2016 Toyota 4-Runner

2016 Toyota 4-Runner

The 2016 Toyota 4-Runner TRD Pro is about as serious an off-roading machine you can get. It’s capable and rugged for outdoor adventures. But if you’re looking at it as a minivan alternative, you may think twice.


Who Is This Car For?
Small families, the “secondary” family car, young drivers, outdoor enthusiasts.

Model Year: 2016
Manufacturer: Toyota
Model and Trim: 4-Runner TRD Pro
Price as Tested (including destination): $42,800
EPA fuel economy (combined/city/hwy): 18/17/21 mpg
Number of seats: 5
Number of Latch anchors: 2 sets

Number of Cupholders: 2 in front, 2 in rear armrest; 4 in-door bottle holders

Safety Standouts

  • Toyota Star Safety System (Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock Brake System, Brake Assist
  • Toyota Smart Stop System
  • Standard rearview camera with projected path

A few of my favorite things (about the Toyota 4-Runner):

  • Looks ready for anything
  • Is ready for anything
  • Power rear glass option


In and Out

The 2016 4-Runner TRD Pro is about as serious an off-roading vehicle you can get.  It’s a tough, true body-on-frame SUV that is fun to drive and fun to ride in. The TRD Pro kit makes the 4-Runner look almost post-apocalyptic, reminding me I still haven’t seen Mad Max: Fury Road. And to avoid experiencing your own Fury Road, there are some things to keep in mind if looking at the 4-Runner (and the TRD Pro trim in particular) as your primary family vehicle.

First, it looks and feels and functions well in a rugged environment. It will handle your unpaved, rutted, muddy driveway. You can take it off-roading, to the mountains, to the dunes. It will allow you to toss your crusty, cruddy, gummy, gross gear in the cargo area. It’s got large knobs on the stereo and climate control systems to accommodate your gloved hands, and the interior design is heavily geometric and plastic. This is not about creature comforts, so leave your heated-steering wheel expectations behind.

Rather, consider the 4-Runner’s slide-out cargo tray its epitome of ease. This tray allows easier access to your gear in the cargo space. I like that the kids could sit on it instead of the muddy bumper. The cargo area also has power outlets and a small storage compartment under the tray. Speaking of ease, LATCH connectors that are easy to locate and easy to use. The 4-Runner has a third row option, by the way. My test vehicle did not have one so the cargo space there is unknown. The cargo space that was available to me was plenty for my purposes. But gear for a family camping trip will likely have to be heavily edited. Strollers will fit fine, and the rear seats folded 40/20/40. That said, the load floor is high, and even higher with the tray.


The 4-Runner has a lot of road noise an engine noise, and you will feel most of the bumps in the road. This can get old. The cupholders are s bit shallow and can eject your beverages save for the rubber inserts. Younger/smaller kids may struggle with the high door handles. So it’s not an SUV you might want to look at if you’re just trying to avoid a minivan. Instead, you consider the 4-Runner if your family wants to tow stuff, camp, off-road, and play in the snow.

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