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Quick Drive: 2020 Toyota 4Runner Venture Edition and Land Cruiser Heritage Edition


William Maley

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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.

2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition.jpg

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

Year: 2020
Make: Toyota
Model: 4Runner
Trim: Venture
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)

Options:
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

Year: 2020
Make: Toyota
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)

Options:
Glass Breakage Sensor - $299.00


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@William Maley While I get that these are truly off road machines, based on your reviews above and the pictures, one could think this is a send off of these models and your note about the Land Cruiser would seem to imply that with a new one coming.

Question: Do you feel these are meant as a send off of that generation of ICE SUV as Toyota moves to Hybrid and BEV?

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5 minutes ago, David said:

@William Maley While I get that these are truly off road machines, based on your reviews above and the pictures, one could think this is a send off of these models and your note about the Land Cruiser would seem to imply that with a new one coming.

Question: Do you feel these are meant as a send off of that generation of ICE SUV as Toyota moves to Hybrid and BEV?

Honestly, that's TBD. We don't know when the next 4Runner is due, and I think Land Cruiser will stay as ICE due to its off-road nature.

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The 4Runner powertrain has to be the oldest still on sale today, that thing is Dodge Journey level old.  But people still buy these, the resale value is insane on them, I don't get the appeal myself.  I am surprised Toyota hasn't updated the Tacoma and 4Runner with new powertrains and new interiors.

 

The new Land Cruiser is not coming here, but I have to imagine they will slap a Lexus badge on it and send it here.  No way will Toyota spend the money to develop a new Land Cruiser and then just not send it to North America where they can cash in.

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22 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

The 4Runner powertrain has to be the oldest still on sale today, that thing is Dodge Journey level old.  But people still buy these, the resale value is insane on them, I don't get the appeal myself.  I am surprised Toyota hasn't updated the Tacoma and 4Runner with new powertrains and new interiors.

 

The new Land Cruiser is not coming here, but I have to imagine they will slap a Lexus badge on it and send it here.  No way will Toyota spend the money to develop a new Land Cruiser and then just not send it to North America where they can cash in.

Yes I agree that I do not get the appeal, but then change is hard for some and it seems Toyota customers really hate change.

The Land Cruiser I would agree will show up as a less than competitive Lexus version I think unless Toyota is truly looking to bring in a BEV to cash in the crazy cost they can charge.

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26 minutes ago, David said:

Yes I agree that I do not get the appeal, but then change is hard for some and it seems Toyota customers really hate change.

The Land Cruiser I would agree will show up as a less than competitive Lexus version I think unless Toyota is truly looking to bring in a BEV to cash in the crazy cost they can charge.

Less competitive than what?  We know Toyota does reliability and resale probably better than anyone.  The 2022 Land Cruiser is 440 lbs lighter than the 2021, has a new twin turbo V6 with 409 hp and 479 lb-ft.  Seems competitive, and the Land Cruiser I would guess is better off road than an Expedition or Yukon, probably more so than a Grand Wagoneer too.  If they put a Lexus badge on, and pretty up the interior a bit, I don't see why it won't be a competitor to the Escalade and Navigator.

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9 hours ago, balthazar said:

Toyoter reliability is marginal, they’ve been recalling just about everything they’ve built for the last 15 years to fix either assembly mistakes or engineering mistakes. It hasn’t been 2005 in a long time.

(Still looking for the part where number of recalls=reliability and finds nothing)

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42 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

I'd challenge that with the Dodge Journey and its 4spd auto that's still around. 

Holy hell! I forgot they were still sporting a four speed, four pot in those. Good lord! I'll take any year 5 speed operated 4 Runner over even the best and "newest" Journey!

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14 hours ago, smk4565 said:

We know Toyota does reliability and resale probably better than anyone.

That was a long time ago. And even then, that famous Toyota reliability was on a few select models. As many tough and reliable cars and trucks they sold in America in the 1970s and 1980s, Toyota had as many shyteboxes, rust buckets and unreliable crap in that same time frame.  But nobody talks about that.

Today, what Toyota does better than everybody else:

Nothing really.   Well 1 thing.

They have a loyal following. A braindead flock of people if you ask me...

 

 

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18 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

Holy hell! I forgot they were still sporting a four speed, four pot in those. Good lord! I'll take any year 5 speed operated 4 Runner over even the best and "newest" Journey!

RIGHT?!? Somebody posted about that in a Facebook group I'm in a few months ago and I literally had to go to Dodge's website to confirm because that's ANCIENT. 

The 5spd auto in my dad's Tacoma certainly is not great. I'm just not a fan of the engine/trans combination. You really have to bury the throttle to get it to shift OVER 2000rpm. It's all about low revs and feels extremely lethargic. It also has the worst cruise control I've ever used. It'll accelerate to well over the set speed down hills, then wait until you're a few mph under the set speed to go almost full throttle to speed up to ~3mph OVER the set speed again when going up a hill. It also takes a couple seconds to initiate once you hit "set". You hit set, let off throttle, it'll slow down 1-2mph then speed back up to your set speed. It's pretty much only decent on flat ground. 

*end rant*

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13 hours ago, balthazar said:

Toyoter reliability is marginal, they’ve been recalling just about everything they’ve built for the last 15 years to fix either assembly mistakes or engineering mistakes. It hasn’t been 2005 in a long time.

Crazy their recall levels. 4 pages for 2020 alone

image.png

Check for Recalls: Vehicle, Car Seat, Tire, Equipment | NHTSA

This is a PDF that was filed on Toyota Recalls currently.

image.png

RCMN-20V012-7781.pdf (nhtsa.gov)

Out of curiosity, I looked up 2020 mercedes and the first two pages is recalls on their vans. Total Garbage, but then you have a total of 7 pages of recalls with the largest series being on the E-class and then the SUVs they make. Their numbers are like 10 times worse than Toyota.

image.png

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Unless there's an ABSURD number or recalls and issues(Aviator) it's just not something I really care about if I were buying new. They'll all be taken care of under warranty(obviously) and you'll get a loaner vehicle while yours is being worked on.  

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22 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

Unless there's an ABSURD number or recalls and issues(Aviator) it's just not something I really care about if I were buying new. They'll all be taken care of under warranty(obviously) and you'll get a loaner vehicle while yours is being worked on.  

Add the Fusion to that.  

But the Fusion has been very reliable tho...    Its kinda of a bummer to be in the shop as many times as it was, but like you said, each and every time the Fusion was recalled, I had a loaner.  No biggie. 

 

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1 minute ago, oldshurst442 said:

Add the Fusion to that.  

But the Fusion has been very reliable tho...    Its kinda of a bummer to be in the shop as many times as it was, but like you said, each and every time the Fusion was recalled, I had a loaner.  No biggie. 

 

Yeah, it just isn't something that bothers me. I'd rather there be a recall and get it fixed than for it to be a pain in the back side years down the road when things are failing outside of warranty. 

I assume you have the 1.6T then?

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2 hours ago, ccap41 said:

Yeah, it just isn't something that bothers me. I'd rather there be a recall and get it fixed than for it to be a pain in the back side years down the road when things are failing outside of warranty. 

I assume you have the 1.6T then?

You have assumed...wisely

You have chosen... wisely. (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) on Make a  GIF

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4 hours ago, David said:

Crazy their recall levels. 4 pages for 2020 alone

image.png

Check for Recalls: Vehicle, Car Seat, Tire, Equipment | NHTSA

This is a PDF that was filed on Toyota Recalls currently.

image.png

RCMN-20V012-7781.pdf (nhtsa.gov)

Out of curiosity, I looked up 2020 mercedes and the first two pages is recalls on their vans. Total Garbage, but then you have a total of 7 pages of recalls with the largest series being on the E-class and then the SUVs they make. Their numbers are like 10 times worse than Toyota.

image.png

Again, recalls do not equal long term reliability. On that same site, for Chevrolet, it's 7 pages to Toyota's 4 for 2020 model year cars.1284227478_ScreenShot2021-07-01at3_32_09PM.thumb.png.3f6326a2dbcf6a5c83efd1e248f68a49.png

Hell, there are 4 pages for GMC alone. Are GMCs overrated as well?

2027212386_ScreenShot2021-07-01at3_34_04PM.thumb.png.6a091a1071c6b8f9bd2cc0f6e9ba4870.png

 

Edited by surreal1272
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• If I walk out my door, and my vehicle isn't in the driveway waiting for me / doesn't fire up & drive, that's 'unreliable' in my book.
I 'relied' on it doing its job and it couldn't. Maintenance is one, expected thing. Running to the dealership 3 or 4 times a year to fix something unexpected the OEM did wrong is a PITA.

"Is your car reliable?"
'Sure is!'
"Wh-where is it right now?"
'At the dealer getting its engine sludge cleaned out, it'll should be done by the end of the week. But it sure is reliable!'
"Didn't you have the front subframe replaced just last year?"
'Yep, but they gave me a loaner car that time, too.'
"How... how is that 'reliable'?"
'Well, when it works, it sure works!'

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13 minutes ago, balthazar said:

• If I walk out my door, and my vehicle isn't in the driveway waiting for me / doesn't fire up & drive, that's 'unreliable' in my book.
I 'relied' on it doing its job and it couldn't. Maintenance is one, expected thing. Running to the dealership 3 or 4 times a year to fix something unexpected the OEM did wrong is a PITA.

"Is your car reliable?"
'Sure is!'
"Wh-where is it right now?"
'At the dealer getting its engine sludge cleaned out, it'll should be done by the end of the week. But it sure is reliable!'
"Didn't you have the front subframe replaced just last year?"
'Yep, but they gave me a loaner car that time, too.'
"How... how is that 'reliable'?"
'Well, when it works, it sure works!'

And Toyota had fewer recalls on their entire lineup for 2020 than Chevrolet and fewer totals recalls than GMC. The 2020 Sierra alone had nine recalls for ONE trim level model. 

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50 minutes ago, balthazar said:

Sounds like toyoter had an OK/not too bad year last year. Good for them.
In other words & generally speaking (not just a single year); no better than average... which is exactly where I came into this sub-discussion.

Except that is factually not true. Like them or not, they are above average reliability and have been consistently so for many years compared to companies like GM and Ford. They are not "no better than average" and it can be proven again and again. Sorry. Not praising Toyota here but facts are facts.

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