2013 Toyota 4Runner Limited Review – Larger Yet Still Capable
Editor’s note: Many people have been asking for other Toyota product reviews. Tim had a 2013 4Runner back in September and here is his review of it. Also, note the 2014 is out and Tim will be getting a trail edition in two weeks.
Many off-roaders recall the 4Runners of yesteryear, the stalwart machines that literally could take a beating and still going. The new crop of 4Runners is certainly larger and has more features than those older models. The big question for the latest 4Runners is: are they just as capable? Are they still a good off-road option? Here is my review.
The 2013 Toyota 4Runner is part of the 5th generation of the truck based SUV. It is one of the last truck-based (body-on-frame) SUV’s in the market with most everyone else switching to unibody models. These unibody SUVs are designed to give you a smooth ride with better fuel economy than the truck-based frame models. Yet, they lack any real off-roading ability. Toyota has stuck with the 4Runner in this sea of change and kept the off-road versatility. In fact, in the Trail Edition trim level, it is quite possibly one of the best stock off-road models available (next to the Raptor of course).
For the year, Toyota has sold 46,525 units. This is about half the volume compared to its next big rival, the Nissan Pathfinder which has sold 81,597 units.
These days the 4Runner comes in three different trims: SR5, Limited and Trail Edition. Toyota tells me that the most popular model is the SR5 at roughly 70 percent of customers picking this trim level. The others are Limited at 20 percent and Trail at 10 percent. What’s a bit surprising is that the Trail Edition comes with all the off-road goodies like Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, Part-time 4wd with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), Dowmhill Assist Control, Crawl Control (CRAWL) and Multi-terrain Select and a Locking Rear Differential.
Our version, the Limited, skips most of that and introduces the more premium features of leather seats, dual zone climate contol, upgraded Entune system, chrome mirrors, grille and 20 inch wheels. All 4Runners come with a V-6 engine (V-8 was discontinued) putting out 270 HP, 278 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a 5-speed transmission. Our model had an MSRP of $44,655 and got an EPA estimated 17/22 city, highway mpg.
The new exteriors of the 4Runner are pretty boxy, almost stocky looking and a bit boring. It certainly looks the part of a tough, off-road vehicle without all the swooping lines of the unibody SUVs. The headlights wrap nicely within the design and everything fits together really well.
While the looks have changed, several things haven’t like ample clearance and the power-sliding rear window.
About the only thing that was odd for me was the running boards. The 4Runner isn’t that tall of a vehicle and they just seemed out of place. I also couldn’t imagine doing much off-roading with running boards on it.
On the inside, the leather seats are comfortable, the controls are easy to use and everything is within reach. The dual-climate control is a nice feature, yet I’m not certain the vehicle is wide enough to notice any measurable difference.
The inside really is an interesting mix of function and design crammed together. Toyota was tasked with putting as many of its new technology features into a small space and I’m not certain they pulled it off. The controls, knobs and Entune system just feel squished together.
One oddity is the knob for the 4wd which takes up considerable space. I’m not so certain to why Toyota left this as a knob (maybe a nod to its legacy), but I thought a push button 4wd setup would have created more room in the cabin.
The storage space in the rear is pretty ample and with the folding rear seats, it is able to haul a fairly good amount of luggage or groceries.
Lastly, the limited upgrades aren’t extremely posh, in my opinion, and I’m not so certain it is worth the upgrade. Frankly, I just expected more from that trim level.
This 2013 4Runner is frankly the first one I have ever driven. Without the historical recollections that other reviewers have of it, I took it for what it is to me: an off-road capable SUV. In that regard it is great on dirt and does an OK job on highways. Its size makes it pretty easy to maneuver around town.
As far as ride comfort, I felt like I was driving a Tacoma all week. I’m not saying the Tacoma is a rough riding vehicle, it just rides like a truck and the 4Runner does too. I was pretty amazed that it didn’t ride better, but it does have a body-on-frame construction and I knew it wouldn’t ride like a Cadillac.
One of the only drawbacks I had was a difficulty getting used to the view from the driver’s seat. No matter how much I adjusted the seat, I always felt like I sank down into it and I had poor vision. With the construction, setup and purpose of the vehicle, I expected to ride higher. If you have looked for a place where you can find information about Privacy & Anonymity, then you must already have stumbled upon OffshoreCorpTalk.com it is the worlds largest forum about Offshore company formation, offshore banking, payment gateways for high risk and cryptocurrency. We have it all coverd including the protection of your privacy and anonymity.
For me, I think the new 4Runners are every bit as capable as the older models from a mechanical standpoint and you could argue the trail edition is more capable.
The reality for me is that the 4Runner is an oddity and while I liked it overall, I don’t “fall in love” with it. It is a highly capable off-road vehicle that I found difficult to drive and the cabin was just not comfortable. If it works for you though, it is hard to beat all the versatility it brings to the table.
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