As one of the sole surviving semi-exciting Toyotas available, any news of changes to the venerable 4Runner model is somewhat frightening. After turning the once interesting Corolla into the econobox it is, killing off any and all sports or sporty cars bearing the Toyota badge, and then threatening to axe the FJ Cruiser, the full-framed off-road ready 4Runner is arguably the last bastion of automotive interest in the Toyota lineup.
And with mid-size, full-frame SUVs on the decline, no one would fault Toyota for downscaling the 4Runner, or replacing it’s body-on-frame construction with a CUV-friendly unibody design. But, thankfully, they haven’t. Introducing the new 2010 4Runner in Texas recently, the Japanese giant instead did the opposite; making the 4Runner both longer and wider than previous models. At the lower end of the spectrum, a new 2.7L four cylinder model will help CAFE fuel averages, while a new range topping Trail Grade model will augment Toyota’s off-road lineup with better approach and departure angles, a higher standover height, and a locking rear diff.