The 4Run­ner’s tall tyres and TRD sus­pen­sion soak up bumps, iso­lat­ing the cabin from NVH

4 x 4 Australia - - Driven -

we had on the last of the FJ Cruis­ers here and that in­cludes the elec­tronic Crawl Con­trol sys­tem.

Un­for­tu­nately, the great chas­sis is let down by the en­gine. The petrol V6 re­ally lacks the mid-range grunt needed in a ve­hi­cle like this. It would be worth get­ting an af­ter­mar­ket su­per­charger in­stalled to push out the power. Luck­ily, there are plenty of kits to suit and give you that much-needed grunt. Of course, be­ing Amer­i­can, there’s no diesel en­gine avail­able for the 4Run­ner.

Out on the high­way the 4Run­ner cruises smoothly and qui­etly. The tall tyres and TRD sus­pen­sion soak up the bumps well, iso­lat­ing the cabin from road NVH. Our week of tour­ing with a few canyon and desert off-road es­capades av­er­aged 11.5L/100km of petrol con­sump­tion, and that’s in a place where 80mph on the in­ter­state seems to be the bare min­i­mum.

Would we pre­fer the 4Run­ner to the For­tuner of­fered in Aus­tralia? Yes and no. We pre­fer the more mas­cu­line and tougher look of the Amer­i­can 4Run­ner and like the fact that it is of­fered as a fiveseater, not seven. How­ever, the Thai-built For­tuner has much bet­ter qual­ity and fit and fin­ish. Nei­ther the Us-spec petrol V6 nor the Au-spec 2.8-litre diesel en­gine are ideal, but at least there are good mods avail­able for the V6 to fix it. The For­tuner’s six-speed auto is def­i­nitely bet­ter than the older five-speed in the 4Run­ner.

How­ever, it would be nice to have a lo­cal TRD op­tion. The blacked-out trims and offroad-ori­ented, well-set-up sus­pen­sion pack­age with proper off-road tyres are real win­ners here, and Toy­ota Aus­tralia would do well to of­fer sim­i­lar to buy­ers lo­cally. They’d just need to re­search and de­velop bet­ter prod­ucts than they did with their last TRD of­fer­ings.

Wheel travel un­der the 4Run­ner is pretty good for a show­room-stock wagon.

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