Weeklong Road Test: 2010 Toyota 4Runner Is Securely A TRUCK

April 23, 2010
Sometimes the media just doesn’t trust that the average American is actually pretty darn smart. For instance, most American TRUCK shoppers realize that the 2010 4Runner is built on a TRUCK based body-on-frame chassis and as such it will not have the handling characteristics of your average Camry.

Unfortunately, however, it appears that the powers that be at Consumer Reports do not agree that Americans are a pretty smart lot as they have deemed the 4Runner based Lexus GX to be unsafe to drive. The top heavy nature of the Lexus GX even led Toyota to recall all sold models so they could adjust the stability control. How much adjusting do you need to do to combat the laws of physics?

Last time we checked most track days were not overpopulated with body-on-frame SUV owners dying to take their rides around hairpins and winding S-turns at high speeds. So why is Consumer Reports testing vehicles like the Toyota 4Runner that way? What the TRUCK?

Point is, the Toyota 4Runner is not the type of car you want to be driving when you take corners at 95 miles per hour. What a shock! The 2010 4Runner is, however, the perfect vehicle for tackling pretty much any offroad trail or any supermarket parking lot. There is also plenty of room for seven when equipped with the third row of seats that was in evidence in our top of the line Limited model.

The 2010 4Runner’s ride is shockingly smooth and absorptive when going over speed bumps or the myriad potholes marking Los Angeles city streets. The steering also offers tons of feedback—so much so that owners of previous generation 4Runner’s will be convinced that this 2010 version is incredibly sports car-like.

The interior of the 2010 Toyota 4Runner Limited is a true revelation of style and function. Knobs are chunky and all the controls are clearly marked. You really feel impervious and just a little bit macho driving the 4Runner and that is a rare quality in an SUV these days. This puppy can even tow 5,000 pounds so it can easily drag your jet-skis out for a weekend of camping at the lake.

The 2010 4Runner is plenty wide affording ample space for three Big Gulp-slurping, frozen-burrito-eating North Americans in the second row of seats. Cargo capacity is truly generous with 46.3 cubic feet available behind the second row of seats and 88.8 cubic feet with the second row folded. With the third row of seats up, however, cargo space is rather limited.

The 2010 Toyota 4Runner Limited we tested came equipped with an updated 4.0 liter V-6 with 270 horsepower and 278 pound feet of torque. This spunky motor is mated to a Lexus-smooth five-speed automatic that enables this heavy TRUCK to accelerate 0-60 in a little less than 8 seconds. Impressive stuff, indeed. But still, this kind of performance doesn’t scream, “Please take me on a slalom course!”

So, if you are looking for an off-road capable, TRUCK based SUV that can handle anything that the suburbs can throw at it look no further. Just don’t take your 2010 Toyota 4Runner to any track days. But we are resoundingly confident that you are not that dumb.

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