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2016 Toyota 4Runner Review

The 2016 Toyota 4Runner is an adept off-road vehicle, but it’s not well-suited for everyday driving. It has a low safety score, an unsettled on-pavement ride, and lackluster cabin materials. For those reasons, it trails nearly every other model in our midsize SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Impressive off-road capability
  • Good cargo space in 2-row models
  • Rough ride on pavement
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Low safety score





Critics' Rating: 6.1
Performance: 5.8
Interior: 6.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 8.6
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Toyota 4Runner Overview

Is the 2016 Toyota 4Runner a Good Used SUV?

The versatile 2-row Toyota 4Runner has off-roading capability that few midsize SUVs can match. It also provides plenty of cargo space and enough passenger room for the whole family. However, its truck-like chassis gives it a bumpy ride and unimpressive fuel economy. This Toyota has a lot to offer the outdoorsy person, but for day-to-day driving there are better options.

Why You Can Trust Us

We analyzed 47 Toyota 4Runner reviews and included information on safety, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a comprehensive overview of the 2016 4Runner. U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.  

How Much Is the 2016 Toyota 4Runner?

Based on the 1,513 listings on our site for the 2016 Toyota 4Runner, you should expect to pay between $28,700 and $40,200. The average list price is $34,200. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2016 Toyota 4Runner Cost to Own?

There are more costs associated with owning a vehicle than the sticker price. Estimated five-year expenses for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2016 4Runner are $24,471, which is about average for the 2016 midsize SUV segment. The 2016 Kia Sorento will cost you an estimated $24,226 over five years, the 2016 Nissan Murano will cost $23,757, and the 2016 Toyota Highlander will cost $25,290. The Highlander Hybrid, however, has an unusually low five-year estimate of $23,457.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New 4Runner?

The base 2018 Toyota 4Runner model with rear-wheel drive has an MSRP of $34,610. That's just a few hundred dollars more than the average listing price of the 2016 4Runner. However, the 4Runner works best with four-wheel drive – and that raises its starting price to $36,330. If you can find a 2016 4WD for less, you're better off going with the used model.

Read about the new Toyota 4Runner »

Before you buy a new 4Runner, have a look at the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 trim. It starts at $32,995 and matches the 4Runner’s off-road capabilities.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Toyota 4Runner?

The 2016 Toyota 4Runner has a reliability rating of three out of five, which is average for the industry.

Read more about 4Runner reliability »

2016 Toyota 4Runner Recalls

As of this writing, there are eight recalls for the 2016 4Runner. These recalls address issues with front air bag inflators exploding, air bags failing to inflate, incorrect load or weight labels, and several pieces detaching from the vehicle, including the roof rack, hood scoop, and grille overlay.

See more information on Toyota 4Runner safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Toyota 4Runner Is Best?

The 2016 4Runner is part of a generation that began with the 2010 model year. However, most shoppers should stick with a 2014 or newer model. For that year, Toyota added a standard rearview camera and revamped the 4Runner's interior and exterior styling. For 2016, the 4Runner received an upgraded infotainment system, but there were otherwise no major changes to make it more appealing than an older model.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 4Runner »

Which Used Toyota 4Runner Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Toyota 4Runner is available in six trims: SR5, SR5 Premium, Trail, Trail Premium, Limited, and TRD Pro. For a diverse mix of off-roading capabilities, comfort, and technology, consider the Trail Premium trim. It comes standard with Multi-Terrain Select and several other features that maximize off-roading capabilities. It also comes with a moonroof, leatherette upholstery, and the Entune Premium system, which includes navigation, a 6.1-inch touch screen, and the App Suite. The App Suite includes Siri Eyes Free, smartphone integration, and an eight-speaker sound system.

See 2016 Toyota 4Runner trims and specs »

What Does Toyota's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Toyota offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 85,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the initial sale date or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like a CarFax vehicle history report, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Toyota’s CPO program is about average for an affordable carmaker, according to our research. Hyundai and Kia both have better programs.

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How Safe Is the 4Runner?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2016 4Runner an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. It also earned five stars in the side crash test, four stars in the frontal crash test, and three stars in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 4Runner the highest rating of Good in four crash tests. In the small overlap front crash test, it received the second-lowest score of Marginal.

The 4Runner comes standard with a rearview camera. Front and rear parking sensors are available.

See 4Runner safety scores »

2016 Toyota 4Runner Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota 4Runner or 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee matches the 4Runner’s outstanding off-road ability, but the Jeep surpasses the Toyota when it comes to refined on-road handling. Additionally, the Grand Cherokee has a handsome, roomy cabin and several potent engine options, including a fuel-efficient diesel. The Toyota has only one available engine, and it gets poor gas mileage. The Grand Cherokee is the way to go.

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota 4Runner or 2016 Honda Pilot?

Unless getting an off-roader is a high priority, skip the 4Runner and go for the 2016 Honda Pilot. Compared to the 4Runner, the Pilot has a roomier cabin, higher-quality interior materials, a gentler ride, a higher safety score, and better fuel economy estimates. We named the Pilot our 2016 Best 3-Row SUV for the Money and our 2016 Best 3-Row SUV for Families. This one is a no-brainer: Pick the Pilot.

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota 4Runner or 2016 Toyota RAV4?

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 has a more spacious cabin than the 4Runner, but it doesn't have seating for up to seven, and it doesn't have the same off-road capabilities. However, the RAV4 does have a more comfortable ride and better fuel economy than the 4Runner. Both SUVs come with similar features. Choosing between these two boils down to which is more important to you: comfortable everyday driving or off-road abilities.

Compare the 4Runner, Grand Cherokee, and Pilot »

2016 4Runner Performance

How Does the 2016 Toyota 4Runner Drive?

Most modern SUVs are built on car platforms, but the Toyota 4Runner is truck-based. This contributes to its rough ride and unimpressive handling on pavement. The steering feels too light and needs constant adjustment, and the brakes can be touchy. The Limited trim has an upgraded suspension system, which improves ride quality and handling.

The 2016 4Runner is a superb off-roader with excellent traction on a wide variety of surfaces. There are plenty of standard and available features to enhance your off-roading experience while keeping you safe, including four separate drive modes – mud and sand, loose rock, mogul, and rock – and an available adaptive suspension for maximum traction.

The 4Runner comes with a 270-horsepower V6 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. It handles OK for daily driving, but you'll feel most road imperfections. The 4Runner's V6 engine offers decent power. However, its transmission has fewer gears than those of many rivals, which is part of the reason it is less fuel-efficient and noisier on the highway than some competitors.

Does the 2016 Toyota 4Runner Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 4Runner gets subpar fuel economy for the class. It earns an EPA-estimated 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

2016 Toyota 4Runner Towing Capacity

The 2016 Toyota 4Runner comes standard with a tow hitch receiver and has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Read more about 4Runner performance »

2016 4Runner Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 4Runner Seat?

The base 2016 Toyota 4Runner seats five; it can seat up to seven when equipped with the available third row. Cloth seats and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are standard. Available features include leatherette or leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power-adjustable passenger seat. The 4Runner's front seats are comfortable and provide a great view of the road, but they could use more side support. The third row is cramped and only suitable for small children.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Toyota 4Runner?

The 4Runner has two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the second-row outboard seats. There's an additional upper tether on the second-row middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 4Runner’s LATCH system the second-lowest score of Marginal for ease of use. The IIHS found that the lower anchors are buried too deep in the seats and the anchors are too hard to reach with the LATCH hook.

2016 Toyota 4Runner Features

Standard features in the 2016 Toyota 4Runner include a USB port, Bluetooth, an auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio, HD Radio, an eight-speaker audio system, a 120-volt power outlet and Toyota's Entune Audio Plus infotainment system. It includes a 6.1-inch touch screen, voice recognition, and a GPS Link app that uses your smartphone's GPS to provide navigation instructions on the 4Runner's touch screen.

Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a 15-speaker JBL audio system, push-button start, a proximity key, front and rear parking sensors, a power moonroof, and an Entune Premium Audio infotainment system with navigation and the App Suite, which offers support for smartphone apps like Pandora and Yelp.

The 4Runner's dashboard features large buttons that are easy to use, though some controls may be hard for the driver to reach.

See 2016 Toyota 4Runner specs »

Read more about 4Runner interior »

2016 Toyota 4Runner Dimensions

Toyota 4Runner Cargo Space

The 2016 Toyota 4Runner's overall cargo space is above average for a midsize SUV. The 4Runner has 9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the available third row, 47.2 cubic feet behind the second row, and 89.7 cubic feet behind the first row. A power-retractable liftgate window is standard. A pull-out cargo deck that can hold up to 440 pounds is available, though not with the optional third-row seat installed. The cargo deck is handy, and you get a flat load floor if you forgo the third-row seat. The retractable rear window makes it easy to carry long objects.

2016 4Runner Length and Weight

The 2016 Toyota 4Runner can be up to 15.9 feet long, depending on the trim level. Its curb weight ranges from 4,400 pounds to 4,805 pounds. The gross vehicle weight rating ranges from 6,100 pounds in the rear-wheel-drive 4Runner up to 6,300 pounds for four-wheel drive.

Where Was the 2016 Toyota 4Runner Built?

Toyota manufactured the 2016 4Runner in Japan.

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