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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
offers a three-row option with room for seven
The Trail’s subsequent lofty price—it starts at $36,500—might put it out of reach for buyers who pine for the more serious dirt lovers such as the Jeep Wrangler and Nissan Xterra.
Car and Driver
Cupholders feature a grippy rubber insert that keeps large beverages firmly anchored.
What this Party Mode button does to the function of the vehicle is completely irrelevant (increases bass, and transfers output to the speakers mounted in the rear hatch), but what it adds to the character of the car is monumental.
a sliding cargo deck that doubles as a tailgate tray
Toyota equips and markets the 4Runner in a way that roughly parallels that of its pickups, as well as the Sequoia SUV. Base 2012 Toyota 4Runner SR5 models start just below $30k and actually include a good level of equipment; but the off-road purists who also sometimes need to haul the family will want the pricier Trail model.
The Trail model includes all the off-road goodies plus upgraded audio, a USB port, iPod connectivity, and Bluetooth audio streaming. It's harder to make an argument for top Limited models, which are priced in Lexus (or Toyota Sequoia) territory. They add 15-speaker JBL premium sound, with a Party Mode that biases output to the rear tailgate speakers. Paired with the optional pull-out rear cargo deck, it's an instant tailgate party.
New to the Limited for 2012 (and optional on other models), the 4Runner gets redesigned audio systems, plus Toyota's Entune services and HD Radio with iTunes tagging.
Oddly, the desirable KDSS system that's available on Trail models is only offered with the navigation system, costing more than four thousand dollars in all.
Other desirable options include sonar-based rear parking, a navigation system, and a subscription-based Safety Connect telematics system. Also, a pull-out rear cargo deck is optional and includes a separate small cargo box behind the rear seat and can function, when slid out, as a tailgating or camping seat that holds up to 440 pounds.
Toyota packs an excellent set of features, sure to delight the 4Runner's target audience.