2007 4Runner New Car Test Drive
Bucking the trend for mid-size SUVs, the 2007 Toyota 4Runner is no car-based crossover station wagon. It's a traditional sport utility built on a rugged ladder frame with a solid rear axle. It's a truck. While some consider this design dated when compared to the latest SUVs or CUVs, which use unit-body construction and independent rear suspensions, the 4Runner's more traditional design gives it an advantage in long-term durability and on truly rugged terrain.
Yet the 4Runner is no rough-rider. It's quite comfortable around town and on the highway, with a nice ride quality, almost luxurious. An optional linked shock-absorber system called X-REAS further improves handling in sweeping, high-speed turns. Active safety features including ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, traction control, and electronic stability control are all standard.
The 2007 Toyota 4Runner carries over with no changes from 2006.
Though the basic design may be traditional (relatively), the 4Runner features the latest in off-road electronic technology, including Hill Start Assist and Downhill Assist Control. You can't truly appreciate the 4Runner until you drive over rugged terrain. This is a truly amazing vehicle in the muck. Having the 4Runner walk you down a steep, muddy incline with both feet off the pedals, the system selectively applying the brakes to individual wheels as needed, is an impressive display of technology and engineering. And it's just as impressive going uphill, maximizing the smallest bit of available traction. Both full- and part-time four-wheel drive is available, but even the full-time system comes with a locking function for when the going gets sloppy. Add that technology to its highly capable suspension, and the 4Runner will go just about anywhere.
Whether you choose the standard V6 or the V8, the 4Runner offers responsive performance. The V8 boosts the 4Runner's tow rating to 7,300 pounds and we recommend it for drivers who tow. Those who don't tow or only tow light trailers, such as an ATV, should be more than happy with the V6, which delivers excellent performance. Both engines benefit from a sophisticated variable-valve setup and drive-by-wire throttle, delivering strong, responsive acceleration out on the highway. Both engines also benefit from a five-speed automatic transmission.
The 4Runner is noted for its quality construction, durability and reliability. Look up QDR in the automotive dictionary and you might see a picture of a Toyota 4Runner.
Inside, the 4Runner is roomy and comfortable. An optional third-row seat expands the passenger capacity to seven, but the seat can be folded or removed to gain additional cargo space. The optional voice-activated GPS navigation system includes a rear-mounted video camera that lets the driver back to within an inch of the vehicle behind when parallel parking and can help the driver spot a small child before backing up. Bluetooth technology is available as an option as is a factory-installed rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
If your weekend involves driving over rugged, punishing terrain yet you want a vehicle that won't punish you in everyday use, the 4Runner is an excellent choice. It's also a good alternative for owners who tow but don't want a full-size SUV.
The 2007 Toyota 4Runner comes in three trim levels: SR5, Sport Edition, and Limited. Each is available with the V6 or V8, with two-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD). A Class III receiver hitch with a seven-pin connector is standard on V8 models and optional on V6s; it mounts directly to the rear frame crossmember.
The SR5 V6 2WD ($27,635) and 4WD ($29,910) come standard with cloth upholstery, automatic climate control; cruise control; power door locks and windows; six-speaker AM/FM/casette/CD/MP3 stereo; remote keyless entry; skid plates to protect the underbody; integrated fog lamps; and 16-inch alloy wheels. The SR5 V8 2WD ($29,650) and 4WD V8 ($31,925) models are similarly equipped and get power adjustable front seats.
The Sport Edition V6 2WD ($29,975) and 4WD ($32,250) are upgraded with unique cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-telescope steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise controls, a leather-wrapped shift knob, power heated outside mirrors, X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension, bigger brake rotors, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Sport Edition V8 2WD ($31,355) and 4WD $33,630) are similarly equipped.
The Limited V6 2WD ($34,350) and 4WD ($36,625) are upgraded with leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats with memory functions, black wood-grain interior trim, premium stereo with 6CD changer, HomeLink universal garage door opener, auto-dimming inside mirror, engine immobilizer, automatic headlamps, a cargo-handling system, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. Limited V8 2WD ($36,110) and 4WD ($38,385) list the same standard equipment. Limited models ride on the standard suspension, but V8 4WD models can be ordered with a rear auto-leveling air suspension ($950) combined with the X-REAS suspension ($450).
A third-row seat is available on SR5 and Limited models in a limited number of package combinations.
Options available for all models include GPS navigation with a rearview video camera ($2,840), power moonroof ($900), and a rear-seat DVD player ($1,580) with wireless headphones. Some Limited-level luxuries are offered as stand-alone options for SR5 and Sport Edition.
Safety features that come standard on all models include Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), traction control, anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. All models come with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), while 4WD units add Downhill Assist Control (DAC).
Passive safety features include dual-stage front airbags and three-point seat belts at all positions, with pretensioners and force limiters to reduce the chance of belt-related injuries. Seat belts are your first line of defense in a crash so be sure to wear them. Front side-impact airbags and curtain-style head protection airbags for front and rear passengers are optional ($680) on all 4Runners and are equipped with a rollover-sensing system and a cutoff switch. All models come with a tire pressure monitor.
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