The Toyota 4Runner is a vehicle we’ve been quietly jealous of for years. Also known as the Hilux Surf, it was briefly seen on our roads as a grey import, before the Fortuner stole the limelight and the local market bid it farewell, seemingly forever. The new international release at the 2013 Stagecoach Music Festival in California (which Toyota sponsors) has made us greener than ever before.
The new 4Runner looks the part and comes in SR5 spec with off-road trail specification, which includes full-time 4×4, a 4,0 litre V6 engine mated to a five-speed auto ‘box, producing 201kW and 377Nm of torque. They’ve also added new electronic systems, including X-REAS – a suspension enhancement, A-TRAC – a traction control system standard on the 4×4 models, KDSS – which allows the stabiliser bars to be disconnected in order to improve articulation, as well as CRAWL – a crawl gear selectable with low-range engaged.
Like many modern off-roaders, the 4Runner has a terrain selection dial that matches the vehicle’s assist programs to the terrain you’re driving on, such as sand/mud, rock, or “Mogul” for extremely uneven terrain. The 4Runner is also keyless, has an extractable luggage “deck” that can hold up to 200kg weight, hill ascent and descent control, front and rear park sonars and a rear camera, a touch screen multimedia system with SatNav and a long list of safety feautres that includes ABS, traction control, stability control, EBD and brake assist as well as eight standard airbags.