– Detroit, Michigan
Some might call the 2017 Toyota 4Runner an anachronism: A vehicle built during a time when SUVs were more like trucks, less like cars, and far less-well suited for the mainstream than today.
Those descriptors are true, but they cut both ways. Today, if you’re looking for a rugged, simple SUV with true off-road ability and with the potential to carry five (or more), people, well, you’re looking at a short list. With body-on-frame construction, a solid rear axle, and a rough powertrain, the 4Runner is either exactly what you want in a vehicle, or nothing like it.
I couldn’t help feeling somewhat charmed by Toyota’s aging off-roader – who doesn’t love something this purposeful? And while our Why Buy? series is designed to evaluate vehicles within the context of their current day competitive sets, I often found myself offering a bit of praise for the old girl, despite obvious weaknesses.
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