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2012 Toyota 4Runner

Overview
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2012 Toyota 4Runner Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

Over 25 years ago, the Toyota 4Runner helped create the sport utility craze for people with active lifestyles. Back then, SUVs were little more than boxes built on truck frames for rugged off-road capability. Fast-forward to today's designs: a sculpted exterior on a car-based platform limited to light off-roading. The 2012 Toyota 4Runner bucks this trend and continues on a truck chassis to provide a rugged alternative to the more refined Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Honda Pilot.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are looking for an SUV that serves dual purposes – family commuter during the week and an off-road-capable hauling vehicle on the weekend – then add the 2012 Toyota 4Runner to your short list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If a car-like ride with room for seven passengers and their luggage are more important than rough-road prowess or towing ability, then look at the Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia, or Honda Pilot.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Toyota 4Runner adds major audio and connectivity updates such as standard SiriusXM satellite radio, a USB port with iPod connectivity, and hands-free phone capability. For those who refuse to leave their technology behind, there is Toyota's available Entune multimedia system: a collection of popular mobile apps including Bing and Pandora, as well as data services like a fuel price guide and sports scores that will keep you connected.

Driving the 4Runner

Driving Impressions On the road, the 2012 4Runner's drivetrain shines. The Toyota SUV accelerates briskly with an eager 270-hp V6 engine mated to a smooth-shifting 5-speed automatic transmission. Despite being on a...

truck chassis, the Toyota's ride is fairly smooth with its compliant suspension absorbing bumps well. Outward visibility is good all-around even with the raised rear-seat headrests, so you can change lanes with confidence. The steering, however, is overly-assisted in situations such as parking lots or tight turns and is slow to respond, thus requiring constant corrections. The brakes - bit "grabby" at times – took a little getting used to as well. At highway speeds, wind noise is sometimes loud enough to interrupt cabin conversations. The 4Runner continues to be a capable off-roader offering part-time and full-time 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems to confidently assist you on rugged adventures.

Power Rear Liftgate Window
Gain access to the 4Runner's rear cargo space without opening the rear liftgate - especially useful in a tight garage or when someone is parked close behind. As a bonus, you can carry long objects such as lumber out the back window without fuss.

Sliding Rear Cargo Deck
This convenient sliding deck lets you reach your gear in the back, supports 440 pounds, and is handy for your next tailgate party.

2012 Toyota 4Runner Details
Interior

The 4Runner interior is both functional and inviting. Drivers will welcome the clear instrumentation with large buttons and rotary knobs for climate and audio controls, especially useful when wearing gloves. Pairing a smartphone using Bluetooth is refreshingly easy and does not require reading the owner's manual. The large center console has an available 120V AC power outlet to run your laptop or computer games. Power-adjustable front seats are comfortable and provide good support. In the rear, a 40/20/40 split seat offers numerous cargo/seating configurations and also reclines for additional comfort. For 7-passenger seating, a third row (best for children) is available.

Exterior

The 2012 Toyota 4Runner remains true to its utility heritage, featuring an upright windshield, long roofline and nearly vertical liftgate contributing to its boxy appearance. Impressively, that box can swallow 47.2 cu. ft. of cargo with the rear seats up. With a large flat front end, bulging fenders and 9.6 inches of ground clearance in the 4x4 version, the 4Runner shows off its rugged personality. Access to the rear cargo is through a single-piece liftgate with a unique power rear window. The SR5 and Trail editions ride on 265/70 mud and snow tires mounted on 17-inch alloy rims while the Limited sports 245/60 tires on 20-inch alloy rims.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Three trim levels are available on the 2012 Toyota 4Runner: SR5, Trail, and Limited. The SR5 sports the 4.0-liter V6 engine and 5-speed automatic transmission shared by all 4Runners, plus Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), and integrated towing receiver hitch with wiring harness. A USB port with iPod connectivity, SiriusXM satellite radio, hands-free phone, trip computer with outside temperature, and three 12V auxiliary power outlets are also standard. The rugged Trail adds part-time 4-wheel drive, water-resistant fabric seats, power moonroof, Optitron instrumentation, integrated backup camera display, electronic locking rear differential, sliding rear cargo deck, and Multi-terrain Select and Crawl control. The top-line Limited features dual-zone automatic climate control, Display Audio with Navigation and Entune, leather-trimmed and heated front seats, pushbutton starting, and Safety Connect (emergency assistance, stolen vehicle locator, roadside assistance, and automatic collision notification). All 4Runners feature eight airbags and the Star Safety System - stability and traction control, antilock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and smart-stop technology.

Optional Equipment

Only a few option packages are available on the 2012 Toyota 4Runner. Now hold your breath and get ready for the lists: The SR5 Premium Package with Third Row includes the Display Audio with Navigation and Entune, power adjustable leather-trimmed seats, power moonroof, and other interior/exterior upgrades. For the off-road enthusiast, the Trail offers a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) for enhanced wheel articulation over deep ruts and large obstacles. The audiophile can choose the Limited with voice-activated touch-screen DVD navigation system, JBL AM/FM 4-disc CD Changer, 15 speakers including subwoofer, and NavTraffic.

Under the Hood

The sole powertrain combination in the 4Runner is a sophisticated 270-hp, 4.0-liter V6 engine mated to a responsive 5-speed automatic transmission. There are three drivetrain choices: rear wheel drive (SR5, Limited) part-time 4WD (SR5, Trail), or full-time 4WD (Limited) with a limited-slip, locking center differential. Maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds.

2012 Toyota 4Runner
4.0-liter V6 engine
270 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
278 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg (rear-wheel drive)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/22 mpg (4-wheel drive)

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2012 Toyota 4Runner Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 157 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

absolutely the best car I've ever owned

By on Saturday, November 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Our Runner is one of our favorite things. She is a snow cadillac, handles amazingly off-road, hauls anything, fits everything and everyone, and drives like a cloud. If I had millions of dollars I would still drive one."

15 people out of 24 found this review helpful

This vehicle look and run great

By on Friday, November 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is a very comfortable and strong vehicle great on the snow or ice road , extended toyota maintenance bumper to bumper until 2018 transferable, completed service up to date , remote starter,black interior leather seats, black exterior."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best car I've ever owned

By on Thursday, November 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "Gets 20-21 mpg rides great looks great dependable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned a 2007 4runner 2007 and a 2010 Highlanders. This 2013 4runner is the best of them all. Has great towing ability, great ride, no wind noise and great resell Value. We love this 4runner!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Outstanding Bang for the buck

By on Sunday, October 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great ride"

Cons: "Tinny sound to the doors"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Reliable, worry free transportation Maintain it right, should last 250k or more. Got 227k out of my 2004 Will buy another!"

12 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Best Value

By on Sunday, October 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've wanted this truck ever since I can remember but since I wear I suit and tie to work my previous cars have been sedans and luxury vehicles. After having this SUV for two months I couldn't be any happier and I am looking forward to my first road trip."

4 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Does not match up to the 2005 4Runner.

By on Sunday, September 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,600

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good Handlng; Smooth ride; Roomy;"

Cons: "OEM tires; ECO display; Sun Visor; Underpowered;"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I have just had the first oil change on my 2014 4Runner Trail 4WD for which I traded my 2005 4Runner 4WD Sport. There are a large number of things I do not like about the 2014 model when compared to the 2005. It seems many things were cheapened. LIKES: •Rides very smoothly and handles very well. •Quite roomy for our purposes •Manual heating/cooling much better than the automatic •Time and temperature display can be seen in daylight unless headlights are on •Users manual has page number references •Evidently the rear tail gate no longer has a motorized closure; For the 2005 I spent $1200 on two occasions to have the closure mechanism repaired from the fine dust that entered from our unimproved roads that combined with rainwater. •12v, 110v, and USB outlets DISLIKES: •No bug screen. I did not realize how much that helped with the bugs on the windscreen •Sun visor has a funky small center pull out section which does absolutely no good; 2005 entire sun visor moved on its support and did the job plus it had a small auxiliary visor for the front which was very useful on our winding mountain roads at sunrise and sunset. •A stupid ECO display that tells me when I am accelerating takes up valuable instrument panel display area and is totally worthless and a waste of money. I really DO know when I am accelerating •No covers on storage compartments to keep items from falling out •Time and temperature display cannot be seen in daylight when headlights are on, but could not be seen at all on the 2005 in daylight. •The vehicle is underpowered and cannot easily climb a 20 percent grade on the unimproved road leading to my house. With a light ATV trailer I must be in second gear and in four wheel drive to crawl up •Outside mirror is easily moved when pushed on when mirror has been retracted. 2005 model was much more substantial •Gas cap no longer has a locking mechanism •OEM tires not made for unimproved roads. After 2,000 miles I was climbing the steep hill on the unimproved road to my house, which I drive daily. Something punctured the tire in the center of the tread to an extent that the tire could not be repaired, It forced me to purchase a new tire for a spare and trade in the entire set (for $50.00) for real tires. The same thing can be said for the quality of the OEM tires on the 2005 model; on two occasions, a tire shredded going down my road when they went flat and I did not realize it. •The KDSS is confusing and difficult to understand and seems to be a waste of money for a vehicle that is not routinely used off road. I do need the features to be used in deep snow in the northern mountains of NM. •Not any address can be entered into the Navigational system. If the address has no default it cannot be entered. I cannot enter the street number for a house that is in a long established area. •All four windows being fully automatic down is unnecessary and makes it difficult to crack the windows open to reduce heat buildup •Finally, the emergency kit and the first aid kit have been cheapened - both the contents ant the storage containers"

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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