There's no way around the fact that a crossover can offer superior packaging, space, and comfort to a body-on-frame SUV. But for a traditional off-road fan that needs room for five and some gear, the 4Runner does the job. Its shortcomings as a minivan substitute are easy to pick out, and drivers looking for that should look elsewhere anywhere--maybe something in an Explorer, Flex, 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 (with four detents), 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 to. We'd leave it to the (small) kids.
Years of evolution have provided some refinement for the 4Runner cabin. It's relatively free from wind noise, even at highway speeds, and the soft suspension does a good job of keeping smaller road imperfections from upsetting the occupants.