2019 Toyota 4Runner Driving Impressions

The 4.0-liter V-6 puts out 270 hp and 278 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is leisurely at best thanks to a curb weight that approaches 5,000 pounds in some configurations. The 5-speed automatic works quickly, but could use another cog for calmer highway driving.

Four-wheel drive is standard on TRDs, while SR5 and Limited are either rear- or four-wheel drive. The system on the Limited is different, and the only one designed for dry pavement, more like a crossover’s all-wheel drive. The other models have a part-time system meant for mud, snow, sand and the like. The 4Runner is rated to tow 5,000 pounds.

The 4Runner handles like the off-road beast it is. The ride is very firm and the 4Runner can wander on smooth pavement. The good news is its big tires smother big bumps around town.

Off the road, the 2019 4Runner excels. The base SR5 does the job in most situations, while the TRD Off Road includes a locking rear differential, off-road modes for its traction control, and a crawl control system that inches it over obstacles. The optional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System uses massive anti-roll bars to reduce body lean in curves, and they automatically disconnect for better off-road articulation.

The TRD Pro is costly at about $47,500, but it’s still a value because you can’t build that kind of capability with aftermarket equipment. Fox dual-reservoir shocks tuned specifically for the 4Runner give it an exceptionally comfortable ride at any speed, on or off the road.

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