2010 Toyota 4Runner – Click above for high-res image gallery

Cars and trucks here in the U.S. are being invaded by more efficient four-cylinder engines. Both the 2011 Buick Regal and Hyundai Sonata, for example, feature four-pot-only lineups. Even the 4,800-pound Toyota 4Runner has an entry-level 2.7-liter four. Well, at least the off-road-ready Toyota did offer a four-banger for one model year.

Motor Trend is reporting that Toyota will discontinue the four-cylinder model from the 2011 4Runner lineup due to an anemic take rate of less than 10 percent. That's pretty amazing given the fact that the V6 option costs nearly $4,000 more than the four-cylinder model, but the power and fuel economy stats tell the whole story. The downsized engine option only provides 157-horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. That's down a whopping 113 ponies and 100 lb-ft compared to the optional 4.0-liter V6, while combined fuel economy is within one mile-per-gallon of the more powerful engine.

If taking away 1.3-liters and 113-horsepower only nets you a fuel economy gain of one measly mpg, we can't blame customers for overwhelmingly opting for the far more powerful V6. And we really enjoyed our time with a 4.0-liter equipped 4Runner, too, so we're thinking the extra money is well-spent.

Photos by Chris Shunk / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Motor Trend]

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