Toyota's 2022 4Runner isn't the most technologically advanced midsize SUV, but it's proven and most capable
Toyota’s 4Runner midsize SUV has been around for some time. In its 12th year of production, 4Runner is a proven off-roader that also fetches high resale value. It’s one of the last rugged 4WD SUVs that’s in the four-door class of Jeep Wrangler’s and Ford’s new Bronco Raptor.
4Runner is offered in base SR5 Premium, TRD Sport, TRD Special Edition, TRD Off-Road 4X4, TRD Off-Road Premium 4X4 and TRD Pro. It’s also offered in 2WD. We tested the 4X4 TRD Sport that is mid-priced within the above trim models.
For 2022, 4Runner hasn’t changed much in appearance as it maintains a rugged look and stance. And it sports a non-functional hood scoop that’s mainly for a sporty look. Added though were powered running boards that can be set to stay open, or automatically slide open/close when opening/closing the doors. They’re nice to have considering step-in is a 23-inch stretch.
This ruggedness follows through to the interior that has a lot of styling features from Toyota’s top-selling midsize Tacoma pickup. In place of the 4WD stick shifter in past models, the 2022 has an electronic dial for 2WD, 4H and 4L gearing.
Its 8-inch infotainment system, with split screen display, now includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Wi-Fir hotspot connectivity, and most significantly, Toyota’s Safety Sense P safety suite. Included is blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, pre-collision system w/pedestrian detection, lane departure alert plus a back-seat safety alert when leaving a child, pet or packages on the back seat. Speaking of seats, an optional third row is also offered. Within the App suite there’s traffic and weather apps along with a wide area weather map.
HVAC controls are large, easy to view and use even with gloved hands. And the gear selector for the 5-speed automatic transmission is robust.
The gauge cluster has a driver information display between the gauges for features, functions and alerts.
4Runner’s SofTex front seats are heavily cushioned with sensible lateral support. The rear seats have gobs of headroom and adequate leg room for two adults or three tweens.
The cargo area, with a tall 30-inch lift over, has a manual liftgate but the gate window powers down to carry extra-long items out through it or to stow/retrieve items without having to open the liftgate. A helpful feature.
With the rear seatbacks upright, there’s 47.2 cubic feet of cargo space that measures 39 inches deep, 48 wide and 35 high. To extend cargo space, the rear seats fold but the bottoms must first be flipped forward against the backs of the front seats. After which, the seat backs fold down behind them. Because of this, the seat bottoms eat up about six inches of cargo loading depth but still provides 89.7 cubic feet of space that offers 65 inches of depth. There are also twin bins on the right side of the cargo area to stow small items.
Beneath the cargo floor is a full-size spare as a space saver tire wouldn’t hack it for a rugged off-roader as this.
4Runner has but one proven engine that has been around for some time. A 4.0-liter V6 generates 270-hp and 278 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 16 city, 19-highway mpg. Not exactly miserly, but consider 4Runner carries a hefty curb weight of 4,750 pounds and can tow up to 5,000 pounds. It has robust power from acceleration to highway passing maneuvers.
As for its off-road abilities, it has an approach angle of 33 degrees and a departure angle of 26 degrees with a ground clearance of 9.6 inches. The only feature missing is rear wheel lock for when the going gets really tough.
Sprung with front coil springs with double wishbone suspension and stabilizer bar, and rear coils also with a stabilizer bar, 4Runner rides a bit taut on Yokohama 20-inch, all-season tires. With its X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension, 4Runner has an expected taut, stiff ride. Remember, it’s off-road capable and it’s here where it excels. Otherwise, it’s on par with the aforementioned competitors. 4Runner has a turning radius of 37.4 feet that makes it relatively easy to park in tight spots, and it maintains control on off-road nasties.
With a lengthy list of standard features and Sport model trims effects, 4Runner carried a base price of $42,025. Extra cost options include the Premium Audio with 8-inch infotainment display, Wi-Fi and Safety Connect ($1,585); automatic running boards ($1,500); Technology Package ($1,310); roof rack w/cross bars ($185); high-performance LED fog lights ($169); cargo mat ($100) plus delivery ($1,215), took the bottom line to $47,589.
While it doesn’t have some of the amenities of the competition, 4Runner is still priced competitively. It’s not your typical mall-crawler, but a proven off-roader for those who take their SUVs off the beaten path to hunt, fish, camp or hike the great outdoors.