The Toyota 4Runner is one of the few remaining SUVs that can truly go off-road. With body-on-frame construction, a solid rear axle, and a proven V6 engine, the 4Runner has the credentials to tackle any terrain. But it also has the drawbacks of an aging design that dates back to 2009. The 2024 model year brings some minor changes, but nothing can hide the fact that the 4Runner is overdue for a makeover.
What’s New for the 2024 Toyota 4Runner?
The most notable change for the 2024 Toyota 4Runner is the addition of a 40th Anniversary Special Edition, which celebrates four decades of the 4Runner nameplate. Based on the entry-level SR5 trim, this limited-edition model features tri-color graphics on the body and grille, bronze 17-inch wheels, and bronze stitching on the leatherette seats and shift knob. It also has special badges on the floor mats, headrests, and dashboard. The 40th Anniversary Special Edition is available in red, white, or black exterior colors, and only 4,040 units will be produced.
Another change for 2024 is the standardization of blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warning on all trims. These safety features were previously optional or unavailable on some models. The rest of the 4Runner’s active safety suite remains unchanged, including adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.
The rest of the 2024 Toyota 4Runner lineup carries over with no major changes. The SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, and TRD Pro trims are still available, each with its own level of equipment and off-road capability. The prices have increased slightly across the board, ranging from $41,050 for the base SR5 to $52,375 for the top-of-the-line TRD Pro.
How Does It Perform?
The 2024 Toyota 4Runner has a 4.0-liter V6 engine that delivers 270 hp and 278 pound-feet of torque. This V6 engine is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission and either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The V6 is reliable and smooth, but it lacks the power and efficiency of some of its rivals. The EPA estimates that the 4Runner will return 16 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway with rear-wheel drive or 16/19 mpg with four-wheel drive. These numbers are among the lowest in the class.
The 4Runner’s performance on paved roads is also unimpressive. The steering is vague and slow, the suspension is stiff and bouncy, and the brakes are spongy and weak. The body rolls a lot in corners, and the cabin is noisy at highway speeds. The 4Runner feels like an old truck because it is one.
But where the 4Runner shines is off-road. The SUV has impressive ground clearance, approach and departure angles, and skid plates to protect its vital components. The four-wheel-drive system has a low-range transfer case and a locking rear differential for extra traction. The TRD Off-Road trim adds a Multi-Terrain Select system that adjusts various parameters for different types of terrain, as well as a Crawl Control system that acts as a low-speed cruise control for steep or rocky trails. The TRD Pro trim goes even further with a lifted suspension, Fox shocks, Nitto Terra Grappler tires, and a front skid plate with red lettering.
The Toyota 4Runner can also tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped, which is decent for its class. However, some competitors offer more towing capacity and more advanced features, such as trailer sway control or blind-spot monitoring for trailers.