CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

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

New England News
Obituaries
  • Jo Ann Hughes, 79

    Sandown, NH — Jo Ann (Phelps) Hughes of Sandown, New Hampshire passed away on Thursday, March 27, 2014, surrounded by all of her children at home. She was born in Little Bend Kentucky, to Beatrice (Shepherd) Phelps and John (Cat) Phelps in 1934. Jo Ann was predeceased by brothers, Marcus Phelps, Johnny Phelps, Forrest Phelps and sisters, Juanita Phelps, and Jeanette (Phelps) Vincent. She is survived by brother, Donald Quiggins of Georgia; sisters, Geneva (Phelps) Stanley of Kentucky, and Frances (Phelps) Bratcher of Tennessee who had just visited Jo Ann in September of 2013.

    Continued ...
    The Carriage Towne News Thu, April 10
    6 days
  • Margaret F. (Harrington) Kinney, 107

    Atkinson, NH — Margaret F. (Harrington) Kinney, 107, a resident of Atkinson for eighty-two years, died peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family.

    Continued ...
    The Carriage Towne News Thu, April 03
    13 days 1 Photo
  • Laura L. Day, 79

    Newton, NH — Laura L. (Hartford) Day, 79, of Newton, NH, died Sunday evening, March 16, at Kindred Hospital, Peabody.

    Continued ...
    The Carriage Towne News Thu, March 27
    20 days
  • Norman Sansoucie, 77

    East Kingston, NH — Norman P. Sansoucie, 77, died on March 3, 2014, at the Clipper Harbor Nursing Home in Portsmouth, NH. He was born on May 29, 1936, in Haverhill, MA, son of William and Albertine (Beauparlant) Sansoucie.

    Continued ...
    The Carriage Towne News Thu, March 20
    27 days
  • John Colby, 76

    Brentwood, NH — John Ellsworth Colby, 76, formerly of Sandown, N.H., and Brownville, Maine, died on February 22, 2014, at the Rockingham County Nursing Home, after a lengthy illness. Born in Keene, N.H., Mr. Colby was the first son of the late Russell and Edythe Colby of Bradford, Mass. His brother, Dr. David R. Colby of Beaufort, N.C., predeceased him as well. Mr. Colby graduated in 1955 from Haverhill High School and attended Northeastern University and Wentworth Institute of Technology. He was a well known home designer and builder, and furniture craftsman, particularly known for his ability to create beautiful curved staircases. He was the founding production manager of both Westville Homes Corporation of Plaistow, N.H., and Xyloid Corporation of Greenville, Pa.,, pioneers in the modular home industry. He was also proprietor of the Westville Getty service station in Plaistow in the 1970s, and co-owner and occasional driver of the “1/5 Schenley Special” stock cars that raced, from 1968 to 1989, at Star in Epping, N.H., Lee, N.H., Hudson, N.H., and Westboro Mass., speedways.

    Continued ...
    The Carriage Towne News Thu, March 13
    34 days

Stocks