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As a mid-size sport utility vehicle, the Toyota 4Runner walks the fine line of being considered a compact SUV. Accompanied by prices that are in the median of the market it is promoted within; this SUV is a popular option among customers. Introduced in 1984 as a variation of the Toyota Hilux pickup, the 4Runner is now in its fifth generation of production and is a main player in the US market. Holding steady in its position as a durable, truck-like SUV, the Toyota 4Runner is as comfortable on the highway as it is off the road. Swaying between a great commuting vehicle and a fun-loving off-road enthusiast, the Toyota 4Runner wears many hats.
From 1984-1989, the Toyota 4Runner was present in its first generation of production. Resembling a pickup, the 4Runner took on the appearance of a semi-convertible wagon of sorts. Competing with both truck and SUV manufacturers at during this time, the Toyota 4Runner boasted a high ground clearance and removable top for the ultimate off-road look. At the end of 1989, the Toyota 4Runner entered its second generation. Providing a four-door layout and extensive cargo space, The Toyota 4Runner was transformed into a capable, but fun, family vehicle.
Throughout the years, the Toyota 4Runner improved and expanded. Currently in its fifth generation of production, this SUV has maintained its dedication to a rugged and versatile sport utility vehicle look. Abandoning a truck-on-frame design in lieu of better fuel efficiency, the current Toyota 4Runner model is also more efficient and easier to handle. Now offering third-row seating in some models, the Toyota 4Runner has recently entered uncharted territory for this specific vehicle.
Compare the 2021 Toyota 4Runner SR vs. SR5 Premium Trim Levels. What is the Difference?
With a difference of about $4,000 in price for both 2WD and 4WD options, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner SR and SR5 Premium make up the two most basic levels for this SUV. Retaining the same engine setup as previous years, every 4Runner model comes standard with the same 4-liter V6 motor and the ability to produce up to 270 horsepower. Producing an output up to 278 lb.-ft. of torque, this engine is often paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. The SR5 trim level differentiates itself from the SR by incorporating a standard rear-wheel drive setup. An available 4WD system is an upgrade on all trim levels for buyers who so desire to pay extra for it.
While the 2021 Toyota 4Runner SR is a durable model that is great for family travel and commuting, the SR5 is a good ride for everyday use for those who need a bit of extra space. Incorporating extra comfort in the interior and Softex seats, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner SR5 is a preferred option for families who enjoy a little adventure along the way. Capable of towing up to 5,000 lbs., the SR5 is also more than equipped for hauling campers, boat trailers, and more. Standard features that make this action easier including an integrated towing hitch receiver and a 4-pin and 7-pin wiring harness connectors.
Though there is nothing wrong with the base SR model for the 2021 Toyota 4Runner, the SR5 model simply expands upon those pre-existing features and amenities. Capable of achieving up to 18 combined MPG fuel efficiency, the SR5 model is both spacious enough for family transport and economical enough for those who are budget conscious. Comfortable seating is a highlight of all 4Runner models and optional third-row seating for all is a great available feature. This SUV boasts a seating capacity of up to five passengers without the third-row seating option.
Compare the 2021 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium vs. Venture Trims. What is the Difference?
In the way that commuting families bide well in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium, buyers who like to go on frequent, off-road adventures will prefer the attributes of the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Venture. With its intended purpose foreshadowed in its name, the Venture model was made for exploration and off-road navigation. As a special edition, the 4Runner Venture improves upon the underlying features of the SR5 Premium trim. De-icing windshield wipers, heated power exterior mirrors, and "TRD" insignia on interior seats show how far the Venture model is willing to go to differentiate itself from other models.
Virtually everything on the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Venture was made for fun and exploration. From its cargo basket to its black rear spoiler to its 17-inch alloy wheels, this vehicle stands out from others as a bold and athletic SUV model. Featuring the same 4-liter V6 engine, the Venture model continues its powertrain pairing to a standard five-speed automatic transmission. Inside buyers can expect to find a leather-trimmed steering wheel, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, and voice command controls. With elements geared toward making driving safer and more convenient, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner has greatly improved upon its safety and tech capabilities.
In folding down second- and third-row seating, 4Runner owners can enjoy up to 88.8 cubic feet of storage area. No other vehicles in the same class as the 2021 Toyota 4Runner can come close to meeting this impressive amount of rear storage space. As a body-on-frame SUV many clients do not expect much cargo space from its rugged exterior presence. So, buyers are often pleasantly surprised to find out how much space this modern SUV has to offer.
Compare the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Venture vs. Limited Trim Levels. What is the Difference?
Adventuring in style has never been easier than it is in these two advanced trim level options. While the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Venture is a great option for off-road exploration and rock crawling, the 4Runner Limited offers more passenger space and enhanced capabilities in comparison to the Venture trim. With seating for 5 passengers being standard, this 4Runner Limited can be configured to seat up to seven at its maximum potential. Sitting upon 20-inch wheels, the Toyota 4Runner Limited also offers dual-zone climate control and perforated leather seats to enhance comfort.
Technology is also improved in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Limited. A power tilt/slide moonroof with a sunshade provides for great views of the outdoors while in the cabin of this vehicle. Heated and ventilated front seats provide additional comfort to passengers, while an X-REAS Sport Enhancement System keeps your ride in a 4Runner Limited as smooth as possible. To top it off, front and rear parking assist sonar helps avoid collision and provide direct feedback to drivers about their surroundings.
Heading straight from the comfort of an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system to the safety of Toyota Safety Sense Technology and an inherent Star Safety System, passengers can feel safe when traveling in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Limited. Eight airbags, three-point seat belts, and a LATCH child restraint system, the Limited model is well-equipped to provide safety in every circumstance. Side impact door beams seek to minimize damage upon collision with another person or object, displaying Toyota's use of both technical and physical methods of safety enhancement.
Compare the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Limited vs. Nightshade Edition. What is the Difference?
At the top of the trim level lineup sits the Nightshade Edition directly above the impressive Limited model. Featuring many of the same powertrain, safety, and technology attributes at the Limited model, the Nightshade Edition mainly differs in appearance elements and design attributes. Paying homage to its name, the Nightshade Edition features black design details that give it a striking look. Bold, but luxurious, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade Edition is prestigious and capable at the same time.
Toyota loved its Nightshade Edition so much that is deployed this design-based trim across all vehicle models. Aggressive styling is complimented well by minor details that make large differences in the overall look of the Nightshade Edition 4Runner. Though it is capable enough to go off-roading, not many would want to take this beauty of the highway. Complete with black accents throughout, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade Edition is the most prestigious trim level available.
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Which Trim to Choose?
While some buyers know exactly what they are looking for when they enter a dealership, others need to look around before making a final decision. Toyota makes model selections easier by offering similar performance attributes across all 4Runner models and limited differentiation to interior and exterior design elements, safety features, and technology integration. The Toyota 4Runner SR is a great base option. While it is acceptable for family use, the SR is more of an economical choice for those who love the look and feel of a Toyota 4Runner.
Buyers with large families or those who do frequent commuting will likely prefer the 2021 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium. Spacious and accommodating, this model offers excellent fuel economy and plenty of storage space. Still sitting at an economical price point, the SR5 offers exceptional value to families who enjoy the opportunity to explore in a capable vehicle as they desire. While the SR and SR4 Premium are some of the most similar, lower trim level options, buyers can improve design and functionality when moving up to other models.
If you enjoy off-road adventures more often than most, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Venture may be for you. Equipped with a higher stance, enhanced tires, and terrain-specific features, this SUV was made for exploration. Still boasting the same capable engine and interior space of lower trim levels, the Venture simply amplifies the capability of this popular SUV. Sporty attributes, an athletic stance, and exterior off-road equipment put the 2021 Toyota 4Runner in the forefront of buyers' minds. A roof rack completes the rugged, all-terrain look of this rough and tough SUV model.
Moving up in class and style, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Limited sports an edgy look. Consumers who do not mind paying a little extra here and there for feature upgrades and available packages would enjoy the freedom they have in the Limited trim level. Advancing into the top trim level area, the Limited 4Runner adds in upscale features and modern safety attributes. As a predecessor to the well-equipped and well-known Nightshade Edition, this SUV model does a great job of laying the foundation for the subsequent trim level to expand upon.
The highest and most costly trim level is the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade Edition. Though it sounds more like a package, the Nightshade Edition adamantly focuses on minor upgrades that make huge differences. From body-colored exterior accents to tech within the cabin, buyers can get everything they want and need at a price in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner. One look at the 4Runner Nightshade Edition will allow you to experience the prestigious nature of this luxury SUV. So, for those who are willing to pay a bit more for want they want, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade Edition is a viable option.
• Compare the 2020 Toyota 4Runner Trim Levels