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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 146 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 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

old friend and new friend

By on Monday, August 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 180,000

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"There are few things that will bring a tear to a grown man's eye. Retiring an old friend after 11 years of loyal service is one of those things. I've put almost 200K miles of adventures on this bad boy, through my early twenties and early thirties. Despite the means to replace it long ago, I've kept it in service because I've kept the exterior up well, it's got a nice enough interior (although mobile audio technology changed since 2003) and it just works. Let me say that again. IT JUST WORKS. You are not going to find another SUV (in this price range) that can take you to a business meeting on Friday, up a steep craggy mountain trail on Saturday, and the family to church on Sunday...WITHOUT FAIL year after year. My 4runner is almost 12, and it drives and sounds like a 12 year old truck, that has unfortunately been in two accidents. I love it but it's time to let it go. I'm not ready to upgrade to a Landcruiser just yet, so I'm getting the next best thing, another 4runner. If you enjoy the outdoors and you need an SUV, this is THE ONE."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Solid well built SUV

By on Thursday, August 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Interior, fun to drive, smooth, leather seats"

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

"There may be SUV's that behave more like cars, but I've always been a 4x4 guy. This 2014 is the best of both words, it's great on the highway and off road. Interior is quality materials and love entune. Lots of cargo space and 2nd row leg room. Interior materials and top notch and you can't be exterior looks. We bought this after we put 200,000 trouble free miles on our 04' 4Runner."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I've owned!

By on Saturday, August 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

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

Pros: "Great sound system, fun to drive"

Cons: "Position of cup holders/4wd control"

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

"I have a black 2012 limited 4runner and absolutely love it! It's rugged and stands up to off roading. Tons of space for gear on hiking and camping trips. Looks sharp! I will never drive anything else!"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Rollover accident - this 4Runner was great

By on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great value, very safe, reliable, nice features"

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

"My 2012 4Runner SR5 4x4 was hit by someone running a red light at 45mph. She t-boned me, and I flipped onto the roof. I remember every detail, and walked away unscathed (albeit really sore). When I went to look at the 4Runner at the tow facility a couple of days later, the exterior was trashed of course, but the interior was in perfect condition. The frame held up perfectly, it didn't cave or dent at all. I am very grateful, and plan on getting a new 2014 4Runner as a replacement."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

one of the best i ever owned

By on Saturday, June 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "a great value"

Cons: "its not a porsche"

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

"My first 4runner was a 2004. Because of the quality in it years later I decided to purchase the 2010 4runner. Very pleased."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

THE BEST TRUCK EVER

By on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 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

Pros: "Solid ride, features, vent seats, fuel economy,"

Cons: "nothing"

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

"Bought a 4RUNNER because knew be a excellent sport utility could trust on long term reliability these SUVs never failed in low ratings. I have Limited edition model it's fully loaded in bells and whistles with some of the comfortable seats includes ventilated memory, navigation, blue tooth, infotainment center and much more. 4Runner gives me good gas mileage. Ride is very smooth the steering feels well firmed all of controls are handsome easily use for a/c climate to navigation. The features are more upgraded some electronics that was added. Engine is a 3.0 liter it's real powerful while gives lots of responsive handling for a original owner/driver to be safe on the roads available in ''ALL WHEEL DRIVE'' in case for next winter if have another hard storm know want have to worry because feel much safer if SUV loss control or skid of the road can use the Traction/stability controls as got all wheel drive. 4Runner now looks more of Toyotas top of the line SUV with aggressive styling with smoked taillights and refreshed front end. I have lots of room only things wish the rear seats could recline something be in a Lexus than think match a higher price because the rebate and amenities are excellent on 4Runner. I love this truck every time driving it feels like heaven think purchased a great SUV worth monies down on something like 4Runner too much to list."

7 people out of 9 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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