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2016 Toyota 4Runner 4X4 Trail Premium V6 Review by Mark Fulmer

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2016 Toyota 4Runner

A Tale of Tailgating

By Mark Fulmer

            • SEE ALSO: Toyota Research and Buyers Guide

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2016 Toyota 4Runner

It started with an email from Megan who is with the agency handling Toyota/Lexus products on the West Coast. She suggested that I test the 2016 4Runner as a good vehicle for a tailgate party. I agreed and a week later the brand spanking new SUV was delivered.

Then came the hard part.

Our continuing drought here in California seems to have passed through osmosis into our football teams. So I turned to a sport that originated in the Golden State a mere 50 years ago:

Disc golf.

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2016 Toyota 4Runner

Arriving early at the park site of an annual disc tournament, the other competitors eyes widened as the hatch opened and I demonstrated the new sliding rear cargo deck. Cool, they said. Between that and the sound system, the new 4Runner was a big hit with everyone. They all liked the sleeker look and the front hood scoop. Toyota's 4Runner has been and continues to be a top rough and tumble, reliable SUV, and at the same time performs its urban duties quite admirably.

Notable for this model:

- the latest 2.5 version for Entune, a cell phone connection

- Siri Eyes Free for iPhone users.

- a 3rd-row seat option, thus seating seven.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2016 Toyota 4Runner

Driving the 4Runner, you realize how much effective advancement has been made in the area of noise, vibration and harshness. The V6 makes accelerating onto the freeway, and making passes, no problem. The 4.0-liter power plant puts out 270 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm and 278 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. The 5-speed automatic handles mountain driving with ease. The 4Runner has always done well with towing and continues with an SAE J2807-compliant rating of 4,700 pounds.

So, the disc golf tournament was won by retired teacher, grape rancher, tennis player Bruce Lamoreaux of Napa. Is it just a coincidence that Bruce drives a 1990 4Runner? Maybe, maybe not.