Car and Driver’s Review of the 2016 Toyota 4Runner

At Toy Car Care, we’re all about providing you with helpful information, so, if you are planning on buying an SUV, check out Car and Driver’s review of the 2016 Toyota 4Runner. This well-rounded vehicle offers great off-road features and an available third-row seat. It won’t leave you disappointed in its appeal and fresh look which features the new Entune mobile app interface.

Before we go further, let’s start with the price of the 2016 Toyota 4Runner. Depending on what features you choose to upgrade, expect to pay between $33,000-$45,000 for its 4 different models: SR5, Trail, TRD Pro and Limited. Let’s delve a little deeper into what makes this competitive SUV a favorite amongst Toyota loyalists and car enthusiasts in general.


Nicely equipped, featuring 17-inch alloy wheels, skid plates protecting you off-road, an 8-speaker stereo with iPod/USB and Bluetooth, Toyota’s Entune Audio Plus infotainment system, power lumbar support for the driver, power back window and heated seats. Here are just a few features to expect:

  • Air Conditioning, Dust/Pollen/Deodorizing Air Filter, Rear Seat Heater Ducts
  • Instrumentation: Multi-Information Display, Tachometer, Water Temperature Gauge, Outside Temperature Gauge, Fuel Economy Meter, Eco Drive Monitor, Trip Computer
  • Power Vertical Sliding Rear Window
  • 12V Auxiliary Power Outlets: 2 Front, 2 Rear, 1 Cargo Area
  • Rear Door Courtesy Lamp
  • Cargo Area Tie-Down Rings, Cargo Area Side Storage Compartments
  • Variable Intermittent Wipers and Rear Window Wiper/Washer
  • Intermittent, Windshield Wiper De-Icer


The Trail comes standard with the added sunroof and has a lot of performance upgrades, including a part-time 4WD system, higher ground clearance, and an off-road cruise control system called “Crawl Control”, which is a system was designed for low-speed, extreme off-road conditions. When activated, the system helps to resolve human error and keep you safe by taking control of the accelerator and brakes. All you have to do is steer as the Multi-Terrain Select system lets you customize the traction-control settings to match the terrain you are tackling.


With standard 4WD and all the features from the Trail version, the TRD Pro boasts off-road suspension, larger tires and many stylish upgrades that will most definitely put a smile on any off-roaders face. The remote-reservoir Bilstein shocks and taller springs, give it rugged stabilization and the black TRD wheels wrapped in Nitto Terra Grappler A/T tires are head turners. Combine that with a unique grille, badges, interior trim, and this baby is sure to please. It also comes in a Quicksand color.


This is the high-end version of the 2016 4Runner, and a people-pleaser for sure. With the added X-REAS suspension for handling enhancement, 20-in alloy wheels, keyless entry, power front seats, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and Entune with navigation, it doesn’t get any better than this for luxury and comfort. However, the automatic running boards will cost you extra.


Fuel Economy – The 4Runner offers a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 270 horsepower and 278 lb. of torque, a 5-speed automatic transmission, In rear-wheel drive guise, and impresses with 17 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. If you are looking for a 4-wheel drive, that will drop gas mileage to 17 mpg city/21 mpg hwy. Overall, it is not the best mileage in an SUV, but closely averages with the competition when comparing.

Safety Features – The 2016 4Runner comes standard with stability control and eight airbags, including front, side and knee airbags for front passengers, and full-length side-curtain airbags. Passengers also have active head restraints. Rear parking sensors are included, while a backup camera is optional. Concerned buyers can inquire about the Safety Connect telematics system; this adds automatic collision notification, a stolen vehicle locator, an SOS button and roadside assistance including a 1-year subscription, which is a fabulous option.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the 4Runner scored 4 stars out of 5 for front impacts and 4 stars out of 5 for side impacts, with 3 stars out of 5 for rollover resistance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2016 4Runner its top rating of “Good” in every category except the small-overlap front test.

Interior – Some good and bad features you will find here. The 2106 4Runner’s front seats provide little lateral support. Also, they are mounted high, so you get a spectacular view, but not much else. The standard power lumbar support is a nice touch; the support will be cherished when off-roading. The second-row seat bottom is quite low. Taller passengers may feel as if they are sitting on the floor. And although the optional third-row seat is not appropriate for adults, (unless child-sized), kids will love the space, and it fits nicely. So, the 4Runner you see is a functional 3-row family vehicle.

The SR5’s gauges on the 2016 4Runners are pretty standard, but other versions benefit from the sweet Optitron gauges that look a lot like what the Lexus vehicles have. The blocky hard-plastic dashboard is not incredibly appealing. But it should stand up well to the elements such as heat and cold, aging well. Unfortunately, it feels rather cheap for the price of this vehicle. Ergonomically, all things are good minus the dashboard’s flat, upright design which puts some of the controls at an uncomfortable reach, especially for some drivers.

Exterior – Let’s explore what this 2016 Toyota 4Runner will look like from the outside. Your choice of colors will be Barcelona Red Metallic, Classic Silver Metallic, Magnetic Grey Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, Nautical Blue Pearl and Super White. Inside you only have the options of black and sand beige. But let’s face it, those are the most sought after colors for an interior, and they go with everything. The shape and style have not changed much over the years, and it still has its squared corners and sleek lines with bits of chrome here and there for added bling.

Performance – We could give this a good 7 out of 10 rating for performance. It has a competitive acceleration, whether taking off from a stoplight, climbing steep mountain terrain or just a steep driveway, and passing at highway speeds. The quick-shifting automatic always seems to be pushing the limits and making it. The base models are good on rough pavement, but they tend to lean in a more obvious way into corners, perhaps making that a concern for some. The Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System that’s optional on the Trail model uses hydraulics to reduce motions on-road or increase off-road traction and riding comfort.

Comfort – If you are looking for space for five people and some gear, this SUV has you covered. It is somewhat limited in cargo space and flexibility, so the competition has the upper hand in that respect. However, the seats are wide and supportive, with available perforated leather upholstery, and a quiet, smooth ride also awaits you on your journey. Base models include power windows, locks, mirrors, cruise control, a rearview camera, and air conditioning. Added options include 15-speaker JBL premium sound, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, navigation, and more.


When it comes to off-road capability and third-row seating, which many people are after, there are not many options out there. This means cost-effectiveness is an important discussion and decision. This is a true SUV that can still crawl over the rugged stuff, and while you would be hard-pressed to do better than the 2016 4Runner, you could certainly do worse. With the few other options out there, you will most certainly pay more. That makes the 2016 4Runner the perfect choice, especially considering it’s one of Kelley Blue Book’s 2016 Best Resale Value Overall award recipients.

Which model do you choose?

Again, it all depends on you. What are you looking for as far as versatility, the style, comfort level, price point, and all the extra bells and whistles? Test driving any one of these models is sure to give you a better idea on how they handle and the driving comfort of each version. For the most part, customers are happy with the roomy interior, sleek, stylish look inside and out, and the price range is pretty doable for what you get. Do your research, try them all out, and go from there.

Overall, we think this is a fantastic SUV with many options and features for both the city dweller and the off-roading, adventure-seeking types. Give it a whirl and test drive one to see for yourself, perhaps after reading Car and Driver’s review of the 2016 Toyota 4Runner. You will also be impressed to know that this vehicle has won a number of awards, including the 2016 SmartChoice Maintenance Costs Mid-Size Utility, 2016 SmartChoice Retained Value Mid-Size Utility and 2016 Motorist Choice Winner Mid-Size SUV. Of course, if and when you decide that this is the right vehicle for you, Toy Car Care can help you with maintaining your 4Runner and ensuring that you’re ready for wherever roads take you!

Links to further info here

Steve Wilbur

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