Three 4Runner trims are available for 2013: the base SR5, Trail and Limited.
The engine on all trims is a 4.0L V6 making an impressive 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a 5-speed automatic. The SR5 and Limited can get either rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive (part-time on the SR5, full-time on the Limited).
Standard safety features include antilock 4-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, anti-skid system, active front head restraints, front knee airbags, front-seat side airbags and full-length roll-sensing side curtain airbags.
Toyota's A-TRAC system is standard on all 4-wheel drive trims, which can distribute driving force to any one wheel in contact with the ground, making rough driving much smoother. Four-wheel drive trims also get standard Downhill Assist Control. Trail trims also get Toyota's Crawl Control, which regulates the vehicle's speed in severe off-road conditions and Toyota's Multi-Terrain Select system, which allows drivers to manually adjust the 4-wheel drive hardware to suit their needs.
All 4Runner trims come with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), which provides additional control by keeping the vehicle stationary while starting on a steep incline or unstable surface. The Limited trim comes standard with an X-REAS suspension system that automatically adjusts the damping force of shocks when driving over uneven surfaces or cornering. The Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) is available as an option, which can disconnect the front and rear stabilizer bars at speeds below 40 mph for greater wheel articulation. A system designed to prevent accidental acceleration by cutting throttle when both the accelerator and brake are pressed simultaneously is standard across the all trims.
Standard equipment on the SR5 includes 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, trip computer and audio system with an auxiliary audio jack. SR5 trims with 4-wheel drive also get heated side mirrors with turn indicators and puddle lights, chrome roof rails and grille and a tow hitch receiver.
The Trail trim adds a hood scoop, a locking rear differential, Crawl Control, off-road tires, smoked head- and taillights, back-up camera, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, water-resistant upholstery, power front seats, a sliding rear cargo deck and an upgraded audio system with satellite radio, a USB port and iPod connectivity.
The Limited trim adds 20-inch alloy wheels, Toyota's X-REAS adaptive suspension dampers, keyless entry and ignition, automatic headlights, dual climate control, an upgraded audio system with a navigation, a 6-inch touchscreen display and backup camera. Also included are a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated front seats and driver's seat power-adjustable lumbar support.
The 2018 Toyota 4Runner is a throwback within the midsize SUV segment. Unlike the once-tough Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder that have morphed into three-row crossovers on unibody platforms, the 4Runner's foundation remains rugged-first, with body-on-frame architecture. And while Ford and Nissan now offer an arsenal of media and safety technologies; by comparison, the aging Toyota can't keep up.
Yet even with the 4Runner's old-school makeup and frozen-in-time equipment list, Toyota still manages to move a fair number of them. Last month, 9,669 4Runners found new homes. That doesn't match the 15,484 examples of the more family-friendly, three-row Toyota Highlander sold during the same period, but it's respectable for a vehicle that's eight years into its current model cycle, with bones far older than that.
Take a close look at the 4Runner and you'll uncover the tried-and-true elements. Under the hood sits a 4.0-liter V6 making 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque -- an engine that originally debuted in the 4Runner 15 years ago. With 8-, 9- and even 10-speed transmissions prominent in the auto industry today, the 2018 Toyota 4Runner still rocks a 5-speed automatic.
The Good Rugged body-on-frame architecture will appeal to off-roaders. Surprisingly compliant ride quality. Refined drivetrain.
The Bad Poor fuel economy. Subpar infotainment system with small touchscreen. Slim offering of safety technologies.
The Bottom Line The midsize SUV for those on the hunt for a pure and simple ride.
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