Which Cars Have Free Maintenance for 2021?

Which Cars Have Free Maintenance for 2021?

Ordinary car support is fundamental for dealing with your significant speculation, just as to safe driving and to protecting your guarantee inclusion — and numerous new vehicles offer it for nothing, in any event through an underlying period.

Related: Making Sense of New-Car Warranties

A break on the expense to keep up your new vehicle could be significantly more important. An examination by AAA found that for 2019, the most recent year accessible, normal support and fix costs per mile driven were up 8.9% versus 2018, with the greatest expenses borne by proprietors of progressively famous SUVs and trucks.

What’s remembered for such free support programs changes generally. A few projects cover only one planned visit, while others incorporate a couple of oil changes and tire turns to all booked support for quite a long while. You need to peruse the fine print for the particular vehicle to be certain what you are getting or regardless of whether you are — a few producers offer the free consideration just to purchasers in specific business sectors or locales. The rundown underneath counts automakers’ free help program. Likewise, a few vendors additionally have their own neighborhood offers. Also, a few producers, like Mercedes-Benz, offer prepaid plans that will cover all planned administrations for a selection of years at a value you can wrap into the expense of the vehicle.

Here are brands that offer some type of free planned upkeep for their 2021 new vehicles (barring extraordinary and hyper-extravagance brands):

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo covers one booked support visit whenever utilized inside the principal year and just for the Giulia and Stelvio SUV. The 4C Spider sports vehicle isn’t covered by the offer.

BMW and Mini

BMW Group’s BMW and Mini brands cover three years or 36,000 miles of consistently planned upkeep for 2021 vehicles — for the first purchaser as it were.

Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC

All new 2021 GM vehicles from the four U.S. brands accompany a free previously planned support visit inside one year.

Portage and Lincoln

These Ford Motor brands have nontraditional prizes plans connected to the brands’ applications — like other retail steadfastness programs — that offer, basically, a free support plan. Focuses are procured with the vehicle buy just as with other spending at businesses. Purchasers of new or confirmed used cars get an underlying can of remunerations focuses that they can decide to use with the expectation of complimentary support. The underlying focuses for Fords change by powertrain (gas, diesel, electric) and for Lincoln by trim levels. The 42,000 focuses that accompany another Ford fuel controlled vehicle would, for instance, cover the initial three planned visits, (for example, through the 40,000-mile administration period for a 2021 Explorer). Independently, purchasers of Lincoln’s model-year 2021 premium-trim Black Label vehicles get a selective bundle of advantages that incorporates four free planned assistance visits inside four years or 50,000 miles.

Hyundai and Genesis

Hyundai and its Genesis extravagance brand offer three years or 36,000 miles of free routinely booked upkeep for every one of the 2021 models (barring the Hyundai Nexo power device vehicle) for the first proprietor. The expansion of the free upkeep program to Hyundai-badged vehicles is new and begun in February.


Puma is the boss for free upkeep. All Jaguars accompany all planned support visits covered for a very long time or 60,000 miles.


All trim degrees of model-year 2021 Jeep vehicles get three booked support visits whenever utilized inside three years of procurement just as an excursion interference advantage as a component of the Jeep Wave devotion program. Beforehand, the free administrations were restricted to certain trim levels.


Kia gives three years or 37,500 miles of free booked upkeep for its upscale Cadenza and K900 cars.


All new Lexus vehicles offer the initial two booked upkeep visits free as long as one year or 10,000 miles.


The Volkswagen Group execution brand offers a free initially booked upkeep visit, which would be expected by one year or 10,000 miles.


Most trim degrees of model-year 2021 Ram pickup trucks get three free booked support visits whenever utilized inside two years just as an excursion interference advantage — yet the offer is acceptable just for Ram purchasers in Texas, a seriously serious truck market.


Subaru offers two years or 24,000 miles of free booked support for model-year 2021 vehicles, however just in specific business sectors, which are for the most part in Sun Belt states where the basically all-wheel-drive automaker has a more modest serious presence. In different areas, Subaru doesn’t offer free upkeep.


All Toyota vehicles accompany two years or 25,000 miles of routinely planned free upkeep.


Every one of the 2021 Volkswagen models offer two years or 20,000 miles of routinely booked free upkeep.


Volvo incorporates free support for a very long time or 30,000 miles, which is fundamentally the initial three assistance visits.

When Should the Oxygen Sensor Be Replaced?

When Should the Oxygen Sensor Be Replaced?

Modern car engine control systems rely on input from several sensors to regulate the engine’s performance as well as its emissions and other vital functions. When these sensors fail to provide accurate information, the driver may experience increased fuel consumption, driveability problems, emission failures and other problems.

One of the most important sensors in modern cars is the oxygen sensor. Also known as the O2 sensor because O2 is the chemical formula for oxygen, the oxygen sensor monitors how much unburned oxygen is present in the exhaust as exhaust exits the engine. By monitoring oxygen levels, the sensor provides a means of measuring fuel mixture. The O2 sensor lets the computer know if the fuel mix is burning rich (not enough oxygen) or lean (too much oxygen). Knowing the ratio of fuel to air allows your vehicle’s engine to make any necessary changes to ensure that your car runs like it should.

Related: Why Is My Muffler Rattling?

O2 sensors are mandatory on all cars manufactured since 1981. Due to the ODB-II regulations that apply to cars manufactured in 1996 and after, many newer cars have multiple O2 sensors. In fact, some cars have as many as four oxygen sensors. Cars made in 1996 and after are required to have a second oxygen sensor that is located below the catalytic converter. This O2 sensor monitors the operating efficiency of the catalytic converter.

If the sensor after the catalytic converter shows minimal changes from the reading on the first oxygen sensor, it is a sign that the catalytic converter is not working properly. Modern vehicles with V-6 or V-8 engines could have as many as four O2 sensors — one located in each cylinder bank and one after each catalytic converter. If either the oxygen sensor in the cylinder block or the one for the catalytic converter fails, your vehicle could experience serious engine problems.

Because oxygen sensors play a vital role in your engine’s performance and emissions control, you may wonder when to think about replacement.

When Should You Replace Your O2 Sensor?
Oxygen sensors are not among the maintenance items that need to be replaced regularly, such as oil and air filters, so they typically are replaced only when they fail.

Oxygen sensors are a critical component of the fuel and emissions systems because they monitor the amount of oxygen in the exhaust and transmit that information to the engine computer, which adjusts the air-to-fuel ratio accordingly. If an oxygen sensor fails, the engine computer won’t be able to correctly set the air-fuel ratio, which could result in lower fuel economy, higher emissions and damage to other components, such as an overheated catalytic converter.

No vehicle that we’re aware of has a warning light that signals when an oxygen sensor has failed, so you have to rely on other vital signs to alert you when you have a bad oxygen sensor that you will need to replace, such as the check-engine light on the dashboard illuminating and increased fuel usage.

Signs You Need a New O2 Sensor
An illuminated check-engine light could be a sign of a more serious issue, such as with the catalytic converter, or something as minor as a loose gas cap, so further investigation is always required. It could, however, indicate that there is a problem with your O2 sensor or even another part of your exhaust or emissions system. Any repair shop should be able to read what triggered your check-engine light, and a mechanic or auto parts store may perform this service for free.

Other signs that you need a new oxygen sensor include a rough idle, misfiring spark plugs, lack of power, stalling or a significant increase in fuel consumption. Those symptoms could also be indications of other problems, but the EPA says that replacing a bad oxygen sensor can improve fuel economy by as much as 40 percent, so clearly that is one place to look if your vehicle develops a greater thirst for gas. If your vehicle fails an emissions test, a faulty O2 sensor may be to blame for this as well.

A new oxygen sensor can cost from less than $100 on some models to $300 or more on others, but that doesn’t include labor, which can vary widely by vehicle because of where the sensors are located. As a result, the full cost of oxygen sensor replacement may vary greatly depending on the type of vehicle you drive.

What Are Vehicle Safety Inspection Points?

What Are Vehicle Safety Inspection Points?

Looking at issues of concern or security is the fundamental reason for a vehicle wellbeing review. Some business administration offices and mechanics offer a 100-point investigation; others have a significantly longer rundown of things to check.

Vehicles that are 3 years of age or less by and large don’t have numerous security related issues brought about by parts falling flat, yet it does occur (and may be covered by the guarantee). As vehicles age, however, the more probable it turns into that parts will come up short or fall apart to the point that they can influence security.

Related: The Mechanics of Finding a Good Auto Shop

Numerous proprietors only from time to time consider the security related highlights on their vehicle until they quit working, however there are a few things buyers can do and others that they can proactively call to the consideration of a mechanics shop prior to something breaks.

Any vehicle proprietor can play out an essential wellbeing check to ensure the lights, horn and wipers are working appropriately. Try not to check simply the low-shaft headlights; additionally check the high pillars, blinkers, daytime running lights and side marker lights. The taillights turn on when the headlights are on, however the brakelights have separate bulbs that enlighten when the pedal is applied. Checking the brakelights and the reinforcement lights (which please when the transmission is in Reverse) generally requires a second arrangement of eyes.

Likewise watch that the front and back defrosters can liquefy snow and ice, and clear misted glass, regardless of whether the external mirrors can be changed in accordance with the correct positions, and that the washers spurt and the wipers don’t squeak, gab or leave streaks. Proceed beneath for other basic things to check in a vehicle assessment:

Safety belts and Other Safety Equipment

Belts, clasps and retractors wear out. Ensure all belts are not difficult to haul that full distance and withdraw easily. Yanking on an all-inclusive belt should make it lock set up (that mirrors an abrupt stop). Think you have an issue? Check your proprietor’s manual for ideas and whether the belts have a lifetime guarantee from the maker.

Each time you start the vehicle, a few admonition lights on the dashboard should enlighten momentarily to show they are working. That incorporates lights for the air sacks, electronic strength control, electronically monitored slowing mechanisms and other wellbeing highlights (look in your proprietor’s manual to help distinguish these things). In the event that any admonition lights stay on after the motor is running, something isn’t right and needs consideration. In the event that an admonition light doesn’t come on momentarily, that is additionally an issue. Possibly a wire is blown or there’s another issue with that framework. This is essential to beware of a pre-owned vehicle since somebody may have handicapped a security framework to conceal a glitch.


Consistently checking the pneumatic stress on tires is a smart thought on the grounds that underinflated tires destroy quicker and don’t grasp also in crisis moves or in hard slowing down. It’s additionally a chance to ensure there’s still sufficient track to securely oversee downpour and snow. Additionally, search for over the top wear, like no track along the external edges (an indication of arrangement or controlling issues).

Not certain what amount track profundity is sufficient? Have a go at doing the “penny test” or see a tire retailer for a review and counsel.


Cushions and rotors destroy continuously, so the customary driver of a vehicle may not notification that the brake pedal has more travel or that halting distances are longer. Brakes will destroy quicker in metropolitan driving, where unpredictable traffic is normal, yet how quick relies upon the driver. Some incline toward the brake pedal more regularly than others.

Rather than going simply by feel or mileage, occasional assessments of the cushions and rotors by a specialist will disclose to you how much cushion and rotor life is left.

Controlling and Suspension

The monotonous routine of knocks, potholes, trenches and railroad tracks negatively affect the suspension and controlling over the long run. Bushings, rotating appendages, influence bar connections and tie-bar finishes can ingest those every day beatings just for such a long time.

At the point when drivers hear commotions from worn suspension parts or the directing feels free, they may not respect it. Hello, the vehicle actually runs, isn’t that right?

Yet, worn parts mean the vehicle will not react to guiding changes as fast or as decisively, and the vehicle will get more enthusiastically to oversee. The suspension smooths out uneven streets as well as monitors the vehicle’s weight reciprocally and in crisis moves. Worn suspension and guiding parts additionally will speed up tire wear.

Mechanics and Dealers Service Departments

Many fix shops and the help divisions all things considered vendors offer free assessments of each vehicle they see. The amount of the investigation will cover security related things changes by shop, yet on a vehicle that is in excess of a couple of years old it’s a smart thought to take them up on it. On the off chance that you have explicit concerns, like the brakes or controlling, notice it.

Shops utilize these examinations to discover more freedoms to sell you parts and administration, yet they can likewise make you aware of difficult issues or expected issues. You can generally say no or hear a second point of view.

Is Oil for High-Mileage Engines Worth the Extra Cost?

Is Oil for High-Mileage Engines Worth the Extra Cost?

Most significant oil brands market engine oil made explicitly for motors that have in excess of 75,000 miles of wear, asserting that added substances help diminish motor wear and give hostile to maturing benefits. They are frequently a mix of engineered and oil based oils, and they ordinarily cost at any several dollars more for each quart than traditional oils. However, would they say they merit the additional batter?

Related: More Car Service Advice

A few oils might be more gainful than others since they contain conditioners suspected to restore seals to forestall or stop oil releases, a typical infirmity in motors with high mileage.

Inner seals and gaskets become weak and recoil as they age, permitting oil to leak by. Some of the time this gets obvious as dashes of oil on lower motor parts or oil stains on a carport floor or carport. At the point when valve-direct seals wear out, engine oil can spill into ignition chambers and the motor will in a real sense begin consuming oil. With little releases, blue smoke from consuming oil may not be noticeable from the exhaust, yet your oil level will most likely dip under the full blemish consistently.

The seal conditioners found in some high-mileage engine oils may decrease or wipe out little holes and leakage by reviving seals to their unique size and shape. On the off chance that a motor isn’t consuming or spilling oil, or in the event that it utilizes, say, not exactly a quart more than 6,000 miles or thereabouts, changing to high-mileage oil may not merit the additional expense for you.

It’s actually an informed decision in the event that you should pay more for superior oil when your vehicle has 100,000 miles on it however is utilizing practically zero engine oil. High-mileage engine oil doesn’t do any harm and it could keep spills from beginning. Most vehicle makers would say it’s typical for a motor to burn-through some oil between oil changes.

As well as having seal conditioners, high-mileage oils normally gloat more cleansers intended to clear out muck inside the motor, in addition to different added substances intended to diminish wear on moving parts. Each engine oil, however, makes comparative cases that it does incredible things inside a motor.

A few mechanics prescribe changing to a thicker (higher thickness) oil —, for example, 10W-30 full manufactured oil rather than 5W-20 full engineered — or utilizing oil added substances to stop spills. Thicker oil makes a motor harder to begin in chilly climate, decreases oil course around the motor and builds oil pressure, which implies there will be more compel attempting to push the engine oil past seals and gaskets.

Your Check-Engine Light Is On — How Much Are Repairs Gonna Cost Ya?

Your Check-Engine Light Is On — How Much Are Repairs Gonna Cost Ya?

Motorists in the nation’s capital and most populous state paid the most in 2019 to address problems indicated by vehicles’ check-engine light, according to a study by CarMD. Citing data gathered from nearly 16 million vehicles that needed repairs in 2019, the Irvine, Calif.-based automotive diagnostic info provider said today that California and the District of Columbia ranked highest and second-highest, respectively, for such repairs in 2019. Californians who needed repairs to address check-engine lights doled out $414.24 per repair, on average, to address such problems in 2019. The District of Columbia came in at $410.16. Georgia ranked third, at $409.92, while New Jersey ($403.43) and Virginia ($403.19) rounded out the top five.

Related: What Does the Check-Engine Light Mean?

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To some extent, those results reflect the local cost of living. An Insure.com study published in April ranked California and the District of Columbia among the top three priciest states to live, with New Jersey and Virginia landing in the top 15. Georgia, meanwhile, is an outlier: The Peach state landed a peachy-keen ranking on Insure.com’s list — it’s the 10th cheapest place to live — yet ranked third priciest for check-engine repairs from CarMD.

What about the least-expensive states for such repairs? Try Vermont ($342.14, per CarMD), Ohio ($348.79), Wisconsin ($349.08), Michigan ($350.77) and Iowa ($356.57).

How Costs Are Calculated
Repairs encompassed vehicles dating back to the 1996 model year, when the industry adopted its current OBD II standard for onboard diagnostic systems. Data from OBD II diagnostic tools sold by CarMD and Innova Electronics, an affiliated company, helped inform the study, as did data from CarMD’s private-label diagnostic tools, said Kristin Brocoff, a spokesperson for the company. Such tools chronicle regional problems that triggered check-engine lights in 2019, for which the company applied local repair rates.

Devices “report what the findings were to our database, and the database spits out the repair, and the master technician confirms that’s what the fix was,” Brocoff told Cars.com. “Basically this is the average in terms of parts and labor.”

2020 Repair-Cost Rankings
Rankings for all 50 states and the District of Columbia are as follows (keeping in mind that CarMD’s list excludes repairs that don’t trip the light, from suspension components to belts and hoses):

  1. California ($414.24 per repair, on average)
  2. District of Columbia ($410.16)
  3. Georgia ($409.92)
  4. New Jersey ($403.43)
  5. Virginia ($403.19)
  6. Hawaii ($402.91)
  7. North Carolina ($402.86)
  8. Colorado ($401.55)
  9. Connecticut ($401.55)
  10. Utah ($399.42)
  11. Maryland ($399.33)
  12. Tennessee ($399.08)
  13. Alabama ($398.01)
  14. Mississippi ($396.36)
  15. Nevada ($395.84)
  16. Oregon ($393.59)
  17. South Carolina ($393.40)
  18. Texas ($393.35)
  19. Washington ($392.79)
  20. Florida ($392.75)
  21. Louisiana ($392.15)
  22. Delaware ($389.99)
  23. Kentucky ($389.01)
  24. Montana ($388.66)
  25. Rhode Island ($387.61)
  26. Idaho ($387.11)
  27. Arizona ($385.56)
  28. Wyoming ($383.21)
  29. Arkansas ($382.76)
  30. Massachusetts ($380.67)
  31. New Mexico ($380.17)
  32. Pennsylvania ($379.54)
  33. Oklahoma ($378.89)
  34. West Virginia ($377.31)
  35. South Dakota ($376.53)
  36. New York ($376.08)
  37. Missouri ($375.20)
  38. Arkansas ($373.46)
  39. Illinois ($372.51)
  40. Kansas ($371.80)
  41. Minnesota ($371.31)
  42. New Hampshire ($365.71)
  43. Nebraska ($364.38)
  44. Indiana ($357.43)
  45. North Dakota ($357.05)
  46. Maine ($356.76)
  47. Iowa ($356.57)
  48. Michigan ($350.77)
  49. Wisconsin ($349.08)
  50. Ohio ($348.79)
  51. Vermont ($342.14)

The check-engine light typically flags problems related to your vehicle’s emissions system, which is why an illuminated light usually means you’ll fail an emissions test. It can stem from myriad circumstances: In its Vehicle Health Index published in April, CarMD found nearly 1,300 possible fixes for an illuminated light. Those range from a catalytic-converter replacement (an average $1,375 repair, per CarMD’s 2019 data) to a loose or damaged gas cap (an average $26 in 2018). Indeed, the repair most frequently recommended in California — the priciest state in this year’s study of 2019 data, and the third-priciest a year ago — was replacing a catalytic converter.

What Is a PCM?

What Is a PCM?

The powertrain control module, also known as PCM, is your vehicle’s mind. It deals with the motor, transmission and different frameworks dependent on data it gets from different sensors around the vehicle. It is only one of many microchips on the present vehicles that run everything from the environment control framework to the force windows.

Related: What Is a Dual-Clutch Transmission?

How Does the PCM Work?

The PCM gets signals from sensors that action wind current into the motor and out the exhaust, the coolant temperature, how far down the gas pedal pedals is, the speed at which each wheel is turning and different boundaries.

It at that point utilizes that data to settle on many choices each second, like how much fuel to infuse into every chamber, when to fire the sparkle plugs and when a programmed transmission should change to an alternate gear to convey the best presentation for the current conditions.

A few vehicles allude to the PCM as the “motor control module” or “electronic control unit.” Others, essentially more established ones, have separate control modules for the motor and programmed transmission that stay in steady contact with one another — like BFFs on their iPhones — in light of the fact that the transmission responds to what the motor is doing and the other way around.

At the point when this progression of data between the PCM and other installed PCs and sensors works appropriately, the outcome is smooth and proficient execution, with the PCM consistently rolling out fundamental improvements with no fight.

Yet, really quick and savvy when everything is great, they can be imbecilic as blocks when things turn out badly. For instance, if an oxygen sensor in the fumes framework conks out, the PCM will fix its advanced head and unfit to figure how to change the air-fuel blend going into the motor. The registration light will likely go on — a sob for help — and the motor may run generally, have drowsy speed increase or different issues. Similarly, if the PCM comes up short, the motor will not beginning.

Since PCMs depend so vigorously on contributions from different sources, they at times are dishonestly blamed for causing a registration light or motor issue. Regardless of whether the difficulty code for a registration light focuses to the PCM, mechanics test PCMs and regularly check contributions to ensure it is the guilty party prior to supplanting it.

When Is It Time to Replace Your Tires?

When Is It Time to Replace Your Tires?

Conventional exhortation says that when your tire track is worn out to where the section estimates only 2/32 of an inch (and that is the tire track profundity law in certain states) or when the track wear marker bars are appearing, at that point it’s an ideal opportunity to put new tires on your vehicle.

With numerous tires, however, drivers will encounter a huge loss of safe footing and slowing down capacity in downpour and snow before at that point. Since tires wear bit by bit and numerous vehicle proprietors don’t routinely check their tires for track profundity or lopsided wear, the deficiency of footing may not get evident until the vehicle slips as opposed to halting in a very small space, as it once did.

Related: How Do I Find the Correct Tire Pressure for My Car?

New tires regularly have from 10/32 to 11/32 of an inch of tire track profundity when they’re new. The profound track, in addition to sections and cuts cut into the sides of the track, permit water and snow to escape from under the tire so it can keep up satisfactory hold. As the track wears and the notches and cuts become shallower, more dampness stays caught under the tire. The tire at that point rides on a dangerous surface of water (“hydroplaning”) or snow as opposed to “gnawing” the asphalt.

The outcome is longer halting distances, more wheel turning in speed increase and less grasp reciprocally.

At the point when this slipping and sliding begins to happen — and how serious that absence of foothold is — will fluctuate by tire plan and could come a long time before it would seem that you have uncovered tires that should be supplanted. For certain tires, the wellbeing misfortune could come when there’s still, say, 5/32 of an inch of track profundity left, which would appear to be all that anyone could need to try not to purchase new tires. A few tires, however, basically have better wet-asphalt and snow foothold than others and will keep up it with less profundity for additional miles.

Mechanics can assess tires for strange or over the top wear, measure track profundity with a check and exhort how much tire life is left. Profundity measures to check worn tires are accessible at parts stores for do-it-yourselfers, in addition to there’s consistently the penny test: Insert a Lincoln-head penny (top of the head should go head first) into a track groove; on the off chance that you can see the highest point of Honest Abe’s head, you need new tires.

2020 Toyota 4Runner: 5 Pros and 4 Cons

2020 Toyota 4Runner: 5 Pros and 4 Cons

The Toyota 4Runner is an old-school, off-road SUV. Among its few direct competitors are the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Boasting serious built-in adventure prowess and room inside for the whole family, the 4Runner stands out. In some ways, however, old-school is starting to feel a little outdated, especially when it comes to the powertrain and fuel economy figures.

Looking for a top-to-bottom evaluation of the 4Runner? Read Cars.com’s Jennifer Geiger’s full review through the related link above. For the short list of hits and misses, here are the pros and cons of the 2020 Toyota 4Runner:


  1. Off-Road Optimized
    It’s pretty evident just by looking at it: The Toyota 4Runner is made to go off-road. A part-time four-wheel-drive system, selectable locking rear differential and two-speed transfer case with Low range are all standard on the TRD Pro trim, which is especially optimized for adventure. The Crawl Control electronic traction control system and Active Traction Control system are also standard on the TRD Pro. So is Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select traction control system, which has settings that can be adjusted based on the terrain — dirt, sand, rock, snow and more.

2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

  1. Good in Bad Conditions
    An added perk of the 4Runner’s off-road chops is that it handles bad weather and poor road conditions well. The tall driving position helps visibility in snow or sleet. The SUV also deals well with slick road conditions. On sunny weather days, its soft suspension can carry you over speed bumps and potholes without too much jostling.
  2. More Standard Safety
    The Toyota Safety Sense-P suite of driver assistance and safety technology is standard on the 4Runner, which took a while to catch up to other Toyota vehicles in this area. The package features automatic emergency braking, lane departure and sway warnings, automatic high-beam headlights and adaptive cruise control.
  3. Modernized Tech
    Another area where the 4Runner needed to play catch up is tech, which is greatly improved for 2020. An 8-inch multimedia touchscreen replaces last year’s 6.1-inch screen. Also, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are newly standard, making this one of the last Toyota vehicles to adopt smartphone integration systems. The multimedia system as a whole seems intuitive and easy to use.

2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

  1. Roomy Interior
    The 4Runner is really big on the inside. It has room for five or seven passengers in either two- or three-row seating configurations. In the two-row version, three car seats can fit across the bench, which is unusual for SUVs. (Read the full 4Runner Car Seat Check here.) In the cargo area, a sliding cargo deck can support up to 440 pounds for easier access to heavy items. The rear window can also be lowered to access cargo without opening the liftgate. There’s 47.2 cubic feet of space behind the back row, but if you fold down the 60/40-split seats, you get an amazing 89.7 cubic feet in the non-TRD Pro versions.

More From Cars.com:

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2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
Cars.com photo by Brian Wong

  1. Feels Clunky on the Road
    As previously mentioned, the 4Runner is really made for off-roading, so putting it on the pavement can be awkward at best. Its standard 270-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6 engine is slow to come to life from a stop. And on the highway, you can really feel how heavy the SUV is in its reluctance to accelerate. The five-speed automatic transmission doesn’t help that cause, either. The 4Runner has a fairly large turning circle, which makes it quite difficult to park. It also handles oddly on the road; there’s a lot of pitch and lean, which makes corners feel sloppy.
  2. Poor MPG
    Another issue created by the 4Runner’s weight and outdated five-speed transmission is EPA-estimated fuel economy figures that seem equally dated: 16/19/17 mpg city/highway/combined for the rear-wheel-drive version.
  3. Loud Exhaust
    If you insist on having a 4Runner for mostly on-road use, the exhaust may seem quite loud. The TRD Pro’s cat-back exhaust is supposed to put out a powerful growl; in reality, it sounds more like a groan.

2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
Cars.com photo by Brian Wong

  1. Tall Ground Clearance
    With most vehicles, we often note whether it will accommodate taller passengers and drivers, but with the 4Runner, it’s shorter drivers who should beware. The 9.6 inches of ground clearance make for a step-in height that may feel too tall for comfort. Kids especially may have a hard time climbing up into the backseat.