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2018 Toyota 4Runner

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2018 Toyota 4Runner Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.2

The 2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV continues its dominance over a rapidly shrinking field of body-on-frame midsize SUVs. Rugged, reliable and highly valued, the 5-7-passenger Toyota 4Runner feels right at home on paved roads, although its ride and handling are nowhere near as good as that of the Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder or GMC Acadia. Then again, none of these competitors can venture to the off-road destinations a 4Runner can access, although they can match or exceed the 4Runner’s 5,000-pound tow rating. And while we admire the 4Runner’s numerous accolades, its aging design precludes it from offering the latest safety and driver-assist features such as forward-collision mitigation and blind-spot monitoring.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you care more about where your vehicle can take you than how comfortable it is along the way, the 2018 Toyota 4Runner SUV might be worth a test drive. Its standard V6 can tow up to 5,000 pounds, and the optional 3rd-row seat expands the 4Runner’s passenger complement to seven.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need an all-wheel-drive SUV that places a premium on safety, comfort and drivability, a GMC Acadia or Honda Pilot makes a better choice. Toyota’s 2018 4Runner isn’t cheap, so if money is a factor, buying a base Jeep Wrangler Unlimited will save you about $6,000.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 6.2
  • 6.3
  • 6.3
  • 6.8
  • 6.5
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#21

out of 22

Fuel Economy

#10

out of 24

Horsepower
View all rankings
2018 Toyota 4Runner Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

New for the 2018 Toyota 4Runner are the Wilderness and TRD Enhancement packages. The Wilderness package brings roof-rack crossbars, all-weather floor mats and cargo tray, while the TRD Enhancement adds 17-inch matte-gray off-road wheels and a TRD-stamped aluminum front skidplate.

Driving the 4Runner
2018 Toyota 4Runner Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

You’ll get no argument from us that the 2018 Toyota 4Runner drives more like a pickup truck than a car, but that doesn’t mean its ride is...

... unbearable or even uncivilized. Over smooth pavement the 4Runner exhibits good road manners, although its cornering abilities do result in noticeable lean. The 4Runner’s 270-horsepower V6 is a marvelous engine, delivering ample power for passing, merging and towing. Fuel economy, on the other hand, is rather dismal, especially when compared with other midsize SUVs in this class; blame the 5-speed automatic and the 4Runner’s excessive weight. Another weak spot we found is the 4Runner’s brake pedal that at first feels a bit soft, but after applying more pressure, causes the brakes to grab too quickly. Off-road, Toyota’s 2018 4Runner SUV exhibits amazing capabilities. Its narrow body and up to 9.6 inches of ground clearance make it easy to move through rugged trails.

REAR LIFTGATE POWER WINDOW
Toyota’s 2018 4Runner SUV features a power-retractable rear window incorporated into the rear liftgate. Lowering the window allows cargo or gear to more easily be loaded into the cargo bay. Should caked-on dust or mud impede rear visibility, the driver can simply lower the rear window.

TRD PRO SERIES
The TRD Pro Series equips the 4Runner with Nitto Terra Grappler tires, Bilstein custom off-road shocks and additional skidplating, helping the 4Runner to tackle the most stubborn off-road obstacles. For 2018, a TRD Pro exclusive Calvary Blue paint is offered.

2018 Toyota 4Runner Details
2018 Toyota 4Runner Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Although rather simple, the 2018 4Runner's cabin is roomy and versatile. The 4Runner's large dials and buttons operating everything from the radio to the low-range gearing are a cinch to use. The large center console has an available 120V AC power outlet, helpful for charging accessories. The power-adjustable front seats are comfortable and supportive. In back, a 40/20/40-split seat offers numerous cargo/seating configurations and reclines. Seven-passenger seating is available in SR5 and Limited trims, though the small third row is best suited for children. Folding the rear seats yields a flat floor and nearly 90 cubic feet of cargo space.

Exterior
2018 Toyota 4Runner photo

Not much has changed on the outside for the 2018 4Runner. In an effort to give the SUV a "more rugged and aggressive appearance," Toyota has endowed the front fascia with large, boomerang-shaped indentations below the slanted headlights. If that gaping design is a deterrent, know that it doesn't apply to the top-line Limited edition. The rest of the 4Runner successfully carries on the SUV's rugged, boxy shape. We dig the 4-wheel-drive TRD model's hood scoop and additional ground clearance that totals 9.6 inches. All trims feature a standard roof rack.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Toyota’s 2018 4Runner SUV is available in six trims: SR5, SR5 Premium, Limited, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium and TRD Pro Series. The base SR5 includes Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation app and Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth music streaming, rearview camera and an 8-way-power driver's seat. The TRD models, which include 4-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive, add water-resistant seat fabric, locking rear differential, and multi-terrain select with crawl control. Limited models add leather-trimmed seats (heated and ventilated in front), dual-zone climate control, a 15-speaker JBL sound system with navigation, moonroof, X-REAS automatic-adjust suspension, and 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Optional Equipment

Depending on trim, extras for the Toyota SUV include a 3rd-row seat, 4-wheel drive (4WD), Entune premium audio with navigation, and the helpful sliding rear cargo deck. TRD Off-Road models can be equipped with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which can disconnect the stabilizer bars to allow more axle travel to help conquer tough terrain.

Under the Hood
2018 Toyota 4Runner Engine photo

The sole powertrain combination in Toyota’s 4Runner SUV for 2018 is a 270-horsepower V6 mated to a responsive 5-speed automatic transmission. There are three drivetrain choices: 2-wheel drive (2WD) in the SR5 and Limited, part-time 4WD (SR5 and TRD), or full-time 4WD (Limited) with a limited-slip, locking center differential. Towing is a strong point for the 4Runner, with an SAE J2807-compliant rating of 5,000 pounds. A not-so-strong point is fuel economy, with 2WD models returning a combined 19 mpg and 4WD models rated at 18 mpg combined. Thankfully, the Toyota's V6 drinks regular unleaded.

4.0-liter V6 engine
270 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
278 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/21 mpg (2WD), 17/20 mpg (4WD)

Toyota’s 2018 4Runner SUV has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $35,500 for a base 2WD SR5 model. TRD models begin closer to $38,500 and Limited models start around $43,750. The TRD Pro Series starts close to $43,700. At its starting price, the 4Runner costs more than the Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer and Kia Sorento, though those three are car-based crossover SUVs not meant for serious off-roading. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is a more like-minded competitor, but again, all have starting prices several thousand dollars below that of the 4Runner. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Toyota. In long-term value, the 4Runner is a Best Resale Value Award winner, with predicted residuals near those of the stellar Jeep Wrangler.

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