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Let’s Go Places: Take me out to the ball game
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Let's Go Places: Take me out to the ball game

There's nothing like an evening at the ballpark: the excitement of loaded bases and a full count, the roar from the crowd as a ball flies over the stadium wall, and (most importantly), the ice cream.

Seattle Refined enjoyed a game at Cheney Stadium, the home of the Tacoma Rainiers. We quickly learned that baseball players have no shame in getting down and dirty on the field, whether it was sprinting through the outfield to catch a fly ball or sliding into home base.

Baseball players have to be prepared for the rough, sometimes muddy, road ahead—just like the 2019 Toyota 4Runner.

2019 Toyota 4Runner: Celebrating 35 years.

Since its introduction in 1984, Toyota 4Runner has built a reputation as the do-anything adventure vehicle. In those 35 years, 4Runner has evolved to offer more comfort, safety, and tech, but the reason it is still beloved has less to do with what's changed and more to do with what hasn't; namely never losing its core DNA.

The 4Runner is as versatile as ever. It is a family-hauling, boat-towing, hill-climbing, sport-utility SUV that can adapt to just about any situation. Oh yeah, and it offers room for up to seven passengers. Whether blazing trails or navigating the concrete jungle, 4Runner is up to the task.

Get where you need to go.

Regardless if the destination is a secluded trailhead, local boat ramp, or traffic-clogged school drop-off zone, the 4Runner delivers with everyday comfort, versatility, and that proven Toyota reliability. 4Runner's strength originates at its tough-as-nails body-on-frame construction featuring a 4-link rear axle and coil-spring suspension. But that tough chassis is also the source of 4Runner's comfortable ride. You don't sacrifice one to get the other.

The 4Runner offers the choice of 2WD, part-time 4WD with a 2-speed transfer case, or, in the Limited, full-time multi-mode 4WD with a 2-speed transfer case and locking center differential. All four-wheel-drive models offer a generous 9.6 inches of ground clearance. All 4Runner models come with a full-size spare tire.

The Toyota 4Runner can look ruggedly sinister covered in mud, but just as dashing if you clean it up for a night out. All 4Runners are equipped with projector beam headlights and LED rear combination lamps.

It has guts.

The 4Runner's gutsy 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 routes its stout 278 lb.-ft. of torque through a 5-speed ECT-i automatic transmission with sequential shift mode. Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) optimizes torque across the engine's entire operating range. There's plenty of torque for towing, hence the inclusion of a standard integrated tow-hitch receiver and wiring harness on all grades. All 4Runner models can tow a maximum of 5,000 pounds, with a maximum 500-pound tongue weight.

The added attraction of added traction.

The 4Runner is fortified by a supporting array of technologies that enhance the capability provided by the high-strength chassis and 4WD. Standard Hill-Start Assist Control provides additional control when accelerating from a stop on a steep incline by helping to hold the vehicle stationary for approximately five seconds while the driver transitions from the brake pedal to the accelerator. Limited and SR5 models equipped with 4WD also feature standard Downhill Assist Control (DAC). This feature augments low-speed descending controllability by helping to maintain a constant slow speed and prevent wheel lockup, allowing the driver to concentrate primarily on steering.

Space: not a compromise.

The Toyota 4Runner is a Sherpa among SUVs. With the second-row seats in use, the cargo area offers up to 47.2 cu. ft. of carrying space. If it's just two people hitting the road, folding the second row opens up a cavernous 89.7 cu. ft. cargo area. Fold-flat second-row seats provide a level load floor, and it's not necessary to remove the headrests to fold the seats flat. The available pull-out cargo deck can carry up to 440 pounds to make loading and unloading heavy items easier, and it also provides seating for tailgating and campsite relaxation. For power on the go, the 4Runner offers a standard 120V outlet and two 12V outlet. The standard Optitron instrument panel adds a touch of high-tech elegance for all grades, and a multi-information display provides readouts for numerous vehicle functions and fuel economy. Like all 2019 Toyota models, the 4Runner line offers an array of Entune Multimedia system choices.

The TRD Pro Series looks the tough part too, with 17-inch black TRD alloy wheels wrapped in Nitto Terra Grapplers, unique front grille, black bumper accents, TRD Shift Knob, and special badging and accents inside and out. A new TRD roof rack is exclusively found on the TRD Pro, and it also receives a standard moonroof and JBL Premium Audio for 2019. Like the other TRD Pro vehicles, the 4Runner gets an updated 1/4-inch-thick aluminum skid plate with red TRD lettering. The TRD Pro Series will be offered in Super White, Midnight Black and the exclusive Voodoo Blue.

Limited Warranty and ToyotaCare

Toyota's 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. The 4Runner also comes standard with ToyotaCare, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

The starting MSRP for the 2019 Toyota 4Runner is $35,310. The 4Runner TRD Pro (featured in this segment) starts at $46,815. For more information go to buyatoyota.com.

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