A couple of interior and exterior niggles aside, the rugged styling of the 2009 Toyota 4Runner serves it well in the body-on-frame SUV segment.
Automobile Magazine is critical of the 4Runner’s styling, labeling some of the 4Runner exterior elements a bit overdone: the “sport model's phony hood scoop and high-contrast cladding, and the Buick Rendezvous-esque roof pillars used on all models, give us pause.” However, most reviewers like the 4Runner's macho, rugged looks, finding them appropriate to its mission as a capable off-roader. Says Kelley Blue Book, “the 2009 Toyota 4Runner uses a compilation of bulging fender flares, blocky front and rear bumpers and a wide-slat grille to convey its message of stylish off-road capability.” MyRide calls it “big and burly,” and Car and Driver praises its “rugged looks.”
“The overall design of the interior,” comments Edmunds, “is aesthetically pleasing and functional, with most controls easy to find and use.” They cite “the climate controls, which look like intuitive dials but work more like joysticks” as their only major ergonomic complaint. The interior receives praise for its typical Toyota-like quality and ergonomics, but certain details are troublesome. “Convenient controls work with precision, but their markings may be too small for some eyes,” says ConsumerGuide, which also notes that “interiors are nicely appointed with a good mix of textured plastics and soft-touch surfaces.”