Another faulty issue we found was the high-floor/low-seat cushion combination in front, which forces a driver's knees to be too high, making one feel like they're sitting on a futon. Also, the runningboards seemed only good for dirtying pant legs and finding hidden rocks while off-roading.

The 4Runner received a midyear update for 2005. These changes include a new color (Salsa Red Pearl), new rear spoiler shape, and new trim levels. The SR5 gets a chrome grille, color-keyed front and rear bumper, black runningboards, and optional roofrack. The Limited also gets color-keyed front and rear bumpers, black lighted runningboards, and black roofrack. 4Runner interiors receive advanced driver and passenger airbags and an updated navigation system. Mechanical upgrades include a new five-speed automatic transmission; a new V-8 with VVT-i producing 270 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque; and an automatic limited-slip differential, added to the vehicle stability control system.

As far as issues or problems, the windshield cracked twice, costing a total of $1361.60 for both replacements. The only other trips to the dealer were as part of the suggested maintenance schedule.

Toyota has managed to move into the luxury-SUV market without compromises. The tradition of off-road prowess continues to thrive, with the welcome additions of an ultra-plush interior and seamlessly smooth ride. Couple that with a variety of engine and trim options, and you have a vehicle almost anyone can afford, and everyone will love. Who needs a Land Cruiser?