With its complete redesign, the 4Runner gets a chunkier, more chiseled-and-creased look on the outside, and aggressively flared areas extend from the wheel wells into the fenders. The beltline of the new 4Runner is higher yet, bringing the secure, elevated impression of a large SUV, and lips around the wheel wells continue clearly through the running boards and around to the creases of the front and rear fascia. In front, the new 4Runner inherits some of the imposing appearance of the latest Sequoia and Tundra, with a mesh recessed grille, large chrome bar, and swept-back headlamps; in back it gets a more conservative, traditional SUV look, with a wide, downward-sloping C-pillar looking back to past generations of the 4Runner.
"The exterior styling is rigid and masculine," asserts Automobile Magazine. "The 4Runner’s new design is bolder, boxier and bulgier," explains MotherProof. "Essentially, it’s an old 4Runner on steroids." But MotherProof doesn't at all like the look of the 4Runner's front end. The downward-angled grille appears to frown, according to the reviewer, and the headlights "are rectangular and bulge out over the edges of the SUV; they look kind of like a blister," remarks Mother Proof. "Yuck."
"Based on the Land Cruiser Prado sold in other world markets, the made-in-Japan 4Runner wears boxier—retro, if you will—sheetmetal that more closely resembles that on the FJ Cruiser," explains Truck Trend. "Headlamp and taillamp lenses extrude from the body, the grille is bold and in your face, and the overall appearance just looks bigger," says Truck Trend, despite very modest gains in size.
"Squared-off wheel wells accentuate the boxiness and make the 20-inch wheels look even bigger," notes MotherProof. "From the side you can also see the taillights bulging out beyond the end of the truck."
Inside, the new 4Runner goes in a new and pleasant styling direction for Toyota, with a bright metallic center stack of controls and an easy-to-read gauge cluster. It's definitely more heavily styled than other trucks, and not all reviewers appreciate that. "The interior has a utilitarian aesthetic but is far from Spartan; it seems to be inspired both by the FJ Cruiser and the Land Cruiser," says Automobile Magazine, adding, "It's trying to be masculine." Truck Trend comments, "Inside, the FJ similarities continue, due to oversized knobs and buttons, a more upright windshield, and water-resistant seats."
"Some love Toyota's latest interior themes, and others find them a bit overwrought and self-conscious," contends Popular Mechanics. But Truck Trend says "none could argue it wasn't extremely functional, roomy, and easy to use." An Automobile Magazine reviewer also declares, "I like the five big chunky knobs for radio volume, radio tuning, fan speed, temperature, and HVAC selection, which are all very logically and symmetrically presented to the driver and passenger."