2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Offroad Premium new car reviews

The 4Runner turns 35 this year, yet one thing still remains a constant: body-on-frame construction.

It’s old-school and unapologetically so.

The rear window can still be lowered with the push of a button, giving you that weird sensation of going to camp sitting in the way-way back of your parents’ 1988 Chevrolet Caprice Estate. Are there any other U.S. market vehicles that can even somewhat compare to the 4Runner in this regard? We cannot name one.

 

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J.G. Pasterjak JG Pasterjak
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The Toyota 4Runner. Somehow the 4Runner achieves “just right” status not through ability–it’s neither better riding, more efficient or more luxurious than either the BMW X4 or Lexus RX450h–but rather through honesty. The Lexus and BMW are station wagons with tall chassis. They’re vehicular combovers that would be better and more satisfying vehicles if they eschewed the truck-like stance for proper station wagon proportions. They fail to meet their true potential because they’re trying to be something they’re not.

The 4Runner on the other hand, is as honest as a bullet. If the RX is the futuristic vision of the world from 1996, the 4Runner just says “Nah, 1996 is fine with me” and goes about its business. From its physical key, which you have to insert into a slot and turn, to its manual transfer case, to its body-on-frame construction the 4Runner is unapologetically old-school. Sure, it rides a little rough, and the 4.0-liter V6 doesn’t produce the greatest fuel economy, but you’d look just fine pulling the 4Runner up to the same Restoration Hardware that the Lexus or BMW were parked at. Only difference is you’d have no qualms about driving the Toyota to that Restoration Hardware directly through the muddy construction site of the Five Below that’s going in next door. That the $40,000-ish 4Runner is $20k cheaper than the $60,000+ Lexus and BMW is a nice bonus.

So, auto manufacturers, just start giving us the great station wagons you are apparently designing then wrapping in the wrong boxes. Let great SUVs like the 4Runner be SUVs.

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mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
7/10/19 11:55 a.m.

Love the 4 Runner!  

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
7/10/19 12:04 p.m.

These are the soccer mom vehicle of choice around here right now. So hopefully in about 15 years there will be plenty of forest-beater level 4Runners to choose from.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
7/10/19 12:20 p.m.

We leased a 17 Non-premium TRD Off-Road version in Silver 2 years ago maybe to the day. It is my favorite vehicle we have ever owned, but my wife could take it or leave it. She loves the ride, and features, but not climbing into it, or the gas mileage. Really wishes it had heated seat. ALso she loves the rear window. If money weren't an object I'd take it over, and get her the Cute-ute she wants. As it is we're looking into selling it to Vroom to get out of the lease a year early, and get her the Cute-ute she wants. I will be sad when it leaves, but I think we sorta got hosed on the lease deal, and it just doesn't make sense now to keep it, and another car payment (well we probably could if we wanted to struggle). I love the simplicity of the truck with BOF, real key, and the TRD Off Road does indeed use a real transfer case shifter that bobbles around when you accelerate, and such, because it is actually attached to something real, unlike the fancy switch on the other models.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
7/10/19 1:09 p.m.
ultraclyde said:

These are the soccer mom vehicle of choice around here right now. So hopefully in about 15 years there will be plenty of forest-beater level 4Runners to choose from.

The current gen 4 runner have two different front ends. The limited with the garish ugly one, is usually driven by soccer moms here, whereas the Offroad/TRD Pro, aggressive front end ones are driven by 25 year old hot blonde chicks or 28-37 year old BROs, who were all ex WRX owners. 

 

Mazdax605said:

but my wife could take it or leave it. She loves the ride, and features, but not climbing into it, or the gas mileage. I love the simplicity of the truck with BOF, real key, and the TRD Off Road does indeed use a real transfer case shifter that bobbles around when you accelerate, and such, because it is actually attached to something real, unlike the fancy switch on the other models.

Funny how different households are so different. :) After 9 years, we replaced our, one of the worst quality cars in the world, Mazda5 (I know, everybody on this website orgasms over them), minivan with a SUV.  I was the one who was preferring to get something like a new Odyssey/Sienna or  Highlander. Whereas my wife*, who must be related to MAZDADEUCE's wife, wanted the FJ, damn the MPG, harder to get in, etc. She insisted on a "dual stick" one too.  Only thing I hate about the transfer case is, I wrap my Iphone charger around it, and sometimes it will make a rattling noise, as it the shifter bobbles around.  Maybe I should wear the skirt.

 

*my wife is neither hot, nor is she 25 and blonde

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
7/10/19 2:23 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:
ultraclyde said:

These are the soccer mom vehicle of choice around here right now. So hopefully in about 15 years there will be plenty of forest-beater level 4Runners to choose from.

The current gen 4 runner have two different front ends. The limited with the garish ugly one, is usually driven by soccer moms here, whereas the Offroad/TRD Pro, aggressive front end ones are driven by 25 year old hot blonde chicks or 28-37 year old BROs, who were all ex WRX owners. 

 

The soccer moms here buy TRD or offroad package, usually with a roof rack and LED bar installed by the dealer. The local dealer actually has one on their lot with an ARB awning already mounted too. The Limiteds are bought by Soccer Grandmothers.  And the ex WRX owners drive lifted 4dr Wranglers with custom hood stickers and colored roll bar covers.

CobraSpdRH
CobraSpdRH Reader
7/10/19 3:24 p.m.

I love the 4Runners, but last time I was in the market for something used ~15-20k-ish I actually ended up with a Lexus GX460 instead. It is basically a luxury 4Runner with a bigger V8 and nicer interior (but no power rear window, boo).

People want crazy money for used Toyota trucks/SUVs, so I'd say buy new or buy Lexus lol.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
7/11/19 11:47 a.m.
CobraSpdRH said:

I love the 4Runners, but last time I was in the market for something used ~15-20k-ish I actually ended up with a Lexus GX460 instead. It is basically a luxury 4Runner with a bigger V8 and nicer interior (but no power rear window, boo).

People want crazy money for used Toyota trucks/SUVs, so I'd say buy new or buy Lexus lol.

I'd love a Lexus GX470 myself. 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
7/11/19 1:15 p.m.

Surprisingly sane price for a modern optioned-up truck...and not too much heavier than the '90s model either.

grover
grover HalfDork
7/12/19 9:03 p.m.

In reply to CobraSpdRH :

Same story here. The gx is sweet and anonymous. 

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
7/12/19 9:43 p.m.

Used these are currently on my radar right now, but holy mother of Berk do they hold their value stupidly well. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
7/12/19 10:00 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson said:

Used these are currently on my radar right now, but holy mother of Berk do they hold their value stupidly well. 

I been looking at these used too.  “Here’s a reasonable priced one - oh wait, 300,000 miles?”

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
7/12/19 10:02 p.m.

Have you priced used FJ Cruisers?

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
7/12/19 10:25 p.m.

Grille.

Hard no.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
7/12/19 11:55 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

Have you priced used FJ Cruisers?

Sold my tacoma for a FJ, low mile, 1 owner, mall queen Trail Team. Love it 

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