The 2022 Toyota 4Runner is priced at $47,550 in Canada and $38,150 in the US.
2022 was the 13th consecutive model year for the 5th generation 4Runner.
2023 will be the 14th consecutive model year for the 5th generation 4Runner.
This review won’t exactly be a review. I’ve had the absolute good fortune to drive and evaluate the 5th generation Toyota 4Runner SUV about eight times since 2010, as have most auto critics and media outlets. Basically, other than noting its age as a con, you’ll never find a negative review.
Like all of Toyota’s body-on-frame trucks, they somehow defy logic, stand the test of time, and become legends before the Japanese automaker even considers a midcycle refresh. The Tacoma/Hilux and 4Runner are without a doubt the best and perhaps only examples of an old product remaining as desirable today as it did when it first launched just shy of a decade and a half ago.
Limit physical changes but go to town on the interior
If I was on Toyota’s design team, I’d make a serious for keeping this generation’s styling at least 80% intact moving into the 6th generation. Adapting an icon for the present, more likely for the future, is always delicate. The current Land Rover Defender is an incredible instance where the past is honoured all the while keeping with modern design tendencies. In my opinion, all the new 4Runner will need are updated front and rear ends inspired by the Sequoia and leave everything else well enough alone.
The cabin is a different affair. While the outer shell tells everyone that you’re driving a living legend, the interior reminds the driver that said vehicle is from a different time. The 2022 Toyota 4Runner still provides all of the necessary bells and whistles including an 8-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, keyless entry, and so on but based solely on the physical buttons and switchgear, the touchpoints are dated. They remain quite functional though however once more, a little Sequoia with ambiance lighting, a larger touchscreen, and a digital instrument cluster, and that’s about it.
As always, the 4Runner is incredibly spacious and welcoming. The seats are large, and comfortable enough, and the rear bench is massive, as is the truck. With a very accessible 1,311 litres of volume, it provides utility for just about everything save for the canoe, which can easily be strapped onto the roof rack.
Said rack is part of the awesome TRD Pro outfit. For about $15,000 over the base 4Runner, the package throws in, other than the basket style rack, Toyota’s Crawl Control + Multi-Terrain Select, 17-inch TRD wheels, a locking rear differential, Fox shock absorbers, a TRD-stamped aluminum front skid plate, and few more items. Frankly, it’s a bargain, it’s the version to get, and it’s the desirable one. Oh, and it has to be Lime Rush (2022) or Solar Octane (2023).
No off-road but it’ll still spend most of its time on pavement
There are only two things to glance over when considering the purchase of a new Toyota 4Runner. Despite the relatively large 4.0-litre V6 engine, good for 270hp and 278 lb.-ft. of torque, the 4Runner is anything but quick. Tipping the scale at just over 4,700lbs, once loaded with a few humans, weight climbs to over 5,000lbs in a jiffy, as will fuel consumption.
Toyota jokes that a combined 13.8L/100km is possible but there’s no way. In mixed driving with reasonable throttle inputs, 16L/100km is about the best you can hope for. But it doesn’t really matter. Sure, the standard 5-speed automatic transmission does nothing but help however it works as intended. Based on rumours and various accounts, the next Tacoma/4Runner duo should get turbocharged 2.4L 4-cylinder engines with and without hybrid assistance.
Everything else is pure old-school Toyota-truck joy. The TRD Pro includes Fox shocks which only help to conquer the urban jungle by delivering loads of travel and plenty of comfort. Steering is heavy-ish and slow to respond but far from a flaw – it’s part of the experience. The brakes are fine though pedal travel is long.
And finally, the 4Runner TRD Pro’s off-road capabilities are very very real. The 4×4 system, activated via the floor-mounted shifter, includes a rear-locking differential and both Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. One of two things happens when off-roading with this truck: You traverse obstacles unscathed or bury yourself.
A near-final farewell
2023 marks the Toyota 4Runner’s 40th anniversary. A new special edition will be offered, and you need one. I need one. The 4Runner is and will remain an icon for generations and likely a sought-after truck in the future.
Buy one. I can’t (no more $$) but I will drive a 2023 model-year truck, I hope.