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2015 Toyota 4Runner

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/21/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner adds a new TRD Pro Series edition designed as an off-road focused model. It is the last remaining off-road focused SUVs left in the market.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 4Runner is a midsize SUV with seating for up to seven passengers. Sold in six grades and in rear- or four-wheel-drive configurations, the 4Runner slots above the compact RAV4 and two-row Venza, but under the full-size Sequoia.

Overview

The 2015 4Runner is available with a 4.0-liter V-6 with 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is average at 17/22 mpg city/highway for rear-drive models and 17/21 with four-wheel drive. Off-roading remains the 4Runner's forte with its excellent four-wheel-drive system and the ideal combination of "steering and brake predictability and sensitivity you want for off-roading." Additionally, it remains a good daily driver with a comfortable ride and stable handling on paved roads.

Interior space is generous with ample room for passengers and up to 47.2 cubic feet behind the second row. However, opting for the third row comes at the cost, drops the cargo capacity down to nine cubic feet. Material quality remains lackluster and "awash with hard plastics and fake metal pieces." Central stack controls of the updated Entune system is improved and easier to use than older systems used in the Tacoma.

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner has a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS evaluations, the 2015 4Runner received a Good score in four categories and Marginal in the small overlap front crash test (Good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

The 2015 4Runner is a good choice for buyers looking for an off-road ready SUV with a generous interior and can double as a daily driver. Unlike most crossovers, the 4Runner's body-on-frame construction makes it a capable performer when the pavement disappears, particularly TRD Pro Series SUVs. We noted during a 2014 First Test review that the SUV remained true to its off-roading heritage but gained a level of refinement in the form of features such as leather upholstery in upper trim levels and the available Entune infotainment system. The SUV's interior build quality remains lackluster with many hard plastics and low quality faux metal parts. Additionally, the aging powertrain is lagging behind the competition in terms of fuel efficiency.

You'll Like

  • Good balance of on- and off-road capabilities
  • Generous space for passengers and cargo
  • Logically laid out center stack controls

You Won't Like

  • Average fuel economy
  • Low quality interior materials
  • Outdated powertrain

Key Competitors

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Nissan Xterra
  • Ford Explorer

Rating

2 star

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