The Toyota 4Runner is one of the few SUV’s left that sports a body-on-frame construction and an outdoor work ethic that’s purely traditional. If you are in quest of a vehicle that portrays real off road power and capability, supported by rugged hardware, the 2012 Toyota 4Runner is certainly for you. Nonetheless, the 4Runner can by no means be termed as outdated simply because it’s rare! It is powered by a 270 Hp V6 engine along with a four or two wheel drive and provides for good fuel economy at the same time. The interiors are spacious and provide third row seating with a total passenger capacity of 7.
When it comes to off-road gear, the 4Runner is packed with advanced traction control, hill descent as well as hill hold control and a full blown spare tire. Depending upon the trim you choose, there are a couple of four wheel drives to be chosen from, a bevy of suspension options and specialized tires too!
However, when you compare the 4Runner to the modern class of crossover vehicles like the Honda Pilot, The Toyota Highlander or the Chevrolet Traverse, it would seemingly lack utility, comfort and general convenience. Similarly, when compared to closest cousin, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 4Runner lacks a V8 engine and isn’t as upscale with respect to the interiors. Regardless, this dwindling creed of vehicle still finds favors among automobile enthusiasts and is being increasingly patronized.
Options, Trim Levels and Styles: There are three trim levels available here, the SR5, The Trail and the Limited. Whereas the SR5 would be available in 2WD and 4WD, the Trail is available in 4WD alone. Standard features of the SR5 include skid plates, 17 inch alloy wheels, hill descent control and hill start assist, power windows in the rear, power accessories, tilt steering, trip computer, Bluetooth compatibility, a surround sound system with eight speakers and a USB interface.
Apart from the above, the Trail version also provides a sunroof, water proof seat fabric, rearview camera, power driven front seats, crawl control, mud guards, sliding rear cargo deck and a couple of 120 volt power outlets. The Limited version would have 20 inch allow wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, automatic headlights, climate control, front seat heating, power lumbar support for the driver seat, leather upholstery, a HD radio and a smart phone integration system.
Power trains and Performance: The Toyota 4Runner 2012 is equipped with a standard V6, 4.0 liter engine that produces a torque of 278 pound feet and a power of 270 Hp. The only transmission available is that of five speeds automatic. The SR5 trim uses the part time dual range system whereas the Limited version uses a full time system coupled with a lockable central differential. The Trail is equipped only with a part time dual range supported by electronic terrain sensitive devices. Irrespective of the trim you choose, the towing capacity of the 4Runner is 5000 pounds. In testing, the 4Runner SR5 accelerated from a complete standstill to about 60mph in a matter of 7.2 seconds, which is considered to be average among the other SUVs it’s competing with. According to the assessments carried out by the EPA, it generates 17 mpg for the city drive and 23 mpg for the highway drive. The combined figure for a rear wheel drive vehicle is 19 mpg, which can be ranked as average in this segment.
Safety Mechanisms: Prominent safety features of the 4Runner 2012 include traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front knee airbags, active front head restraints, air bags in the front seat and roll sensing air bags along the side curtains. For the 2012 edition, the Limited trim has been provided with a Safety Connect and a complete system device for emergency assistance including automatic collision notification, stolen-vehicle locator, and roadside assistance and so on.
According to the ratings put forth by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, it has been awarded “good” for the side impact protection and frontal offset. “Acceptable” has been awarded for the roof strength testing. Besides, a rear wheel drive 4Runner succeeded in coming to a complete halt from a speed of 60mph within 122 feet. This is considered to be average performance.
Special Features and Interior Design: The theme of the Toyota 4Runner is industrial and geometric supporting its rugged road image superbly. Hard plastics have been used liberally all over the cabin with a light padding on most touch points. However, the knobs provided for climate control are wobbly and oversized. Notable inclusions in the 2012 model include the smartphone integration system providing for several application utilizations like the OpenTable and Pandora.