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The 4Runner has been a stalwart for years and many of the first editions are still going strong. The 2013 model doesn’t disappoint and still has many of the same features that made it great back then. I recently got a chance to drive the 2013 Toyota 4Runner Limited, here is my review.

2013 Toyota 4Runner Limited Review - Still Going Strong

At home in the dirt or on the blacktop, the 4Runner is a very versatile SUV.

Anyone who is a fan of offroading knows about the 4Runner. While, the FJ Cruiser took some of its appeal away, it is still a very capable body-on-frame SUV – one of the few left. The things that made it great are still there: dependability, clearance, torque, highway/offroad capability. And yes, the back window still rolls down.


On the outside, the 4Runner still shows its ruggedness, although it has a much smoother, refined styling. Although, it fits better in an urban/city environment, it still looks completely capable of handling a muddy trail. The lights, tires and broad shoulder lines give it that macho look. While, the curved front end help cut down wind resistance on the highway.

There is a bit of drawback with this version though and that is the running boards. These boards cut down on trail clearance and are a bit awkward. I mean, it isn’t a tough vehicle for an average person to get in and out of (5′ 6″), yet the running boards make it more difficult. Probably a feature that an owner learns to live with, but it was awkward.

2013 Toyota 4Runner Limited Review - Dirt or Pavement Ready SUV

The interior has all the features you need, although it can feel a bit cramped.


The inside is really Toyota with many of the same styling and material choices used in the cabin. In the limited edition, you get several upgrades like leather seats, navigation system, push button start and dual zone automatic climate control. While this assortment of features is nice to have as an upgrade, it left me wanting for some more plushness. Yes, I do know it is an offroad SUV, it just felt more like the base model and could have used more interior improvements.

Driving Impressions

Taking the 4Runner out on the highway, around the city and across dirt trails, you get what you expect – a truck-based SUV that fits in to all environments. It rides more like a Toyota Tacoma than the Highlander (car-based SUV) and that is on purpose. I didn’t expect anything less from it. On the highway, it does leave some to be desired, yet it makes up for it on the trail.

On the dirt, it is more than capable for all the trails I threw at it. With 4wd and lots of low end torque, it got over and through the trails I was able to find. It really is a great, entry level offroad SUV.

In the end, if you are looking for a multi-purpose SUV that can handle everything you throw at it, the 4Runner is a great choice. If you do a lot of “soccer mom” driving, it isn’t for you.


About the author: Tim Esterdahl


Tim is a married father of three living in Western Nebraska. He is the editor and contributor to several automotive sites and is becoming an influential automotive journalist. He spends a lot of time reading, writing and talking cars/trucks with fans, insiders and manufacture reps. When he isn't talking about cars, he is usually out playing golf - a never ending obsession to see how far the little white ball will fly.


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