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Car review: Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

Photo courtesy Toyota Motor Sales Photo courtesy Toyota Motor Sales

Old school. The Toyota 4Runner wears that mantle proudly, which is a good thing, because there aren’t many truly off-road–capable SUVs out there anymore.

The midsize 4Runner’s burly body-on-frame construction, available 4WD with low-range gearing, and nearly 10 inches of ground clearance enable it to tackle some seriously gnarly trails. Our TRD Pro test model upped the ante with a front skid plate, locking rear differential, and Toyota’s clever Crawl Control (think low-speed, off-road cruise control). All 4Runners come with LED headlights and have a 5,000-pound towing capacity.

A comfortable interior also makes this rugged SUV pretty easy to live with every day. The cabin gets props for its straightforward controls, updated infotainment center, roomy backseat, and 90-cubic-foot cargo hold. Toyota’s Safety Sense P package of advanced safety features is standard.

As you might expect from such an anachronistic vehicle, there are downsides, including a stiff ride. We also found that the thirsty 4.0-liter V6 (17 mpg combined) had a somewhat touchy throttle. But if your goal is to go where the crowds aren’t, the 4Runner TRD Pro is a hard beast to beat.

Vehicle layout: 4.0-liter V6, 5-speed automatic, 4WD

MSRP, base model/as tested: $37,940/$52,147

MPG, city/hwy/combined: 16/19/17

Safety ratings: NHTSA: 4 stars overall; IIHS: good (all crash-related ratings)

Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles

Final assembly: Tahara, Aichi, Japan

Spare tire: Full-size spare

Takeaway: Off-road capability to match its rugged image

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