A classic SUV, the Toyota 4Runner is built for off-road driving. On paper, it seems to be one of the best options in the market for driving in the snow. However, does it perform well in winter powder? Find out if the SUV is suitable for people in cold climates. Is the Toyota 4Runner good in the snow?
Snow-ready Toyota 4Runner features
Every Toyota 4Runner SUV isn’t perfect for taking on the winter weather. Only the correctly-equipped models have what owners will need for driving in the snow. However, it does come with four-wheel drive, which is the most basic way for an SUV to perform well in the snow. Next, it uses low gears, and you get about 9 inches of ground clearance. For most owners, 9 inches is more than enough.
Finally, large vertical windows allow plenty of visibility while LED low beams, high beams, and fog lamps keep the road ahead bright at night. A reviewer from Gear Patrol got the chance to test a Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport trim in the snow, though it wasn’t the storm of the century by any means. Their model came with 20-inch wheels, but more is improved for off-roading with the much more expensive TRD Off-Road or Pro models.
The 4Runner TRD Sport is missing some essential winter features
The TRD Sport trim doesn’t come with automatic climate control, according to Gear Patrol. It goes without saying that this would be a welcomed feature for anyone driving in the cold. Next, heated seats and a heated steering wheel do not come with the TRD Sport. Unfortunately, those features don’t kick in until at least the SR5 Premium trim level. To get everything you’d need in harsh winter weather, the higher 4Runner trims are better options.
Next, GP’s reviewer disliked the running boards that came with their model. While they’re a convenient step into the vehicle, they become quite dangerous once they get covered in snow, water, or ice in the winter. Once drivers step on them with wet or snow-covered boots, they’ll freeze overnight and become a death trap by morning. These cost $1,500, and most people can skip them.
Is 4WD all you need in the snow?
The Toyota 4Runner has no trouble driving through the snow in four-wheel drive. An unshoveled driveway, an unplowed street, and even a sheet of ice are no match for the well-equipped Toyota SUV. One of the brightest spots of GP’s tests is the 4Runner’s ability to drive through conditions most vehicles can’t. However, it is still just as difficult to stop in the snow. That’s why it’s always recommended to use low speeds when driving over snow or ice.
That being said, the 4Runner with 4WD is great for getting going. It’ll plow through piles of snow and even start moving from a sheet of ice out of park. However, like any other vehicle, drivers need to be aware of their speed and maintain the ability to stop slowly. Like any other SUV or even car, the 4Runner will slide if you try to brake at the wrong time, going too fast.
How much does a Toyota 4Runner cost?
The base model 2022 Toyota 4Runner SR5 starts at $37,605. Not too much more expensive, the TRD Sport model starts at $40,450. However, getting any 4Runner with four-wheel drive will cost a bit more. For the same 4WD, TRD Sport model the reviewer drove, it’ll cost $43,390 after the delivery, processing, and handling fees. Add on another $1,500 if you wish to get identical running boards.
For someone who lives in an area that doesn’t just see snow a few times a year, you might want to go bigger. More expensive 4Runner options are even better in the snow. For instance, the TRD Pro model comes with all-terrain tires, a front skid plate, FOX shocks with TRD-tuned front springs, active traction control, downhill assist control, crawl control, multi-terrain select, hill start assist, and so much more.
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Is the Toyota 4Runner good in the snow?
Overall, the Toyota 4Runner SUV is well-equipped to take on the snow. The model has been synonymous with off-road driving for a long time. In its highest trims, it performs the best off-road. Features like high ground clearance, traction control, and all-terrain tires can benefit winter driving. While the lower trims aren’t perfect, the 4Runner’s affordable 4WD instantly makes it an excellent option for most snowy weather. That’s why the Toyota 4Runner is good in the snow.