On our way to test drive a TourX, we decided to go to the Toyota dealer instead. Brief impressions of the 4Runner. I had my son decide when we got to the fork in the road. Left for Toyota, right for Buick. Left we went.

I like it. Had my wife driven one instead of the Grand Cherokee, I’d bet we’d have this instead. Don’t get me wrong, her Overland is very nice, and I believe a much better looking vehicle.

Seats, and seating position in the 4Runner is more comfortable for me vs the Tacoma. I’m not a fan of the cheap leather in the SR5 Premium, and would opt to get one with cloth seats. Surprisingly, I had a good amount of head room even with the optional sunroof. Well, I guess it’s no longer optional if it’s already installed. Whoever buys that one will be getting a sunroof.

I’ve heard horror stories about the “unusable” third row. What I didn’t know is that the middle row seats can be left in two different positions. Leaving it in the forward position obviously gives the 3rd row the most legroom. Even all the way back, though, my son still had plenty of room. I didn’t even attempt to get back there, as I’d never ever ride in the third row of my own vehicle. I’m guessing though that for full size adults, it’ll be fine, I just wouldn’t subject someone to a cross country tip back there. Especially since once you put that third row into use, there’s absolutely no room behind them except for a few grocery bags.

For the middle row, I can sit comfortably behind me. That makes me happy, since I’m 6’4”. There is definitely much more room in the back seat of the 4Runner than there is the Tacoma. I also had plenty of headroom in the second row, something I don’t have in the back seat of the Taco, mainly due to the upright nature of the rear seats in the truck. Overall, the interior of the 4Runne is a more comfortable place to be. My son liked that he had rear seat A/C vents, whereas in the Tacoma, the vent is under the seats. Air gets back there eventually, but not that he can feel right away.

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Driving dynamics are similar to the Taco, but with a more comfortable ride. Overall, it’s very similar to my truck, but with more comfort and interior bits and baubles, like auto down windows for all 4 windows, the glorious full down rear window, power seats, etc. I’d rock a 4Runner in a heartbeat.

But man, they’re pricey. $41k for the one I drove. That’s sticker though, and I went to the nearest dealership, rather than the one with the best prices. Similar SR5 Premiums at other dealers are discounted to about $35k, making it a much more palatable price point.