Sometimes it pays to not follow the crowd, and that's certainly true for the Toyota 4Runner. As nearly every other midsize SUV has softened to prioritize a comfortable ride and improved fuel economy, the 4Runner carries the torch for adventurous souls who'd rather have the ability to leave the city far behind. That off-road capability is as much of the 4Runner's ethos as its durability, just two of the traits that make it a resale value champion.
Now into its third decade and fifth generation, the 2016 4Runner is available with two rows or three, the latter setup enabling seating for seven. Both remain powered by Toyota's stalwart, 270-horsepower V6 that is connected to a 5-speed automatic transmission. Neither of those figures is mind-boggling, but they get the job done -- and still enable the 4Runner to tow up to 5,000 pounds.
The 4Runner also sets itself apart in where it delivers that power. While most rivals opt for front-wheel drive like a sedan, the rugged, body-on-frame 4Runner comes with rear-wheel drive like a truck. Of course, real adventure-seekers will opt for one of the two available 4-wheel-drive systems. Higher-end, leather-lined Limited models have a full-time system, while other models offer a part-time system with selectable terrain modes. The Crawl Control function enables Toyota's off-roader to calmly claw up steep grades.
Even if you never venture off road (a pity), the 4Runner is a suitable partner for the daily commute to the office. Its suspension system vanquishes potholes, while its tall ride height grants excellent forward visibility. You may never want to part with your 4Runner, but if that day arrives, expect top dollar.