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2011 Toyota 4Runner: Four-Cylinder Engine Dropped, Again

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2010 Toyota 4Runner

2010 Toyota 4Runner

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Toyota has revealed prices and information for the 2011 4Runner. While the model, which was completely redesigned for 2010, carries into 2011 with no significant changes, notably absent from the lineup is the base four-cylinder model.

Four-cylinder 4Runners were very rare, and it's possible Toyota was a bit embarrassed by the model's performance. The automaker hadn't made four-cylinder 4Runners available in its press fleet, and they were next to impossible to find at dealerships. In fact, Toyota had told us, last year at the model's introduction, that it expected four-cylinder models to make up just five percent of 2010 4Runner sales, and it would make them available mainly in Southern states.

The four-cylinder Toyota 4Runner didn't do much better on gas, with EPA ratings of 18 mpg city, 23 highway, next to a rating of 17/23 (or 17/22) for the V-6. And the model could tow just 2,000 pounds, versus 5,000 pounds for the other models.

Economical four-cylinder engines were the norm for the 4Runner in the 1980s, and while V-6 upgrades became much more popular in the 1990s Toyota did offer a four all the way through the beginning of the last decade, then dropped it due to lack of interest. In 2003, the automaker introduced a V-8, though this time around it's likely that the lineup will stay all-V-6.

Base prices for the 2011 Toyota 4Runner, which is otherwise unchanged (so check out our review for the 2010 Toyota 4Runner), haven't changed much either. For 2011 they range from $29,525 for the base 4Runner SR5 2WD up to $39,685 for the 4Runner Limited 4WD—not counting Toyota's $810 destination fee. However that actually means that the entry-level 4Runner is now nearly $2,000 more expensive, as last year's four-cylinder model started at $27,500.

The 2011 4Runner reaches dealerships beginning in September.

[Toyota]

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Comments (2)
  1. They're putting four cylinders in the new Sienna with very little efficiency gained. I wonder how long that will last too.
     
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    Bad stuff?

  2. Why don't Toyota's 4 cylinders have direct injection? Everyone else seems to be getting more power/better efficiency from that approach.
     
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    Bad stuff?

 

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