I do not know why Nissan gets so much flak for its ancient Frontier and 370Z when there is a fellow Japanese automaker equally responsible of neglecting its lineup: Toyota. The Tundra pickup, for example, was first launched in 2007 and hasn’t seen any vital adjustments since. The model’s Sequoia and Land Cruiser SUVs are each only a yr youthful, making their debuts in 2008. And nearly as geriatric because the Tundra, Sequoia, and Land Cruiser is the SUV I’ve spent the final couple weeks driving, the 2020 Toyota 4Runner Enterprise. Though the 4Runner Enterprise is a brand new particular version trim degree for 2020, the 4Runner has been soldiering on with little love from Toyota because it was born again in 2009—a lifetime in the past in automotive years. In order that begs the query, if you happen to’re available in the market for a rugged, sturdy, off-road-capable SUV, is the Toyota 4Runner purchase?
What is the Toyota 4Runner Enterprise?
The 4Runner Venture might be mechanically acquainted to anybody who’s shopped for a 4Runner prior to now decade. Constructed on a conventional body-on-frame platform shared with the Toyota Tacoma, Land Cruiser Prado, and Lexus GX, the 2020 4Runner Enterprise sports activities Toyota’s previous 4.0-liter V-6 underneath its hood. Upgraded since its 2002 debut with Toyota’s twin variable valve timing expertise, it makes 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque on all new 4Runners. It is paired with a five-speed computerized gearbox and, customary on the Enterprise trim, four-wheel drive.
Based mostly on the 4Runner TRD Off-Highway Premium, the “particular version” 4Runner Enterprise additionally comes customary with an electronically locking rear differential and Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Choose and Crawl Management off-road methods. Enterprise-exclusive bits embrace a Yakima cargo basket on the roof, 4Runner TRD Pro wheels with a matte-gray end, all-weather floormats, and black painted mirrors and door handles. Essentially the most vital choice on our 4Runner Enterprise tester was Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS, for $1,750), which options hydraulic piping that mechanically disconnects the 4Runner’s anti-roll bars when it senses a wheel within the air off-road, dropping it again right down to the bottom.
How Does the Toyota 4Runner Drive?
Within the age of the crossover, the 4Runner drives like a throwback to a largely bygone period. Its 4.0-liter V-6 could also be large for a six-cylinder, however its 270 horses and 278 lb-ft of torque at the moment are eclipsed by extra trendy powertrains in opponents, like Jeep’s 3.6-liter V-6 and eight-speed auto combo, present in each the Wrangler (285 hp) and Grand Cherokee (295 hp), or the previous’s hybridized 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4, which produces 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Nobody will mistake the 4Runner for being fast, however the previous 4.0-liter and five-speed combo is a much less irritating drive accomplice than the 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed auto that replaced this powertrain in the Tacoma. The 4Runner’s torque comes on comparatively low in its powerband, which, when mixed with the five-speed’s longggg gear ratios (and assuming you retain your foot buried within the throttle), provides the Toyota class-competitive acceleration and passing efficiency. That is assuming the auto is in the correct gear, in fact, as shifts are as gradual and slurred as our crew after a night of aged brown liquids.
Extra spectacular than the best way it accelerates is the best way our KDSS-equipped 4Runner rides. Regardless of its gentle, obscure steering and penchant for midcorner axle hop and chassis shudder on harsh impacts each on- and off-road, the 4Runner’s KDSS system nonetheless does a exceptional job at quieting down the experience. Working hand in hand with its high-sidewall tires, the 4Runner floats over bumps reasonably properly, minimizing the switch of impacts into the cabin and to the motive force.
What is the 4Runner’s Inside Like?
Talking of the typical shopper, the 4Runner’s cabin greater than anything will betray the Toyota’s age. The world has modified a lot within the final decade, however the 4Runner hasn’t; the largest variations between the 2020 4Runner and 2010 model is a revised sprint with a digital driver’s instrument show, some minor tweaks to the middle stack, and a brand new 8.0-inch infotainment system suitable with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The cabin is purposeful however dated when put next with these of the Jeep Wrangler, the similarly old Grand Cherokee, and the upcoming 2021 Ford Bronco. The entrance seats are snug—although headroom is tight as a result of a mixture of our tester’s elective moonroof and the 4Runner’s low roofline—and the again seat is spacious. The 4Runner’s sliding rear cargo deck, a $350 choice, can also be fairly helpful. It slides the entire cargo ground backward over the rear bumper, eliminating the necessity to attain deep into the Toyota’s deep cargo space to snag free objects.
There’s unquestionably room for enchancment, although. For starters, the cabin is loud. Due to the elective TRD exhaust’s banal drone at freeway speeds and a normal lack of sound deadening, you will doubtless end up continually reaching for the quantity knob on the freeway in an try to listen to your music. Materials high quality and match and end are additionally at the very least a era behind what Toyota has confirmed itself able to on newer automobiles, just like the RAV4.
How A lot Does the 4Runner Enterprise Price?
Greater than some other place, here is the place the 4Runner Enterprise runs into its greatest hurdle: It is a poor worth. At $48,227 as examined ($44,755 to begin), the 4Runner Enterprise is undercut by each the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. A comparably outfitted Wrangler Limitless Sport S could be had for $44,910, or, if having a particular version is a should for you, $45,560 for a Wrangler Limitless Willys with a extra environment friendly turbocharged engine and eight-speed computerized. A Grand Cherokee could be even cheaper—a equally spec’d Grand Cherokee North Version could be had for $44,305. Each not solely provide up extra refined cabins and trendy powertrains than the Toyota (to not point out at the very least equal off-road functionality), however, including insult to damage, are decidedly extra environment friendly, too. The EPA charges the 4Runner Enterprise at 16/19/17 mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed, whereas the Grand Cherokee nets 18/25/21 mpg, and the Wrangler 18/22/20 mpg with the V-6, or 21/22/21 mpg with the turbo-four. In fact, each the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee can change into considerably costlier and even crest $60,000 totally loaded, however their base fashions are so succesful, they nonetheless outshine the 4Runner Enterprise.
So, Is the Toyota 4Runner a Good Purchase?
On my first day of Media 101 at St. Bonaventure College, I discovered that as a journalist, it is best to by no means ask a query in a headline that you do not reply. In order to not disappoint professor John Hanchette: Is the 2020 4Runner buy? In a phrase, no. Shopping for a brand new 2020 4Runner is so much like shopping for a brand new iPhone Four at iPhone 11 costs—sure, there’s tons to like concerning the iPhone 4, but it surely does not essentially meet all of our trendy wants, particularly on the 2020 asking worth. The 4Runner is good-looking, off-road succesful, and rides properly, however the opponents provide up higher efficiency, higher effectivity, and higher high quality for the cash.
|2020 Toyota 4Runner (Enterprise Version)|
|LAYOUT||Entrance-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||4.0L/270-hp/278-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6|
|CURB WEIGHT||4,800 lb (MT est)|
|L x W x H||191.Three x 75.Eight x 78.0* in|
|0-60 MPH||8.Three sec (MT est)|
|EPA FUEL ECON||16/19/17 mpg|
|ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY||211/177 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||1.13 lb/mile|
|ON SALE||At present|
|*Estimated to high of roof basket; 72.Zero to high of roof rack (sheet-metal roof peak NA)|