The Toyota 4Runner is a full-sized SUV with a spacious cabin and superior off-roading capability. With its tough build, it can haul cargo safely and effortlessly. Nonetheless, before you pull a load, you should know the Toyota 4Runner towing capacity.
While it is a beast on the road, the Toyota 4Runner must observe its towing limits. Going beyond what the manufacturer recommends can exert unnecessary strain on its components. Not to mention, it can compromise safety. Read on and find out how much a Toyota 4Runner can tow.
Toyota 4Runner Towing Capacity
The Toyota 4Runner can tow up to 5,000 pounds when it is properly equipped. To reach the limit, you need to invest in top-notch towing equipment. Without the latter, it can tow less and there is a high likelihood of an accident, especially if you do not follow the basics of towing.
More so, the 5,000-pound towing capacity works under the assumption that the SUV goes through proper care and maintenance. With worn-out brakes, damaged tires, and other problems, the overall performance can suffer. Hence, the towing capacity significantly declines.
While it can tow a maximum of 5,000 pounds, it does not mean that you should reach such. The best practice is to keep the load 20% to 25% less than the stated maximum towing capacity. This means that you should not tow more than 3,750 to 4,000 pounds.
The 5,000-pound towing capacity applies to most of the newer-generation models of the Toyota 4Runner. Older generations have less powerful specs, which also makes the towing capacity limited. For instance, the first-generation models can only tow 2,500 to 3,000 pounds.
What Makes the Toyota 4Runner Great for Towing?
The powerful towing capability of the Toyota 4Runner is a result of its impressive specs and features. Below are some of the reasons why this is a great SUV for towing.
The engine is the heart of any vehicle. Unsurprisingly, such is also the reason why the Toyota 4Runner is powerful. The engine varies depending on the specific generation and model. Nonetheless, the 2021 models all have a 4×4 4-liter V6 engine with five-speed transmission. You can find it in the three available models of the 4Runner – SR5, TRD Sport, and Trail Special Edition.
Downhill Assist Control
Going on a downhill path when towing can be challenging, especially for inexperienced drivers. Good thing, the Toyota 4Runner has Downhill Assist Control, a feature that ensures safety and efficiency when you are descending a slope. It improves directional control on steep slopes and slippery surfaces.
Hill Start Assist Control
The logic behind this feature is similar to downhill assist control, except that it activates when you are going uphill. It prevents your car from rolling back when you are climbing steep terrain. This is a crucial feature because your vehicle can be prone to being pulled when the load is heavy and you are climbing.
Active Traction Control
A common feature in Toyota four-wheel models, Active Traction Control improves the braking performance when you are in challenging conditions. While you have the option to turn it on or off manually, it can also activate automatically. It will control skidding while also providing you with better control of the 4Runner when towing.
Integrated Towing Hitch Receiver
The built-in towing hitch receiver is another notable feature that makes the Toyota 4Runner great for towing. It bolts at the rear side of the SUV with a tube where a ball mount and other hitch accessories attach. This means that right out of the factory, the vehicle is ready to tow, eliminating the need for a complicated setup using aftermarket components.
Locking Rear Differential
Premium models are equipped with a locking rear differential. This is an electronically controlled feature for even weight distribution on both rear wheels. As a result, the wheels will be moving at the same speed regardless of the external conditions. This is beneficial in terms of keeping your SUV stable despite the load.
How It Compares With the Competition
If you are looking for an SUV that is great for towing, aside from the Toyota 4Runner, here are other great choices and their towing capabilities:
- Jeep Renegade: 2,000 pounds
- Ford Bronco: 3,500 pounds
- Subaru Outback: 3,500 pounds
- Honda Passport: 3,500 pounds
- Nissan Pathfinder: 6,000 pounds
- Jeep Grand Cherokee: 7,200 pounds
- Land Rover Defender: 7,700 pounds
Tips and Tricks for Towing With Toyota 4Runner
For the best towing experience with Toyota 4Runner, take note of the following tips:
Do Not Reach the Limit
Even if the technical specs indicate that you can tow a maximum of 5,000 pounds, it does not mean that you should stretch its capacity. As earlier mentioned, the best practice is to reduce the towing rating by 20 to 25%. This will make the SUV more efficient, and you can also be more confident about your safety, especially if you are an inexperienced driver.
Distribute Weight Evenly
While the Toyota 4Runner is great overall, it also has its fair share of drawbacks. Among others, one of the most notable shortcomings is the short wheelbase, which can compromise its stability. Hence, towing requires careful planning, especially in terms of weight distribution. Otherwise, it is easy to lose balance, especially when you are going uphill or downhill.
Check Everything Before You Leave
After you are done setting up whatever it is that you would like to tow, inspect before you leave. One of the first things to look at is the tires, making sure that they have the right pressure. See to it as well that the brakes are working, as well as the lights and other systems in place to warn other motorists.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Proper care and maintenance will help maximize the towing performance of your Toyota 4Runner. Over the years, the different components are prone to wear, which can compromise safety and efficiency. From the engine to the tires, see to it that all parts are working perfectly, so you can tow with peace of mind.
Is the Toyota 4Runner good for towing?
Yes, the Toyota 4Runner is good for towing. It is a highly-capable SUV with built-in innovative features that make it great for hauling cargo. Coupled with the right setup, this SUV can tow almost anything within its limit of 5,000 pounds.
Another good reason to believe that the Toyota 4Runner is great for towing is the fact that it is SAE J2807 towing rating compliant. It passed a series of tests by SAE International, a professional association that develops standards for different applications. It means that it has outstanding performance in different parameters, such as total control, braking, flat-out acceleration, and highway gradeability.
What can a Toyota 4Runner tow?
A Toyota 4Runner can tow almost anything that is below 5,000 pounds. To be safe, we won’t go over 4,000 pounds, especially for inexperienced drivers and challenging terrains. This SUV can tow a trailer, campervan, ATV, and boat.
The Toyota 4Runner towing capacity of 5,000 pounds means that it can haul an ATV, trailer, powerboat, or any other cargo within its maximum weight rating. The SUV has several features that make it impressive in towing, such as a powerful engine, downhill assist control, integrated towing hitch, and locking rear differential.