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Are All Toyota 4Runners 7 Passengers?

Are All Toyota 4Runners 7 Passengers?

The Toyota 4Runner is a midsize SUV that has been a staple in the automaker’s lineup for over three decades. Known for its rugged construction and off-road prowess, the 4Runner has earned a reputation as a capable and reliable adventure vehicle. While its body-on-frame design and truck-based underpinnings may seem outdated in today’s era of car-based crossovers, the 4Runner’s traditional SUV architecture is precisely what gives it an edge when it comes to tackling challenging terrain.


One of the key selling points of the Toyota 4Runner is its versatility, particularly when it comes to seating capacity. Depending on the trim level and configuration, the 4Runner can accommodate either five or seven passengers, making it a viable option for families or groups who need extra seating without compromising on off-road capability.

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Toyota 4Runner Trims and Seating Configurations

The Toyota 4Runner is offered in several trim levels, each with its own standard seating configuration. Understanding these differences is crucial when deciding if you need a 5 or 7 passenger 4Runner.

The entry-level SR5 trim comes standard with seating for 5 passengers. However, an optional third-row seat is available, allowing it to accommodate up to 7 occupants. Similarly, the mid-range Limited trim is set up for 5 passengers out of the box, but can be optioned with a third row for 7 passenger capacity.

Moving up the lineup, the TRD Sport trim is focused on performance and handling. As such, it comes exclusively with seating for 5 passengers – no third row option is offered. The same goes for the off-road focused TRD Pro model, which maximizes interior space and cargo room by sticking with a 5 passenger layout.

If you absolutely must have 7 passenger seating as standard equipment, your only choice is the 4Runner Venture trim. This top-of-the-line model comes equipped with three rows of seats right from the factory, making it the ideal pick for larger Canadian families.

 

Pricing for 7 Passenger 4Runner Models in Canada

If you need the extra passenger capacity of a third row, you’ll have to pay a premium for the 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner. On the entry SR5 and mid-level Limited trims, adding the optional third row bumps the starting MSRP by $1,750 in Canada.

The 2023 4Runner Venture is the only trim that comes standard with seating for 7 passengers. It starts at $52,409 MSRP, which is a substantial increase over the base SR5’s starting price of $44,990. So you’re paying around $7,500 more for the three rows of seating on the Venture.

Pricing gets even higher if you want a 4Runner with off-road upgrades like the TRD Sport ($48,940 to start) or TRD Pro ($57,290). However, these two trims max out at 5 passenger capacity, even if you want to pay extra for a third row.

No matter which 7 passenger configuration you choose, expect to pay several thousand dollars more than an equivalent 5 passenger 4Runner model. The third row certainly adds utility, but it’s an expensive box to check on the options list.

 

Key Differences Between 5 and 7 Passenger Setups

When it comes to choosing between a 5 or 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner, there are some important trade-offs to consider in terms of passenger space, cargo room, and seating flexibility. The key differences lie in the presence or absence of that third row of seating.

In 5 passenger configurations, the 4Runner offers a spacious cabin with ample legroom in the second row. The second row bench can slide forward and back, as well as recline, providing excellent flexibility and comfort for rear passengers. With both rows in use, there is still a generous cargo area behind the second row for hauling gear.

Opting for the 7 passenger setup brings that third row into the equation. However, this extra row of seating comes at the cost of second row flexibility and overall cargo room. The third row is quite cramped in terms of legroom and is really only suitable for smaller children. It’s a tight fit for most adults.

Additionally, the 7 passenger models lose the sliding and reclining functions of the second row bench. This reduces comfort for second row occupants, especially on longer drives. While the third row does fold flat into the floor when not in use, the cargo area behind the second row shrinks considerably compared to 5 passenger models.

So in essence, the 7 passenger 4Runner provides additional seating capacity but sacrifices some interior flexibility, second row comfort, and overall cargo versatility. It’s an important trade-off that buyers need to weigh based on their specific passenger and cargo needs.

 

Advantages of the 7 Passenger 4Runner

While the third row of the 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner may be a bit cramped, there are some clear advantages to opting for this seating configuration. The primary benefit is the ability to accommodate larger families with more than five members. If you have three or more kids, the third row allows everyone to ride together comfortably without needing a larger vehicle.

Even if you don’t have a huge family, the third row can come in handy for carrying additional passengers occasionally. Having those extra seats gives you the flexibility to carpool with neighbors, transport extra kids for sports or activities, or bring along extended family members. It essentially turns your 4Runner into an impromptu passenger van when needed.

Another advantage is that the third row folds flat into the floor when not in use. This allows you to still utilize the 4Runner’s generous cargo area behind the second row. With the third row stowed, you can load up gear for camping, home improvement supplies, sports equipment, and more. The versatility of being able to switch between passenger and cargo hauling is a major plus.

 

Drawbacks of the 7 Passenger Configuration

While the third row of seating in the 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner allows you to transport more people, it comes with several notable downsides to consider. The primary issue is the cramped quarters of the rearmost row, which offers tight legroom and limited headspace that is really only suitable for smaller children.

Opting for the 7 passenger configuration also means sacrificing the sliding and reclining functionality of the second row seats in order to make room for the third row. This reduces comfort and versatility for second row occupants compared to the 5 passenger models.

Perhaps the biggest drawback is the reduced cargo capacity when using all three rows. With all seats upright, the 4Runner’s generous cargo area shrinks down to just 9 cubic feet of space behind the third row. Even with the rearmost seats folded, you still lose a significant portion of the cargo room compared to 5 passenger versions.

Finally, there is an added cost to equipping the 4Runner as a 7 seater. On the SR5 and Limited trims where it is an option, adding the third row bumps the price by $1,750 in Canada. The Venture Special Edition is the only trim that includes three rows of seats as standard equipment.

 

Who Needs a 7 Passenger 4Runner?

The question of whether you need a 7 passenger 4Runner ultimately comes down to your specific needs and lifestyle. While the third row is far from spacious, it can be a valuable asset in certain situations. For growing families with more than five members, the extra seating capacity provides the flexibility to accommodate everyone in one vehicle. This can be particularly useful for carpooling, family road trips, or when grandparents or other relatives tag along.

Even if you don’t have a large family, the 7 passenger configuration can be handy for those who frequently need to carry additional passengers. Whether it’s shuttling sports teams, taking friends or coworkers along, or simply having the option to offer a ride, the third row allows you to transport up to seven people when needed. It’s a convenient feature that adds versatility to the 4Runner’s capabilities.

Furthermore, the third row can serve as an emergency seating solution for unexpected situations. If you ever find yourself needing to transport more people than usual, the extra seats can come in handy. This could be valuable during situations like picking up stranded friends or family members, or when plans change unexpectedly, and you need to accommodate more passengers than initially anticipated.

 

Third Row Comfort and Accessibility

When it comes to the third row seating in the 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner, comfort and accessibility are key considerations. While having the extra seats is undoubtedly convenient, the reality is that the third row is quite cramped and best suited for shorter trips with kids or smaller passengers.

Accessing the third row requires folding and tumbling the second row seats forward, which can be a bit of a hassle, especially with child seats installed. Once in the third row, legroom and headroom are limited, making it an uncomfortable space for adults on longer journeys.

However, Toyota has tried to make the third row as user-friendly as possible. The seats themselves are designed to fold flat into the floor when not in use, maximizing cargo space. And when the third row is occupied, there’s still a decent amount of room behind the seats for groceries or small bags.

It’s worth noting that the third row in the 4Runner is a bit tighter than what you’ll find in larger three-row SUVs like the Toyota Highlander or Sequoia. But if you only plan to use the third row occasionally or for short trips with kids, the 4Runner’s third row can get the job done in a pinch.

 

Cargo Space with the Third Row

One of the key trade-offs with opting for the 7-passenger configuration on the Toyota 4Runner is reduced cargo capacity compared to 5-passenger models. With the third row in use, you’re left with just 9 cubic feet of space behind the rearmost seats – enough for a few grocery bags or small items, but not much more.

In contrast, 5-passenger 4Runner models without the third row offer a far more generous 47.2 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second row. This allows you to easily stow larger items like luggage, sports equipment, or even furniture. If you need to prioritize hauling ability over passenger space, the 5-passenger setup is clearly the way to go.

However, the third row does fold completely flat into the floor when not in use. With both rear rows stowed, 7-passenger 4Runner models open up a maximum cargo capacity of 88.8 cubic feet – only slightly less than the 89.7 cubic feet in 5-passenger versions. So while you sacrifice some room with the third row upright, you can still take advantage of the 4Runner’s impressive hauling potential when those extra seats aren’t needed.

It’s also worth noting that Toyota offers an optional pull-out cargo deck on certain 4Runner trims. This handy feature creates a flat load floor when the third row is folded, making it easier to slide larger items in and out. The cargo deck can also serve as a tailgating or camping platform when extended out the back.

 

Off-Road Capability with 7 Passengers

While the Toyota 4Runner is renowned for its off-road prowess, you might wonder how well it performs when loaded up with 7 passengers and their gear. Fortunately, the 4Runner’s robust body-on-frame construction and capable 4×4 systems allow it to tackle tough terrain even with a full cabin.

The 4Runner’s 4.0-liter V6 engine delivers a healthy 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque, providing ample muscle to overcome steep grades and power through mud or sand. The available part-time 4WD system with an electronic locking rear differential maximizes traction on loose surfaces. For extreme off-roading, the TRD Pro trim adds features like a lifted suspension, all-terrain tires, skid plates, and unique styling.

While a full load of passengers and cargo will impact acceleration and handling dynamics, the 4Runner remains highly capable off the beaten path. The long-travel suspension soaks up bumps and ruts, while generous ground clearance prevents belly scrapes. The short overhangs and tight turning radius also aid maneuverability over obstacles.

That said, a 7-passenger load does present some challenges compared to lighter configurations. The added weight impacts fuel economy and increases braking distances. Towing capacity is also reduced from 5,000 lbs to 4,700 lbs. And with all seats occupied, there’s less space for bulky gear inside.

As long as you travel at a sensible pace over rough terrain, the 4Runner can get you and your crew to remote destinations. But you’ll need to be mindful of the reduced capacities and plan accordingly. For extreme rock crawling or high-speed desert running, a lightly loaded setup is still ideal.

 

Safety Ratings for 7 Passenger 4Runner Models

Regardless of whether you opt for a 5 or 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner, you can expect robust safety ratings and advanced driver assistance features. The 4Runner earns top scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

In NHTSA crash tests, the 2023 4Runner received an overall 4-star rating, with 5 stars for the side crash test and 4 stars for frontal crash and rollover tests. The IIHS awarded the 2023 4Runner its highest rating of “Good” in all six crashworthiness tests, including the tough small overlap front test.

All 4Runner models come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), a suite of active safety technologies designed to help prevent collisions. Key features include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. While blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are optional on lower trims, they come standard on the 7 passenger Venture trim.

The third row seating does not negatively impact safety ratings or available driver assistance systems. However, the extra row does make it more challenging to get children in and out of the rearmost seats. The 4Runner’s high ride height and narrow door openings require some agility to access the cramped third row.

 

Family-Friendly Features for 7 Passengers

For families in need of a spacious and versatile SUV, the 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner comes packed with thoughtful features to keep everyone comfortable and entertained on long journeys. One standout convenience is the easy access to the third row, thanks to Toyota’s one-touch walk-in fold-flat second row. With a simple pull of a lever, the second row tumbles forward, creating a wide pathway to the rearmost seats.

Once inside, third row occupants can enjoy their own climate control vents and cupholders, ensuring a comfortable environment no matter how hot or cold it gets outside. For longer trips, the available rear seat entertainment system with a 9-inch display screen and wireless headphones is a lifesaver, allowing kids to enjoy movies, games, and more without disturbing those up front.

Storage space is also well-accounted for, with plenty of nooks and crannies to stash away toys, snacks, and other family essentials. The third row features a handy in-floor storage compartment, perfect for stowing away smaller items out of sight. And when it’s just the kids in the back, the third row can be folded flat to maximize cargo room for hauling sports gear, camping equipment, or luggage for that long-awaited family vacation.

 

Choosing Between 5 and 7 Passenger 4Runner Models

When it comes to deciding between a 5 or 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner, there are several key factors to consider based on your specific needs and priorities. The third row does provide the convenience of extra seating, but it also comes with trade-offs in terms of cost, cargo space, and interior flexibility.

If you have a larger family with more than five members who will regularly need to travel together, the 7 passenger configuration could be worth the investment. It allows you to avoid the hassle and expense of taking multiple vehicles. However, if you only occasionally need to carry extra passengers, you may want to stick with the 5 seat model and opt for a more spacious vehicle when those rare situations arise.

Consider how often you’ll be using the third row and who will be seated there. The rearmost seats are best suited for smaller passengers like children due to their lack of legroom. If you frequently need to transport adults in the third row, the tight quarters could quickly become uncomfortable on longer trips.

Cargo space is another major consideration. With the third row in use, you’ll have significantly less room for luggage, sports equipment, or other gear compared to the 5 passenger models. If you routinely need to haul larger items in addition to passengers, the reduced storage could be a deal-breaker. However, if cargo capacity is less of a priority, the fold-flat third row does at least allow you to expand the space when needed.

From a financial perspective, opting for the third row means paying a premium over the standard 5 seat configuration. In Canada, the optional third row adds $1,750 to the MSRP of the SR5 and Limited trims. Budget-conscious buyers will need to determine if the added seating justifies the increased costs.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Carefully evaluate your passenger and cargo needs, accounting for both day-to-day use and less frequent scenarios. If you don’t foresee regularly needing the third row, you may be better served by the added versatility and cost savings of the 5 passenger models. But for larger families who want the flexibility to bring everyone along, springing for the 7 passenger 4Runner could be a wise investment.

 

Real Owner Reviews of the 7 Passenger 4Runner

When it comes to understanding the real-world experience of owning a 7 passenger 4Runner, nothing beats hearing directly from those who have lived with the vehicle. Online forums and owner reviews offer a wealth of insights into the pros and cons of the third-row seating configuration.

Many owners praise the flexibility and convenience of having the extra seating capacity when needed. One 4Runner owner from Toronto shared, “The third row has been a lifesaver for us when we have extra kids or family in town. It’s not the most spacious, but it gets the job done for short trips around town.”

However, the consensus among owners is that the third row is best suited for children or smaller adults due to the limited legroom and headroom. A Vancouver-based 4Runner owner noted, “My teenage kids can squeeze back there for shorter drives, but it’s definitely not a comfortable space for full-sized adults on long road trips.”

Owners also highlight the trade-off in cargo space when using the third row. As one Calgary owner put it, “With the third row up, you’re really limited in terms of storage space behind it. We usually keep it folded down unless we absolutely need the extra seats.”

Despite the compromises, many 7 passenger 4Runner owners feel the third row is worth it for the added versatility it provides. An owner from Montreal summed it up, “Is the third row perfect? No. But for our family’s needs, having the option to carry extra passengers when required makes the 4Runner a really practical choice.”

 

The Future of the 7 Passenger 4Runner

As Toyota prepares to launch an all-new sixth-generation 4Runner for the 2025 model year, many Canadian families are eagerly anticipating what’s in store for the SUV’s seating configurations. While details are still scarce, rumours and speculation suggest the 7 passenger option could see some significant updates.

For starters, the next-gen 4Runner is expected to move to Toyota’s TNGA-F body-on-frame platform shared with the full-size Tundra pickup and global Sequoia SUV. This could provide more interior room for a roomier third row with improved legroom and comfort compared to the current tight quarters.

There are also rumblings that Toyota may simplify the 4Runner lineup by making the third row standard equipment across all trims. This would eliminate the need to option the extra seats and streamline manufacturing. However, it remains to be seen if this could drive up base prices or impact other packaging decisions.

From a design perspective, the 2025 4Runner will likely adopt a more modern, rugged look influenced by recent Toyota truck and SUV designs. This styling refresh could open up opportunities for a more spacious cabin layout optimized for third-row use. Improved visibility and access to the rearmost seats would be a welcome upgrade.

There’s even an outside chance Toyota borrows inspiration from larger 8 passenger SUVs by introducing a longer 4Runner body style with a slightly extended wheelbase. This could theoretically provide enhanced third-row room while maintaining the 4Runner’s off-road prowess and departure angles critical for serious trail driving.

Regardless of what changes arrive, the 7 passenger 4Runner figures to remain a niche offering catering to larger Canadian families who need the flexibility of occasional third-row seating without the bulk of a full-size SUV. Toyota will need to carefully balance interior packaging, off-road capability, and affordability to keep this unique midsize SUV properly positioned in the market.

 

Conclusion

The Toyota 4Runner is a versatile and capable midsize SUV that offers buyers the choice between a five or seven-passenger configuration. While the seven-seater option provides extra flexibility for larger families or those who need to occasionally carry additional passengers, it does come with some compromises.

For Canadian buyers, the decision to go with the seven-passenger 4Runner should hinge on your specific needs and priorities. If you have a family with more than five members or frequently find yourself needing to transport extra people, the third row could be a worthwhile investment. The ability to quickly fold the rearmost seats flat also preserves a respectable amount of cargo space when they’re not in use.

However, if maximum cargo versatility and roomier second-row seating are priorities, you may be better served by the five-passenger configuration. The third row is best suited for smaller passengers and shorter trips, as legroom is limited. There’s also the added cost to consider, with seven-seater models commanding a premium of around $1,750 over their five-seat counterparts.

Ultimately, carefully assess your passenger and cargo needs, and decide if the convenience of having occasional access to a third row outweighs the drawbacks. For many Canadian families, the five-passenger 4Runner will likely provide the perfect blend of interior flexibility, off-road prowess, and daily driving competence without any real compromise.

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Questions About Toyota 4Runner Seat Configurations

No, not all Toyota 4Runner models are 7 passenger. The TRD Sport, TRD Off Road, and TRD Pro trims of the 4Runner only have 5 passenger seating. The SR5 and Limited trims offer an optional third row to allow for 7 passengers.

The Toyota 4Runner has offered an optional 7 passenger seating configuration since the 2010 model year. So 2010 and newer 4Runner models with the SR5 or Limited trim levels can have the extra row to fit 7 passengers.

The 7 passenger Toyota 4Runners feature a third row bench seat allowing for seating for up to 7 people. Other features that come standard on the 7 passenger 4Runner models include:

 

– Split-folding rear seats for flexible cargo configurations

– Power windows and door locks

– Multi-terrain select and crawl control for off-road driving

– Toyota Safety Sense package with collision mitigation braking and more

With all three rows upright, the 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner offers 9 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the rear seat. Folding down the 50/50 split third row expands capacity to 46.3 cubic feet. With both rear rows folded there is 88.8 cubic feet of maximum cargo room.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner models is:

 

– City driving: 16 mpg

– Highway driving: 19 mpg

– Combined average: 17 mpg

 

This is slightly less than the fuel efficiency of 5 passenger 4Runner models due to the increased weight from the extra row of seats.

All Toyota 4Runner models, including the 7 passenger versions, come standard with the Toyota Safety Sense package. This includes:

 

– Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection

– Lane departure alert

– Automatic high beams

– Dynamic radar cruise control

 

The 4Runner also earned a 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA.

The seating layout in the 7 passenger 4Runner is:

 

– Row 1: Two bucket seats

– Row 2: Three-person split folding bench seat

– Row 3: Two-person split folding bench seat

 

So it can fit a total of 7 passengers when needed but still offers flexible cargo space when the rear seats are folded down.

In Canada, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner 7 passenger SUV has a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $46,050 CAD for the base SR5 trim level. The top Limited trim 7 passenger 4Runner starts at $60,590 CAD MSRP.

The exterior dimensions of the 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner are:

 

– Length: 190.2 inches / 4,830 mm

– Width: 75.8 inches / 1,925 mm

– Height: 72.6 inches / 1,845 mm

– Wheelbase: 109.8 inches / 2,790 mm

 

The overall length and wheelbase are identical compared to 5 passenger 4Runner models.

All Toyota 4Runner models, including the 7 passenger versions, offer impressive off-road performance thanks to features like:

 

– Available multi-terrain select and crawl control

– Up to 9.6 inches of ground clearance

– Skid plates to protect critical components

– Short front and rear overhangs for better approach/departure angles

 

With the right tires and skillful driving, the 7 passenger 4Runner can still handle moderate to difficult off-road terrain.

When properly equipped, the 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. This requires opting for the available towing prep package which includes an engine oil cooler, power steering fluid cooler, and 130 amp alternator.

All Toyota 4Runner models, including the 7 passenger versions, utilize a 4.0L V6 engine. This all-aluminum dual overhead cam engine produces:

 

– Horsepower: 270 hp @ 5,600 rpm

– Torque: 278 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

 

This muscular V6 delivers smooth, reliable power for both on and off-road driving.

With the third row seats folded, the maximum cargo area width between the wheel wells in the 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner is 50.5 inches or 128.3 centimeters. This provides substantial space for hauling wide items like plywood sheets or appliances.

The 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner typically costs $2,120 CAD more than an equivalent 5 passenger model. So for example, the 2023 4Runner TRD Off Road model starts at $51,290 CAD with 5 seats or $53,410 CAD with 7 passenger seating.

Some popular accessories Toyota 4Runner owners equip their 7 passenger models with include:

 

– Roof racks for extra cargo capacity

– All-terrain tires for enhanced off-road traction

– Tow hitches and wiring harnesses for trailering

– Running boards for easier access getting in/out

– Remote start for convenient cold weather warm-up

The turning radius measures how tight of a turn the vehicle can make. For the 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner, the turning radius is 37.4 feet or 11.4 meters. This gives the larger 4Runner relatively nimble handling for parking and urban driving.

The 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner models feature comfortable fabric-trimmed seats in all three rows of seating. The first two rows have SofTex synthetic leather as an available upgrade. Front seats include 8-way power adjustable driver seats and 4-way power front passenger seats.

For excellent passenger entertainment, 7 seat Toyota 4Runners can be equipped with:

 

– 8-inch touchscreen display

– Integrated navigation system

– 15-speaker JBL premium audio system

– SiriusXM satellite radio compatibility

– Multiple USB ports for device connectivity

Yes! Most Toyota dealerships will have the 7 passenger Toyota 4Runner models like the SR5 and Limited available in their on-site inventory. Interested buyers are encouraged to contact their local Toyota dealer to check for 4Runner 7 passenger test drive availability. Test driving the different trims is the best way to see if it fits your needs.

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