2022 Toyota 4Runner
This over-a-decade-old SUV can do serious off-roading, and also be a good family hauler while at itby Amreetam Basu, on
Among a few of the existing old-school body-on-frame SUVs, the 4Runner is still running wild, and is a capable off-roader. With the new Sequoia, we are expecting the 4Runner to receive the anticipated overhaul because it no longer has the updated tech and cabin features to withstand its competitors. The engine under the hood is a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V-6, that does not have a lot of power in comparison to the more modern engines, despite sipping a lot of gas. Still, there is a healthy fanbase who still prefer truck-based SUVs like the 4Runner, but its choppy ride quality and unenthusiastic handling on the road make it less approachable to the broader mass. The 4.0-liter V-6 puts out 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. Apart from the TRD models, all models come with rear-wheel drive as standard, but AWD can be optioned. The 4Runner’s rugged chassis, higher ground clearance, and enhanced off-roading dynamics make it a proper five-seater off-roader. But, can it withstand the more modern approach put forward by the Jeep Wrangler, or the Ford Bronco? Read the full review to know if the Toyota 4Runner is worth your attention, or not.
2022 Toyota 4Runner
What’s New for the 2022 Toyota 4Runner?
Toyota added the TRD Sport to an already extensive list of trims, further complicating things. This trim is priced at $40,150 and is not what its name suggests, despite the sportier treatments. The TRD Sport features adaptive dampers, leatherette seats, a scooped hood, and a set of 20-inch wheels. Toyota also gave all the 4Runners a set of LED headlights, as standard.
2022 Toyota 4Runner Trims
|SR5||4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6||Five-speed shiftable automatic||RWD/AWD||$37,305/$39,180|
|Trail Special Edition||4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6||Five-speed shiftable automatic||RWD/AWD||$39,275/$41,150|
|TRD Sport||4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6||Five-speed shiftable automatic||RWD/AWD||$40,150/$42,025|
|SR5 Premium||4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6||Five-speed shiftable automatic||RWD/AWD||$40,715/$42,590|
|TRD Off-Road||4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6||Five-speed shiftable automatic||AWD||$41,135|
|TRD Off-Road Premium||4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6||Five-speed shiftable automatic||AWD||$44,080|
|Limited||4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6||Five-speed shiftable automatic||RWD/AWD||$46,890/$48,925|
|TRD Pro||4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6||Five-speed shiftable automatic||AWD||$52,120|
It is not hard to believe that the 4Runner is one of the oldest Toyota cars, surviving a decade without a generation change. Back in 2014 when the facelifted 4Runner was introduced, it was a great hit. Fast-forward to the 2022 model year, there are hardly any noticeable differences found on the exterior of the 4Runner, except for the LED headlights, which now come as standard fitment. So there is a chunky-looking front fascia with a massive grille design and a skid plate. All the TRD models come with a scooped hood, but only the top-spec off-roader TRD Pro packs a roof rack, TRD aluminum front skid plate, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels. The sides expose how tall the 4Runner actually is with the massive wheel arches, especially the TRD models with 9.6 inches of ground clearance. The rear is pretty bland-looking, with two small vertical halogen taillights and a skid plate on the lower bumper. Apart from the LED headlamps, there is a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, a power tailgate window, and a keyless entry.
Of course, the exterior styling elements depend on the models you will choose. So with the Trail Special Edition, you will have the dark-accented wheels and exterior trim. Like the TRD Sport, the Limited models come with a set of 20-inch wheels but add a lot of chrome elements to the exterior, and even a sunroof.
The 2022 4Runner, like its previous iterations, measures 190.2 inches in length, has a width of 75.8 inches, and is 71.5 inches tall. The wheelbase measures 109.8 inches, and you can have up to 9.6 inches of ground clearance if you pick the TRD models. The other 4Runner models come with nine inches of ground clearance, which is pretty solid. The 4Runner usually weighs 4,400 pounds, but if you are getting the AWD variants, the number goes up to 4,750 pounds. But how different is it from the competition? Well, the Bronco is the heaviest, since it has all-wheel-drive as standard. On the other hand, the Wrangler has the longest wheelbase of 118.4 inches, followed by the Bronco with 116.1 inches. Both the competitors are slightly taller than the 4Runner, roughly by two inches. Although the Bronco’s ground clearance remains undisclosed, we think that the 4Runner’s standard nine inches are just the bare bones in its segment.
|Ground Clearance||9.0 in.|
|Front Width||63.2 in.|
|Rear Width||63.2 in|
|Curb Weight||4,400 lbs.|
Toyota is offering a total of nine colors for the current selling 4Runner:
- Barcelona Red Metallic
- Super White
- Nautical Blue Metallic
- Midnight Black Metallic
- Magnetic Gray Metallic
- Blizzard Pearl
- Army Green
- Lunar Rock
- Classic Silver Metallic
The base SR5 models come with five color options, which are, of course, no-cost ones: Barcelona Red Metallic, Nautical Blue Metallic, Super White, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic. The Trail Special Edition is offered in only four color options, including Super White, Midnight Black Metallic, Lunar Rock, and Army Green. The TRD models include the Classic Silver Metallic and the Lunar Rock, among the other common colors. The more luxury-oriented Limited models can be optioned with either Blizzard Pearl or Army Green among the other colors, while the TRD Pro comes with the rare Lime Rush color option.
|Barcelona Red Metallic||Blizzard Pearl|
|Super White||Army Green|
|Nautical Blue Metallic||Lunar Rock|
|Midnight Black Metallic||Classic Silver Metallic|
|Magnetic Gray Metallic|
The majority of Toyota cars, including the Lexus range, use naturally aspirated powertrains, and the 4Runner is no alien. A 4.0-liter V-6 lies in the engine bay, which churns out 270 horses in the most unenthusiastic ways. Compared to any modern off-road-biased SUVs, the 4Runner’s V-6 lacks the punch you need while overtaking on the highways, most importantly, driving in the city. The 4Runner is quite a heavy SUV, and the performance-to-weight ratio is not that great. Car and Driver has recorded 7.7 seconds to 60 miles per hour, a standing quarter-mile in 16 seconds flat. But the tests were done with the TRD Pro, which is an AWD variant. You can expect about eight seconds for the rear-wheel-drive variants to reach 60 miles per hour. The top speed is limited to 113 miles per hour. Compared to the leading competitors, it simply lags when you are driving it on the road. The off-road capabilities are quite impressive, thanks to its tuned gearbox, and the body-on-frame chassis. However, the 4Runner can tow up to 5,000 pounds, beating both, the Jeep Wrangler and the Ford Bronco. But the latter two options, as you would have already guessed, are faster on the road. The Ford Bronco, with its 275-horsepower standard four-pot, can do 60 miles per hour in under six seconds, and the Jeep Wrangler is in the same ballpark.
Engine and Transmission
As mentioned earlier, the 2022 Toyota 4Runner is powered by a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6, which puts out 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet, either through the rear wheels or all four wheels, depending on your choice. A retro-styled five-speed automatic gearbox does the gear changes. If you are planning to drive the 4Runner mainly in the city, there are other options like the Bronco. The 4.0-liter engine, although reliable, is a generation behind the modern engines which come with forced inductions and of course, better power figures. You have to keep the revs up high to get the 4Runner to speed up, and it is quite tough to overtake on the highways. Take it off the tarmac, you will be appreciating the handling dynamics more than the engine performance. If you want to do off-roading in style, get a Ford Bronco, or a Jeep Wrangler. If you want a power figures comparison, the Ford Bronco with its 2.3-liter turbo four-pot puts out 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, while driving all four wheels by default. On the other hand, the Jeep Wrangler carries a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V-6 which draws out 285 horses and 260 pound-feet of torque through an all-wheel-drive system. So, it is clear that the 4Runner is the underpowered option among the three.
|Engine||4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6|
|Transmission||Five-speed shiftable automatic|
|Horsepower||270 hp @ 5,600 RPM|
|Torque||278 lb-ft @ 4,400 RPM|
|0-60 mph||7.7 seconds|
|Top Speed||113 mph|
|Maximum Towing Capacity||5,000 pounds|
Handling and Driving Impressions
An SUV like the 4Runner should be good for highway drives and off-roading, while being nimble enough for daily city drives. We are afraid to say that the 4Runner is not an SUV you would like to live with if you are not into off-roading. City drives will expose its incapable steering feedback and non-sporty throttle pedal. We mean, the driving dynamics would not have been a problem if it was back in 2010, but now it feels old and unrefined. Drive the 4Runner at highway speeds, and you will be surprised to encounter even the smallest potholes making your ride quite stiff, especially with the TRD models which come with a set of X-REAS sportier suspension setups. Take the 4Runner off-roading and you will be surprised how well it can handle. The TRD Pro, which is the ultimate off-roader, comes equipped with a Fox suspension for the rear and an updated firmer front suspension. The AWD system on the TRD Pro models features a rear locking differential, for added off-roading stability, while the AWD system on the non-TRD models has a center differential. But, that doesn’t mean that you will take down fast corners.
2022 Toyota 4Runner Mileage
Another major con of the 4Runner has always been about fuel economy. Its 4.0-liter V-6 sips a lot of gas, and the EPA ratings prove the same. The agency has rated both the rear-wheel and the all-wheel-drive the same 16/19/17 for city/highway/combined, which is strange. But Toyota was generous to offer a 23-gallon gas tank, which can take you about 430 miles on the highways. Not bad at all. On the other hand, the Wrangler with its naturally aspirated V-6 has been rated to 17/23/19 while the Bronco is slightly better in the city with 20/21/20 for city/highway/combined. It seems that the 4Runner’s 4.0-liter engine is not as efficient as it should be when consumers are switching to hybrid or full-electric alternatives.
We loved the interior of the Highlander, which would be the best option if you don’t want to do off-roading, but we couldn’t say the same for the 4Runner’s interior. It has many of the latest convenience features, but looks and feels dated, especially the dashboard. There is a chunky-looking leather steering wheel that comes fitted as standard. The instrument console is all analog except for the small digital screen in the middle, which is about three inches in size. The dashboard top is all hard plastics, and even the lower trims have hard plastics on the door panels, which is a bit of a shame, considering it is not a $20,000 car. The air vents are retro-style too, with the infotainment screen capturing the center space of the dashboard. Unlike the new generation cars, the 4Runner does not have an ergonomic dashboard, and the plastics used are for durability, as per other sources’ claims. Just like other big, chunky SUVs, getting in the driver’s seat will give you a commanding view of what is going on the outside. Quite spacious, too; at least in the front row, but more on that is explained just below.
Seating and Interior Space
While the seats are nice and comfortable and are ideal for on and off-road rides, the space might be an issue, if you want to tow your family for a trip. The default seats are cloth-covered, and the driver’s seat alone comes with eight-way power adjustability, as standard. Other fancy convenience features such as heated front seats, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, and ventilated front seats are available for the upper trims. Leather upholstery is available for the Limited models only. The first row is spacious, as it should be, with 39.3 inches of headroom, a shoulder room that measures 57.8 inches, and a generous 41.7 inches of legroom. The rear bench, if compared to the competition, is quite compact, despite its bigger exterior appeal. You are looking at a headroom of 38.6 inches, the same 57.8 inches of shoulder room, and 32.9 inches of legroom. The headroom and the shoulder room are more than enough, whereas the 32.9-inch legroom is decent for everyday commuting, but not so good for long distances, particularly when you have taller passengers. Also, the middle hump will make the middle passenger’s ride quite congested. The under-thigh support is simply not good. The Jeep Wrangler has the most spacious back row, with about 40 inches of headroom and about 38 inches of legroom, followed by the Ford Bronco.
|Headroom||39.3 in.||38.6 in.|
|Shoulder Room||57.8 in.||57.8 in.|
|Hip Room||56.5 in.||55.7 in.|
|Leg Room||41.7 in.||32.9 in.|
Interior Colors and Materials
Old Toyota cars were not fancy and squeaky clean, as many of them appear to be now. So, it is the same with the 4Runner which comes covered with hard plastics, mainly. The higher trim levels have leather seats (Limited only), and faux-leather door panels, while a leather-wrapped steering wheel is fitted by default. The interior is mainly available in two color options: Black/Graphite and Sand Beige. The TRD models have the Black/Graphite contrast interior only.
Toyota 4Runner Trunk and Cargo Space
If you are planning to go camping around the terrains, you will need to pack a good amount of luggage, even your cooking equipment. Don’t worry. The 4Runner will save the day, as it has a class-leading 47.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity. If you split the rear seats, you can even carry a bike along with other necessary kinds of stuff. The 4Runner would be a great companion for you if you travel around a lot and even let you carry your huge luggage. Just like the other SUVs of its class, it packs a decent-sized glovebox, a center console bin, and door pockets for added practicality.
Toyota 4Runner Infotainment and Features
Interior features come loaded with the 4Runner, especially with the higher trim levels. The base SR5 comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, a four-way manually adjustable front passenger seat, a push-button ignition, and single-zone manual climate control. As for the standard driver assistance features, the 4Runner comes with adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, forward collision mitigation, automated emergency braking, automatic high beams, and lane-departure warning.
The Trail Special Edition packs a portable freezer in the cargo area, while the new TRD Sport adds leather upholstery and heated front seats. The next-in-line SR5 Premium includes a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, optional sunroof, keyless entry, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. At last, the Limited models feature all the creature comfort functions, such as ventilated front seats, genuine-leather upholstery, and a sunroof.
For an SUV this old, the infotainment system is quite intuitive and responsive. Seriously, we were expecting something laggy and unwelcoming. The standard eight-inch touchscreen display lacks the quality of a modern-day screen, but it is better than what we expected. There is no wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, so just carry a USB cable. Other notable standard features include an eight-speaker audio unit, SiriusXM, and a 120-volt household-style power output in the cargo area. The Limited and the TRD Pro models feature a navigation system, along with a premium 15-speaker JBL audio unit.
2022 Toyota 4Runner Problems and Reliability
The 4Runner is the reliability king in its segment, and that is what we expect from a reliable brand like Toyota. Although the 2022 model year has already received a minor recall due to a malfunction detected on the driver’s side high beams, only 78 units were affected, as per the NHTSA records. Before that, it was the 2019 model year which had four recalls. The 2022 4Runner has received a Consumer Rating of 82/100 by J.D. Power, which is good. It ranks fourth in the ’Best Midsize SUV for 2022’ category.
Toyota has you covered under its long-term warranty. Up to three years or 36,000 miles of basic warranty is offered. A five-year or 60,000 miles of drivetrain warranty along with a five-year or unlimited miles of anti-rust warranty is also offered. What if your 4Runner broke down in the middle of your journey? That too shall be covered under the two-year or unlimited miles roadside assistance. You will also have free maintenance for up to two years or 25,000 miles.
|Basic||Drivetrain||Corrosion||Free Maintenance||Roadside Assistance|
|Length||3 yr.||5 yr.||5 yr.||2 yr.||2 yr.|
|Mileage||36,000 mi.||60,000 mi.||Unlimited mi.||25,000 mi.||Unlimited mi.|
2022 Toyota 4Runner Safety
The 4Runner being so old does quite well in the overall safety ratings. We have the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rating the 4Runner with four stars for overall safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, on the other hand, rated the 4Runner as “Good” in most of the categories except for the driver-side small overlap, where it scored “Marginal”. Nothing spectacular, in our opinion, especially when you have the Bronco with maxed-out ratings, and even bagged a “Top Safety Pick+” award.
Key Safety Features
All the 4Runners come loaded with the Toyota Safety Sense that packs adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning, and automated braking assist. All the higher trims starting from the SR5 Premium do benefit from blindspot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alert system. A 360-degree camera system is found as standard on the Limited and the TRD Pro, while being an optional extra for most of the trims. Other important passive safety features are as follows:
- Eight airbags
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Stability control
- Four-Wheel ABS
- ISOFIX child safety locks
Verdict: Is the Toyota 4Runner a Good Car?
If you have read up to this point, you are probably a fan or maybe even interested in considering the 4Runner without the shortcomings of its age-old design. The 4Runner indeed is one of the remaining truck-based SUVs which offer decent comfort, great practicality, and can do serious off-roading right out of the box. As a Toyota, it is easy to maintain, and its ruggedness serves greatly in the long term. But, side-by-side, you have two more capable off-roaders, the Jeep Wrangler, and the Ford Bronco, which have more capable powertrains, and are well-known in the off-roading world. The 4Runner just gets the basics right. It is not the best-looking SUV, but looks rugged. It does not have the latest tech inside the cabin, but has all the necessary convenience features such as heated seats, power-adjustable front seats, a leather steering wheel, and more. Same with the powertrain and the transmission, which are both outdated in terms of refinement, but do the job and help the 4Runner tow a whopping 5,000 pounds. Toyota knows and is still making the 4Runner for the oldies who do not want to consider the more modern options, as they may suffer reliability issues. Still, we expect that Toyota will end the current-generation 4Runner real soon and make it more authentic with updated looks, performance, and features.
What is the Price of the 2022 Toyota 4Runner?
The starting price of the 4Runner is $37,305, which is for the base SR5 trim. The Trail Special Edition comes with a price tag of $39,275, while the new TRD Sport is priced at $40,150. The SR5 Premium costs $40,715, and the Limited will set you back another $8,210. All of the above prices mentioned are excluding the $1,215 destination charges. All of the above models come with an optional AWD system, which is again a $1,875 add-on. The AWD system on the Limited will cost you $2,035. The TRD Off-Road (MSRP $41,135), the TRD Off-Road Premium (MSRP $44,080), and the TRD Pro (MSRP $52,120) come with AWD as standard.
2022 Toyota 4Runner Models
The 2022 4Runner is offered in a total of eight trim levels: SR5, Trail Special Edition, TRD Sport, SR5 Premium, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, Limited, and TRD Pro. Among them, the TRD Sport trim is an all-new addition to the bunch. All the 4Runner models are powered by the same 4.0-liter V-6 engine and a five-speed shiftable automatic transmission. All the models except for the TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, and TRD Pro come with rear-wheel-drive as standard and optional all-wheel-drive. We have listed all the models and the available features just below.
- 17-inch wheels
- LED headlights
- Underbody skid plates
- Roof rails
- Push-button ignition
- Cloth upholstery
- Single-zone manual air conditioning
- Eight-way power-adjustable driver seat
- Four-way manually adjustable front passenger seat
- Leather steering wheel
- Eight-inch touchscreen display
- Eight-speaker audio unit
- 120-volt power outlet
- Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
Every 4Runner comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense suite unpacking:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane-keeping assist
- Lane-departure warning
- Automated emergency braking
- Forward collision mitigation
- Automatic high beams
Trail Special Edition
- Above features
- Dark exterior trim and wheel color
- Portable freezer
- Added underfloor storage in the cargo area
- Heavily based on the base SR5
- Enhanced suspension for better handling
- Scooped hood
- Heated front seats
- Faux-leather upholstery
- TRD branding on the interior
- Features from the TRD Sport, including faux-leather upholstery and heated front seats
- Four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
- Optional sunroof
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Keyless entry
- Navigation system
- Blindspot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road Premium
- 17-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels
- Rear locking differential
- Multi-Terrain Select
- Crawl Control switch
- Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (Optional)
- Heated front seats (TRD Off-Road Premium)
- Four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat (TRD Off-Road Premium)
- 20-inch wheels
- Chrome exterior trim
- Leather upholstery
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Ventilated front seats
- 15-speaker JBL premium audio unit
- Features from the TRD Off-Road Premium, including sunroof, JBL speakers, and navigation system
- Front aluminum skid plates
- TRD matte-black 17-inch wheels
- TRD roof rack
- Fox adaptive dampers at the rear
- TRD front struts
There are plenty of available packages, especially for the lower trims, to choose from. All 4Runners can be specced out with third-row seating for $805 (cloth) and $2,365 (leather). There is also a Premium Audio package for the lower trims, available for $1,585, which packs the 15-speaker JBL audio system, and a navigation system. The new TRD Sport has an optional Technology package, adding blindspot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, for $1,310. The TRD Off-Road can be optioned with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System for $1,750. There are loads of packages available for the 2022 4Runner.
What Toyota 4Runner Model Should I Buy?
It is not easy to recommend only one trim out of the eight. But,, what we can do is divide them between two different audiences. The non-TRD models are for you, if you do not want to go off-roading, or are not interested in that matter. So if you want good, comfortable highway rides with a decent list of convenience features, then the base SR5 is the way to go. Or else there are the top-spec Limited models, which are more luxury- and comfort-biased. The choice is yours. If you are an off-road fanatic, any of the TRD models would do great. We personally prefer the TRD Off-Road with the KDSS to the majority over the top-spec TRD Pro, which is ridiculously pricier.
2022 Toyota 4Runner Comparisons
|Model||Horsepower||MPG (Combined)||Price (MSRP)|
|Toyota 4Runner||270 hp||17||$37,305|
|Jeep Wrangler||285 hp||19||$33,595 (Unlimited Sport 4dr)|
|Ford Bronco||300 hp||20||$33,450 (base 4dr)|
2022 Toyota 4Runner vs 2022 Jeep Wrangler
If choosing a 4Runner makes it complicated, you can visit the configurator available for the Wrangler. Putting the trim selection aside, we know how capable Jeeps are and the Wrangler is the born off-roader with an abundance of engine power and handling dynamics off the tarmac. The 4Runner can do everything the Wrangler does, but it lacks the engine power, and on-road driving dynamics while being about $4,000 more expensive. But, let us remind you that Toyota is a more reliable brand than Jeep could ever be.
2022 Toyota 4Runner vs 2022 Ford Bronco
Like the Wrangler, the Bronco’s base four-door trim is about $4,000 cheaper than the 4Runner but still packs the most powerful powertrain among all three of them. It also runs all-four wheels as standard. The base Bronco does not come with loads of features such as a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, but given the price difference, you can easily get them when you will opt for the higher trims. The Bronco’s chassis is more manageable both, on and off the road, and unlike the 4Runner, it does not feel bouncy when you glide through the highways.