2018 Toyota 4Runner

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MSRP: $34,810 - 45,160

2018 Toyota 4Runner Review

The 2018 Toyota 4Runner ranks near the bottom of the midsize SUV class. Its interior is laden with rough-and-tumble hard plastic materials, while its handling and ride are geared for off-roading, not highway miles or city traffic.

7.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.4
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.0
Safety: 8.6
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Top-notch off-road chops
  • Ample cargo space 

 

  • Poor gas mileage
  • Very few advanced safety features available 

 

Is the Toyota 4Runner a Good SUV?

The 4Runner is a good SUV if you're planning to spend a lot of time off road. As you march up the trim line, the 2018 4Runner adds more robust off-roading features. Therefore, you can pick the equipment that matches your wants and wallet. As a daily driver, however, the 4Runner doesn't fare so well. It has a stiff ride, subpar gas mileage, and lower crash test ratings than some competitors.

Should I Buy the Toyota 4Runner?

The 4Runner is a great choice for people who enjoy serious off-roading or spend all their weekends adventuring through the wilderness. In fact, the 4Runner is on the short list of SUVs that can hang with legends like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler when the pavement ends. Shoppers who prefer a comfier ride or more up-to-date features may want to consider alternatives like the Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Atlas, or Nissan Murano

Compare the 4Runner, Grand Cherokee, and Wrangler »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota 4Runner?

The current 4Runner generation was launched for the 2010 model year. There have been only minor changes in the ensuing years. The 2017 model added two new off-road trim packages, and there aren't any notable changes for 2018.

Purchasing a used 4Runner instead of a new one will likely save you money without sacrificing many features. If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overviews of the 2016 Toyota 4Runner and 2017 Toyota 4Runner. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 4Runner »
We Did the Research for You: 54 Reviews Analyzed

For our comprehensive Toyota 4Runner review, we analyzed more than 50 professional reviews and included details like the 4Runner’s ground clearance and the standard features in each trim. This overview includes applicable research from the current generation, which spans the 2010 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our Best Cars team is part of U.S. News & World Report, a trusted source that's been in business since 1933. For more than a decade, we've been ranking and reviewing the best cars, trucks, and SUVs. We also cover current car news and issue annual awards such as the Best Cars for the Money and the Best Cars for Families.

How Much Does the Toyota 4Runner Cost?

The 2018 Toyota 4Runner is one of the most expensive models in our midsize SUV rankings. Retail prices start at $34,410 for the base SR5 trim level with two-wheel drive. The 4Runner comes in six trims, including the range-topping 4Runner Limited ($42,725) and all-wheel-drive-only models like the 4Runner TRD Off-Road ($37,535) and 4Runner TRD Pro ($42,675).

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota 4Runner Versus the Competition

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

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a natural foil for the Toyota 4Runner, and both make excellent picks for buyers who hear the call of the wild. But the Grand Cherokee makes a more suitable daily driver, thanks to its comfier cabin and smoother ride. One point to consider is that the Jeep only has two rows of seats, while the 4Runner offers a third row that brings seating capacity up to seven.

Which Is Better: Toyota 4Runner or Toyota Highlander?

The Toyota Highlander wins on many fronts in this Toyota showdown. The Highlander has a more attractive cabin, seating for up to seven, and lots of technology. It can't match the 4Runner's capability, but it's better suited for commuting and road trips. The 4Runner may be an off-road dynamo, but the Highlander is a better SUV for everyday life.

Compare the 4Runner, Grand Cherokee, and Highlander »

4Runner Interior

How Many People Does the 4Runner Seat?

You can seat five people with the standard configuration of the 4Runner, which includes two rows of seats. A third row is available; it adds two more seats for a maximum capacity of seven. The seats match the 4Runner's workhorse personality, providing decent comfort with minimal indulgences. Like most 3-row SUVs this size, the rearmost seats work best for kids.

4Runner and Car Seats

The 4Runner comes with the standard set of LATCH anchors: three tether anchors and two sets of lower anchors. The hardware is tricky to locate and use, earning it a Marginal rating – the second-worst - for its ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

4Runner Interior Quality

The 4Runner's interior styling matches its rough-and-tumble persona. The well-built cabin has durable materials, and the overall design highlights function over flair.

4Runner Cargo Space

The 4Runner has loads of room for your gear. With up to 47.2 cubic feet of space behind the second-row seats and 88.8 cubic feet overall, the 4Runner can haul more than most 3-row SUVs.

4Runner Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Every 4Runner comes with niceties like navigation, advanced voice recognition, and a household-style power outlet (located in the cargo area). The Entune infotainment interface is pretty straightforward; it’s accompanied by a set of large redundant knobs and buttons that are clearly labeled.

Read more about interior »

4Runner Performance

4Runner Engine: Satisfactory V6

The 4Runner isn't the most powerful SUV in the class, but it has no issues getting up a mountain pass, merging onto the highway, or towing up to 5,000 pounds. Its 270-horsepower powertrain consists of a 4.0-liter V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

4Runner Gas Mileage: Dreadful

The 4Runner has one of the lowest fuel economy ratings among midsize SUVs. Its estimated gas mileage of 17 mpg in the city is a touch below average, and its rating of 21 mpg on the highway is one of the worst in our ranking.

4Runner Ride and Handling: Fair On-Road, Fantastic Off-Road

On paved surfaces, the 4Runner feels more like a truck than its carlike relative, the Toyota Highlander. The steering can feel vague, and the tall SUV leans noticeably in corners. None of these traits rule it out as a daily driver, but the 4Runner isn't a cushy commuter. The tune changes drastically on rugged terrain, however. The 4Runner’s off-roading abilities are among the best in the class. Every edition comes with protective skid plates and at least 9 inches of ground clearance (four-wheel-drive models have 9.6 inches).

Read more about performance »

4Runner Reliability

Is the Toyota 4Runner Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2018 4Runner an above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Toyota 4Runner Warranty

The 2018 4Runner comes with a three-year/36,000-mile new car limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

4Runner Safety

4Runner Crash Test Results

The 2018 4Runner has mixed crash test scores. It earned an overall safety rating of four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A breakdown of the categories includes five stars for its side crash rating, four stars for its front crash rating, and three stars for its rollover rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 4Runner the top rating of Good in all conducted crash tests except the small overlap front on the driver’s side. There it earned the second-lowest rating of Marginal.

4Runner Safety Features

The 4Runner comes up short on safety features. A rearview camera is standard, and the top-of-the-line Limited comes with front and rear parking sensors. In comparison, the Toyota Highlander has an impressive suite of standard safety features that includes forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control.

Read more about safety »

Which Toyota 4Runner Model Is Right for Me?

The 2018 4Runner comes in one of six trim levels. The SR5, SR5 Premium, and Limited trims come standard with rear-wheel drive, and you can upgrade each to four-wheel drive for around $1,900. The TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, and TRD Pro trim levels are four-wheel drive only.

Because of its mixture of off-road components and interior upgrades, we think the TRD Off-Road Premium trim ($39,495) offers one of the best values. Mechanical upgrades like a locking rear differential and crawl control help you get off the beaten path, and you'll be riding in style on heated, synthetic leather-trimmed front seats. This trim level also adds smartphone integration, giving you access to apps like iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Yelp.

Toyota 4Runner SR5

The base 4Runner SR5 comes with cloth seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, a 6.1-inch touch-screen infotainment display, navigation, eight speakers, a USB port, voice recognition, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, satellite radio, HD Radio, a 120-volt power outlet, and a rearview camera. Retail prices start at $34,410 for the SR5 and $36,240 for the SR5 Premium, which has synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, and the Entune App Suite.

Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road  

The $37,535 TRD Off-Road has most of the same standard interior features as the SR5 Premium, adding a locking rear differential, crawl control, and Multi-Terrain Select with four driving modes.

Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

The 4Runner TRD Pro ($42,675) is the most rugged of the bunch, with an off-road suspension that includes Bilstein high-performance shocks, an aluminum front skid plate, and 17-inch Nitto Terra Grappler tires among its upgraded components.

Toyota 4Runner Limited 

The 4Runner Limited model has leather upholstery throughout, heated and ventilated front seats, a power sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 15-speaker JBL GreenEdge sound system, front and rear parking sensors, and smartphone integration via the Entune App Suite. Pricing starts at $42,725.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2018 Toyota 4Runner specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 4Runner holds onto its roots as a brawny, body-on-frame SUV. Its rugged framework works brilliantly on a four-wheel-drive course, but it can feel rough on the highway. While the 4Runner may not be as cushy as its midsize SUV competitors, it's civilized enough that you can take it to work on a weekday and comfortably roam the hills on the weekend.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • The 2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV continues its dominance over a rapidly shrinking field of body-on-frame midsize SUVs. Rugged, reliable and highly valued, the 5-7-passenger Toyota 4Runner feels right at home on paved roads, although its ride and handling are nowhere near as good as that of the Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder or GMC Acadia. Then again, none of these competitors can venture to the off-road destinations a 4Runner can access. … And while we admire the 4Runner's numerous accolades, its aging design precludes it from offering the latest safety and driver-assist features such as forward-collision mitigation and blind-spot monitoring." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The Toyota 4Runner is an SUV in the traditional sense, with a body-on-frame construction and a solid rear axle like a pickup truck. It is one of the last SUVs built this way, giving it the rugged capability that made this type of vehicle attractive in the first place." -- Edmunds
  • Of course, there's a reason why other carmakers don't make 'em like the 4Runner any more. It's less efficient than a crossover, less comfortable and its available third row is cramped. If the most rugged place you'll ever go is a trailhead parking lot, the 4Runner probably doesn't make much sense. The fact that Toyota also sells the Highlander family crossover has saved the 4Runner from a similar fate as its old rivals. So as such, it certainly won't be for everyone, but for those who'll benefit from its unique talents, the 2017 4Runner will be a phenomenal do-almost-everything choice." -- Autotrader (2017)
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