Okay, in my defense: every off-roading I have tried to do so far has drastically damaged my car and my pride. I am just nervous and a total amateur when it comes to hitting the muddy trails.
Despite driving the impressive and very capable 2014 Toyota 4Runner SR5, underthe direction of Land Rover's off-road instructors -- My internal gyroscope said no to the steep side-angled trail of the mid-ranked Blue trails in this little excursion.
BIG WIMP-OUT - EXTERIOR CAM
BIG WIMP-OUT - INTERIOR CAM
I know rationally that the car was fine on this exact trail, but fear is not a rational thing. The 4Runner SR5 felt great though-- never losing traction and will hills-descent control working like a charm.
But in someone else's car -- the manufacturer's own car, with the very cool Rick from Toyota watching from nearby -- my nerves got the best of me.
Took the easier trail and felt good about it. As i mutter in the video at some point...
I do not want to roll a car...
I do not want to crash a car...
I do not want to be involved in a crash...
Where does my off-road skittishness come from? Well, this happened to my Subaru ... with me at the wheel...
So, with that damage top-of-mind and not keen to repeat it with the Toyota 4Runner... this wimp lived to die another day.
No crashes for the new 2014 4Runner.
The truck looks really intense in its chopped-nose SR5 trim. I have long loved the 4Runner and this latest iteration is a solid evolution on the theme. Refinement and engine potency are both well above any 4Runner in memory, but the familiar driving position and great visibility are still excellent traits that continue forward.
Locking diffs and off-road tech abounds -- the only thing that kept the 4Runner off the Range Rover and Jeep Grand Cherokee's "red" trails is the lack of an adjustable ride height.
Otherwise, the 4Runner would be right there with the toughest off-roaders made.
And with a brave driver, it would do just as well in the steep slopes!