Toyota 4Runner Interior
The 2008 Toyota 4Runner's interior is comfortable and quiet with good build quality, but falls mid-class due to limited utility. However, Consumer Guide finds, "4Runner interiors are nicely appointed with a good mix of textured plastics and soft-touch surfaces."
New Car Test Drive describes the 4Runner's cabin as "a good place to be in rugged terrain and nasty weather." It features a redesigned two-tone dashboard first implemented in a previous model. The round gauges illuminate orange, and the fuel gauge includes an inclinometer for accurate readings when the 4Runner is tilted in rough terrain.
The 4Runner has grown nearly a half-foot and more than 3 inches wider than the outgoing model, creating more room for passengers. Front legroom has increased somewhat, but rear seat legroom is just a hair less than previous models. Reviewers had good things to say about seating comfort. MSN says the seats "felt ritzier than they have in previous 4Runners." About.com likes the driver's seat's "comfortable perch," as well as its side bolstering and firm padding. But the rear seat is a slightly different story. Some had difficulty getting in: "The rear doors provide a relatively narrow opening, and you have to duck your head to get in and out," says New Car Test Drive. "Once in, however, the second-row bench seat is roomy for two."
One standout feature is the optional third row of fold-down seating, available on the SR5 and Limited models, though reviewers have mixed opinions regarding its usefulness. Commenting that the 2008 4Runner provides less cargo space than most of its midsize competitors, Edmunds notes, "Models with the optional third-row seat are further hampered, as the third row doesn't fold completely flat and provides a very limited amount of legroom." Plus, the third row doesn't provide much seating space either. "Even large children, like a healthy 11-year-old, will sit in these rear seats with knees pressed up toward the chest and hair brushing the headliner," says New Car Test Drive.
Motor Week describes the 4Runner's new dash as "clean and sporty, with straightforward switchgear for everything from the standard automatic climate controls, to the optional GPS navigation system." But Automobile Magazine says, "Toyota designers may have had a bit too much fun when devising the center-console controls, a set of three video-game-like knobs control the air conditioning and heat. Some finagling of these 'joysticks' is required before figuring out what they actually do."
Other notable standard features on the SR5 include an AM/FM CD player with six speakers and MP3 playback capability, power-adjustable driver's lumbar support, a rear seat center armrest with pull-out cupholders and convenience tray, and remote keyless entry system with rear window power-down operation.
Stereo and Entertainment
For an optimum audio experience, buyers can add an upgraded sound system to any 4Runner model. The JBL AM/FM four-disc CD changer with voice-activated DVD navigation includes satellite radio capability, eight speakers and MP3/Windows Media Audio playback capability. New Car Test Drive calls this 360-watt setup the "ultimate stereo system." Of the navigation system that accompanies it, the reviewer says it's "among the best, intuitive and relatively easy to use."
The 2008 4Runner offers 12 cubic feet of cargo space with the third-row seat in use, which is just average for its class. Automobile Magazine writes, "With the third row installed, however, cargo space falls near to zero." For more cargo space, drivers can fold down that third-row seat, which brings the capacity to 36.6 cubic feet. Without the third-row seat, cargo space totals 42.1 cubic feet. Many others comment on the functionality of a storage shelf (optional on the SR5 and Sport Editions, standard on the Limited), rated at 66 pounds, that pivots up at the rear to create a double-deck cargo hold.
However, several notice the tendency for loose items to roll around in the back cargo area, "eventually ending up against the rear hatch; then when you raise the hatch, the rearward-sloping lip of the cargo floor helps your items roll out and hit the pavement," New Car Test Drive reports. The reviewer also feels the load height of the cargo floor is relatively high, making it difficult to load heavy items. However, U.S. News' Rick Newman finds the tailgate "a very comfortable height for moving strollers and other gear in and out."
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