Don’t you love an SUV that makes you feel like you can take on the world?
A drive that gives you some muscle and a feeling of power. That is exactly what happens when you slide behind the wheel of the 2017 Toyota 4Runner 4×4. This full-size SUV lets you see the road around you, can go off-road for some muddy fun, but can also haul the kids plus their sports gear and even a cello or two.
Who This SUV Is For
- Adventurous drivers looking to go off-road with the family
- Drivers looking for a full-sized SUV
- Buyers looking for a rugged SUV
- Singles, Couples, or small families
- Those who need cargo space and/or hauling capabilities
- µoms who refuse to drive a mini-van but need cargo space
But, Is It A Family SUV?
This SUV will easily accommodate a family of 4-5 plus the family pet. It’s perfect for families who love the outdoors and spend a fair amount of time camping, hiking, kayaking, biking, etc.
The 4Runner can pull a camper and the roof racks on top will hold more gear. There are lots of cubby areas for storage allowing you to pack even more into the SUV.
Simply running errands or kids to and from? The 4Runner performs great in those conditions as well. It hauls all the kids’ gear, has charging outlets for everyone and is a comfortable ride.
What This Cars Costs
- Base price $37,335
- Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Nav and App Suite add $345
- Sliding rear cargo deck add $350
- Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System add $1750
- Keep it wild savings deduct $500
- Delivery, processing and handling fee add $940
- Total price of the model we drove $40,220
From Highway to Off-Road with the Turn of a Dial!
This is off-roading as it should be. All adjustments are made from the driver’s seat with the simple twist of a dial and adjustment of the 4 wheel drive shifter.
Right above the rearview mirror is a set of off-road selection dials for speed and terrain. On the console between the front seats, a shifter allows you to easily adjust from 2wheel drive to 4wheel drive.
The Toyota 4Runner hit the curvy paved roads through O’Bannon State Park near Corydon, Indiana and handled them like the pro it is. We didn’t take the 4Runner completely off-road but tried to put it through some paces to test the SUVs capabilities. Tight curves, no problem. Hills, you got it. Rough terrain, easy, peasy.
Watch the video to see how the 4Runner navigated narrow roads and tight curves:
Turns on a Dime and Hugs Corners – No Tipping Allowed
Someone recently asked me what I meant when I said a car had a tight turning radius. I explained it like this: when I make a U-turn the car, SUV or truck makes that turn in one smooth rotation of the steering wheel. There is no embarrassing 3-point turn where you get partway through the turn and realize you’re going to have to back up, and then turn more as you go forward. 😳
‘Hugs curves’ simply means that when going around curves, the SUV hold steady without the need to put on the brakes or feeling like you’ll tip over. Tipping, in this instance, is bad and not something you ever want to happen. That was never an issue in the 4Runner as it held tight to the road regardless of the conditions.
Kicking It Old School in the Toyota 4Runner
There’s not a lot of bells and whistles, but the 4Runner is a rugged SUV meant to be used in the great outdoors. Everything is pretty basic on the console. Rugged and simple, two words we used when discussing the merits of the SUV, were two of our favorite features.
Kickin’ it old school with its dials and controls made us feel like the 4Runner could hold up against just about anything. It made me think that too much digital would ruin the rugged off-the-grid feel that this SUV evokes.
Yes, a Rugged SUV Can be Comfortable
The fabric-trimmed front seats may not be leather, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t comfortable. I drove the SUV for hours and it felt great. The seat is perfectly formed for comfort and the 8-way power adjustment makes sure that the seat is exactly how I like it. The passenger side is just as comfy, according to my husband Alan, even though you have to manually adjust the seat position.
Back seat passengers are not excluded from comfort as the second row offers the option to recline. Plus, there is plenty of leg room for back seat passengers. I’m 5’6″ and had leg room to spare!
Facebook Live Review of the Toyota 4Runner
Let’s Go Places with the Toyota 4Runner 4×4 TRD Off-Road V6. See what makes this a fun SUV.
Posted by A Girls Guide to Cars on Sunday, May 13, 2018
Rugged Does Not Mean Lack of Tech
There are 7 places to charge in the 4Runner which means no one has to fight over an outlet. As well as my new favorite thing ever….a household outlet plug! I love that for charing my computer. Alan thinks we should use it to bring a toaster to make pop tarts when camping. To each their own 🙂
There is also a backup camera which, as of this year is required by law. It makes backing up so much easier, especially in an SUV which gives you great views of the road around you but it can be hard to see what’s next to your wheels.
Pack It Up and Head Out
Whether its a day of kids sports activities or a family weekend camping trip the 4Runner has room for everything you need to take. We packed it full of camping gear (sans tent) as well as everything we needed to stay in a cabin and hotel. Our week was a mix of accommodations and we wanted to make sure we were well prepared for any situation.
The 4Runner held all our stuff like a champ and the sliding rear cargo deck meant I could easily access anything we needed– no climbing into the cargo area for something that rolled all the way to the back; I can just pull the deck out and easily retrieve it. It’s also great for tailgating. Set up a buffet of goodness right on the tailgate and have a great party!
Roughing It Doesn’t Mean Leaving Makeup and Handbags Behind
The center console has a roomy compartment that will easily store a small handbag. If you have a larger bag it will need to find a home on the floor behind on the console or in the back seat. Behind the console still makes it easy to grab when you’re going through the Starbucks drive through for your morning fix.
There may not be a lot of tech in the 4Runner but there are lighted mirrors on the visors making it easy to fix your make up and reapply your lipstick before getting out of the car. There is also a little shelf cubby in the console storage to store lipstick and powder so you don’t have to dig through your handbag to find it. I love having extra makeup within easy reach in my car!
What We Loved
- Quiet interior
- Rugged design of dashboard and console
- Comfortable seats
- Tight turning radius
- Smooth on rough surfaces
- Red stitching on the interior trim
- Very comfortable seats for long trips
- Lots of leg room in the back seat
What We Listened To In The Toyota 4Runner
Disclosure: The Toyota 4Runner was provided for this review; all opinions are my own.