Toyota 4Runner 2019 New Review

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The Toyota 4Runner 2019 handles well and its standard AWD gives off-road ability as well, though only the turbo model offers spirited performance.

Much of the 4Runner’s value lies in its go-anywhere capability. As such, we think the TRD Off-Road Premium is the sweet spot in the lineup. It’s not as hardcore (or expensive) as the TRD Pro, but its locking rear differential and available KDSS suspension help provide off-road capability that few SUVs can match. At the same time, the Premium part of its name indicates the many features that make this 4Runner trim a more livable vehicle.

Toyota 4Runner 2019 Reviews

Rarely does a car get more popular with age, but that’s exactly what’s happening with the Toyota 4Runner. Despite entering its 10th year since it was completely redesigned — an eternity in car terms — the 4Runner sells exponentially better today than it did when minty fresh.

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Perhaps that has to do with today’s SUV-hungry buyers, but the 2019 4Runner is also a distinctive model. It is rugged and off-road capable, yet it’s spacious and family-friendly. Sure, it’s a bit rough around the edges and lacks many of the technology features you’ll find in other SUVs, but there’s an honesty to the 4Runner and a just-right goodness that keeps it relevant. It won’t be for everyone, but it’ll be exactly what a great many want.

Toyota 4Runner 2019 Picture

So, if you think you might be in that “great many,” here are the 4Runner’s good bits. Its rugged trucklike construction, abundant ground clearance and legitimate off-road hardware give it go-anywhere credentials few SUVs (and especially crossovers) can match or surpass. At the same time, it has a large cabin with a big, boxy cargo area that’ll make packing for a go-anywhere adventure (or just a trip to Grandma’s for the holidays) that much easier. You also get a reputation for near bulletproof reliability and a driving experience that’s not as cumbersome or trucklike as you’d expect for an off-road-oriented SUV.

However, there are significant drawbacks to consider. The 4Runner’s advanced age means it lacks the accident-avoidance tech found on other Toyota vehicles. Its cabin design and materials are more utilitarian than those of similarly priced rivals, and infotainment features route through a tiny 6.1-inch touchscreen. Also, the 4Runner can’t match the on-road refinement and fuel economy of more modern crossover SUVs.

These distinct highs and lows are part of that honesty we were talking about, though. The 4Runner is what it is. If you can live with the lows, or weigh them favorably against its distinct highs, the 4Runner should prove its popularity is no fad.

2019 Toyota 4Runner configurations

The 2019 Toyota 4Runner is a midsize SUV available in seven trim levels: SR5, SR5 Premium, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, TRD Pro, Limited and Limited Nightshade. All share the same 4.0-liter V6 (270 horsepower, 278 pound-feet of torque), five-speed automatic transmission and 5,000-pound tow rating. SR5 and Limited trims are available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and a two- or three-row seating configuration. The remaining trim levels are 4WD-only and seat five. A low-range transfer case comes on 4WD versions of the SR5, TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trim levels.

The SR5 is the base model, but it’s not bare-bones. Standard features include 17-inch wheels, skid plates, foglights, a rearview camera, heated mirrors, roof rails, a windshield wiper de-icer, a power rear window, power front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger), 40/20/40-split reclining and folding second-row seats, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 120-volt power outlet in the rear cargo area. The standard infotainment system boasts a 6.1-inch touchscreen, one USB port, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, a media player interface, and HD and satellite radio.

Stepping up to TRD Off-Road adds a locking rear differential, slightly wider 17-inch wheels, Multi-Terrain Select off-road settings and a crawl control function. The interior wears additional TRD badging. The Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) feature is optional.

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Premium variants of the SR5 and the TRD Off-Road get SofTex simulated leather upholstery, heated front seats, navigation, an upgraded 6.1-inch touchscreen and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A sunroof is optional.

Serious off-roaders should consider the TRD Pro, which starts with the TRD Off-Road Premium and adds revised front springs, Fox dampers with internal bypass rear remote reservoirs, matte black 17-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, a special front skid plate, a roof rack and special styling. It also gains automatic headlights, LED foglights, the sunroof and a 15-speaker JBL sound system.

The Limited model is more luxury-oriented and sacrifices off-road capability in the process. It gets a Torsen locking center differential (4WD models only), a full-time 4WD system, and a separate suspension system Toyota calls X-REAS that’s designed to reduce body roll without hurting ride quality. The Limited also gains the TRD Pro’s extra creature comfort features plus 20-inch wheels, special styling, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, keyless ignition and entry, heated and ventilated front seats, and leather seat upholstery. Power-deploying running boards are optional.

The new Limited Nightshade Edition just adds black exterior trim, replacing much of the Limited’s standard silver and chrome accents.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Toyota 4Runner Limited (4.0L V6 | 5-speed automatic | 4WD).

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The best value in Toyota 4Runner 2019 is a base model with manual gearbox, but it’s still decently priced after adding fancy audio, leather, and a moonroof.

10 Photos of the Toyota 4Runner 2019 New Review

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