2010 Toyota 4Runner SR5 new car reviews

Better than: a Pontiac Aztek
But not as good as: a Nissan Pathfinder
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 57.86

SUVs have a rightful place in the automotive pantheon, no matter what the newly PC American public may think. As racers and gearheads, we have the utmost respect for a vehicle that can haul a crew, carry large quantities of gear, and perform the occasional parts-car pull (because, hey, no one has time to make sure they're all rollers). Unfortunately, Toyota’s 4Runner long ago sold its soul to the soccer moms--and lost its purpose in the process.

Although there’s a capable 4-liter V6 under the hood and real four-wheel drive available, this sport utility doesn't sufficiently tap into either. The example we tested felt like an anachronism in the year 2010, with its luxurious leather interior and comfort/convenience packages that added weight and cost while reducing utility.

The original work-truck suspension had been dumbed down so severely in the name of suburban sensibilities that it bounced along, leaving the driver feeling completely disconnected from everything except the force of inertia-- which, under braking, asserted itself with amounts of brake dive that had us missing our grandparents’ 1970s boulevard cruiser. The driving experience was so boring that we actually understood how that cliche originated about SUV drivers being on the phone all the time.

If you need one car to do everything, you’ll probably want to keep looking, because the 4Runner has compromised itself out of a job. If you like to talk on the phone while cutting people off in traffic, though, this may be the one for you.

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Comments

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irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
4/16/10 9:14 p.m.

makes me happy we have an '08 4Runner SportEdition with the Xreas suspension....great handling for an SUV, fun to drive, cloth intereior without too much gadgetry, and awesomely powerful brakes (with a correct bias)......

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

SUVs have a rightful place in the automotive pantheon, no matter what the newly PC American public may think. As racers and gearheads, we have the utmost respect for a vehicle that can haul a crew, carry large quantities of gear, and perform the occasional parts-car pull (because, hey, no one has time to make sure they're all rollers). Unfortunately, Toyota’s 4Runner long ago sold its soul to the soccer moms--and lost its purpose in the process.

Although there’s a capable 4-liter V6 under the hood and real four-wheel drive available, this sport utility doesn't sufficiently tap into either. The example we tested felt like an anachronism in the year 2010, with its luxurious leather interior and comfort/convenience packages that added weight and cost while reducing utility.

The original work-truck suspension had been dumbed down so severely in the name of suburban sensibilities that it bounced along, leaving the driver feeling completely disconnected from everything except the force of inertia-- which, under braking, asserted itself with amounts of brake dive that had us missing our grandparents’ 1970s boulevard cruiser. The driving experience was so boring that we actually understood how that cliche originated about SUV drivers being on the phone all the time.

If you need one car to do everything, you’ll probably want to keep looking, because the 4Runner has compromised itself out of a job. If you like to talk on the phone while cutting people off in traffic, though, this may be the one for you.

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