Crossover & Midsize

2020 Toyota 4Runner: The Biggest Downsides You Should Know Before Buying

Off-roaders will love the new Toyota 4Runner, but it might be a hard sale for individuals looking for a reliable vehicle for everyday driving. It has some decent capabilities, but there are a few key factors that will send many potential owners running for the hills. Here’s why the 4Runner might not perform as well as Toyota would hope.

Why you’ll love the Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner has a long history, and it has developed a bit of following. That doesn’t happen with vehicles that are total junk, unless it’s the Pontiac Aztek, of course. 

Edmunds reports that the 2020 4Runner is a great off-road vehicle. Even though there were a few new features, Toyota didn’t sacrifice the ability to drive over mountains and through streams to appeal to a new fan base like other automakers have done in the past. For those who love the ability to defy Mother Nature, things are better than ever.

Toyota also added a slide-out floor in the cargo area. For anyone who feels like there is never enough room in their vehicle, this could be a game-changer. The addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto was also a pleasant surprise that was long overdue.

Another factor that might tempt drivers to give the 4Runner a chance is the fact that it resists depreciation well. For those who prefer to trade their vehicle in after a certain amount of time has gone by, being able to resell a vehicle that hasn’t lost all its value will be liberating. 

Here’s what might make you think twice

No vehicle is perfect, though there are several vehicles that come close. That being said, the 2020 Toyota 4Runner seems to get mixed reviews. Cars.com recently reviewed the 4Runner and had four things that they weren’t thrilled about. 

The first issue was that the 4Runner doesn’t handle well on-road. Cars.com reports that “its standard 270-hp 4.0-liter V6 engine is slow to come to life from a stop. And on the highway, you can really feel how heavy the SUV is in its reluctance to accelerate.” Other complaints revolved around the fact that it’s difficult to park and has a wide turn radius. 

The second factor that might turn drivers away was the poor gas mileage. Fuel is at record low rates at the moment, but that won’t always hold true. Prices fluctuate, and when the prices rise again, the 4Runner will be eating through your wallet. It only gets an estimated 16 mpg city and 19 mpg highway.

The third problem Cars.com had was the loud exhaust. The car review site reports, “the TRD Pro’s cat-back exhaust is supposed to put out a powerful growl; in reality, it sounds more like a groan.”

Finally, the 4Runner might be too tall for many drivers and passengers. It has 9.6 inches of ground clearance, making it difficult to get in and out of. For anyone in heels, this might be a safety hazard. It will also be a challenge for children and the elderly. 

Is the 2020 Toyota 4Runner worth the overall price?

The Toyota 4Runner starts at $36,020 for the base model, and it tops out at $49,765. For many drivers, that’s simply too much. Those who can afford it may be wondering if they should given how many other options are on the market today. 

When comparing the Toyota 4Runner to long-standing rivals like the Jeep Wrangler, the 4Runner actually comes out on top. The Wrangler might have a loyal following, but it has its share of flaws, like the fact that it’s not made to be driven daily. It also offers less room. 

On the other hand, the Jeep Wrangler is often recommended over the 4Runner. It has a great looking body, performs well both on- and off-road, and it has more tech. 

So is the 2020 Toyota 4Runner worth investing in? If you’re interested in a great off-road vehicle, it’s hard to beat. On the other hand, if you need a vehicle for driving back and forth to work every day, you might want to look elsewhere.