The 2012 Toyota 4Runner is a tall, body-on-frame SUV. And while this layout has become less popular in recent years because it's easier for engineers to design occupant safety into unibody crossover utes, the 4Runner shows few, if any, signs of offering inferior protection.
The only exception might be in rollover protection; the 2012 4Runner earns an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rating for roof strength (related to rollover) of just 'acceptable'--though it's earned top 'good' ratings in every other category. The 4Runner hasn't yet been tested by the federal government.
All 4Runners come with eight standard airbags, including front side bags, side-curtain bags for the second and third rows, and front knee bags for the driver and passenger. In addition to electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes, they also get Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) for safe uphill starts, plus Downhill Assist Control (on 4WD models), to help maintain a slow, steady speed down steep slopes. Some also include a small screen built into the rearview mirror that provides a fish-eye camera view backward for parking assistance. Safety Connect, a button-activated, concierge-style system that's similar to General Motors' OnStar, is available.