• 2010 Toyota 4Runner

First launched back in 1984, the Toyota 4Runner is currently entering its fifth generation of all terrain go anywhere toughness, this time with a more athletic look and a redesigned interior. Not to mention more power and better gas mileage, what is there not to like about the all new Toyota 4Runner. For 2010 Toyota will offer the sport utility vehicle in three different trim levels; the first is the Trail Grade 4Runner, followed by the well equipped SR5 with the Limited model topping out the range. TAs part of the fun truck’s off road agenda it will be offered with a rear wheel biased 4x2 drivetrain, part time 4x4 as well as a full time multi mode 4x4 rock crawling system.

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On the outside, the 2010 4Runner comes with more rugged looking bumpers, more aggressive headlamps and taillights and some bolder boxed fenders that frame a set of 17 inch alloy wheels. The Japanese design team has also added a few new color options to the 4Runner’s pallet to satisfy the more refined off road shopper with colors like: Shoreline Blue Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic and Classic Silver Metallic. All 4x4 equipped models will be powered by a 4.0 Liter V6 that cracks out 270 HP and 278 lb-ft of torque while the 4x2 models will receive the new 2.7 Liter four banger engine that produces a much lesser 157 HP and 178 lb-ft of torque.

With the all new 2010 Toyota 4Runner, the Japanese automaker is reaching out to younger more enthusiastic car buyers with a fun truck that looks rugged enough to cross over any mountain trail and still look cool parked on the streets of a concrete canyon. Toyota is offering the reasonably sized 4Runner with a host of different trim level and drivetrain combinations to fit any consumer’s budget.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

When the first Toyota 4Runner sport utility vehicle (SUV) was launched back in 1984 it was a revolutionary new vehicle based on the mechanics of the four-wheel-drive Toyota pickup truck. The 4Runner combined the versatility and go-anywhere ability of four-wheel-drive with the comfort and utility found in passenger cars.

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Twenty-five years, four generations and more than 1.5 million sales later, the 4Runner continues to evolve while remaining close to its roots. The all-new fifth-generation 4Runner is even more rugged and athletic, and packed with more power and better mileage. A completely redesigned interior and unique cargo area make the newest 4Runner smarter, more comfortable, and more versatile than ever.
“Backed by a quarter-century of heritage combined with the integration of the latest comfort, convenience and performance technologies, the all-new fifth-generation 4Runner has evolved into one of the most advanced mid-sized truck-based SUV’s on the market while at the same time staying true to its roots as a rugged and durable off-roader,” said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Division.

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More rugged than the Highlander and more versatile than the FJ Cruiser, the 4Runner combines the toughness and durability of body-on-frame construction with multi-use design that excels at a wide variety of tasks.
The newest 4Runner is taller, wider and longer for 2010, and is available in a variety of configurations. It will be offered in three models, top-of-the-line Limited, a well-equipped SR5, plus a Trail grade for those who require maximum off-road capability.
Drivetrain configurations include rear wheel 4x2, part-time 4x4 and full-time multi-mode 4x4 with a locking center differential. All 4x4 models are equipped with a 4.0-liter V6 mated to a five-speed ECT-i automatic transmission. The 4x2 models will be equipped with either a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed ECT automatic or the 4.0-liter V6 with the five-speed ECT-i automatic. Optional third-row seats allow for up to seven-person capacity.

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 Exterior Styling

The design strategy for the new 4Runner emphasizes a more rugged, powerful stance. Large diameter wheels and tires were added to not only improve off-road performance, but also enhance the 4Runner’s truck-based characteristics. In addition to its styling emphasis on ruggedness and outdoor adventure, the new design utilizes a combination of Toyota’s classic boxy form and progressive styling.
All 4Runner grades feature rugged new bumpers and wider shoulders, with newly designed head- lamp and tail-light systems, which offer a newly-minted, technical design quality and better nighttime performance. The front ends square fender flares meld with a muscular profile that links with a beefy and square rear bumper and back door.

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Aluminum alloy wheels are 17-inches in diameter on SR5 and Trail grades and 20-inches on the Limited, and include a full size spare.
In addition to its distinctive front grille, the SR5 grade also adopts overfenders and mud guards to help tackle inclement weather and off-road conditions. A roof rack comes standard for hauling equipment for outdoor activities.
The Trail grade is designed to maximize off-road performance with a superior approach and departure angles, high ground clearance, and an array of functional upgrades for the most demanding active outdoor enthusiast. It can be distinguished by a unique hood scoop, unique 17-inch wheels, black outer mirrors, front and rear bumper guards and dark smoke treatment on the head and tail lamps.
The Limited and SR5 grades add to the muscular design with special touches that provide a premium appearance. The front end includes a chrome-plated front grille insert, fog lamp bezel and front bumper molding. Front and rear overfenders and side skirts are color-keyed. Chrome plating is also found on the side molding, roof rack and rear bumper.

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Turn signals on SR5 and Limited V6 grades are now incorporated into the outside mirrors, along with puddle lamps.
4Runner is available in six exterior colors. Three new colors, Shoreline Blue Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic and Classic Silver Metallic, join carryovers Blizzard Pearl, Salsa Red Pearl and Black.

New Engine Choices

The 2010 4Runner is powered by a new 4.0-liter V6, which now generates 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. Through the use of advanced engine management that includes dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), the new 4.0-liter engine offers the best of both worlds, adding more power while improving efficiency. For 2010, the new V6 engine produces 34 horsepower more than the prior V6, and 10 horsepower more than the optional V8 of the previous generation.

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Additional mileage improvements have come from careful attention to wind flow, reducing aerodynamic drag to a Cd of 0.365. EPA-estimated mileage improves from 16 city and 21 highway to 17 city/23 highway for the 4x2, and from 16 city and 20 highway to 17 city/22 highway for 4x4 models. Both achieve an EPA-estimated 19 mpg combined, an improvement of more than five percent. With the new 4.0-liter engine, maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds.
In addition to the upgraded V6 engine, a proven 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with VVT-i is available on the 4x2 SR5 model. The gutsy DOHC, 16-valve 2.7 makes 157 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a four-speed automatic transmission with 2.80:1 first gear and 0.753 overdrive 4th, the 2.7 delivers 18 city/23 highway mpg.

4x4 Capability Designed-In

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To build on its tradition of rugged body-on-frame construction, the newest 4Runner shares the same platform as the FJ Cruiser. Extensive frame and body reinforcements have been added, using high-tensile materials to add strength without adding weight. SR5 and Trail 4x4 models have a two-speed lever-operated, part-time system with neutral position, while the 4Runner Limited is equipped with full-time, four-wheel-drive with a locking center differential and employs a three-mode, center console-mounted switch. The new 4Runner is also equipped with a stronger rear differential over the previous model, thanks to a gear ring that has increased in size from 7.87 to 8.18 inches.
To enhance grip, the A-TRAC system is now standard equipment on all 4x4 models. The system can distribute driving force to any one wheel in contact with the ground, making terrain irregularities and slippery patches transparent to the driver. An electronic-locking rear differential is standard on the Trail grade. Axles house 3.73 gears, or 4.56:1 with the 2.7-liter engine and the differential housings have improved seals for better resistance to mud and water.

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An array of advanced features, formerly only available in the Land Cruiser, further boosts off-highway capabilities. The Trail grade offers Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) as an option. KDSS radically improves terrain-following ability by disconnecting stabilizer bars to allow for more axle travel, and better suspension articulation in slow, difficult terrain.
Toyota’s Crawl Control (CRAWL) feature is standard on the Trail grade. CRAWL is an adjustable electro-mechanical system that can be tuned to match the terrain by selecting any of five speed levels. The system maintains an appropriate speed that keeps the vehicle under control and minimizes the load on drivetrain and suspension components. The CRAWL feature helps make traversing difficult terrain easier and safer. With the transfer case shifted into low range, Crawl Control regulates engine speed and output (along with braking force), to propel the vehicle forward or in reverse at one of the five low-speed settings. This allows the driver to maintain focus while steering over very rough level ground or steep grades, without having to also modulate the throttle, or brake, pedals.

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The Trail grade also features a Multi-Terrain Select system which allows the 4x4 operator to dial in wheel slip control to match the terrain. In loose terrain such as mud and sand, more-than-normal wheel slip is permitted, allowing wheel-spin to work in the vehicle’s favor. On bumpy moguls, or solid rock, wheel slip is minimized and the system acts more like a limited slip. The Mogul setting is for any extremely uneven terrain, such as V-ditches, slopes, and ridges, uphill or down.
All 4Runner 4x4 models are standard-equipped with Downhill Assist Control (DAC), which is designed to augment the low-speed ascending ability of low-range by holding the vehicle to a target speed with no driver intervention. All V6 4Runner models come standard with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), which provides additional control for off-road driving by helping to keep the vehicle stationary while starting on a steep incline or slippery surface.

On-Road Driving Dynamics

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The new 4Runner may be a truck-based SUV, but it offers the kind of drivability and riding comfort more often associated with car-based platforms.
Coil springs over gas shocks are used at all four corners for a comfortable ride and controlled handling. A double-wishbone independent front suspension, combined with new, variable-flow rack and pinion steering, makes for precise control on demanding roadways. The four-link rear suspension minimizes rear axle hop and assures a smooth ride for back seat passengers.
The Limited grade comes standard with an X-REAS suspension system that further improves performance, comfort and control. X-REAS automatically adjusts the damping force of shocks when driving over bumpy surfaces, or when cornering. The system uses a center control absorber to cross-link shocks on opposite corners of the vehicle, substantially reducing pitch and yaw by offsetting opposing inputs. With X-REAS the new 4Runner corners flatter, smoother, and handles choppy pavement more easily.

Every Safety Precaution Considered

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On-road vehicle dynamics are further enhanced by a suite of high-performance, state-of-the-art safety systems. Standard on 4Runner is Toyota’s Star Safety System™, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with traction control (TRAC), an Anti-Lock Brake System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) helps to ensure stability by compensating for oversteer or understeer. The system uses selective braking and modulated engine output to keep the vehicle in line with the driver’s intended course. On 4x2 vehicles, the Auto LSD (Limited Slip Differential) system allows for better traction on slippery sections of roadway.
The four-wheel ABS with EBD provides the 4Runner anti-lock stopping control with optimal brake proportioning, whether the vehicle is loaded or unloaded. Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), standard on all 4x4 models and the 4x2 V6, suppresses backward roll when switching from brake to accelerator. All 2010 4Runners have active headrests for driver and passenger, three-point seat belts for all seats, an energy-absorbing body structure and an energy-absorbing hood to help protect pedestrians.

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A system of eight standard airbags includes front, side-mounted and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, and side curtain airbags for the second and third row.
The 2010 4Runner now offers the new Safety Connect™ telematics system. Available by subscription, with or without the optional navigation system, Safety Connect offers four safety and security features: Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), and Roadside Assistance.
In case of either airbag deployment or severe rear-end collision Automatic Collision Notification is designed to automatically call a response center. If a response agent cannot communicate with the occupants, the agent can contact the nearest emergency-services provider to dispatch assistance.

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Pushing the in-vehicle “SOS” button allows drivers to reach the response center to request help in an emergency as well as for a wide range of roadside assistance needs. If a 4Runner equipped with Safety Connect is stolen, after a police report is filed and the driver contacts the response center, agents can work with local authorities to help locate and recover the vehicle.
Safety Connect is standard, factory-installed hardware on the 4Runner Limited and available via an active subscription. An included one year trial subscription will be offered on equipped new vehicle purchases.
A rear-view monitor system is standard on Limited and Trail grades and optional on the SR5. The system displays in the rear-view mirror, helping to keep track of hard-to-see objects to the rear of the vehicle. A rear clearance sonar system is standard on SR5 models.

Everyday Convenience and Utility

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The all-new 4Runner has been thoughtfully equipped with features and systems to create a comfortable travel space, allowing for convenient operation in everyday use.
The larger interior has been completely redesigned with comfort and utility in mind. The front seats have a greater range of adjustment, both vertically and front to rear.
A bright, highly visible dash houses speedometer, tachometer, voltage, fuel and temp gauges, plus a combination meter that offers multiple functions. An Eco-Driving feedback system allows the driver to manage fuel consumption in real time. Within easy reach of the driver is an overhead console that organizes the off-road control switches into one location. Features like a compass indicator and outside temperature display add functionality in outdoor settings.

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A manual climate control air conditioning system is standard on SR5 and Trail grades. An automatic dual zone climate control air conditioning system is standard on the Limited. The system features driver and passenger independent temperature controls, providing separate comfort levels.
For second-row passengers, a newly sculpted front seat-back shape provides additional knee space. A center armrest has been added, and the second-row seats now individually recline up to 16 degrees in four steps.
Third-row seating has been enhanced with a larger, more supportive seating area. Access to the third row has been improved by splitting the second-row seats into a 40/20/40 configuration and adopting a one-touch walk-in function.

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A rich leather interior is standard on the Limited grade and optional on SR5. The interior sports newly designed interior color schemes, using Black (Limited only), and Sand Beige. Graphite and Sand Beige fabric is standard on SR5 and Trail. Water-resistant fabric seats are standard equipment of Trail models.

Cargo-Carrying Versatility

The cargo area has been re-engineered to be more versatile than any SUV on the market.
More cargo space is available due to the fold-flat second-row rear seats, which do not require removal of the headrest for rearrangement. For models with three rows of seats, the third row seats are split 50/50, and they readily fold flat to allow the seatback to become the floor of the luggage compartment. They can be folded from the side, or at the rear, using separate one-touch mechanisms. With this new arrangement, more cargo space is available without removing seats, and longer items can be conveniently stored.

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A Smart Key System featuring keyless entry with push-button start is standard on the Limited grade. The system allows the driver to unlock or start the vehicle by carrying the keyless remote. The back door window has jam control, like the moonroof and power side windows.
Another convenience feature is an available pull-out cargo deck that is capable of carrying up to 440 pounds of weight. The cargo deck slides out to make loading heavy items easier. When extended, the sturdy cargo deck can also be used to provide seating, sheltered by the hatch, for tailgating and campsite relaxation. For models with the sliding deck, a 6.4-liter capacity storage box has been installed behind the rear seat, for handy storage of tools or other items.

Audio with “Party Mode”

The SR5 base audio system has an AM/FM/CD player with eight speakers, providing quality sound throughout the cabin and is XM® Satellite Radio capable with a SDARS tuner.

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Standard audio on the Trail grade and optional on SR5 is an AM/FM/MP3 CD player with eight speakers, integrated XM Satellite Radio (includes 90-day trial subscription), USB port with iPod connectivity, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® Wireless Technology, and steering wheel audio controls.
The Premium JBL audio system has a six-disk in-dash CD changer and 15 speakers for outstanding audio performance. For models equipped with the optional navigation system, a four-disk CD changer is used, and XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, and iPod with MP3 control functions are included, with 15-speaker JBL audio. Reception has been enhanced on and off-road by adopting a fender-mounted, pole-type antenna. The navigation system includes a large seven-inch monitor and features an eco function that allows you to monitor fuel consumption per minute in real time, and fuel consumption per interval.
A “party mode” setting raises the bass and transfers the equalization to the rear of the vehicle to provide excellent outside audio for tailgating. Party mode benefits from rear hatch-mounted speakers and is actuated by a switch, installed in the instrument panel to the right of the driver’s seat (rear hatch speakers function with, or without, party mode).

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“In 1984 the first 4Runner helped cultivate and foster the up-and-coming SUV market, said Carter. “When the new 4Runner launches later this fall it will continue to be a perfect fit for young, and young-at-heart, outdoor and off-road enthusiasts.”

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (412) posted on 02.9.2012

I like the power that this vehicle posses. It looks very efficient in rough outdoor
activities. Other than this, I love its interior that appeals so comfortable and neat.

  (531) posted on 01.25.2012

This is a great and all around excellent truck with fantastic 4WD system. I think there are several features that needs improvements. But overall, it’s an amazing truck.

  (441) posted on 08.15.2011

This Toyota 4runner is really had the image of a masculine and impressive car. I would love to have this for myself, so reliable in everyday use and also for adventures.

  (474) posted on 03.4.2011

Toyota is weird, because they have the high tech Prius, but than they also have cars like this. This car gives me the impression that Toyota doesn’t really want to improve the quality or mpg. I mean the have a Avenza 2.7 L4 who makes 182 hp. Toyota must be thinking that if the want to sell cars in the USA, the have to give it American style engines.

  (647) posted on 02.24.2010

dang 4 runner was really put to it’s limits, well I guess this is quite fun to drive specially in off-road where it was meant to run.

  (516) posted on 02.9.2010

well this is a great competitor of Nissan Pathfinder and xterra, I really want to see the Nissan and toyota head to head on off-road and know which is the best off roader of them.

  (778) posted on 12.16.2009

Toys not only for boys but for girls also.. so what’s the answer of Mitsubishi and Nissan here?

  (1022) posted on 09.29.2009

Its on the community page. Question is which car you drive. Iam the only one who has taken the poll.

BMWM6  (486) posted on 09.28.2009

ill check if we can have something like a poll

BMWM6  (1022) posted on 09.28.2009

Come on guys. Have a little pride.Take the poll on the community page.

BMWM6  (486) posted on 09.27.2009

the extra power is not needed
and the suspension system is much better on the wrangler especially with the sway bar

although im with you on reliability

BMWM6  (868) posted on 09.26.2009

A Wrangler? I see no point in a car that’s designed to go everywhere that you can’t trust to start-up half of the time. Take an FJ and throw in the TRD suspension and supercharger and no American or otherwise can compete.

BMWM6  (486) posted on 09.26.2009

sure the fj cruiser has better clearance I think but its a shorter wheel base which is good for rock crawling I guess but not for trail driving.

as you mentioned the 4runner is better all around and the 4runner has a better aftermarket. In terms of capability there both extremely good. i know the fj cruiser was designed to be off road hence all the off road features inside and the washable interior.

come to think of it isnt this a segment where americans are better

I mean I understand the Old fjs were the equivalent of landrovers and they have alot of history but for pure off roading wouldnt you rather get a wrangler

BMWM6  (868) posted on 09.24.2009

The 4Runner, along with most of Toyota’s SUVs, is a great off-road machine, but the FJ is beyond compare. Don’t get me wrong - the 4Runner is a better all-around vehicle by far than the FJ. But when it comes to pure off-road ability, a TRD FJ is the best that money can buy.

BMWM6  (486) posted on 09.24.2009

if I ever own this truck I would raise by like 6’ and put some really big off road tires

but then again thats what my avalanche is for

the 4runner is really capable off road truck even better than the fj cruiser i my opinion

BMWM6  (868) posted on 09.24.2009

It’s nice to know that they’re finally offering the sport model’s suspension in the luxurious limited trim.

BMWM6  (868) posted on 09.24.2009

Hidious, but a great vehicle in every other way.

BMWM6  (486) posted on 09.24.2009

I love this truck its really nice I always loved the old one but this is really cool in this segment this is way better than any american

its just once we are at seqoui or watever its called the chevies are pretty nice at that level

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