Crossovers are superior people carriers to most true sport-utes for a reason. Their car-based underpinnings allow for better packaging and more interior and cargo space.
But for a traditional SUV fan that needs room for five and a bit of kit, the 4Runner's fine, really. Its shortcomings as a minivan substitute are easy to pick out, and drivers looking for that should look elsewhere--maybe something in an Explorer, or even a Durango.
The 4Runner's high floor and rather narrow body give away its truck roots, but it's still reasonably comfortable for up to five adults. In front, great-looking and supporting seats are best with the available perforated-leather upholstery. They're wide and supportive, and they fit quite the range of sizes.
The second-row bench seat adjusts for rake (reclining 16 degrees in four stops), and adult-sized occupants will also feel at home, thanks to seat contouring that goes well beyond the stiff bench cushions in some rivals. As for the two-passenger third-row seat offered on SR5 and Limited models, it's hard to get back there. We'd leave it to the (small) kids.
The 4Runner is also surprisingly refined inside--dodging some of the impressions of trucks and off-road-able vehicles and providing a tight, quiet highway cruising experience, with a reasonably smooth ride and very little road or wind noise.