The 2023 Toyota 4Runner is a rarity among mid-sized SUVs, standing up to the test of time and holding strong as one of the last vehicles that weathered changes in design trends. Despite retaining many aspects from 10 years ago, such as its boxy frame work and elevated beltline. That rugged body looks great and the stronger V-6 engine makes it a perfect vehicle for unpaved terrain, but poorly refined engines make these vehicles less than environmentally friendly. The 4Runner is large and may feel clunky, but the cabin is spacious and the interior materials are of poor quality. The Toyota 4Runner is a staple of off-road travel. Thanks to its suite of standard driver assistance features, it remains the more family-friendly option that can receive upgrades for when duty calls.
What’s New ?
For the 2023 model year, Toyota’s 4Runner TRD Sport trim will be applied to a new vehicle option: the SUV. For years now, these sport features have been exclusive to its counterpart in Tacoma. This car lacks the sporty feel of other models, despite its wheels and badges. This model does, however, come with adaptive dampers that often enhance body control in vehicles. The newly designed TRD Sport mimics rugged outdoor gear with faux leather interior. All new 2023 4Runner sport models have LED headlights.
Toyota has not yet released the price of the 2023 4Runner, but they should announce it before it goes on sale later this year. Assuming there is only a minor increase in pricing for each trim level, we can still recommend getting the TRD Off-Road version. It is an all-terrain vehicle not as capable as the TRD Pro (although it does have a lower price tag). Along with standard four-wheel drive and some TRD exterior bits, it has the same features as a regular Jeep, but can tackle and endure off-road environments. Toyota’s 4Runner SUV is offered with an electronically locking rear differential to enhance traction and selectable drive modes that can be set for specific driving conditions. In addition to the stock suspension system, we’d select optional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension. The sliding rear cargo deck would also make traveling easier near or on off-road surfaces by making it easier for a group of passengers to load and unload items in tight spaces.
How About Perfomance ?
Every 4Runner offers a 270-horsepower engine in the four liter range, A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. The outdated powertrain comes with a rear-wheel drive and either full- or part-time four-wheel drive. It provides an exceptionally slow acceleration, taking 7.6 seconds to hit 60 mph in our last test. The automatic transmission’s sluggish response means acceleration is inconsistent, and For a vehicle with mostly automatic transmission, changing gears requires significant pressure on the accelerator. But its composed performance on pavement bests that of the more unstable Wrangler. Our drive through the rocky terrain with the off-road-oriented Venture model showed its ability to clear obstacles and absorb varying ground. The steering in the 4Runner is light and imprecise, which might be a major disadvantage around parking lots but excellent for exploring trails. The Toyota feels aged in its design, yet it performs well with competitors who are newer and have more advanced features. The Toyota is always a great vehicle for towing over rough terrain, thanks in part to its sturdy frame and powerful engine, in comparison to its rivals; its 5000-pound limit falls short of the 8700-pound limit on other SUVs.
How About Interior ?
The interior of the 2023 4Runner is not what you’d call state-of-the-art with switchgear that could have come from last decade. It has plenty of interior space and easily accommodates individuals sitting in the front or back seats–despite its large exterior measurements. We haven’t tested the optional third row, but it’s likely an appropriate fit for children. A versatile cargo area and several large, deep cubbies in the front row of the 4Runner means that it can haul supplies as well as carry passengers. However, be aware that there is very little headroom (less than 2 feet) so getting anything into the backseat will take some time. The two aircraft we tested each had pull-out cargo decks, which include an optional luggage rack that can handle up to 440 pounds of weight. The 2023 Toyota 4Runner can also double as a tailgate for sitting. This provides a flat load floor with the seats folded, but robs the cargo area of several inches in height. Even so, we were able to fit 14 carry-ons behind the second row.