The 4Runner is in many respects a throwback and, like the related Tacoma, is one of the only remaining vehicles of its kind. Its body-on-frame construction and live rear axle appeal to those who still expect their mid-size SUV to do the things for which SUVs were actually invented: going off-road and towing. Those who spend most or all of their time traversing parking lots and highways may want to stick with the Highlander, as the 4Runner suffers from a bumpier ride and vague steering. That said, the 4Runner is a much more refined and efficient vehicle than the trucks that dominated the sales charts even ten years ago. For one, it comes with only a V-6 engine, the same 4.0-liter offered in the FJ Cruiser and the Tundra. Toyota initially offered a four-cylinder as well but killed it after less than a year when it became clear that not many people were interested in lugging around a 4400-pound vehicle with only 182 hp. The interior isn't luxurious (there needs to be a reason for the Lexus GX460 to exist, after all), but it is comfortable and nicely laid out, with fold-flat second- and (optional) third-row seats. It also incorporates a neat party trick, literally: at the push of a button, the stereo will send full power to the back speakers, creating a fun-hearted atmosphere for tailgate parties.
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