Midsize SUV; Built in Japan
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $12,300 – $36,000*

2010 Toyota 4Runner front

2010 Toyota 4Runner rear

2010 Toyota 4Runner profile

2010 Toyota 4Runner

  • Control layout
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Step-in height
  • Fuel economy
  • Steering/handling
  • Brake performance

This latest iteration of Toyota’s traditional truck-type SUV doesn’t make much sense as an on-road vehicle because it handles clumsily, wallows on the highway, and is difficult to get in and out of. The 2014 models did receive enough meaningful improvements to make 4Runner a more livable daily driver though. Despite its body-on-frame design, a 4Runner doesn’t make much sense as a workhorse because of its unimpressive 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity. The 4Runner works as an off-road SUV, albeit one that carries a stiff price tag compared to Nissan’s similar-purpose Xterra. Toyota loyalists with true wanderlust, but who think the company’s Land Cruiser is too expensive, will find enough to like here. Everyone else would be better served shopping elsewhere.


The redesign of the Toyota 4Runner for 2010 gave it freshened styling, more V6 power, and a new four-cylinder engine. This midsize SUV used traditional truck-type construction. 4Runners came in three trim levels: Base SR5, off-road-ready Trail, and top-line Limited. Rear-wheel drive was standard on the SR5 and Limited. Two four-wheel-drive systems were offered. Available on SR5 and standard on Trail was a part-time setup that should not be left engaged on dry pavement. Limited versions had a full-time setup that could be left engaged. Both included low-range gearing for off-road use. Trail models had additional 4WD hardware, including Toyota’s Crawl Control (CRAWL), which was designed to regulate speed in severe off-road conditions. Also included was Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select system, which allowed drivers to adjust the 4WD hardware to suit different off-road terrain. Rear-drive 4Runner SR5 models had a 157-horsepower 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine borrowed from Toyota’s Tacoma compact pickup truck. It paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. Optional on that model and standard on all other versions was a 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V6–an increase of 34 horsepower over the 2009 4Runner V6. That engine teamed with a five-speed automatic. A V8 was no longer available. Maximum towing capacity was 2,000 pounds for the four-cylinder and 5,000 pounds for the V6. Standard safety features included antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain-side airbags with rollover deployment, front-side airbags, and front knee airbags. Standard seating was for five passengers, and an optional third-row bench increased capacity to seven. Leather upholstery was standard on the Limited and optional on the SR5. Also standard on the Limited were dual-zone automatic climate control and keyless entry/engine start. Competitors included the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Nissan Xterra.

Yearly Updates

2011 4Runner
The four-cylinder engine was discontinued after 2010, making all versions V6-powered. Otherwise, the 2011 Toyota 4Runner saw only minor trim changes.
2012 4Runner
Newly available on the 2012 Toyota 4Runner were power running boards and Toyota’s Entune infotainment system, but there were no other changes of note.
2013 4Runner
There were few changes for the 2013 4Runner, but the top-line Limited trim level gained a standard navigation system.
2014 4Runner
For 2014, Toyota gave the 4Runner a fairly substantial freshening. While the basic platform and drivetrain were unchanged, the vehicle received revised exterior styling and an updated interior with new connectivity and infotainment features.
2015 4Runner
Toyota’s long-running midsize SUV got an off-road-ready TRD Pro Series model for 2015.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Four-cylinder and V6 4Runners were offered in 2010, but V8 power disappeared at the end of the prior generation. Rear-drive 4Runner SR5 models had a 157-horsepower 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, mating with a four-speed automatic transmission. Optional on that model and standard on all others was a 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V6–an increase of 34 horsepower over 2009. That engine teamed with a five-speed automatic. Toyota dropped the four-cylinder engine after 2010.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.7/165
Engine HP 157
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 178
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic 18/23
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.0/241
Engine HP 270
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 278
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic 17/22 17.1

Road Test

With V6 power, at least, a 4Runner has sufficient power in any situation. Models tested had an “Eco” mode designed to improve fuel economy. Transmission and throttle response are slightly dull at times with Eco mode enabled, and they improve marginally with it disabled. No 2010 four-cylinder models have been available for testing.

In Consumer Guide testing, a 4WD model averaged 17.1 mpg–hardly thrifty, but a good result given 4Runner’s traditional truck-type construction. All models use regular-grade gas.

Ride quality is decently composed for a truck-type SUV. The 4Runner smothers most bumps well, but it occasionally suffers from some wallow and annoying side-to-side motions.

Handling is disappointing, even for a vehicle of this stripe. Body lean is prevalent, even in modest corners. Steering feels sloppy and nosedive is pronounced, even when braking normally. Starting with the 2014 models, Toyota added some structural braces to the chassis and revised the brakes. The changes did help make the 4Runner feel a bit more confident on the road, but this remains a vehicle you won’t mistake for a car-like crossover SUV.

Although the cabin is generally quiet, the V6 engine sounds coarse, especially during full-throttle acceleration. At cruise, that noise never completely goes away, but it is subdued enough to not annoy. Other sources of ruckus are well squelched.

No-nonsense audio and climate controls are easy to reach for most drivers. It’s a bit strange to find that an auxiliary stereo input is located on the center console, but the USB audio connector is inconveniently placed in the glovebox. Interior materials are appropriately rugged and don’t come off as looking or feeling low-buck. Toyota’s Entune infotainment system works well, but some testers wished the touchscreen display was a bit larger.

Our main complaint with 4Runner is its steep step-in height, which complicates entry and exit. Once inside, most front-seat occupants will have more than sufficient headroom and legroom. Those seats are long-haul comfortable.

The rear seat tells the same story as the front. Overall room is fine for most adults. However, getting in and out of the back seat is hampered not only by a steep step-in but by narrow door openings.

The rear cargo hold is as spacious as any five-passenger midsize SUV. On the down side, the folding rear seatbacks are more complicated to operate than they should be. If the front seats are set far back, the rear headrests will not clear when you try to fold the seatbacks. Interior storage is very good, with a large glovebox and many assorted bins and cubbies.


Model Tested: 2011 Toyota 4Runner

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 3
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 4

Total: 55


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
109.8 189.9 75.8 70.1 4675
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
89.7 23.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 38.6 41.7 32.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2010 4Runner 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5

Trouble Spots

Rear axle noise
Description: Faulty breather plug could cause differential/transfer case failure. (2010-15)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light may illuminate due to malfunction of the evaporative emissions charcoal canister. (2010)
Entertainment problems
Description: Some iPod and USB devices may not work properly unless a revised multimedia control unit has been installed. (2010-11)

Recall History

2010-11 4Runner
Description: Certain vehicles may lack the requisite load-carrying-capacity modification labels.
2010-11 4Runner w/aftermarket heated seats
Description: Wiring of aftermarket heated seats could be damaged and result in fire.
2010-11 4Runner
Description: Airbag inflator may rupture and metal fragments could strike passengers during airbag deployment.
2010-12 4Runner
Description: 4Runners equipped with accessory leather seat covers, seat heaters, and headrest DVD systems installed by Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) or their dealers may effect passenger-seat occupant sensing system and airbags may not deploy properly.
2010-15 4Runner
Description: Certain 2010 through 2015 model Toyota 4Runner vehicles made between March 29, 2010 and July 30, 2015 may be equipped with accessory exhaust tips installed by Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) or their dealers. These tips may contact persons standing behind the vehicle and cause burn injuries.
2012 4Runner w/aftermarket Audiovox remote engine start
Description: 4Runners with Audiovox remote engine start installed by Gulf State Toyota. Remote engine start could interfere antilock braking and stability control.
2014-15 4Runner
Description: Certain 2014 and 2015 model 4Runner vehicles may have accessories such as running boards that were incorrectly installed by Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC, (SET). Fasteners may not have been tightened correctly, possibly allowing the accessories to fall off the vehicle.
2015 4Runner w/aftermarket accessories
Description: 4Runners with accessories installed by Gulf State Toyota may have incorrect Load Carrying Capacity Modification Label.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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