By on May 20, 2019

2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro - Image: Toyota

What’s the matter with the car I’m driving? / Can’t you tell that it’s out of style? / -Billy Joel

William Martin Joel might’ve been on to something here. Late last week, while behind the wheel of a new 4Runner, I was reminded of just how much I like the thing, despite its prehistoric infotainment system and Ralph Kramden driving position. Plenty of others seem to agree, as Toyota has no trouble moving them off dealer lots.

Then I realized something mildly startling — this isn’t the first slightly-outta-date new vehicle that I thought was the bee’s knees.

(Read More…)

By on August 11, 2018

2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro - Image: Toyota

It’ll be a sad day when Toyota parts ways with the 4Runner SUV, but at the present moment there’s no plan to strike the long-running, body-on-frame model from the lineup. You will, however, pay more to get behind the wheel of the 2019 4Runner’s ballsiest variant.

At the extreme opposite end of the size scale, Toyota wants to make it cheaper to bring home a Toyota that’s actually a Mazda. (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2018

The old mining track descends from the shattered and tilted tablelands toward an imposing palisade of Wingate sandstone running to the horizon in each direction. This is one of the more dramatic and violent geologic upheavals on the Colorado Plateau and the road across it isn’t kind.

Sunbaked boom-time miners once hacked out jeep tracks across this wilderness, scouring for uranium to feed America’s nuclear frenzy. Only a few made it big, but if there ever was a more intriguing landscape in which to lose your mind seeking fortune, I’d like to see it. We’re here for lighter reasons, though, blithely rolling over rocks and ruts that would have halted most CUVs miles before, dropping into steep wash crossings that would stub the long front overhang of an Outback, and confidently inching up a stepped bedrock shelf that would trouble the long wheelbase of a full-size pickup.

(Read More…)

By on April 6, 2018

The Rare Rides series has had a couple of bouts with ancient, excellent condition Toyotas in the Tercel Wagon and 4Runner. Today, we have a look at a little orange truck which pre-dates either of those.

It’s a Pickup, from way back in 1983.

(Read More…)

By on February 27, 2018

Image: 1987 Toyota 4RunnerThe Rare Rides Pristine Vintage Toyota Precedent (RRPVTP) was set a few weeks ago, when we featured a Tercel 4WD Wagon. Then, Matthew Guy happened to present the redesigned 1990 Toyota 4Runner in his Ace of Base segment. This seemed a very timely coincidence, as a few days before we’d received a Rare Rides tip from commenter StephenT: a 4Runner of the first generation, lovingly maintained and for sale in Alabama.

You don’t see them like this very often.

(Read More…)

By on February 8, 2018

Image: Toyota

It’s leg day at the Toyota Athletic Center. As the Chicago Auto Show kicks off, Toyota has changes in store for its off-road TRD Pro lineup that should help drivers of the brawniest Tacomas, Tundras, and 4Runners keep their sunglasses perched on their nose while blasting through an arroyo.

For the 2019 model year, the same 2.5-inch Fox internal bypass shocks found on the existing Tacoma TRD Pro make their way into the full-size Tundra and midsize 4Runner SUV, along with other suspension improvements. The net effect is a higher ride height and milder manners both on-road and off.

In the case of the Tacoma, going TRD Pro means you’ll never leave home without your snorkel. (Read More…)

By on May 31, 2017

2017 Toyota 4Runner

A great advantage to being one of the world’s largest automakers is that one can afford to wait for a bet to pay off. Witness this body-on-frame fifth-generation 4Runner, introduced to an apathetic and SUV-adverse public in the dark days of the 2009 as a ’10 model. It is still sharing showroom space with Corollas and Camrys today. Contrast this to Kia that introduced its body-on-frame SUV – the Borrego – at around the same time. It landed in the market with a dull thud and quickly resigned itself to the automotive dustbin of history in North America.

The 4Runner’s fortunes are on the upswing assisted by consumers consuming SUVs with all the restraint of a record producer with a garbage bag full of cocaine and a garden hose. Toyota sold more 4Runners in 2016 than at any other time in the last dozen years despite the brand’s glacier-like design cycle and the 4Runner being largely unchanged since the turn of the decade.

(Read More…)

By on January 12, 2017

Ford Bronco Concept, Image: Ford

Bronco.

While the name isn’t as intertwined in Ford history as much as Mustang or F-Series, the Bronco nameplate is something Ford can’t affix to just anything.

And according to rumors we’re hearing, we don’t need to worry about Ford refreshing an Everest for North American consumption and relying on a nostalgic nameplate to carry it off the lot.

(Read More…)

By on October 20, 2016

1990 Toyota 4Runner

As the calendar flipped out of the coked-up 80s and into the next decade, the mash-up that was Diamond Star Motors cranked out all-wheel drive turbo coupes, Chevy unleashed the ZR-1 (with the hyphen, thank you very much), and we were watching Robert Duvall play an excellent portrayal of Harry Hyde.

Toyota, for its part, launched a new 4Runner sporting handsome and cleanly contoured sheetmetal, arriving at the perfect time to ride the wave of customers who were suddenly trading their cars for SUVs.
(Read More…)

By on August 16, 2016

2007 Honda Element EX, Image: American Honda

“About twice a week, I’ll come out to the parking lot and see that somebody’s left a note asking to buy it,” Peter said, chuckling. “But the only reason I’d sell it would be to get a newer one. And the prices on those are even crazier. So I’ll keep it. Forever. It’s my car for life, no matter what else I buy or own or whatever.”

A devoted ultra-marathoner and trail-runner who thought nothing of running 30 kilometers on Saturday and then doing it again on Sunday, Peter was the photographer assigned to me on a recent project for another media outlet. He was (obviously) hugely fit, extremely disciplined, and very much in love with his car.

But what kind of car could inspire that kind of affection from a guy like Peter, to say nothing of all the parking-lot stalkers who keep trying to buy his car? Is it a Boss 302? A 458 Speciale? A pristine MkIV Toyota Supra Turbo? I’m afraid not. The belle of Peter’s ball is a homely little box of a car that, when it was new, rarely left a showroom without the assistance of a massive trade allowance, a flatbed tow truck, or possibly both.

(Read More…)

By on November 26, 2015

DSC_0253

Editor’s note: This is TTAC’s second-most popular review of the last 12 months. It originally ran February 26th, 2015. You guys (and gals, I assume) sure love your SUVs.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are road tests, and then there are off-road tests. In a typical road test, writers use the car on their daily commute, playing with all the features and determine which bother them and which don’t. There may be some family activities thrown in, like going on a weekend trip or driving around the soccer team carpool. Sometimes, they might attempt to verify the manufacturer-reported performance numbers and use their smartphone to record 0-60 acceleration times and lateral g-forces in the corners. Other times they might go to the hardware store and fill the trunk with bricks to cargo volume and payload capacity. But most of the time, writers just utilize the car for day-to-day activities, evaluating a product in the most mundane of circumstances.

(Read More…)

By on February 26, 2015

DSC_0253

Ladies and gentlemen, there are road tests, and then there are off-road tests. In a typical road test, writers use the car on their daily commute, playing with all the features and determine which bother them and which don’t. There may be some family activities thrown in, like going on a weekend trip or driving around the soccer team carpool. Sometimes, they might attempt to verify the manufacturer-reported performance numbers and use their smartphone to record 0-60 acceleration times and lateral g-forces in the corners. Other times they might go to the hardware store and fill the trunk with bricks to cargo volume and payload capacity. But most of the time, writers just utilize the car for day-to-day activities, evaluating a product in the most mundane of circumstances.

(Read More…)

By on September 26, 2014

2014 lexus gs 460 side

The various models of the Toyota Land Cruiser are some of the most respected off-roaders in the world. But what works elsewhere in the world does not necessarily work in North America. Dressed up in what is perceived to be luxury, how does this fancy Land Cruiser Prado, as its known everywhere else in the world, perform in the United States?

(Read More…)

By on April 18, 2014

brady1

I currently have three cars and I feel a hankering to buy a fourth. My wife has bought into the idea, now it’s just a matter of what to get.

The particulars:

– Five kids between the ages of 5 and 15…

(Read More…)

By on February 6, 2014

CHRIS BURKARD PHOTOGRAPHY, TOYOTA, TRD

With Toyota serving as the market leader in body-on-frame trucks (the Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner and now departed FJ Cruiser), taking aim at the off-road segment seems like a logical next step for their TRD aftermarket division. The new TRD Pro lineup, shown above, clearly apes the styling cues of the Ford Raptor, and is evidence that Toyota is not going to let the Blue Oval have that market all to itself

The TRD Pro trucks won’t get any engine upgrades, but every truck in the lineup gets  TRD Bilstein shocks with a remote reservoir, TRD-tuned front springs, a front skid plate, and unique grille with a large Toyota badge in the center. All three of the vehicles will have lifted front ends, with the Tundra and Tacoma getting a 2 inch raise while the 4Runner makes do with 1.5.

The Tundra will get 18 inch wheels, with the 4Runner getting 17 inchers and the Tacoma sporting 16″ wheels. Each vehicle will get an upgraded interior with TRD parts, with the 4Runner sports an extra inch of wheel travel and the Tacoma gets a TRD exhaust.

Recent Comments

  • spookiness: Hatch is available in only 2 trims. No moonroof option on either. Sedan has a lot of trims, yes.
  • spookiness: I’m intrigued also. As for the color/trans combination, I’m in the DC area and the toyota.com...
  • thegamper: I hear what you are saying about the half measures taken by other automakers. But the tide keeps rising,...
  • civicjohn: … and I forgot to add there are still over 200 S, X, and 3 sitting in the mall parking lot 2 miles...
  • R Henry: Pretty sure the ride share “platforms” need to avoid the appearance of managing drivers or...

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