2010 Toyota 4Runner SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Toyota 4Runner SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota 4Runner Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.7 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 157 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2010 Toyota 4Runner

  • Among go-anywhere traditional SUVs, the 2010 Toyota 4Runner is a top choice. However, those looking for more passenger space and who don't require much in the way of off-road capability may want to consider a car-based crossover SUV instead.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong V6, outstanding off-road capability, pleasant on-road demeanor, ample cargo capacity, available third-row seat.

  • Cons

    Cramped third-row accommodations, no V8 option, weak and inefficient base four-cylinder.

  • What's New for 2010

    The Toyota 4Runner has been redesigned for 2010, bringing greater on-road refinement without giving up any of its traditional off-road prowess.

Full 2010 Toyota 4Runner Review

What's New for 2010

The Toyota 4Runner has been redesigned for 2010, bringing greater on-road refinement without giving up any of its traditional off-road prowess.


Just over a quarter of a century ago, Toyota introduced the 4Runner. Back then, the term SUV referred to a truck-based vehicle designed to negotiate rugged trails and rocky peaks without breaking a sweat. These were the rigs of choice for campers, mountain bikers and skiers, not soccer moms or city slickers looking to make an image statement. Interestingly, the redesigned 2010 Toyota 4Runner stays true to these mountain-goat roots, courting real outdoor enthusiasts while leaving Toyota's various crossover and luxury utes to cater to the tenderfoots.

The new 4Runner is based on the same platform used for the rugged FJ Cruiser, and it's taller, wider and longer than the previous model. Like all 4Runners, this one has a no-nonsense solid rear axle for superior off-road performance. One trick new feature this year is the available Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which can disconnect the front and rear stabilizer bars at speeds below 40 mph for greater wheel articulation over tough terrain. On the outside, the 4Runner has an edgy new look, with a blocky front grille and pronounced fender flares.

Under the hood, the base engine is now a four-cylinder, marking the first time the 4Runner has offered one since 2002. We're not quite sure why Toyota bothered, as the inline-4 is only available on the base two-wheel-drive model, comes with an old-school four-speed automatic transmission, produces a lackluster 157 horsepower and gets basically the same fuel economy as the 4.0-liter V6.

The vast majority of 4Runner buyers, we suspect, will want the V6, which has been tweaked to produce 270 hp (up 34 hp) and 278 pound-feet of torque (up 12 lb-ft) while remaining just as fuel-efficient as last year. However, the previous 4Runner's optional V8 is no longer offered, so those in search of maximum towing capabilities or simply the smooth power of a V8 will have to look elsewhere.

Because of its focus on off-road adventure, the 2010 Toyota 4Runner can't quite match the real-world functionality of modern crossovers such as Toyota's own Highlander, the GMC Acadia or the Hyundai Veracruz. It comes surprisingly close, though, offering a healthy 90 cubic feet of cargo space and an available third-row seat. And while the 4Runner doesn't have the driving dynamics and fuel efficiency of these car-based SUVs, it does compare favorably to traditional SUV rivals like the Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Jeep Commander/Grand Cherokee and Nissan Pathfinder, lacking only that optional V8.

Overall, Toyota has managed to maintain the 4Runner's strong off-road enthusiast appeal while making it a more practical daily driver. If you're looking for a vehicle that can do just about anything, this is one you won't want to miss. The 4Runner's forerunners would be proud.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Toyota 4Runner is a midsize SUV that is offered in three trim levels: SR5, Trail and Limited. The SR5 comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, black fender flares and rocker panels, skid plates, foglights, air-conditioning (with rear ventilation), cruise control, full power accessories with a power rear window, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer and a CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary audio jack. The four-wheel-drive (or V6-equipped) version adds color-keyed fender flares and rocker panels, heated sideview mirrors with turn indicators and puddle lights, chrome roof rails and grille and a tow hitch receiver.

Upgrading to the Trail (available only with 4WD and the V6) adds a hood scoop, a locking rear differential, Crawl Control (which automatically modulates throttle and brakes when ascending or descending hills), off-road-oriented tires, smoked head- and taillights, a back-up camera that displays in the rearview mirror, upgraded gauges, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, water-resistant upholstery, power front seats, a sliding rear cargo deck and an upgraded audio system with satellite radio, a USB port with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth phone and audio functions.

The upscale Limited trim level adds 20-inch alloy wheels, Toyota's X-REAS adaptive suspension dampers, keyless entry and ignition, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded audio system with a six-CD changer and 15 speakers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated front seats and driver power lumbar support.

Many of the Trail and Limited features are available as options for the SR5 model, though specifics will vary based on the region you live in. Other option highlights (depending on trim) include a sunroof, a voice-activated navigation system and a third-row seat. The aforementioned KDSS off-road suspension is available only on Trail models.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2010 Toyota 4Runner comes with either a four-cylinder engine or a V6, depending on trim level. The 2WD SR5 comes with a 2.7-liter inline-4 that makes 157 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. All other models receive a 4.0-liter V6 with 270 hp and 278 lb-ft.

A four-speed automatic is paired with the inline-4, while a five-speed automatic is fitted to the V6. The SR5 and Limited can be had in either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive (part-time system on SR5, full-time system on the Limited), while the Trail comes only with part-time 4WD. Towing capacity for V6 models is 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.

EPA fuel economy estimates are remarkably similar whether the vehicle is powered by a four or a V6. The 2WD four-cylinder 4Runner rates 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. The 2WD V6 comes in at 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined, while the 4WD V6 loses 1 mpg on the highway.


All 2010 Toyota 4Runners come equipped with antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), stability control, traction control, active front head restraints, front knee airbags, front-seat side airbags and full-length roll-sensing side curtain airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Toyota 4Runner is roomier than it was before, and it offers spacious seating for five passengers, with the ability to seat two additional passengers in the optional third-row seats. The third-row seating is somewhat cramped, however, making it suitable for children or short adults only. Maximum cargo capacity is a useful 90 cubic feet. The optional sliding rear cargo deck takes up a little bit more space but can conveniently support up to 440 pounds.

On the whole, the 4Runner's interior is handsomely designed, though materials quality has dipped from the previous generation's luxurious level. Still, it's a nice place to spend time, and the Limited's cabin offers many of the accommodations you'd expect in a Lexus. The various dials and switches are intuitive and well placed, while the voice-activated navigation and Bluetooth phone operation increase safety and reduce stress. New for this year is an "ECO" meter that lets you know whether you're driving in a fuel-efficient manner via a needle that moves into either the green (good) or red (bad) zone.

Driving Impressions

If you choose the V6, power is satisfactory. At 8.2 seconds for the 0-60-mph sprint, the six-cylinder 2010 Toyota 4Runner is reasonably quick, and shifts from the five-speed automatic are prompt and refined. You can forget about the four-cylinder engine, though, which for some reason makes 30 less horsepower than the similar Highlander engine, despite the 4Runner's added weight -- and employs an outdated four-speed automatic instead of the Highlander's six-speed, resulting in a negligible fuel economy advantage over the V6.

Despite being based on a traditional truck platform, the 2010 Toyota 4Runner boasts a smooth and controlled ride. When fitted with the X-REAS or KDSS, the 4Runner even delivers reasonably confident handling as long as you don't push it too hard. More impressive, of course, is the 4Runner's off-road ability. In testing, we've found that the combination of the 4Runner's 9.6 inches of ground clearance (4WD models) and KDSS works extraordinarily well in the dirt, making the 4Runner so nimble over lumpy terrain that we thought the tires were underinflated -- a good thing for off-roading.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

New 4runners, not as good

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I have had the last few 4runners now, the Limited 1997, then the amazing 2007 V8 Limited. I love the cars, performance and Toyota quality. I really didnt want to trade in my 2007 but I hit 100K so figured I would check them out, not too crazy about the new style but it is okay and thought the new higher HP V6 might be okay at 270HP, however it is NOT, it is WAY underpowered for this size vehicle. It also doesn't have the same solid feel that my previous 4runners always had that other's never had. Makes me wonder if they really changed some things here....engine just doesnt feel right.....way to slow, with the Tundra 5.7 v8 as an option this might be a great truck

Everything i've wanted and then

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

My 2010 4runner currently has 39k and has been flawless to me.. i bought it with 26k to avoid the high new car price and couldn't be more satisfied with it. It'll tow anything that I'll ever need to tow and carries everything i could want. The only thing I've had it in the dealer for was the TSB on the headlight replacement for when they haze up. I didn't need it done but figured I'd do it before i was out of warranty. all these things need are oil changes and routine maintenance and they should go forever! I love the new interior on the 5th generations! Bluetooth, backup cam, nice easy to use Navi all looks good on the black interior! can't forget the famous roll down back window!!!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

I hate my 2010 toyota

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Vehicle: 2010 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I owned a 1997 Toyota 4runner for 13 years with only one major repair in $160,000 miles. It never once stranded me. Someone hit me and totaled it. I bought a new 2010 Toyota 4runner. In the last six months it has stranded me twice and I have had 4 major repairs. The throttle body was first, then the brake switch. Next was the blue tooth system and last night the entire windshield cracked in half (stress fracture, not a rock). I just can't trust this car. It is a lemon and Toyota doesn't care. It is also very hard to see out of the back windows. The body is wider than it needs to be. My mileage is 20 mpg, which is fine. Comfort is good for sitting on the side of the road waiting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2010 4runner excellence

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Vehicle: 2010 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

This is my first Foriegn car ever and it is truly amazing. Hate to admit it but it just goes woithout any issues

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

4runner happiness

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Have 5100 miles and so far and is exceeding my expectations on MPG and comfort. Just got back from a 1200 mile trip and the reclining back seats were a big hit! The lack of freeway noise and great ride and seats make it an excellent long distance cruiser. Easy to avg 20 MPG overall. In daily 25 mile highwy/city commute I typically get 20.5 MPG with some stop and go driving which is amazing. Exceeding 75 mph gets the MPG to drop slightly below 20 mpg. Also nice to use only regular gas as compared to mid-grade or premium in my Tacoma and Lexus.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Reliablility... little else

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Toyota=Reliability in my experience and that is why I bought this truck. Now after 16 months and 45k here is the verdict.... Reliable..so far no major issues Comfort - little Performance - well underpowered but gets from point A to B Styling - beautiy is in the eye of the beholder..its ok for me Build quality - tinny construction, lotsa squeaks Fun to drive - Toyota? no, just FUNctional to drive Overall value - ok to me since it seems to be accomplishing the objective i set out to achieve - reliability

Talk About The 2010 4Runner

2010 Toyota 4Runner Discussions See all Started By

I ended up returning a 2010 4runner after finding the dealer drilled through the painted surface of the front bumper to mount the dealer advertisement plate with a plastic frame with their name on it....

Just posting this message to see if anyone else with a 2010 4Runner hears the same noise I hear with my 4Runner....

I am inquiring on information about the parts used in the 2010 4runner. Does this vehicle share any of the parts with the vehicles that are being recalled. I am not familiar with the technology on t...

Read more about the 2010 Toyota 4Runner

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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