Toyota's decision to stick with the technology is good news if you're in the market for smaller SUVs that are still capable of heading well off the beaten path. Outside of the Jeep Wrangler, Grand Cherokee (a unibody) and perhaps Nissan Xterra, there's not much in terms of capable SUVs between $20,000 and $50,000. As the Toyota brand's US head, Bill Fay, says, "Clearly, the trend has shifted, but there is still an owner base that is interested in these vehicles."
We don't doubt Fay on that, but it may also be somewhat telling that Toyota's SUV lineup is aging, and we haven't seen or heard much about replacement models in the pipeline. Admittedly, the 4Runner (pictured) has been facelifted for 2014, but it's mostly cosmetic in nature. Despite Toyota's posturing, we still expect its body-on-frame lineup to thin in the coming years as sales dwindle and escalating fuel-economy standards make business cases even tougher. Here's hoping that Toyota manages to keep at least one rough-and-tumble SUV in its lineup in the coming years.