Some commentators have been writing off truck-based, ladder-frame SUVs for some time now, but the 2023 Toyota 4Runner shows shoppers in Stanleytown, Danville, Rocky Mount, Greensboro, and beyond tend to disagree. The 4Runner might not be the sleekest, fastest, or most futuristic midsize SUV in the market, but it continues to deliver most of what shoppers want from a vehicle like this. If you want tough, capable, rugged, and reliable in a vehicle that relentlessly keeps going when the terrain encourages others to give up and go home, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner is hard to fault.
Sometimes, less can be more, and that’s certainly a philosophy adopted by some elements of the 2023 4Runner. You won’t find a bewildering array of powertrain and drivetrain options when you come to configure yours. However, you will find eight different trim levels that cover a considerable amount of specification territory.
The 2023 4Runner lineup starts with the entry-level SR5, and from there, the range goes to the TRD Sport, SR5 Premium, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, 40th Anniversary Special Edition, Limited, and range-topping TRD Pro trim levels. Each trim level has considerable merits, but don’t get too excited about the 40th Anniversary, as it’s a limited run that’s bound to be in huge demand. Although most 4Runners you’ll come across will be four-wheel-drive, rear-drive is standard for several models in the 2023 lineup.
There will be some shoppers who will be perfectly happy with a rear-drive 4Runner. But what will you assume is the main focus of a vehicle with a 4 in its name? The 2023 Toyota 4Runner is a vehicle that comes into its own as the pavement runs out, so it’s a relatively affordable but competent SUV emphasizing off-road capability for adventurous drivers and families.
Under the hood of every 2023 4Runner is a 4.0-liter V-6 engine producing 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. of torque. That power gets sent to the rear or all four wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission, and most models are available or standard with a part-time four-wheel-drive system. There is a full-time 4×4 system available, but you will only find it as part of the standard specification of the 4Runner Limited. In that trim, the Toyota also includes a standard Torsen limited-slip center differential with a locking feature.
It would have been easy for Toyota to let the 4Runner live off its undeniable off-road capability, and some people who haven’t checked the 4Runner out recently may have assumed that’s how things are. Actually, the 4Runner has been gradually and continually improved and upgraded over time and now boasts an impressive inventory of standard and available technology. Some models are available with a compact third-row seat, but the 4Runner is probably best in its five-seat configuration.
Although most retail buyers will probably look higher in the range than the entry-level SR5, the standard specification of the base model is pretty impressive. Those who want the ultimate 4Runner will like what they find with the Limited or TRD Pro, but the TRD Off-Road is a great mix of off-road tech and on-road features. The TRD Off-Road comes with 17-inch alloys, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, part-time four-wheel-drive, and an overhead console with Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control switches. Connectivity is well taken care of by an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with eight speakers, AM/FM radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The 2023 Toyota 4Runner is a formidable vehicle you can configure to suit various applications, but with off-road prowess at the heart of its impressive offering. Try the 4Runner out for yourself today with a test drive from Nelson Toyota at 980 Fairystone Park Hwy, Stanleytown, VA, or call us at (276)-666-8390 for more information and schedule an appointment for a time that’s suitable for you.
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