The New Toyota 4Runner Is Cool But Insensibly Expensive

The new Toyota 4Runner is a good reliable SUV. It’s one of the few family SUVs still built with a body-on-frame design rather than a unibody construction. It’s easy to feel tempted to buy one with all of the end of the year sales still going on and tantalizing models like the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro in the new Lunar Rock paint color. The 2021 Toyota 4Runner may be a cool SUV, but it’s insensibly expensive.

2021 Toyota 4Runner press photo shown in lunar rock is awesome but expensive
2021 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

While there are actually many compelling reasons to buy a new 2021 Toyota 4Runner, there are some cons. We’re going to go over some of the ways in which this desirable SUV may disappoint buyers. But before we go into that, we should mention that this is one of the most reliable and capable SUVs out there. In addition, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner holds its value notably well. So what’s not to like?

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner doesn’t come cheap

For an SUV of this size with an optional third row, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Many of which cost significantly less than the 2021 Toyota 4Runner. According to Toyota’s website, the 2021 4Runner SR5 starts at $36,340.

2021 Toyota 4Runner in the wilderness
2021 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

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Head over to Kia’s website and you’ll see that the 2021 Kia Sorento starts at $29,390. In its well-equipped second-highest trim it starts at $37,990. The 2021 Honda CR-V, though it lacks the option for a third row, starts at $25,350 and has received rave reviews from nearly every auto critic out there.

Comparatively, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner is one of the most expensive options in its class. True, the choices are slim when it comes to a mid-size body-on-frame SUV. However, a unibody crossover SUV equipped with AWD will meet most of the demands of nearly any consumer.

a Kia Sorento X-line parked by a lake in the mountains
2021 Sorento X-Line | Kia

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It’s not the only off-road SUV

If off-road capability is what draws you to the rugged 4Runner, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler starts at $28,315. Which, again lacks the option of a third row. But in its most off-road capable (and $50 grand) version, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro doesn’t offer a third row either.

A grey 2021 Jeep Wrangler driving on a snowy road
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler in action | Photo via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Even the iconic new 2021 Ford Bronco starts at a far less expensive price and boasts extreme off-road capability. According to Ford, the Base Ford Bronco starts at $28,500. Each of these 2021 SUV options offers ultimate off-road capabilities. Plus, they are two more options built on a rugged body-on-frame platform.

The fuel economy of the new Toyota 4Runner isn’t budget-friendly either

While other crossover SUV options have improved their mpg ratings year after model year. For example, the 2021 Kia Sorento gets about 25 mpg combined or nearly 40 mpg in its hybrid version. In fact every other SUV option we’ve mentioned in this writing has a hybrid powertrain option, except the 20210 Ford Bronco.

2021 Ford Bronco off-roading in sand is a cool SUV designed for adventure
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

However, even the 2021 Bronco get a combined 26 or 23 mpg, depending on which powertrain options you choose. the new Toyota 4Runner on the other hand, isn’t exactly a sipper. The EPA gives the 4Runner a 17 mpg combined rating. We can at least give it props for not dropping its combined rating when you add AWD, right?

While this Toyota SUV is cool, it’s just not that sensible

It’s not hard to see why many people love the 2021 Toyota 4Runner. It’s certainly a cool SUV. Still, it is perhaps not the most sensible choice. There are many other options you may want to check out before going all-in on the expensive Toyota 4Runner.

2021 Toyota 4Runner driving down a hill is a cool but expensive SUV
2021 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota