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#10

in 2011 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $26,623 - $33,020
Original MSRP: $30,305 - $40,435
MPG: 17 City / 23 Hwy
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2011 Toyota 4Runner Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Reviewers say the Toyota 4Runner’s cabin is comfortable and basic, without feeling low-rent. The front and middle rows of seats are acceptable to most test drivers, though the back seat is tiny, which is typical for the class. Cargo space is also average for a midsize SUV, though the cargo hold is one of the largest out of all off-road SUVs. Many reviewers compare the 4Runner with the FJ Cruiser, another Toyota SUV that’s even more tailored for off-road duty.

  • "Interior materials are appropriately rugged and don't come off as looking or feeling low-buck." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 2011 Toyota 4Runner's interior features a geometric, industrial theme that supports this SUV's rugged image." -- Edmunds
  • "Inside, the FJ similarities continue, due to oversized knobs and buttons, a more upright windshield, and water-resistant seats. Some editors found the interior a bit overwrought, but none could argue it wasn't extremely functional, roomy, and easy to use." -- Truck Trend

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Seating

Reviewers say the front and second-row seats in the 4Runner are pretty comfortable and supportive, though the third row is only fit for young children. Some gripe about its high step-in height, but that’s to be expected in such a tall, rugged SUV. The base SR5 model comes with cloth seats, while the Limited model adds standard leather seats. The seats in Trail models are upholstered in a special water-resistant cloth fabric, befitting its more rugged intentions. Parents may want to note that while the water-resistant seats might not as be as comfortable as regular cloth or leather, they might make cleaning up after messy kids easier.

  • "The Toyota 4Runner offers spacious seating for five passengers. The optional third-row seat increases the count to seven, though it's suitable only for small adults or children." -- Edmunds
  • "Our main complaint with 4Runner is its steep step-in height, which complicates entry and exit. Once inside, most occupants will have more than sufficient headroom and legroom. The seats are long-haul comfortable." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Even large children, like a healthy 11-year-old, will sit in these rear (third-row) seats with knees pressed up toward the chest and hair brushing the headliner." -- New Car Test Drive

Interior Features

Reviewers say that the Toyota 4Runner’s interior is functional but basic, aligning with what most expect to see in a utilitarian truck. Still, some of the parts and pieces could be of better quality.

The base Toyota 4Runner SR5 comes standard with basic features like air conditioning, an AM/FM CD player with an auxiliary audio jack, six-way manual-adjustable driver’s seat, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with cruise control and three 12-volt power outlets. Stepping up to the Trail model will add about $6,300 to the price tag, for a total of about $36,600, and includes an upgraded stereo system including satellite radio, Bluetooth, iPod integration and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated backup camera. It’s also the only model that comes with the sliding rear cargo deck with an under-floor storage box and an overhead console with switches for a beefed-up off-road system. The top-of-the-line Limited model starts at $38,400 for two-wheel drive models and comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-trimmed seats, Toyota’s Smart Key with push-button start and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

For a $30,000 family-hauling SUV, the 4Runner doesn’t offer much. The all-new 2011 Ford Explorer offers similar off-road capability and includes a starting price that’s lower than the 4Runner's, as well as more standard features.

  • "Better yet, press the Party Mode button on the front dash, and the stereo tunes are concentrated to the tailgate and rear-cargo area for maximum enjoyment." -- Truck Trend
  • "No-nonsense audio and climate controls are easy to reach for most drivers. We find it a bit strange that an auxiliary stereo input is located on the center console, but the USB audio connector is inconveniently placed in the glovebox." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Hard plastics are abundant throughout the cabin, though most touch points are lightly padded. The oversized climate control knobs underscore the 4Runner's utilitarian design, but have a wobbly feel when operated." -- Edmunds

Cargo

The Toyota 4Runner can hold up to 89.7 cubic feet of cargo behind the front seats, or 88.8 cubic feet in models that include the sliding rear cargo deck. That’s about average compared with other midsize SUVs. The Chevy Traverse is one of the biggest crossovers in its class and can hold up to 116.4 cubic feet of space, but can’t boast the 4Runner’s off-road prowess.

The redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer remains a dependable companion on and off the beaten path, and can hold up to 80.7 cubic feet of space. However, if you want true boulder-crushing performance that surpasses the 4Runner’s capability but doesn’t sacrifice hauling capacity, take a look at the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. It can hold up to 86.8 cubic feet of cargo behind its front seats, and provides legendary off-road performance.

  • "The rear cargo hold is as spacious as any 5-passenger midsize SUV. … Interior storage is very good, with a large glovebox and many assorted bins and cubbies." -- Consumer Guide

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