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.

Watch the whole video above, and don’t miss out on future episodes, every Thursday, on our YouTube channel.

Toyota 4Runner

Engine 4.0-Liter V6
Output 270 Horsepower / 278 Pound-Feet
Transmission 5-Speed Automatic
Efficiency 17 City / 20 Highway / 18 Combined
As-Tested Price $40,220
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