$27,366 - $32,737

2018 Toyota 4Runner Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.2

In the midsize SUV segment, the 2018 Toyota 4Runner is among the frontrunners for off-roading capabilities. Its trucklike construction imparts a rigidity that adventurers will appreciate on a rugged trail. These same dynamics create a pavement ride that's isn't very smooth or composed, though not everyone will mind.

  • The 4Runner Trail's off-road nature dominates the way it performs. The traditional body-on-frame construction gives it ruggedness and clearance but adds weight that results in modest cornering, braking and acceleration limits." -- Edmunds
  • While Toyota's 2017 4Runner SUV delivers a noticeably firm ride, the spring and suspension settings are not so primitive as to render it incapable of delivering acceptable levels of cornering and comfort." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 4Runner is still constructed using body-on-frame architecture and it shows every minute of every mile on the road. Steering is ponderous at best, requiring constant correction. The ride and handling would be best described as outdated, and the truck isn't particularly quiet." -- Motor Trend (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2018 4Runner comes with a 4.0-liter V6 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. This 270-horsepower motor has respectable acceleration, taking on tasks like merging and overtaking with little drama. It's also capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds. Gas mileage isn't great, however; the 4Runner's highway rating of 21 mpg is among the lowest in the class, and its 17 mpg city rating is slightly below average.

  • "The 4Runner's 270-horsepower V6 is a marvelous engine, delivering ample power for passing, merging and towing." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 4.0-liter V6 gets the 4Runner up to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, which translates to easy freeway merging and decent climbing power up long grades. It's not the most powerful engine in the class, but it does the job." -- Edmunds
  • Power is adequate but not breathtaking from the big V6." -- Left Lane News (2014)

Handling and Braking

The 4Runner comes standard with rear-wheel drive. You can add four-wheel drive for about $1,900, and editions like the TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro come standard with it. This SUV is built like a pickup truck, and it drives like one, too. Expect a stiffer ride and some body lean, though these attributes aren't overly awkward and won’t disqualify the 4Runner as a daily driver. Where the 4Runner really shines is off-road. Protective skid plates are mounted on every model, and upgrades like an off-road suspension system with Bilstein shocks are available.

  • You'll get no argument from us that the 2018 Toyota 4Runner drives more like a pickup truck than a car, but that doesn't mean its ride is unbearable or even uncivilized. Over smooth pavement the 4Runner exhibits good road manners, although its cornering abilities do result in noticeable lean." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While serviceable as a daily driver, the 4Runner is home on adverse terrain. Off-road prowess comes from its high ground clearance and available hardware such as a locking rear differential, low-range gearing and Toyota's trick Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)." -- Edmunds
  • The 4Runner comes up aces off-road, no doubt about it. It's in the running with the Jeep Grand Cherokee for the 'most capable midsize SUV' award. However, the same features that are a boon in the bushes – such as the slow-ratio steering and tough-as-nails suspension – make the 4Runner a bit of a handful on paved roads. The Limited model's X-REAS underpinnings noticeably tighten up the 4Runner's handling in civilization, but even so, you'll never forget that this is a tall, narrow SUV. We do think Toyota has done a nice job tuning the ride, however, as there's little of the truck-like jitteriness that plagued previous 4Runners." -- Autotrader (2017)

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