Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner Continues to Buck Modern SUV Trends

While Toyota may be best known for its sedans and trucks, Toyota makes great cars in almost every segment, too. That’s the case for the 4Runner, which is in the midsize SUV segment. The 4Runner does what Toyotas do best, but it’s one of the best SUVs in its segments for many more reasons.

What’s not good about the 2021 model

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While every car has flaws, that may not be the case for the Toyota 4Runner. Obviously, the 4Runner isn’t perfect, but according to Kelley Blue Book, the two main flaws that it has also happen to be things that are good about the car in the first place.

Essentially, the 4Runner’s interior is, compared to its competitors, out of date, and Kelley Blue Book had a similar sentiment with the 4Runner’s powertrain. Plus, at $36,000, it’s also relatively expensive.

In regards to its interior, Kelley Blue Book described it as being “simple but effective.” It’s not a luxury SUV by any means, and compared to its competitors, it may seem even worse than a regular SUV in this regard. However, the outdated features in the 4Runner is a product of Toyota’s philosophy on the car. 

Toyota doesn’t want to change much about the 4Runner, and as a result, there’s not much new stuff in the 2021 4Runner. It got new LED low beams and the 4Runner’s various premium trims got additional minor changes too. Other than those things though, Toyota is keeping the 4Runner about the same, and that’s what’s so great about it. 

What Toyota refuses to change about the 2021 4Runner

A red Toyota 4Runner on display at an auto show
A Toyota 4Runner on display | Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The main thing that’s separating the 4Runner from its competition is how Toyota builds the 4Runner compared to how other automakers build their SUVs. As Kelley Blue Book explained, most modern SUVs nowadays have switched over to using a unibody frame that’s similar to how sedans are built.

The 4Runner, on the other hand, is still being built like Toyota’s been building it for over a decade, like a truck. Kelley Blue Book wrote that the 4Runner is “one of the last sport utility vehicles to exist on a truck platform.”

The main reason why the 4Runner is still being built like this is simple. It’s because a truck platform will make the 4Runner more robust when it’s off-road. 

By keeping this type of construction, Toyota basically made the 4Runner one of the best SUVs to get for anyone who’s interested in off-roading. It has off-roading capabilities that are similar to a truck, but at the same time, it’s an SUV, which means that it’s generally more comfortable and practical than a truck is.

What’s great about the 2021 Toyota 4Runner

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While being a great off-road SUV is one of the big perks about the 4Runner, Kelley Blue Book said that there’s plenty more to like about it. For example, the 4Runner’s 4.0-liter V6 gets 270-hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. This allows it to tow about 5,000-pounds, which is pretty decent for an SUV. 

On top of that, Kelley Blue Book praised the 4Runner’s interior cargo capacity. Without folding any seats, it has 47.2 cu. ft. of space available, but with its second row folded down, it gets almost 90 cu. ft. of cargo space. And of course, since it’s a Toyota, the 4Runner is one of the safest and most reliable SUVs in its class. 

Since it’s a Toyota, it also doesn’t depreciate as much as other cars do. This means that, if you want to sell your 4Runner down the line, you’ll make more money off of it than if you had bought and sold another brand’s SUV instead. Its great resale value makes its high price tag more tolerable in the long run too.