Friday, September 19, 2008

2009 Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner remains one of the best meat-and-potatoes SUVs on the market, even if the American public has lost a lot of its appetite for this type of vehicle.
It's good-looking and tough and is proud of its truck heritage. Unlike other vehicles in today's SUV market, many of which are crossovers that have more car-like attributes, the 4Runner can haul stuff, go off road and carry your crew.
The engine choices on the 4Runner consist of : a 4.0-liter V-6 that makes 236 horsepower or a 4.7-liter V-8 with 260 ponies. Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds on the six-banger and 7,300 pounds on the V-8Rear-wheel or four-wheel drive is available. There are three trim levels: SR5, Sport and Limited. SR5 is the base, and offers such standard features as 16-inch wheels, automatic climate control with rear vents, cruise control and keyless entry. The middle trim level, the Sport, gets you 17-inch wheels, power front seats and a telescoping steering wheel.The highest trim rank, Limited, means you get illuminated running boards, leather interior and 18-inch wheels. One of the things you'll really appreciate about the 4Runner is its safety features. Antilock disc brakes and VSC stability control are standard. And the 4Runner has earned four stars in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash testing in the front-impact grading and five stars, which is tops, in side impact tests. The 4Runner rides smoothly as SUVs go, but you won't mistake its ride for that of, say, a luxury sedan. There is still a very trucklike quality here, and that's not necessarily a bad thing if you want a real SUV. Handling is just adequate.In our rankings, the 4Runner is superior to the Nissan Pathfinder, Chevrolet Trail Blazer, Mitsubishi Montero and Ford Explorer. We like each of those vehicles to varying degrees, but for overall satisfaction, the 4Runner came out on top.Also, it holds the advantage of carrying the Toyota name, which for so many years has stood for quality. Toyota might have had a few hiccups in that area in recent years, but it still can lay claim to being one of the top brands for reliability.
The sticker price on our test drive model was $29,415.

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