Inside, the 2010 4Runner gets a much-needed complete redesign of its seating. Front seats have been recontoured, and they’re a bit longer and significantly wider than before to accommodate American-size occupants. The driving position is excellent, and the available perforated leather upholstery makes us feel like we're in a luxury-brand perch. Second-row occupants also get new contours that don’t feel flat like before; this 6’-6” editor rode in the backseat for more than an hour very comfortably. The second-row seatback can also recline 16 degrees in four stops.
"The oddly sporty on-the-floor seating of previous 4Runners is largely gone," says Car and Driver, remarking that ingress and egress are easy. "As in the FJ, the new 4Runner’s seats are higher, the head and knee clearances are generous, and the sightlines and controls more like those of other traditional SUVs such as the Kia Borrego." On the other hand, MotherProof warns that getting in and out might be tough for shorter drivers, "especially without running boards for some assistance." Reviewers note that smaller kids would have trouble getting into the 4Runner.
Popular Mechanics proclaims "there's no denying that the front two seats are well-shaped, and that there's a good deal of leg space in the second row." The reviewer also points out that the second row reclines up to 16 degrees. "The interior volume is enhanced by the rear seats that fold flat without having to remove the headrests, and the rear liftgate opens wide," says a Cars.com reviewer who used the vehicle to help a college student move.
Also gone are last year’s small flip-to-the-side third-row seats, replaced by a more conventional folding third row that’s a little hard to access and only good for kids. Although passenger comfort is good, compared to modern crossover designs, the 4Runner doesn’t have as spacious an interior; fold the seats down, and you won’t be able to fit items that are as high as you would in larger crossovers or minivans. "Cargo loading and weekend tailgating are aided by a slide-out tray that holds 440 pounds, standard on the Trail," says Car and Driver.
"Speaking of full loads, the new 4Runner can accommodate more than before—89.7 cubic feet versus 75.1, with the rear seats folded; 47.2 versus 42.2, with the seats up—and its available third row, which boasts 5.2 more inches of legroom, now folds flat rather than up against the side windows," states Truck Trend. Automobile also points out the "signature roll-down glass in the rear hatch." The hatch in the 4Runner opens upward, rather than sideways in some truck-based utes.
In two-row 4Runners, MotherProof notes that instead you get "a weird sliding luggage shelf in the cargo area that I still don’t see the value in." The reviewer says that "it doesn’t make it any easier to get to luggage or groceries since you still have to reach across it; it also takes up a significant amount of cargo space." Up in front, MotherProof isn't so enthused about the center console: "The old-school shifter takes up a lot of space, and the storage cubbies are oddly shaped."
Inside Line observes, "Interior design touches similar to those of the current FJ include window controls at the top of the door panel (which will unfortunately expose them to moisture)." The reviewer also sums up the switchgear as "solid, sturdy, and easy to use."
Overall, the way the controls are arranged—and the feel of them—is a highlight of the 4Runner’s interior. "The large knobs and buttons controlling the radio and climate control are fantastic," says Automobile Magazine. "They're easy to locate without taking your eyes off the road and can readily be twisted with a pair of bulky gloves on." Off-road-focused controls are located in an overhead console, keeping the center stack of controls straightforward and accessible, with large buttons and knobs that have a great tactile feel. A secondary display sits atop the center stack, and redundant steering wheel controls access audio and Bluetooth functions. Our several test 4Runners had no rattles or cheap-feeling interiors, and the cabin is relatively free of wind and road noise.
"The 4Runner's new cabin is spacious and practical," declares Popular Mechanics, while Automobile Magazine says, "Despite its weight, the 4Runner is a spry errand runner in the city with a surprisingly compliant ride and a well-hushed cabin."
Cars.com remarks that the suspension on Trail models is well suited for off-roading but not as comfortable on the road. "The suspension permits a fair amount of vibration on the highway; contact with cracks and small imperfections are noticed in the cabin," the reviewer points out. "On the other hand, larger irregularities — washed out dirt roads, speed bumps or dips at intersections — tend to disappear, soaked up by springs, shocks and bushings tuned to handle tough terrain."
A number of other comments make clear that the 2010 Toyota 4Runner isn't as quiet or refined inside. "On the highway the 4Runner tends to wander in the lane and wind noise is bothersome," says Automobile Magazine, while MotherProof notes, "the 4Runner’s ride is truckish and bouncy, which makes sense since it’s a truck-based SUV."