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7.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.8
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 9.0
Reliability:
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2012 Toyota 4Runner Review

The 2012 Toyota 4Runner is capable off-road, test drivers say, though they were let down by its sloppy handling on pavement.

Pros & Cons

  • Good off-road capability
  • Uninspiring on-road handling

2012 Toyota 4Runner Overview

The 2012 Toyota 4Runner is equipped with a V6 engine that reviewers agreed has plenty of power, though some said it can be noisy at times. They added that the 2012 4Runner’s standard five-speed automatic transmission is sometimes slow to respond to driver inputs when more power is needed. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while part-time and full-time four-wheel drive systems are available, depending on the trim. Fuel economy is rated at 17/23 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA, which is similar to what other midsize SUVs get. The 2012 4Runner was regarded as a capable off-road SUV when it was new. Reviewers said the 4Runner rides fairly comfortably on paved roads, but can lose its composure over bigger bumps. Most agreed that the 4Runner’s handling could be more composed, and disliked its vague steering and noticeable nosedive under moderate braking.

Test drivers reported that the 2012 Toyota 4Runner’s cabin has durable materials that look and feel appropriate for the class. The front seats were praised for being particularly comfortable, and reviewers added that the second row offers ample head- and legroom. A third-row seat was optional when the 2012 4Runner was new, and most critics said it’s best left to kids. The 4Runner comes standard with an eight-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio and a USB port. Available features include a rearview camera, navigation and dual-zone automatic climate control. Cargo capacity is up to 89.7 cubic feet, which is comparable to what many SUVs in the class offer.

Other SUVs to Consider

The five-seat 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee was praised for its off-road capability when it was new, as well as its comfortable and compliant ride on pavement. Additionally, reviewers gave the Grand Cherokee high marks for its attractive interior and premium cabin materials.

The 2012 Toyota Highlander can't match the 4Runner's off-road prowess, but test drivers said it has one of the most comfortable rides in the class. The Highlander comes standard with three rows of seats, and with its four-cylinder base engine, it gets good fuel economy for the class.

Compare the 4Runner, Grand Cherokee and Highlander »

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