Kamis, 09 Maret 2017

2016 Toyota 4Runner | CarGurus Test Drive Review

2016 Toyota 4Runner CarGurus Test Drive Review | Hey, this is Mike Perkins from CarGurus, and today I'm driving the 2016 Toyota 4Runner. The Entune infotainment system gets a nice upgrade this year, and towing capacity is raised as well. This is the Trail Premium Edition, which means that it gets unique 17-inch wheels, a hood scoop, and some off-road goodies as well. Now here we have a locking rear differential and variable terrain and crawl modes, and if you're not really sure what those things mean, the 4Runner probably isn't for you. This is designed for off-road, and I don't mean pulling into the grass parking spot at your local campground.

So even right out of the showroom the 4Runner can handle some pretty gnarly terrain. It's got stock skid plates and part-time 4-wheel drive, and here in the Trail Edition you're going to get a locking rear differential, which will prevent that whole one-wheel-spins-while-the-other-one-refuses-to-budge issue. Plus you have variable terrain control as well so you can choose what you're going to be driving on - mud, sand, rock - and it'll adjust the suspension and throttle settings based on that just so you'll have the best traction. And that actually works with the kinetic dynamic suspension system here, which disengages the anti-roll bars when you're going over rough terrain for more wheel travel, but keeps them nice and stiff at speed, and it actually works really well.

For a tall SUV that weighs nearly 5,000 pounds this thing stays really flat in the corners, it doesn't roll too much at all. It's an impressive system. There is also crawl control, which basically acts as a low-speed cruise control. There's five different speeds you can choose from, and it'll just maintain that so you can concentrate on steering when things start getting a little hairy. The 4Runner has always been criticized for its low towing capacity. Even with a 270-horsepower 4-liter V6 here, it's got 278 lb-ft of torque, it still only manages a max towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. Now, that's up from 4,700 pounds from last year, but competitors can certainly beat even 5,000 pounds. So speaking of the interior, things are actually really nice in here. It's very reminiscent of the Tundra I had last week, but it's even better. The glossy trim here is black - it's much preferred over that metal-painted plastic that the Tundra had.

And honestly things just feel a lot more upscale in here than in that Platinum trim Tundra. The one thing I do wish it had was the knurled knobs that the Tundra was sporting. These just end up looking and feeling a little cheap, and this infotainment system, actually the whole thing just kind of sticks out here. It feels like somebody glued the whole system on after they were done designing everything else. And that little 6-inch touchscreen, while it works well, it just makes the whole thing look even worse, it makes that sticking-out feeling, just exacerbates it. The 7-inch would be really nice here. However, this year the 4Runner gets an upgrade to Entune Audio Plus, which has satellite and HD Radio, plus up-to-date HD weather and traffic. Even better, it gets standard cell-phone navigation integration. Just a lot of small updates that make things a lot more comfortable in here. Now that said, comfort's not really the 4Runner's strong suit. Even with these really nice seats and the upgraded suspension, things can still get a bit busy at speed.

There's a lot of bouncing around, and honestly it's just a testament to how much of a difference in ride quality the unibody construction actually makes. You know, with most crossovers, what you're getting is essentially a car, just with a truck-ish body on top. Here, you have an actual truck with a full frame, and you can totally tell, this rides just like SUVs used to ride - a bit better, but there is still a lot going on here. It's not going to be the ride that you're used to having in most other cars and crossovers. Now the Limited trim actually comes with full-time all-wheel drive as well as an adaptive suspension with dynamically adjustable adapters and dampers, but really if that's what your main concern is, why not just go with the one of the many many other crossover options out there that don't suffer from the negatives of the 4Runner, like the woefully bad fuel economy - just 18 miles to the gallon combined here.

Cargo space is really impressive. It's got 47 cubic feet with the rear seats up, and if you put them down, it's nearly 90, plus this one has an optional $350 rear sliding deck, although honestly it feels a bit gimmicky to me. If you're looking for a truly off-road-capable SUV, there really just aren't a lot of options out there. Now the 4Runner's been sticking true to its truck roots for nearly two decades, while competitors like the Explorer and the Pathfinder have all gone for compromises like all-wheel drive to front-wheel drive and unibody construction.

What you really need to do is be honest with yourself. Are you ever going to go off-road? If not, there are a lot of better options out there, but if you really need a truly off-road-capable SUV that's still great to live with every day, the 4Runner's a great option. There's a lot more to say, so click the link in the description to read my full review over at CarGurus.com.

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