The 2012 Toyota 4Runner is a midsize SUV offered in three trim levels: SR5, Trail and Limited. The SR5 and Limited are available with 2WD or 4WD and bookend the Trail-grade 4Runner that is 4WD only.
Standard features on the 4Runner SR5 include 17-inch alloy wheels, skid plates, hill-start assist and hill-descent control, heated mirrors, foglights, air-conditioning with rear ventilation, cruise control, full power accessories, a power rear window, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth (with audio streaming) and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.
The 4Runner Trail level is only available as a 4WD model, and it includes the above equipment plus mud guards, a locking rear differential, Crawl Control (which electronically modulates throttle and brakes when ascending or descending hills), off-road-oriented tires, a sunroof, water-resistant seat fabric, power front seats, a rearview camera with a monitor integrated into the mirror, a sliding rear cargo deck, upgraded gauges and two 120-volt household power outlets.
The Limited includes 20-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, keyless ignition/entry, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats and power lumbar support for the driver seat. Also standard for the Limited is an integrated rearview camera, HD radio and Toyota's Entune smartphone integration system.
Many of the features incorporated by the 4Runner Trail and Limited are available as options for the SR5 model, though specifics will vary based on the region of the U.S. in which you live. Other option highlights include a voice-activated navigation system, a 50/50-split third-row seat, automatic deploying/retracting running boards (not available on Trail) and the KDSS off-road suspension (available only on Trail models).
The 2012 Toyota 4Runner comes standard with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 270 hp and 278 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only available transmission. The SR5 and Limited trims' 4WD systems differ in that the SR5 uses part-time dual-range and the Limited utilizes a full-time system with a lockable center differential. The Trail comes only with part-time dual-range 4WD but with a locking rear differential and selectable electronic terrain-sensitive systems. Regardless of model or trim, the 4Runner's towing capacity is rated at 5,000 pounds.
In Edmunds instrumented testing, a rear-drive 4Runner SR5 accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds (8.2 seconds for a 4x4 Trail model), which is about average among competing SUVs. The EPA estimates 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined for a rear-wheel-drive 4Runner, which is also average in this segment. A four-wheel-drive 4Runner gets 1 mpg less on the highway.
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