Sign-up for the VehiclesTEST eNewsletter

Home Video reviews Dealer partnerships How we test About us Blog

VIDEO REVIEWS FINDER

TOYOTA 4RUNNER 2011


All-Purpose SUV

SUV Offers Innovative Off-road Features.

The all-new Toyota 4Runner is a serious vehicle for off-roading, just like the original 4Runner first introduced in 1984. The fifth-generation 4Runner combines rugged features, like high ground clearance and CRAWL Control, with interior luxuries like a premium sound system and generous knee space for second-row passengers. Our 4Runner video test shows that the 270-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 engine is up to the task both off-road and on the highway.

 

Nimble Off-Roader: Toyota 4Runner

For medium-duty towing and off-roading, the Toyota 4Runner has proven to be very popular with outdoorsmen and their families. VehiclesTEST took the current-generation 4Runner Sport edition with the Urban Runner package on a road test, and found out why it is an SUV best-seller. The 4Runner we tested is an upgrade to the Sport edition, and standard features include 18-inch alloy aluminum wheels, unique rear spoiler, color keyed grill, Urban Runner badging, and tubular side steps and roof rack with cross bars. The name Urban Runner refers in part to her Sport Enhancement Suspension called X-REAS.

This technology links each of the vehicle's shocks to its diagonal counterpart using a gas-hydraulic chamber. During cornering or when traveling on rough roads, the chamber moves fluid to the shock that is encountering the most force. This helps the wheels stay in contact with the road while reducing body sway and pitch. The 4Runner is available with either a 236 hp V6 or 260-hp V8. With the V6 you can switch back and forth between 2- and 4-wheel drive, while 4-wheel drive is full time with the V8. If you plan on towing, the V8 should be your choice because it raises the towing capacity from 5,000 pounds on the V6 to 7,000 pounds with the V8 4×4, or 7,300 pounds on the 4×2. In addition, the 4Runner comes with a standard 5-speed transmission that changes gear-shifting patterns according to conditions and driver input. Shift logic hold gears on hills for more power, and on descents for increased engine braking. On 4WD models, the Downhill Assist Control maintains a steady target speed with no input from the driver, and the Hill-start assist helps out by holding the vehicle steady when beginning a steep climb or up slippery roads.

Four-wheel drive is required for doing this kind of serious off-roading. And for better control in wet or slippery conditions, the TORSEN differential distributes 60 percent of available power to the rear wheels under most conditions and in the event of a front wheel spin during steering maneuvers, the vehicle will automatically shift to a 29 to 71 distribution ratio to help the 4Runner stay on track during curves. EPA estimates for fuel economy are 20 mpg for the V6 4×4 and 17 for the V-8. Our test vehicle had the V6 and turned in an actual highway fuel economy of 25.5 miles per gallon running at a constant speed of 65 mph. That is 27.5 percent better fuel economy than the estimate. A double-decker cargo system is standard on the top of the line Limited edition, and an option on all others, and the cargo shelf can either lie flat or be lifted with one hand and locked in place to support big items up to 66 pounds. And for the driver, the Urban Runner is truly loaded. At that dash you get an audio system with six speakers and a detachable GPS, making the 4Runner just as comfortable in the city as she is in the country.

Track Results
MPH 0 to 60 (sec) 8.3 Quarter Mile Time (sec) 16.4
MPH 50 to 70 (sec) 4.5 70 to 0 MPH Braking Time (sec) 3.5
Quarter Mile Top Speed (mph) 84.6 70 to 0 MPH Braking Distance (ft) 182.6

Highway Results
Actual MPG 20.8 Sound Level Hwy dB(A) 71 dB(A)
Estimated Hwy MPG 22 Turning Radius (ft)
Percent Change Actual vs. EPA -0.055    


Performance Chart
Interior Photos
Exterior Photos
Mechanical Specifications
Standard Engine V6 DOHC 24-valve Transmission 5-speed automatic
Displacement 4.0L Suspension Front Coil-spring independent wishbone w/stabilizer bar
Fuel System Gas Suspension Rear Coil-spring 4-link w/ lateral rod rear suspension and stabilizer bar
Horse Power 270@5000 RPM Steering Variable Flow Control power assist rack-and-pinion
Torque 278 lb ft@4400 RPM Brakes Power-assisted 4 wheel venitalted disc brakes with ABS, Electronic Brake-Force distribution (EBD) an

Dimensions
Overall Height (in) 71.5 Headroom 39.3/38.6/34.3
Overall Width (in) 75.8 Shoulder room 57.8/57.8/57.7
Overall Length (in) 189.9 Leg room 41.7/32/9/29.3
Wheelbase (in) 109.8 Seating Capacity 5 or 7
Bed Length (in) Off-Highway
Bed Height (in) Approach/Departure angle (degrees) 24/24
Interior front/second/third row seats Ground Clearance (in) 9

Weights and Capacities
Curb Weight (lbs) 4400 Cargo volume (cu ft) behind front/second-row/third-row seats 89.7/47/2
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) (lbs) 6100 Fuel tak (gal) 23

Tires and Mileage
Standard Tire P265/7OR17 Optional Tire P245/60R20
Spare Tire Full-size, under body Fuel Economy EPA estimates (city/highway/combined) 17/23/19