2019 Toyota 4Runner

Performance


#22 out of 23 in Midsize SUVs

$35,310 MSRP
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2019 Toyota 4Runner Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.4

The 2019 Toyota 4Runner has a powerful V6 engine and refined transmission, but it gets low fuel economy numbers for its class. This off-road monster has decent on-road handling, but its ride quality is stiff and bumpy. An optional adaptive suspension helps reduce body lean to an extent.  

  • In general, this body-on-frame setup results in truck-like rather than car-like ride and handling. However, the 270-horsepower V6 is a superb engine, with plenty of muscle for passing, towing and getting up to freeway speeds." -- 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). The latter consists of special stabilizer bars that automatically adjust to allow for greater wheel travel (and therefore traction) in off-road driving situations." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • 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." -- Autotrader (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Toyota 4Runner comes standard with a 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. The 4Runner gets 17 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway, which is below average for the class. The engine has good throttle response and sufficient power for most situations. The transmission also delivers smooth and precise shifts.

  • "[T]his ancient powertrain is still plenty smooth. Throttle response is near instant at tip-in, power delivery is linear throughout the rev range and the gearbox fluidly performs well-timed up- and downshifts. Power is neither abundant nor in short supply, simply adequate for pulling away from stops in a brisk manner and getting up to speed for expressway merging." -- CNET (2018)
  • "The 4Runner exhibits surprisingly smooth, linear and powerful acceleration. Tall gearing and five speeds keep it in the powerband longer, unlike many of today's crossovers that shift to highest gears as quickly as possible. There's no insufferable lag, just ample thrust. It's not fast, but the V6 is surprisingly strong." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "Thanks to a potent 270-horsepower V6 engine, accelerating and passing are never a worry, and the efficient 5-speed automatic always feels sure of its gear selection even when negotiating steep grades." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)

Handling and Braking

The 4Runner comes standard with rear-wheel drive. Part-time and full-time four-wheel drive are optional. The 4Runner exhibits some body lean around corners but offers easy, predictable steering. Ride quality is on the harsh side, especially over bumpy roads.

  •  -"A relatively unsophisticated ride quality brings bearable manners on smooth roads and some cushioning over rougher surfaces, but the 2019 4Runner will lean noticeably if a corner is taken with anything like gusto." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Compared to a modern crossover, the 4Runner sacrifices some ride compliance given its body-on-frame architecture. It bounces over pockmarked roads for a more truck-like ride, though an optional adaptive suspension helps things stay reasonably smooth, keeping body roll in check. Responsive steering makes maneuvering around town easy enough and the brakes are strong, but grab hard halfway through the pedal stroke requiring a brief acclimation period." -- CNET (2018)
  • Similar to the brakes, not a lot of real feel comes through the wheel, but the truck responds quickly and accurately. Steering effort is a bit heavy at higher speeds, but it's not fatiguing. At low speeds, it offers an appropriate amount of assist." -- Edmunds (2018)
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