2018 Toyota 4Runner Review


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2018 Toyota 4Runner Overview

The Toyota 4Runner has evolved from what was essentially a small pickup with a fully enclosed cargo area into a distinct model of SUV that has fairly compact proportions but more serious off-road and utility credibility than most other crossovers on the road. The current fifth generation 4Runner has been around since the 2010 model year, but for 2018 the changes are limited to only special matte gray wheels available on TRD models and three new exterior paint colors for the TRD Pro. Trim options for the 4Runner are similar to the Tacoma pickup with two fewer models to choose from. Available trims start at the base SR5 and move up to the SR5 Premium, sportier TRD Off Road, Off Road Pro, TRD Pro, and 4Runner Limited, the comfort and luxury-oriented version.

All versions of the 4Runner come with a 4.0-liter V-6 engine that is rated at 270hp and 278 lb-ft of torque, which is adequate for a 4,500-pound vehicle. The engine is paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission available in either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. In the right configuration, it is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds. while four-wheel drive versions manage 17 mpg city/20 highway/18 combined.

Built like a truck in the traditional sense, the 4Runner features a ladder frame with a coil-spring solid axle at the back. What it lacks in smooth road riding, it makes up for once the pavement runs out. While the base SR5 model with four-wheel drive will get through most situations, the TRD Off Road model adds a handy locking rear differential, special traction control system with different driving modes, and Toyota’s optional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS). The TRD Pro model, meanwhile, adds Bilstein shocks, bigger skid plates, chunkier tires, and a small lift to the suspension for added ground clearance. TRD models also get a Crawl Control system, which is essentially a cruise-control system that is oriented to off-road driving and getting over obstacles or steeply angled surfaces.

On the inside, the 4Runner ranges from rather utilitarian to fairly luxurious. Base SR5 models come with fabric seats with power adjust on the driver’s side, a reversing camera, 6.1-inch infotainment screen and an eight-speaker stereo. A Premium package for the SR5 adds synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, a moonroof, and a navigation system. For the adventurers out there, a Wilderness Package is available on all but the Premium model and includes cross bars for a roof rack and rubber mats for both the floors and the cargo area. The TRD models mostly make changes underneath the skin and don’t add much as far as convenience or features, but the luxury-oriented Limited model comes with genuine leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 15-speaker stereo by JBL.

All 2018 Toyota 4Runners come with a reversing camera and the mandated safety equipment as far as airbags and stability control are concerned. In crash testing from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, it scored four out of five stars while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it top “Good” scores in most categories.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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