The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Community News Network

April 1, 2013

Toyota 4Runner has old-school toughness

If you're someone who wants a vehicle that can truly go off-roading, one of the best 4x4s in the world is the Toyota Land Cruiser.

The problem? Not many people can afford the Land Cruiser's starting price that's uncomfortably close to $80,000.

Fortunately for those of us with smaller budgets, Toyota makes an off-roader that almost matches the Land Cruiser's capability and style — albeit not its luxury-drenched cabin — for a fraction of the price.

Called the 4Runner, and priced starting at $31,490, this Toyota doesn't get as much attention as it did in its heyday back in the 1990s. More buyers today are drooling over softer, more fuel efficient crossovers like its small stablemate, the RAV4. 

But the 4Runner still exists for people who want Toyota reliability in a traditional SUV package.

Make no mistake, the 4Runner is designed for off-road use, not just a tough-looking station wagon for grocery runs. That's unusual as virtually all its one-time competitors have switched to car-based platforms — including the iconic Ford Explorer — as crossovers have become the default American family car.

The 4Runner's body-on-frame, trail-ready design is anachronistic, and it's a downside if you're looking for a quiet, smooth ride. Its suspension is bouncy and a bit rough over bumps, clearly designed for adventure seekers more than silent road trips.

Its styling is handsome and understated. It's the kind of masculine, boxy design that would have been aggressive 10 years ago, but today it's pleasantly attractive and fits its role as an off-road mainstay. 

Its corporate cousin, the FJ Cruiser, is similarly built for off-roading but comes with wild, "look-at-me" styling. Which one you pick would depend on your personality, to some extent.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video