Most Dependable SUV: Toyota 4Runner

Dependability is a crucial aspect of choosing the right SUV. After all, you want to earn the most from your investment. For this reason, studied all the models available to find the vehicle that offers you the best all-around performance.

The Toyota 4Runner earned our most dependable SUV honor. The 4Runner achieves superior performance marks both on the road and off to give you the versatility you want. Here is a closer look at why we chose the Toyota 4Runner.

Unrivaled Durability

What makes the Toyota 4Runner so durable is its body on frame construction. This construction provides exceptional reliability on the most rugged road terrains. It’s the reason why 90 percent of the 4Runners made within the past 10 years are still on the road, according to Toyota. That’s amazing durability for an SUV.

Performance Capabilities

To maintain the high standard of performance indicative of the 4Runner, Toyota equipped this machine with the 4.0-liter, V6 engine. The engine will exceed your expectations, as it generates a pulse-racing 270-horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. The 4Runner is also more than capable of handling your most demanding jobs, with a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. Overall, the 4Runner offers the perfect mix of power and capability which will deliver for you now and well into the future.


Off-road Prowess

What makes the Toyota 4Runner such a desirable vehicle is that it performs masterfully off-road. To help you tackle those rocky terrains with ease you can choose between two four-wheel drive systems. The part-time four-wheel drive system with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) is available on the SR5 and the Trail models whereas the Limited 4WD model comes with the full-time four-wheel drive system including Torsen limited slip differential and A-TRAC.

Along with two four-wheel drive systems, the 4Runner possesses the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System and Crawl Control. How this works is the suspension system improves wheel articulation while the Crawl possesses five low-speed settings it can use to control throttle and brake for maximum control.

To provide the best in responsive handling the 4Runner has the Multi-Terrain select feature. With this, you can choose between four modes from light to heavy. How this works is depending on the mode you select, the system adjusts the traction control and throttle to maximize handling on rough terrains.

If you plan to do much in the way of adventuring off road, Toyota equipped the 4Runner with skid plates. The skid plates, located underneath the SUV, serve as a protective barrier for the SUV’s components such as its engine, fuel tank, and front suspension. The skid plates are just another example of why the Toyota 4Runner is able to achieve such outstanding durability.


Off-road Performance Statistics

To measure what the 4Runner can achieve, let’s take a closer look at its off-road performance capabilities, using the SR5 model for this example:

  • Approach/departure angle: 30/26
  • Maximum ground clearance is 9.0 inches

Handling Equipment

To assist in helping the SUV achieve the best in performance, it comes with some of the most innovative performance features available. The Hill Start Assist Control maintains your position when parked or idled on a steep hill as you move your foot from the brake pedal to the gas. Meanwhile, the Downhill Assist Control helps the 4Runner maintain a steady speed down steep hills by applying braking as needed.

Critical Acclaim

Not surprisingly, the 4Runner has received much in the way of critical praise for its quality and durability. Kelley Blue Book gave the Toyota 4Runner its the “2016 Best Resale Value: Midsize SUV/Crossover” honor. The 4Runner also earned a 9.4 durability rating from Kelley Blue Book. IntelliChoice gave the 4Runner its smart choice distinction for retaining its value. Most importantly, it is the longest lasting vehicle from any full-line automotive manufacturer. All these awards indicate the unrivaled durability you receive with the 4Runner.



While the Toyota 4Runner earned top billing as our most dependable SUV, there are other models available that achieve excellent durability too. Here is a look at some of the runner-ups.  

The 2016 Buick Encore features many appealing options such as a turbocharged four-cylinder engine which delivers the perfect blend of power and efficiency and an optional four-wheel-drive system. J.D.Power gave the Encore a Power Circle Rating of four out of five for predicted reliability, meaning many of the Encore’s owners enjoy the SUV’s performance.

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox is built for durability. Its spacious interior, more than capable V6 engine and affordability makes it a great draw. J.D. Power gave the Equinox a 4.5 out of 5 Power Circle Rating for predicted reliability.

The 2016 Nissan Murano delivers on multiple fronts. It possesses luxury-level styling, exceptional engineering, and nimble performance. Overall, Murano’s owners remark on the SUV’s excellent reliability, as evidenced by the 4.5 Power Circle Rating by J.D. Power.

Another Toyota brand SUV to make the list, the Highlander is technically adept, seats eight people comfortably and generates great fuel efficiency–up to 28 highway mpg with the four-cylinder engine. From a reliability standpoint, owners love the Highlanders durability, as it earned a 4.5 Power Circle Rating from J.D. Power.

Our Take

Toyota constructed the 4Runner with durability in mind. It’s no surprise then that 90 percent of its models from the last 10 years are still on the road. From skid plates to high-performance engines, the 4Runner possesses the components needed to tackle your most demanding challenges continually.

At the same time, it delivers the brisk acceleration needed to transform ordinary drives into the exhilarating. For its construction, performance and capabilities, it’s hard to match the 4Runner’s durability. 


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