2021 Toyota 4Runner

MSRP $36,120 - $38,740

Ranked #21 in Suv

7.1

Overall Rating

2021 Toyota 4Runner Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 5, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


In an age where the monocoque FWD SUVs are taking over sales charts due to their high-end features and accessible pricing, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner seems like a relic of the past. Featuring body-on-frame construction and all the markings of an SUV from yesteryear, the 4Runner offers lackluster on-road dynamics for an equally immersive off-road experience.

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Pros

Off-road ready in any of its variants

Practical cabin with space for everything and everyone

Old-school SUV with new-age technology 

Cons

Isn’t as composed on roads as some rivals 

The V6 engine offers meager performance and little fuel economy

Durability takes precedence over premiumness in the cabin

What's New?

Trail, Venture, and Nightshade Special Editions unveiled 

TRD Pro receives an upgraded alloy and tire combo, as well as re-tuned TRD dampers

LED headlights are now standard across the range


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$36120

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

115 mph

drivetrain

rear wheel drive

engine type

displacement

241 cu.in.

horsepower

270 hp @ 5600 rpm

torque

278 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm

transmission

5 speed Automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

13.3/12.3 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

109.8 in.

length

190.2 in.

width

75.8 in.

height

71.5 in.

curb weight

4750 lbs.

ground clearance

9.6 in.

capacity

passenger volume

97.3 cu ft.

cargo volume

89.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

5000 lbs.

payload capacity

1700 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.7 sec.

zero to 100 mph

21.3 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.3 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

194 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

SR5$36,120 onwards

Trail Special Edition$38,740 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Toyota 4Runner in Nautical Blue Metallic color
Nautical Blue Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

6.8

Engine and Performance

7.4

Fuel Economy

5.6

Interior

7.1

Exterior

8.0

Safety

7.0

Competition

7.5

7.1

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.1

Overall Rating


Right from the lowest trim onwards, the 4Runner is well suited to take on challenging terrain, especially in its TRD Pro trim. While the engineers at Toyota haven’t taken any steps towards refining the 2021 4Runner up to modern standards, they have been sure to bestow the SUV with advanced off-roading tech and electronics. The 2021 Toyota 4Runner goes up against the likes of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, and the Ford Explorer.

2021 Toyota 4Runner SUV front angle view
2021 Toyota 4Runner SUV rear angle view

7.4/10
Engine and Performance

5.6/10
Fuel Economy

7.1/10
Interior

8.0/10
Exterior

7.0/10
Safety

7.5/10
Competition


2021 Toyota 4Runner Features

The 4Runner is genuinely an SUV of old times. It is offered in various combinations to suit different purposes, and its trim levels have varying degrees of off-road capability. Toyota also knows that the 2021 4Runner isn’t exactly equipped to take on more refined SUVs in the market, so its trims have taken an off-roading focused approach, increasing ability as you go higher up the trim ladder. 

Trims

SR5

TRD Off-Road

SR5 Premium

TRD Off-Road Premium

Limited

Nightshade Special Edition

MSRP

$38,640

$40,730

$41,700

$43,325

$47,705

$49,120

Key Features

Manual Air Conditioning

17” alloys

SofTex Seats

Heated power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators

Automatic running boards

Premium JBL Audio System

 

Reverse Camera with guidelines

Heated power outside mirrors

Heated front seats

TRD Off-road badging

Dual-zone automatic climate control with air filter and second-row vents

8-way power-adjustable driver seat with memory function

 

Fabric Seats

Roof Rails

Sliding rear cargo deck with under-floor storage compartment

Aerodynamic variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist cycle

Perforated leather seats with heated and ventilated front seats 

Door handles with touch-sensor lock/unlock

 

LED Headlights and Taillights 

In-key remote keyless entry system

Premium Audio system

Power rear liftgate window with auto up/down and jam protection

Auto-dimming rearview mirror

Black Nightshade specific badging

We Recommend 

Toyota gives the 4Runner plenty of off-roading importance with its TRD models, and there is no doubt that the TRD Off-road variants are more adept at crossing undulating terrain. Nevertheless, the 4Runner is actually very tough and reliable without the TRD badging and extras, and only the TRD Pro offers the best of features along with pure off-roading prowess. If you wish to contain your expenses, the TRD Off-Road Premium is an excellent choice for those who’d like to venture off-road often, while the Limited edition is perfect for those planning to spend as much time on the road as possible. 

2021 Toyota 4Runner Engine and Performance

7.4/10

Toyota takes off-roading very seriously, as seen in their countless models dedicated to crossing the worst of terrain. Sound engineering helps the 2021 4Runner achieve a wading depth of 27.6 inches, and its off-road focused features only make things easier. However, none of it would be possible without the old school 4.0L naturally aspirated V6 sending power to all four wheels of the SUV. The power delivery of the engine is spread out evenly across the rev range, allowing for multiple points of traction to get yourself out of a tricky situation. 

2021 Toyota 4Runner SUV driving view

Models

2021 Toyota 4Runner

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2021 Dodge Durango

2021 Ford Explorer

MSRP

$43,000

$47,000

$45,000

$46,250

Engine

4.0L V6

3.6L V6

3.6L V6

2.3L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

Drivetrain

4WD

4WD

4WD

4WD

Transmission

5-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

10-speed automatic

Power (hp @ RPM

270 hp @ 5,600 RPM

293 hp @ 6,400 RPM

293 hp @ 6,400 RPM

300 hp @ 5,500 RPM

Torque (lb-ft @ RPM)

278 lb-ft @4,400 RPM

260 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM

260 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM

310 lb-ft @ 3,500 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

7.7

7.9

7.6

6.8

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

15.3 

15.2 

15.8 

15.3 

Top-Speed (MPH)

115

120

120

143

Unlike its three competitors, the 2021 Ford Explorer makes use of a turbocharged four-cylinder that manages to offer the best figures for both power and torque in its segment, although we can’t imagine how strained the engine might feel compared to the free-flowing naturally aspirated V6 engines in the segment. The V6 engines are all tuned for torque at every point of the rev range and do not offer great straight-line acceleration either. 

How does the 2021 Toyota 4Runner handle?

While the Toyota 4Runner does show its age now, the refinement levels are clearly ahead of the time whence it was released, as it manages to match some of its more modern competitors in terms of handling prowess. The old-school architecture of the 4Runner comes with inherent body roll, and certainly a bit of wobbliness as standard, but doesn’t get to an unnerving extent as in the case of some cheaper off-roading SUVs.

The 4Runner can actually be driven to prioritize comfort, although it wouldn’t match the likes of the more refined competition you would find today, and controlling chassis movements comes at the cost of spirited, or even enthusiastic driving. The 2021 4Runner is best operated at lower speeds, at which it is tuned for more comfort in order to prove its mettle as an off-road-focused model.

2021 Toyota 4Runner Braking Performance

The 2021 4Runner houses disc brakes on all four wheels, with 13.3” rotors on the front wheels, and 12.3” rotors on the rear. These dutiful brakes manage to stop the lumbering SUV from 60 miles an hour over a distance of 134 feet. While this isn’t the best in the segment, it's great to expect such braking from an SUV.

2021 Toyota 4Runner SUV brake rotor

Models

2021 Toyota 4Runner

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2021 Dodge Durango

2021 Ford Explorer

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

13.3

13.8

13.8

13.6

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

12.3

13

13

12.6

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,750

4,513

4,689

4,345

60-0 (feet)

134

124

127

125

The best braking distance belongs to the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which has a lighter curb weight than its mechanical counterpart - the Dodge Durango while housing the same brake sizes for a braking distance of 124 feet. The SUV most well suited to straight-line speeds is the Ford Explorer, and it has an equally impressive braking distance of 125 feet, which complements its acceleration figure of 6.8 seconds from 0 to 60. 

2021 Toyota 4Runner Fuel Economy

5.6/10

Both the high displacement and number of cylinders in the standard-issue engine of the 4Runner work against fuel economy, and that is seen in its dismal mpg figures of 16 and 19, city and highway respectively. Its 23-gallon fuel tank does allow for the 4Runner to travel long distances on a full tank of gas, but not as long as some of the competition.

Models

2021 Toyota 4Runner

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2021 Dodge Durango

2021 Ford Explorer

MPG (City)

16

18

19

17

MPG (Highway)

19

25

26

24

MPG (Combined)

17

21

21

20

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

23 gallons

24.6 gallons

24.6 gallons

19.2 gallons

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

368/437/391 miles

442.8/615/516 miles

467.4/639.6/516 miles

403.2/537.6/384 miles

Uncharacteristically of the FCA engines, the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee post the best fuel efficiency figures at a combined 21 mpg, and having the largest fuel tank in the segment comes as a boon for the dual purpose SUVs. What’s even more surprising is the four-pot motor of the 2021 Ford Explorer posting poorer fuel economy figures than the V6 engines in the Dodge and Jeep, as the Explorer fails to extract a better figure within the city and out on the highway. Despite a small fuel tank, it has a better range than the 2021 Toyota 4Runner. 

2021 Toyota 4Runner Interior

7.1/10

There is certainly welcome practicality about the new Toyota 4Runner and its cabin. Spacious seating rows and a ton of cargo room make for a very useful SUV for camping trips and weekend getaways alike. That being said, the arbitrary layout and design of the cabin is ages old and isn’t as visually appealing as it once was. While the usefulness of the cabin is certainly maxed out, the materials used across the interior of the 2021 Toyota 4Runner have been picked with durability in mind, having a negative effect on prospective buyers as compared to more premium interiors offered by the similarly priced competition. 

2021 Toyota 4Runner SUV cockpit area

Models

2021 Toyota 4Runner

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2021 Dodge Durango

2021 Ford Explorer

Seating Capacity

5

5

7

7

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

38.6/57.8/41.7

39.9/58.7/40.3

39.9/58.5/40.3

40.7/61.8/43.0

Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

38.6/57.8/32.9

39.2/58.0/38.6

39.8/57.7/38.6

40.5/61.9/39.0

Third Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

N/A

N/A

37.6/50.4/31.5

38.9/54.6/32.2

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

47.2

36.3

17.2

18.2

The generous interior room in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner can be seen in its well-rounded headroom and legroom figures for the front row of seating. The second row is far less practical than the first, but that makes for an abundance of cargo capacity behind the seating rows, as the 4Runner provides a segment topping 47.2 cubic feet of storage space. The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers significantly less space, while the 7 seater SUVs offer less than half of the 4Runner’s cargo capacity. Interior features to keep an eye out for in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner:

  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Heated and Ventilated front seats
  • Perforated leather seats
  • Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver seat with memory function

How intuitive is the infotainment system in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner?

The infotainment system in the Toyota 4Runner isn’t as old-age as the rest of this page would have you believe. An 8.0” touchscreen placed in the center of the dash handles most of the infotainment duties and comes connected to one of three different audio systems on offer in the 2021 4Runner, the most premium of them being a 15-speaker JBL setup.

2021 Toyota 4Runner SUV infotainment screen

The infotainment system in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner is as useful as the SUV itself and comes with all the necessary features, such as:

  • 8” touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Built-in navigation system
  • 15-speaker JBL audio system

2021 Toyota 4Runner Exterior

8.0/10

The 4Runner has a tremendous road presence as a result of its burly structure and high ground clearance. It is quite the visual impairment for lower vehicles in traffic, as it is tough to see around or over it. That being said, the visually large SUV has its archaism demonstrated in its 109.8” wheelbase on a 190.2” long chassis, which is characteristic of an off-road SUV, but not as accommodating as rivals in today’s day and age.

2021 Toyota 4Runner SUV 

Models

2021 Toyota 4Runner

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2021 Dodge Durango

2021 Ford Explorer

Curb Weight (lb)

4,750

4,513

4,689

4,345

Length (inches)

190.2

189.8

200.8

198.8

Width (inches)

75.8

76.5

75.8

78.9

Height (inches)

71.5

69.3

70.1

69.9

Ground Clearance (inches)

9.6

8.6

8.1

7.9

Wheelbase (inches)

109.8

114.8

119.8

119.1

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner is also the heaviest of the lot, and its towering ground clearance of 9.6” makes it mechanically suited towards tackling rough terrain, more so than its rivals at least. The most people-friendly SUV in this segment is the Dodge Durango, followed by the Ford Explorer, as both these SUVs have extremely long wheelbases and are quite wide as well. Standout exterior features of the 2021 Toyota 4Runner include:

  • Roof Rails
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Power Liftgate with anti-jamming 
  • Heated, power-folding outside rearview mirrors
  • Rain-sensing intermittent wipers
  • Door handles with touch sensors for unlocking and locking 

2021 Toyota 4Runner Safety

7.0/10

The lumbering body-on-frame SUV has overused its platform for years now, at least when it comes to safety. Today, most SUVs exhibit high safety standards that are met with perfect safety scores from the likes of the NHTSA and IIHS. Unfortunately for the Toyota 4Runner, it receives a 4-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, which is further demeaned by a rollover risk rating of 3 stars only. The 2021 Toyota 4Runner does come with a host of safety features and driver assistance tech, including:

  • Engine Immobilizer
  •  Remote Anti-Theft Alarm System
  • Post Collision Safety System
  • Accident Avoidance System 
  • Emergency Braking Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Pre-Collision System with pedestrian detection
  • Vehicle Stability Control
  • Electronic Brake Force Distribution
  • Eight standard airbags
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Dynamic radar cruise control
  • Automatic high beams

2021 Toyota 4Runner Competition

7.5/10

2021 Toyota 4Runner vs 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has legendary off-roading status, and offers a collected ride and drive on the streets as well. On paper, it looks like the Jeep is superior to the generation-old 4Runner in every way, but it is hard to argue with mechanical and physical advantages such as ground clearance and a more reliable robust build, which is certainly a given in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner SUV.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2021 Toyota 4Runner vs 2021 Dodge Durango

The Dodge Durango sacrifices some of its go-anywhere attitudes, for comfort and people ferrying abilities, as the Dodge SUV is a 7-seater that prefers the road. Nonetheless, we wouldn’t go as far as to say the Durango is completely out of its element when off-road, as it is still a very capable SUV that shares the underpinnings of the Grand Cherokee.

2021 Dodge Durango

2021 Toyota 4Runner vs 2021 Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer takes an overly new-age approach to combat the SUVs of proven capabilities. The Grand Cherokee is quite known for its go-anywhere ability, and the 4Runner is an aggressive competitor that showcases its ability to do the same, especially in its TRD variants. The Ford Explorer attempts to use its previously earned credentials to convince younger buyers that it is an effective car, by establishing superiority on paper. Unfortunately, we old-school buyers still believe that when it comes to off-roading, a V6 is the way to go. 

2021 Ford Explorer

 

2021 Toyota 4Runner Final Verdict

The Toyota 4Runner is a confusing proposition for many reasons, and the newer buyers looking for an SUV might not know what to expect with this SUV. Simply put, it is an SUV fit for all kinds of adventurous activities and is perfect for larger families who like to go out together, with pets too. Practicality is unmatched, and the lack of refinement shines off-road as the 4Runner hops over most obstacles with considerable ease, even if some of you don’t have a clue what you’re doing. The on-road dynamics of the 4Runner can be a letdown, although Toyota hasn’t kept that a secret either. 

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