4Runner Venture Edition
- Not much has changed outside since we last checked out the 4Runner in 2016. It still has a blocky and chunky look that helps it stand apart from other SUVs. This Venture model adds several goodies such as TRD wheels, blacked-out trim pieces, and a Yakima roof rack; perfect if you decide to go adventuring.
- Inside, Toyota has made a massive update to the infotainment system. A larger eight-inch touchscreen running an updated version of Toyota’s Entune system is standard. This change makes it so much easier to operate the system either parked on while on the move. It doesn’t hurt that this system also brings forth Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
- Aside from this, the interior hasn’t changed. There is plenty of space for those sitting in the front or back, and controls are well marked.
- Power comes from the old, but reliable 4.0L V6 with 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. The base SR5 can be equipped rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, while other trims only come with four-wheel drive.
- The 4Runner’s performance is adequate. Around town, the V6 can get up to speed quickly and smoothly. But it struggles when trying to get up to higher speeds. Adding an extra gear would allow for more flexibility in terms of performance. It would also help fuel economy as I saw 15.4 mpg for the week. EPA figures are 16 City/19 Highway/17 Combined. My average for the week landed at 15.4 mpg.
- The 4Runner’s roots of being an old-school SUV show up prominently when driving on pavement. It has noticeable body roll-around turns and the ride quality is rough.
- One area that I sadly did not get to test was the off-road capability. With such features as Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control, this helps make the 4Runner very capable off-road.
- The 4Runner should be considered by someone who wants to venture off-road. For those who are planning to commute or go on family trips while on pavement, Toyota has other models that should be considered first.
Land Cruiser Heritage Edition
- The Heritage Edition adds some nice touches to the Land Cruiser’s exterior such as 18-inch BBS wheels with a bronze finish, black accents for the front grille, and vintage-style “Land Cruiser” badges on the rear pillars.
- The Heritage Edition does lose the entry steps found on the standard model, making it somewhat difficult to get in and out.
- The interior looks somewhat boring in terms of the design, but Toyota nails the materials. Wood trim, supple leather, and soft-touch materials make this a very pleasant place to be in.
- Despite having one of the larger screens in Toyota’s utility lineup, the Land Cruiser’s infotainment system leaves a lot to be desired. Using an older version of Entune, it feels sluggish and the graphics look somewhat dull. No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to be found here as well.
- Anyone sitting in the front or second-row will have no complaints about space or comfort. No third-row is available on the Heritage Edition which helps boost cargo space from 41.3 cubic feet (with the third-row folded) to 53.5.
- Under the hood is a 5.7L V8 engine producing 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system.
- Performance from this engine is impressive considering the Land Cruiser’s curb weight of almost 6,000 lbs. It will move away from a stop much faster than you first think. The only place where the engine seems to run out of steam is on the highway.
- The eight-speed automatic does an excellent job of providing smooth and quick shifts. I do wish it wasn’t giddy with trying to shift into top gear quickly.
- Fuel economy isn’t great with EPA figures of 13 City/17 Highway/14 Combined. I only got 13 mpg during my week.
- I was surprised at how well the Land Cruiser drove on pavement. It felt stable and provided a ride that made even some of the roughest roads feel smooth.
- There is a fair amount of body roll when cornering, but that is to be expected considering the size and intended purpose of this vehicle.
- I am bummed that I didn’t get the chance to take the Land Cruiser off-road during my week. But from reading other reviews, very few vehicles can match what is on offer.
- How to sum up the Land Cruiser Heritage Edition? This is a vehicle that will not impress most due to the poor fuel economy and aging infotainment system. But for a small group who are wanting something that can take them anywhere and back, and do it in comfort, the Land Cruiser is the right vehicle.
(Addendum: As I post this review a few months late, I have some news on the Land Cruiser. Earlier this month, Toyota unveiled the next-generation model with a new twin-turbo V6 replacing the V8. The outside doesn't look that much different from the current model, but the interior has underwent some major changes. It is unclear whether or not we'll see this model arrive in the U.S. The best chance we possibly have is next-generation LX. Stay tuned. -WM)
Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the SUVs, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Engine: 4.0L DOHC 24-Valve V6
Driveline: Five-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 270 @ 5,600
Torque @ RPM: 278 @ 4,400
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/19/17
Curb Weight: N/A
Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
Base Price: $44,285
As Tested Price: $48,877 (Includes $1,120.00 Destination Charge and $730.00 Keep It Wild discount)
Kinentic Dynamic Suspension Suspension System (KDSS) - $1,750.00
TRD Pro Exhaust - $799.00
Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof - $730.00
Running Boards - $345.00
Cargo Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $269.00
Door Edge Guard - $79.00
Model: Land Cruiser
Trim: Heritage Edition
Engine: 5.7L DOHC 32-Valve VVT-i V8
Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 381 @ 5,600
Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/17/14
Curb Weight: 5,715 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
Base Price: $87,645
As Tested Price: $89,239 (Includes $1,295.00 Destination Charge)
Glass Breakage Sensor - $299.00