Toyota’s bringing out an all-new iteration of its 4Runner SUV that seeks to both build upon the rugged reputation of the long-standing 4Runner name and pepper the vehicle with cool new tech upgrades.
According to the presser from Toyota, the new 4Runner will still have plenty of off-road prowess thanks at least partially to the double-wishbone independent front suspension and a four-link rear suspension designed for maximum axle articulation off-road while still providing a smooth on-road ride.
But that’s all-too-expected with a nameplate that has been around as long as the 4Runner has, building street cred as an off-road capable SUV. What some might not expect, especially if their last experience with a 4Runner was in the ’90s, like me, is that the model will now be getting a host of interior tech upgrades to make life on the road or the trail a little more pleasant.
That starts with available three-row seating. The second row will fold flat without the need to remove its headrests, and the third-row seat (if equipped) will fold flat to provide a completely flat loading surface. Smartkey, Toyota’s keyless ignition and locking system, will be available as well. If it works like it did on the Toyota Prius V we tested, Smartkey is a very convenient way of doing things, allowing you to lock the door just by pressing a divot in either front door handle, even when the key fob is in your pocket. To unlock, you simply put your hand in the door handle, and a sensor picks up that touch, as well.
In addition to those available features, a sonar rear parking sensor will be offered standard on Limited models, and a rear view camera will now be standard on all 4Runner models, the release said. And if you’ve got a rear view camera, that means you’ve got a screen– so why not outfit it with Toyota’s Entune infotainment suite?
That’s exactly what Toyota said it has done for the 4Runner. On 2014 SR5 and Trail Runner trims, the 4Runner will get Entune Audio Plus, which includes Toyota’s Entune multimedia system, an AM/FM/MP3 CD player with eight speakers, integrated SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 90-day trial subscription, USB port with iPod connectivity, and Bluetoothhands-free phone capability and music streaming. Meanwhile, the Limited trim will get the Entune Premium JBL Audio system, which includes the Entune multimedia system, a JBL premium sound system with navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with a 90-day trial subscription, HD Radio with iTunes tagging and 15 speakers. The navigation system includes a seven-inch monitor. Connecting a smartphone to either Entune system enables the user to access Bing search, iHeartRadio and Pandora music streaming, and more via mobile apps.
A final cool upgrade for the 4Runner: “party mode” for the audio system. Designed for tailgating situations, the mode will raise bass response and shift sound balance to the rear of the vehicle, Toyota said. It makes use of speakers mounted in the rear liftgate, which function even when party mode isn’t being used.
Pricing for the new 4Runner was not mentioned in the Toyota press release, though some sources say they expect that info to come closer to an expected on-sale date late this summer. Stay tuned.