2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV

#75
in Midsize SUVs
2018 MODEL

$34,410 - $44,760

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Overview

Toyota is back with its top off-roader for the year 2018. Not looking to ruin what they already aced, the 2018 Toyota 4Runner remains mostly unchanged, almost to a point where phrases like ‘outdated' are being thrown around. In this day and age where looks and power seem to direct the market's flow, it is good to see that a car still focusing on ruggedness and reliability.

The 4Runner comes with a 4 liter naturally aspirated V6 engine teamed up with a 5 speed automatic transmission. The transmission seems to have withstood the test of time due to its dependability, but has slowly passed to the realms of old and obsolete. 4Runner offers 6 trims which range from $ 34,000 to $ 44,000 and offers 3 different drivetrains – RWD, Part-time 4WD, and full time 4WD.

4Runner is a tough car and a reliable companion for those who take the road less travelled, and by that I mean the road that's not a road at all, but rather Mother Nature's terrain in all its glory. In a city, however, 4Runner falls short to impress in any criteria. Competitors like Honda Pilot, or even Toyota's own Highlander, tend to do better than 4Runner on paved roads.

See detailed review »

Pros

Classic old-school look

Solid feel and rugged style

Spacious cargo hold

Established Off-Road champ

Optional 3rd row seats

Cons

Aging powertrain and multimedia system

Plastic interiors giving a low grade feel

No feature that sets it apart on the road

Limited safety features

Sub-par fuel economy

What's New?

New color options like Cavalry Blue and Midnight Black Metallic

'Super White' exterior color now available for all trims



Styles

 2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV in Nautical Blue Metallic color  2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV in Magnetic Gray Metallic color  2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV in blizzard pearl color  2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV in Barcelona Red 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

Features

8.0

Engine

6.0

Fuel Economy

5.6

Interior

6.8

Exterior

6.0

Safety

6.7

Driving

7.1

6.6

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV SR5

SR5

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$34,410 - $36,285

Configurations
SR5 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 5A
Drivetrain: RWD MPG: (17/18/21)
Torque: 278 lbs.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm
SR5 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 5A
Drivetrain: 4WD MPG: (17/18/20)
Torque: 278 lbs.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm

 2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV SR5 Premium

SR5 Premium

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$36,240 - $38,115

Configurations
SR5 Premium 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 5A
Drivetrain: RWD MPG: (17/18/21)
Torque: 278 lbs.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm
SR5 Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 5A
Drivetrain: 4WD MPG: (17/18/20)
Torque: 278 lbs.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm

 2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV base

base

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$37,535 - $42,675

Configurations
TRD OFF-ROAD 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Seating: 5 HP: 270-hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque: 278 lbs.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(17/18/20)
TRD OFF-ROAD Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Seating: 5 HP: 270-hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque: 278 lbs.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(17/18/20)
TRD PRO 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Seating: 5 HP: 270-hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque: 278 lbs.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(17/18/20)

 2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV Limited

Limited

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$42,725 - $44,760

Configurations
Limited 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 5A
Drivetrain: RWD MPG: (17/18/21)
Torque: 278 lbs.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm
Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 5A
Drivetrain: 4WD MPG: (17/18/20)
Torque: 278 lbs.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor December 18, 2018

6.6

Overall Rating


8.0/10
Features

 

6.0/10
Engine

 

5.6/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.8/10
Interior

 

6.0/10
Exterior

 

6.7/10
Safety

 
 
 

The 4Runner comes with a 4 liter naturally aspirated V6 engine teamed up with a 5 speed automatic transmission. The transmission seems to have withstood the test of time due to its dependability but has slowly passed to the realms of old and obsolete. 4Runner offers 6 trims which range from $ 34,410 to $ 44,760 and offers 3 different drivetrains – RWD, Part-time 4WD, and full-time 4WD.

Features

8.0/10

 

Model SR5 SR5 Premium TRD Off-Road TRD Off-Road Premium TRD Pro Limited
MSRP (RWD) $ 34,410 $ 36,240 -- -- -- $ 42,725
MSRP (4WD) $ 36,285 $ 38,115 $ 37,535 $ 39,495 $ 42,675 $ 44,760
Features
  • Skid plates
  • Rearview camera
  • Power lift gate
  • Power rear window
  • Keyless entry
  • Power adjustable front seats
  • 40/20/40-split reclining and folding second-row seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 120-volt power outlet in the rear cargo area
  • 6.1-inch touchscreen
  • Eight speakers
  • USB port and satellite radio
  • All features of SR5
  • Power-adjustable and heated outside mirrors
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Navigation
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • All features of SR5
  • locking rear differential
  • Crawl control function
  • TRD badging
  • Switches for controlling off-road settings
  • All features of TRD Off Road
  • power-adjustable and heated outside mirrors
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • All features of TRD Off-Road Premium
  • Revised front springs
  • Bilstein dampers with rear remote reservoirs
  • Special all-terrain tires
  • Front skid plate
  • Torsen locking center differential (4x4 models only)
  • Sunroof
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Parking sensors
  • Leather seat upholstery
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • 15-speaker JBL audio system
  • Optional Power-deploying running boards

Toyota offers 6 trim levels for 2018 Toyota 4Runner, which have 3 drivetrain choices: RWD in the SR5, SR5 Premium, and Limited, part-time 4WD in SR5 and TRD (Off-Road, Off-Road Premium, and Pro), and full-time 4WD for the Limited trim. 

Being a champ off-roader, 4Runner isn't known for a comfortable ride, but rather for the rough terrains 4Runner can take on. Keeping that in mind, the TRD Off-Road Premium feels like the viable choice. The 'Off-Road' part is justified by features like locking rear differential and KDSS, and the ‘Premium’ part is justified by features like heated and synthetic leather-trimmed front seats, easy-clean vinyl upholstery, heated power outside mirrors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Engine

6.0/10

Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Toyota 4Runner is an off-road vehicle, which is apparent from its 4-liter V6 engine being paired with an outdated but trustworthy 5 speed automatic. This adds to its reliability. Although 4Runner doesn’t have the most powerful engine or transmission, it surely has the most reliable and rigid one.

Model Toyota 4Runner Jeep Grand Cherokee Toyota Highlander Honda Pilot
MSRP $ 34,410 $ 30,595 $ 31,030 $ 30,745
Engine Regular Unleaded V-6 Regular Unleaded V-6 Regular Unleaded V-6 Regular Unleaded V-6
Displacement 4.0 L/241 3.6 L/220 3.5 L/211 3.5 L/212
BHP 270 @ 5600 295 @ 6400 295 @ 6600 280 @ 6000
Torque 278 @ 4400 260 @ 4000 263 @ 4700 262 @ 4700

2018 Toyota 4Runner’s unparalleled off-road capabilities are challenged by few, with Grand Cherokee and Honda Pilot coming as close as they come. But 4Runner’s V6 scrapes the bottom of the power barrel for its class with 270hp. This makes 4Runner lag behind its competitors in the city.

4Runner pairs its V6 with 3 drivetrain choices. The entry-level SR5 is available in RWD with Automatic Limited Slip Differential (Auto LSD) and a part-time 4WD with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), TRD is available only with a part-time 4WD with A-TRAC, and Limited is available in RWD with Auto LSD as well as full time 4WD with A-TRAC and Torsen limited-slip center differential with locking feature.

Although 4Runner’s V6 generates more torque than most competitors, the engine lacks power. The 4Runner is the king of off-roading, but the mighty fall in a civilized road scenario.

A beefy, naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V-6 and hopelessly dated five-speed automatic are good matches for the truck-based 4Runner. Of this set, only the Wrangler can vie with the 4Runner for the off-road crown” – Car and Driver

Acceleration

It comes with no surprise that the 270hp generating motor won’t be the quickest on the road. 4Runner generates just enough acceleration to provide a decent merging and overtaking performance.

Model Toyota 4Runner Jeep Grand Cherokee Toyota Highlander Honda Pilot
0 – 60 MPH 8.1 seconds 7.7 seconds 7.1 seconds 6.5 seconds
Quarter Mile 16.1 seconds 15.9 seconds 15.2 seconds 15.2 seconds

Toyota 4Runner is easily thwarted by its competitors in engine power and acceleration, but 4Runner does well to hold its own and provides a respectable climbing power. This is a car that may not outshine rivals on paved roads but manages to provide a performance that’s decent enough for most people.

Handling and Steering

Okay, before we go into analyzing 4Runner’s handling capabilities, it is important to remember what the idea behind designing this rugged beast was. It is, after all, designed to provide a dependable and strong off-road experience. Therefore, it is no surprise that it drives like a pickup truck. The classic body-on-frame design that gives it ruggedness and clearance also adds to its weight, which restricts its cornering, braking, and accelerating capabilities.

The handling is stiff, the ride is jittery. 4Runner’s off-road features, like slow-ratio steering and tough suspension, make it quite a handful on a paved road. This doesn’t put 4Runner out of the race but proves that the king of the jungle gets somewhat tamed in the civilized world.

Braking

The meaty tires hum on the highway and serve up notably poor grip; we were even able to chirp them during not particularly hard braking in traffic. And the solid rear axle mixes awkwardly with the independent front suspension, the setups delivering roly-poly handling and significant body dive under braking” – Car and Driver

Model Toyota 4Runner Jeep Grand Cherokee Toyota Highlander Honda Pilot
70 – 0 MPH 183 feet 198 feet 181 feet 182 feet
Brake Pads – Front (in) 13.3 13 12.9 12.6
Brake Pads – Rear (in) 12.3 13 12.2 13

The braking power of 2018 Toyota 4Runner is quite impressive. It is quicker to come to a stop than many of its main competition, but this braking power comes at a cost. There is a notable amount of nosedive, which is quite a problem. The panic stops also require a few extra feet than most modern crossovers.

Towing Capacity

The 2018 Toyota 4Runner is compared to a pickup truck so much that it won’t be shocking to know that it has a strong towing capacity. It has an SAE J2807*-compliant rating of 5,000 pounds. Cars like the Dodge Durango and the top end Grand Cherokee do have the capability to tow more, but 5,000 pounds seems enough for most drivers.

Toyota 4Runner Jeep Grand Cherokee Toyota Highlander Honda Pilot
5,000 pounds 3,500 – 7,200 pounds 1,500 – 5,000 pounds 3,500 – 5,000 pounds

*SAE stands for Society of Automotive Engineers. J2807 is the name of their test for measuring truck towing capacities.

Fuel Economy

5.6/10

Handling and fuel economy are not the strong traits of this pickup truck-style SUV. Give it a mountain to climb, no problem! Need to power through an uneven terrain? Sure! But do all this and be easy on the pocket? Maybe in a utopia. 4Runner is a thirsty beast, with an economy of just 17/21 MPG in city/hwy. Lucky for us, Toyota’s V6 runs on regular unleaded.

Model Toyota 4Runner Jeep Grand Cherokee Toyota Highlander Honda Pilot
MPG (City) 17 19 20 19
MPG (Highway) 21 26 27 27
MPG (Combined) 18.8 22.15 23.15 22.6

Another midsize SUV in Toyota’s armory is the Highlander, which sets quite a standard for mid-size SUVs in terms of mileage. 2018 Toyota 4Runner’s combined economy of 18.8 is almost embarrassing when compared to its cousin’s combined economy of 23.15. Almost every rival surpasses 4Runner in mileage since it didn’t set the bar too high, to begin with!

Interior

6.8/10

“The 4Runner's front seats provide little in the way of lateral support, they're mounted high, so you get a commanding view of your surroundings. The second-row seat bottom is rather low, however, so taller riders may feel as though they're sitting on the floor. Although the optional third-row seat is inhospitable to adults, kids will climb back there without complaint, so the 4Runner is a viable 3-row family vehicle. You can't say that about any other off-road-ready vehicles at this price range." – Autotrader

The interiors of 2018 Toyota 4Runner are minimalistic and logical. The dashboard and instrument panel is nicely laid out, the seats are roomy, and the knobs are huge to remind that it is, after all, an off-roader. Climbing in and out of 4Runner is easy if you can deal with a high step-up height.

Seating and Comfort

The 2018 Toyota 4Runner comes standard with cloth seats, eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, a 40/20/40-split-folding second-row bench seat, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. Synthetic leather, genuine leather, and heated and ventilated front seats are also available.

The seats are roomy with decent shape and a wide range of adjustments. The padding falls a bit short, though, when we consider that its strength in rough terrains. A high seating position makes for an excellent visibility but may make getting in and out a bit difficult for some passengers.

4Runner accommodates 5 people but has an option of a third-row seat which expands the capacity to 7. The last row doesn’t give much leg room, so it is best suited for small children. There are two sets of lower anchors and three tether anchors. Although these anchors are tricky and hard to use.

Interior Features

The simple and minimalistic interiors of the 2018 Toyota 4Runner accommodates several tech features. The instrument panel is tailor shaped to play home to a standard 6.1-inch high-resolution touch screen. Another standard feature is Optitron instrumentation that enhances the visibility of gauges in any light.

The standard seats come with cloth upholstery. SR5 Premium and TRD Off-Road Premium trims come with premium materials like SofTex. The Limited trim offers perforated leather, which balances comfort and rigidity perfectly.

For those you like to drive under the sky, the Limited trim comes with a standard power tilt/slide moonroof to further enhance your off-road ventures. This moonroof is also available in the SR5 Premium and TRD Off-Road Premium.

Another impressive feature comes in the form of active front headrests. These headrests move slightly up and forward in case of a rear-end collision to reduce neck injuries.

Infotainment System

The standard infotainment system consists of an Entune Audio Plus interface, a 6.1-inch touch-screen infotainment display, navigation, eight speakers, a USB port, voice recognition, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, satellite radio, HD Radio, a 120-volt power outlet, and a rearview camera.

Available upgrades include smartphone integration via the Entune App Suite, and a 15-speaker JBL GreenEdge sound system.

Just like the simple design of the 2018 Toyota 4Runner’s interiors, the infotainment system is easy to use. The large knobs and buttons add to the ease of using the infotainment system. The 6.1-inch screen, however, feels too small for an off-roader and makes it hard to follow the map sometimes.

  Behind Front Row Behind Second Row Behind Third Row

Cargo Volume (Ft.3)

89.7 47.2 --
Cargo Volume – With Sliding Deck (Ft.3) 88.8 46.3 --
Cargo Volume – With Third Row (Ft.3) 88.8 46.3 9.0

The cargo space behind the second row increases dramatically when you lay down the 40/20/40 split folding seats. Both dimensions are among the highest ones in this class. Although the 9 cubic feet space behind the third row (if opted for) is the least in this class.

The cargo space, in most cases, is plenty and convenient. It is equipped with a power lift-gate window which can be rolled down to haul longer items. There is also the option of a rear cargo deck that can hold up to 440 pounds but compromises with the cargo space a little.

Exterior

6.0/10

Dimensions and Weight

The 2018 Toyota 4Runner has mostly stayed unchanged except for a few exterior revisions. The car gets new paint options like cavalry blue (TRD Pro exclusive), Midnight Black Metallic, and Super White, which was previously only available in TRD.

Model Toyota 4Runner Jeep Grand Cherokee Toyota Highlander Honda Pilot
Curb Weight (lbs.) 4675 4677 4370 4054
Length (in) 190.2 189.8 192.5 194.5
Width (in) 75.8 76.5 75.8 78.6
Height (in) 71.5 69.3 68.1 69.8
Wheelbase (in) 109.8 114.8 109.8 111
Ground Clearance (in) 9 8.6 8 7.3
Track Width – F/R (in) 63.2 / 63.2 63.9 / 64.1 64.4 / 64.2 66.3 / 66.3

There are two new packages introduced: The Wilderness package which adds crossbars to the roof rack in addition to some minor interior enhancements, and TRD Enhancement package which adds 17-inch matte-gray wheels and a stamped aluminum front skid plate. The TRD package is available for, as the name suggests, TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road Premium models only.

Exterior Features

The main focus of 2018 Toyota 4Runner is on functionality, which it makes clear with its boxy and slab-sided exterior. You won’t see too many angles and creases. The closest things to a slanted design are the headlights, which when paired with the black grille give 4Runner an aggressive form from the front.

Go to the back and you will notice a roll down the rear window to enhance its cargo utility, and also provides for a convertible-like feel on a hot day.

Safety

6.7/10
  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Overall Rating 4 out of 5 stars
Frontal Crash 4 out of 5 stars
Side Crash 5 out of 5 stars
Rollover 3 out of 5 stars

The crash test results were somewhat mixed for the 4Runner. The overall score was 4, but a breakdown shows a perfect score in the side crash test, but a mediocre score of 3 in the rollover test.

When it comes to safety features, there are surely more impressive cars out there. Even Toyota’s own Highlander provides standard features like forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control, which somehow didn’t manage to make a cut when it came to the 4Runner. Some of the safety features that 4Runner does provide are:

  • Driver Air Bag
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Front Head Air Bag
  • Rear Head Air Bag
  • Front Side Air Bag
  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Front and Rear parking sensors
  • Front Tow Hooks
  • Traction Control
  • Child Safety Locks

Competition

Toyota 4Runner vs Toyota Highlander

Another strong performer in Toyota’s arsenal is the Highlander. It is similar to 4Runner in size but weighs almost 300 pounds less. The base model has an underwhelming I-4 engine, but move a trim ahead and you would get a V-6 to better match Highlander’s performance with the 4Runner.

Once again, the choice between the two is made simple when you choose the arena where they will compete. 4Runner will always be the go-to car when off-roading is the priority. But in the city and highway, Highlander is clearly better. Highlander provides a better fuel economy along with a better-styled cabin. Highlander also has Driver Easy Speak that enables the driver to better communicate with the passengers.

Toyota 4Runner vs Jeep Grand Cherokee

As before, judging these large vehicles in an uneven terrain would tip the scales in 4Runner’s favor. But Grand Cherokee has much more up its proverbial sleeve in terms of power and economy. Its combined economy of 22.5 makes 4Runner look like a thirsty old timer. Grand Cherokee also boasts a tremendous towing capability of 3,500 to 7,500 pounds, which is right there on the top of the table for this class.

Grand Cherokee also offers a V8 engine in its upper trims, while the V6 engine is standard for all 4Runners. This results in much more power generation which puts 4Runner to shame on roads. But being an off-roader, 4Runner has other features, like the trailer hitch, which is standard so you can just hook up your load and drive off. Unfortunately, a trailer hitch is an add-on in Cherokee.

Toyota 4Runner vs Honda Pilot

Honda Pilot is the perfect car for suburban families. It has a strong V6 engine that generates 280bhp. It also earns great safety ratings due to its massive safety features and driver assistance features.

The 4Runner and Pilot may lie in the same class, but they are poles apart when it comes to the goals behind their features. The pilot focuses on safety and comfort for a suburban family, while 4Runner feels at home in Mother Nature’s bosom. Comparing these two in off-roading would, you guessed it, clearly put 4Runner in the front. But to judge a car on its overall ability on the road would bring Pilot right back into competition.

Final Verdict

With all things considered, the answer to the question, ‘Is 2018 Toyota 4Runner a good car?’ really boils down to how you intend to use this car. If you are a thrill seeker and are looking for a tough companion on a rough terrain, then 4Runner is the car for you. It has a solid build, reliable engine, and enough cargo space to fill all that you would require for an adventurous trip.

If, however, you tend to keep your endeavors on the solid paved road, there are certainly better options out there. Toyota’s Highlander is a viable choice as it mixes style with excellent economy. It provides more modern features like Driver Easy Speak and a pre-collision system. City drives and paved roads seem to be the kryptonite for the jungle-dwelling 4Runner In terms of mileage, power, comfort, and safety.

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