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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.
Favorite Features

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
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 132 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

At 51, I owned over 35 cars, this has been thebest

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Bought my 2010 off showroom floor in January 2010. It has been the best vehicle I have ever owned. No issues...I am a mechanic and my only complaints: it takes an hour to change the oil, so with synthetic I only have to deal with it a few times a year., the transmission is sealed (no dipstick) so fluid change at 100,000 miles is probably a dealer only ( I looked it up and even I don't want to do), and the weather strip outside along the glass is starting to tear off and dissolve...also headlights are hazing on top and started to only after a year or so.. Went to dealer and they used some compound on them...the haze came right back...I wish they would have replaced mine like they did for others....all in all though a great truck! I'm at 82,000 miles so far.."

At 51, I owned over 35 cars, this has been thebest

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Bought my 2010 off showroom floor in January 2010. It has been the best vehicle I have ever owned. No issues...I am a mechanic and my only complaints: it takes an hour to change the oil, so with synthetic I only have to deal with it a few times a year., the transmission is sealed (no dipstick) so fluid change at 100,000 miles is probably a dealer only ( I looked it up and even I don't want to do), and the weather strip outside along the glass is starting to tear off and dissolve...also headlights are hazing on top and started to only after a year or so.. Went to dealer and they used some compound on them...the haze came right back...I wish they would have replaced mine like they did for others....all in all though a great truck! I'm at 82,000 miles so far.."

Outstanding Amenities and Ride

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 550

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

Pros: "Stylish look, perfect blend of SUV and Truck"

Cons: "None"

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

"I have owned many vehicles. The 2014 stands out as one of the best I have ever owned. The drive is smooth and stable. The amenities, in the limited trim, are superior and fit/finish better than 2013 models. Although, the price may scare some off...this vehicle is built to be the last vehicle you will ever own."

Outstanding Amenities and Ride

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 550

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

Pros: "Stylish look, perfect blend of SUV and Truck"

Cons: "None"

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

"I have owned many vehicles. The 2014 stands out as one of the best I have ever owned. The drive is smooth and stable. The amenities, in the limited trim, are superior and fit/finish better than 2013 models. Although, the price may scare some off...this vehicle is built to be the last vehicle you will ever own."

Outstanding Amenities and Ride

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 550

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

Pros: "Stylish look, perfect blend of SUV and Truck"

Cons: "None"

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

"I have owned many vehicles. The 2014 stands out as one of the best I have ever owned. The drive is smooth and stable. The amenities, in the limited trim, are superior and fit/finish better than 2013 models. Although, the price may scare some off...this vehicle is built to be the last vehicle you will ever own."

Better than my CRV

By on Thursday, April 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 945

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: "Features, visbility, seats, audio, nav, ride,"

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

"Wanted to trade up my 2012 Honda CRV on a new 4runner sr5 limited. I like the SUV overall on new features and better gas mileage. The 4runner is now available with an navigation, new standard rearview camera, Bluetooth, keyless access, heated front seats, great stereo system, handles better than CRV its bit quieter out on the highways. This SUV has been refreshed in a exterior styling and more new interior fit and finish materials. Engine is very excellent on torque and power gives just at 0-60 seconds. Leather seats have nice buckets with lumbar support and the 3rd row seating is better with comfort on front/rear all the best on the SUV. Visibility a plus with better roofline being 6'4'' and doors opens wide enough the 4runner is best than coming out a cheaper small crossover like CRV should had this quality instead but this much expensive larger crossover I got has it all on lots that is standard and fully equipped at a bargain. Rides remarkably good with performance being a steal on great handling interior doesn't suffer from any wind noise or be noisy under acceleration. Toyota Quality is very excellent now I am a new loyal Toyota guy who bought an new 4runner on luxury have on it even I'm getting good fuel economy since owned nearly two months enjoying all the new features on my new 4runner. All of the controls works great even navigation/audio systems both are excellent too with voice recognition for blue tooth includes USB/MP3 player capabilities just the best on this 4runner. LUV MY 4RUNNER FOR LIFE!!!!"

3 people out of 6 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

Buying this car?