It was a 2015
4Runner 4X4 TRD
Pro Series with a V-6. It’s worth noting
that the 2016 model carries over unchanged from 2015. Toyota
Normally, I start off by looking at the body lines on a newly arrived test vehicle. Not so much this time.
The 4Runner was riding on 17-inch alloy wheels supporting like-sized tires that looked capable or knocking down a brick wall.
Lots of sport-utes can be taken off-road. This 4Runner pretty much begs for it.
So, yes, I did depart from the pavement for a short time, but what I put this vehicle through was pretty much the equivalent of Usain Bolt racing a turtle.
Not even close.
I have no doubt that my tester, if it could speak, wanted to head up to the hard rocks in the
Sierra Nevada. And based on my humble off-road venture, I'm positive that the 4Runner could have handled the hard-core stuff easily.
The 4-liter, 270-horsepower V-6 (with a max torque rating of 278 foot-pounds) worked like a champ, and the monster tires dug in with purpose.
Priced at $43,134 on the sticker, the tested 4Runner had all the necessary off-road bells and whistles, including crawl control, hill-start assist control, vented disc brakes on front and rear and traction-control all around. That’s the short list.
Back on the paved roads of civilization, the tester was no less enjoyable.
For all its ruggedness, the 4Runner was a smooth freeway cruiser and not a brute to steer in city traffic.
The five-speed automatic transmission was nicely calibrated, and starts from a standstill were surprisingly smooth.
Interior comfort was good, front and back. And while there were nice interior comforts, the vehicle was not overloaded with ooh-shiny perks, kind of what I expect from an SUV with serious off-road intentions.
Fuel mileage was, well, ugh! You get 17 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway, but that was not much a surprise in this vehicle niche.
It should go without saying that motorists pondering the purchase of this vehicle should take their off-roading excursions seriously, because the 4Runner TRD Pro Series is equipped for that kind of adventure. Buying it for routine suburban-city commutes would be wrong in my book, sort of like getting a sledgehammer to set the pushpins on your bulletin board.
Overall grade: I give it a strong B. Off the beaten path, I’d lean more toward an A-minus.