 4Runner models more than adequate for towing needs. The V6 can pull 5,000 pounds, while the V8 boosts the tow rating to a whopping 7,300 pounds. Reviewers recommend the larger engine for drivers who tow frequently, "so you can bring a healthy load of toys along on your trip," says About.com. On the other hand, the V6's towing capacity should be adequate enough for those who don't tow or only tow light trailers. Of the 4Runner's pulling power, MSN says, "Power here is pleasant and not overly brutish, even if torque is not strong enough to snap your head back."

Performance Options

SR5 2WD base model

The base model comes standard with a 4.0-liter double overhead cam 24-valve Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) Variable Valve Timing (VVT-i) V6 engine that puts out 236 hp @ 5200 rpm and 266 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm. The engine is paired with a five-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive transmission. The base model comes standard in rear-wheel drive.

The base model is also available with a more powerful 4.7-liter DOHC 32-valve EFI VVT-i V8 engine that puts out 260 hp @ 5400 rpm and 306 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm. The engine is paired with the 4Runner's universal five-speed transmission.

SR5 4WD

The four-wheel-drive version of the SR5 uses the same V6 engine as the two-wheel-drive version. The engine is paired with the 4Runner's universal five-speed transmission. This V6 comes in Multi-Mode four-wheel drive with Torsen limited-slip center differential with locking feature.

The four-wheel-drive SR5 is also available with a more powerful V8 engine that is the same one used in the two-wheel-drive V8. The engine is paired with the 4Runner's universal five-speed transmission. This V8 comes in full-time four-wheel drive with Torsen limited-slip center differential with locking feature.

Sport Edition 2WD

The next level up, the Sport Edition, comes with the standard 4.0-liter DOHC 24-valve EFI VVT-i V6 engine that puts out 236 hp @ 5200 rpm and 266 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm. The engine is paired with the 4Runner's universal five-speed transmission.

The Sport Edition is also available with a more powerful 4.7-liter DOHC 32-valve EFI VVT-i V8 engine that puts out 260 hp @ 5400 rpm and 306 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm. The engine is paired with the 4Runner's universal five-speed transmission.

Sport Edition 4WD

The four-wheel-drive version of the Sport Edition uses the same V6 engine as the two-wheel-drive version. The engine is paired with the 4Runner's universal five-speed transmission. This V6 comes in Multi-Mode four-wheel drive with Torsen limited-slip center differential with locking feature.

The four-wheel-drive Sport Edition is also available with a more powerful V8 engine that is the same one used in the two-wheel-drive V8. The engine is paired with the 4Runner's universal five-speed transmission. This V8 comes in full-time four-wheel drive with Torsen limited-slip center differential with locking feature.

Limited 2WD

The ultraluxury Limited model comes with the same V6 engine as the base model. The engine is paired with the 4Runner's universal five-speed transmission.

The Limited is also available with a more powerful 4.7-liter DOHC 32-valve EFI VVT-i V8 engine that puts out 260 hp @ 5400 rpm and 306 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is paired with the 4Runner's universal five-speed transmission.

Limited 4WD

The four-wheel-drive version of the Limited uses the same V6 engine as the two-wheel-drive version. The engine is paired with the 4Runner's universal five-speed transmission. This V6 comes in Multi-Mode four-wheel drive with Torsen limited-slip center differential with locking feature.

The four-wheel-drive Limited is also available with a more powerful V8 engine that is the same one used in the two-wheel-drive V8. The engine is paired with the 4Runner's universal five-speed transmission. This V8 comes in full-time four-wheel drive with Torsen limited-slip center differential with locking feature.

Review Last Updated: 5/2/08

Next Steps: Toyota 4Runner

  • Search used Toyota 4Runner for sale (4,912 listings)
  • Calculate monthly payment and apply for a loan
  • See Affordable Midsize SUVs rankings