2011Toyota 4Runner Trail 4 x 4

23 Dec 2010 | 3,239 views | One Comment
  By John Heilig 2011 Toyota 4Runner Trail 4X4 Engine: 4.0-liter V6 Horsepower/Torque: 270 hp @ 5,600 rpm/278 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm Transmission: 5-speed automatic Wheelbase: 109.8 in. Length x Width x Height: 189.9 x 75.8 x 71.5 in. Tires: P265/70R17 (full-size spare)  Cargo volume: 46.3/88.8 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)  Fuel economy: 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway/19.4 mpg test  Fuel capacity: 23.0 gal.  Curb weight: 4,750 lbs. Sticker: $40,874 (includes $800 delivery, processing and handling fee; $4,374 in options)  5 Reasons to buy this car 1. Good off-road performer 2. Excellent power 3. Comfortable Interstate traveler 4. Versatile with easy-to-reach cargo area 5. Good handling  The Bottom Line: Even though it has been around for a while, the 4Runner has what it takes as a mid-size sport utility that can also perform nicely as a daily driver.            Now in its fifth generation (Toyota’s second-oldest sport utility behind the Land Cruiser), the 4Runner has always been more than just a SUV. Even with its body-on-frame construction, long associated with trucks, the 4Runner has closer-to-car-like ride quality on Interstates and locally on the way to the supermarket.            There’s a lot to the 4Runner. From the outside, it has the appearance of a pickup with a cap, but its looks are deceiving. Inside, it’s a pure SUV, with seating for five and a huge cargo area. Even more, this cargo area has relatively easy access, with a lift-up hatch that allows easy entry to the rear. For example, we used the 4Runner several times on trips to the supermarket, and chose the rear cargo area to bring packages home, even when they were small.            And yet the 4Runner is also a serious off-roader, with the requisite 4WD LOW that gets all four wheels working for you. You may not choose the 4Runner over a Hum-V, but I’ll bet it will do the job for more than 99 percent of your off-road needs. Only the serious nuts (and I use the term affectionately) won’t be satisfied. There’s a 4WD shifter located just ahead of the gear shifter.           The front seats are comfortable and offer good side support. One serious difference between the 4Runner and most other vehicles is that the power window controls are high on the window “sill”. At first I couldn’t find them because of the different location, but it’s easily learned.           All the controls are well-lit, including those in the overhead console that include the power tilt and slide moonroof.    Instrumentation is ¾ truck-complete, with a tachometer, speedometer and three accessory gauges for fuel, water temperature and battery voltage. Across the top of the dash are digital gauges for fuel economy, outside temperature, compass and clock.           The rear seats offer excellent legroom and a flat floor so that a third passenger can ride back there in comfort. Also, the rear seat is wide enough so that the third passenger can be an adult. In addition, the headrests are low so there’s good rearward visibility for the driver. The headrests can be an annoyance for riders back there, but they’re easily raised.           An interesting touch is that all four doors have double pockets. The top pocket is shallow and holds things like cell phones, but the lower one is deeper and more practical. All four doors also have assist handles and room for water bottles.           The rear seat backs fold flat after you raise and lift the seat cushion out of the way into the footwell. In that cargo area is a pull-out tray with a net that holds 440 pounds, so even the heaviest person can sit there and watch the game with protection from the elements. There’s a 120-V plug in the rear for blenders or computers.           The 4Runner is equipped with an alphabet soup of stability and traction assist features, including ABS (anti-lock brakes), A-TRAC traction control, KDSS (Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System), CRAWL (Crawl Control), DAC (Downhill Assist Control), and HAC (Hill-Start Assist Control).           The 4Runner shares a platform with the FJ Cruiser, and there’s a lot of the FJ in the rear bumper step. It also shares the rugged styling of the FJ.            Several years ago, my first visit with a 4Runner wasn’t fun, as one of the journalists in our crew flipped one in the snow (it wasn’t the 4Runner’s fault). This time around, however, the ride was much more pleasant. We kept the shiny side up and the greasy side down during a pleasant week behind the wheel.

One Comment »

  • JLPun said:

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