Weekly Drive 2010 Toyota 4Runner: The party is over or is it?

(Editor's Note: Every week we drive a new car, and just like snowflakes they are all different. In this new feature (Weekly Drive) we'll give you the scoop on the interesting stuff that makes each weekly drive unique, unusual and fun.)

This week we say goodbye to the newest 2010 Toyota 4Runner SR5.

Words like big, rugged, and muscular come to mind so we put the 4Runner to the test doing a great impression of mountain goat at 10,000 feet of elevation.

So what makes this new 2010 model unique?

First we couldn't help but notice the new interrogated rear windshield wiper. Toyota has built the wiper into the rear spoiler on top of the rear window instead of mounting it below the window.

This makes the rear wiper:

a) disappear from view when not in use

b) really slow to deploy and

c) only get about 3/4 of the sweep of the more traditional under window mounted rear wiper.

Toyota still has some work to do before we call this one a winning design.

More interesting is the small and somewhat hidden "party mode" button underneath the steering wheel.

It was with a bit of trepidation that we pushed it because who know what "party mode" really would activate.

Would streamers and balloons fall from the car's ceiling, or would secret and hidden wet bar slide out of the glove compartment, or would vodka squirt out of the windshield wiper fluid nozzles?

With "party mode" everything (and anything) was possible.

But what really happened was that the radio jumped up about 10 decibels, and from somewhere deep in the "party mode" dash a deep base pumped up the jams.

This would have been pretty spectacular had we not been listening to NPR.

Word to the wise: best to change the radio station from old man news radio before activating the party mode in the 2010 4Runner.

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