2010 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4X4 Review

Massive. The exact first word that struck me as I walked up to the 2010 Toyota 4Runner the day it was dropped off.

What was once the prototype for compact SUVs has packed on the pounds and the new styling is like putting shoulder pads on top of all that bulk.


All that bulk goes straight to the driving experience. As Casey Kasem said in his most famous outtake, "Ponderous, man...ponderous". 270 horsepower feels no more than adequate in overcoming the inertia of this 4400 pound machine...and the EPA estimate of 17 city/22 highway?  Let me know when you see that, okay? Here at TireKicker, we get surprisingly close to, and on occasion exceed EPA estimates...but the best this one would do for us was 16 in a mix of urban streets and freeways. Without the freeways, 13-point-something or 14 would have been about it.


Even the interior is set up to convey size, heft, bulk...almost as though the idea were to transform the 4Runner into a junior version of the Land Cruiser. But we like the Land Cruiser....mainly because it is what it's supposed to be. Oh, and its EPA is 13 city/18 highway...which is about all the 4Runner will do, based on our week's test.

Ours was the SR5 4X4...base price a reasonable $30,915...optioned with an audio system upgrade ($585), backup camera (a necessity in this vehicle at $525), a convenience package including moonroof plus front and rear AC power outlets ($1050), leather and power sliding rear seats with extra airbags ($3570) and floor mats and cargo mats ($204). With $800 for destination charges, the bottom line was $37,649.

Not outrageous for this level of equipment. If it had been on the '09 4Runner, I wouldn't have batted an eye. But this strikes me as a chunk of change for a vehicle that appears to be going the wrong direction at the wrong time.