2012 Toyota 4Runner Reviews
Toyota redesigned the 4Runner for 2010. The truck-based SUV got beefier off-road hardware, new styling inside and out, and improved gas mileage. Competitors include the Nissan Pathfinder and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, with two types of four-wheel drive optional. The 4Runner offers up to three rows of seats. Trim levels are the base SR5, off-road Trail edition and well-equipped Limited.
New for 2012
Toyota has discontinued the 4Runner's 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, leaving only a 270-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6. A newly standard stereo comes with satellite radio, a USB port with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth streaming audio functionality. Toyota's Entune multimedia system is optional, as are power running boards and a navigation system.
The 4Runner has a squared-off nose and creased headlights that look similar to ones on Toyota's Sequoia SUV and Tundra pickup truck. The liftgate features a power window.
Trail editions get a hood scoop, unique 17-inch wheels, front and rear bumper guards, and smoked headlamps and taillamps. Exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch alloy wheels
- Standard roof rails
- Optional 20-inch wheels
The dashboard carries similar themes to Toyota's Land Cruiser SUV, with a bulky gated shifter and plenty of silver trim. The optional third-row seat brings maximum seating capacity to seven. Both the second and third rows fold flat. There is also an optional sliding rear cargo deck that can extend several inches beyond the rear bumper to form a makeshift picnic table or seat. It's rated to hold 440 pounds. Interior features include:
- Standard power windows and locks
- Standard CD stereo
- Standard air conditioning and cruise control
- Optional water-resistant cloth seats
- Optional backup camera
- Optional dual-zone automatic climate control
- Optional leather upholstery
- Optional moonroof
Under the Hood
There is an optional four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case; the four-wheel-drive Limited gets a full-time system that doesn't require driver intervention.
A long list of off-road equipment includes available locking center and rear differentials and a terrain selection system that allows drivers to match drivetrain settings to exact off-road conditions. Crawl mode can keep the 4Runner moving at a constant slow speed so drivers don't have to feather the gas pedal in tight off-road situations, and Toyota's A-TRAC traction control system purports to distribute power to any wheel with traction, even if the other three are slipping. Hill descent control can restrict the 4Runner to a slow downhill crawl — again, to help drivers work through serious off-road muck without having to worry about managing vehicle speed. An optional disconnecting stabilizer bar system allows more suspension travel for extreme off-road situations.
For better on-road comfort, optional adaptive shock absorbers automatically adjust to changing road conditions. Other mechanical features include:
- 270-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 with a five-speed automatic transmission
- Maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds
- Skid plates for the engine and radiator, front suspension, transfer case (four-wheel-drive versions) and gas tank
Standard safety features include:
- Eight airbags — frontal chest and knee airbags, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for all rows of seats
- Antilock brakes
- Traction control
- Electronic stability system
- Rear parking sensors