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2010 Toyota 4Runner Limited
2010 Toyota 4Runner SR5 interior

The Toyota 4Runner SUV is an SUV manufactured by Toyota, sold mainly in the United States, Canada and Mexico and built from 1984 to the present. The original 4Runner was little more than a Toyota pickup truck with a fiberglass shell over the bed, but the model has since undergone significant independent development into a mid-size SUV.

The 4Runner is sold outside North America as the Toyota Hilux Surf. All 4Runners have been built at Toyota's plant in Tahara, Japan as well at Toyota's Hino plant.

See Wikicars' comprehensive Toyota 4Runner Review.

Recent Changes

  • The aging fourth generation 4Runner is set to be replaced on September 24, 2009 by the Fifth-generation 4Runner in time for the 2010 MY. More geometric and boxy in shape than before, the mid-ranging SUV is dropping the V8 engine option and will soldier on with either a 161-horsepower four-cylinder or a 268-horsepower six.[1]
  • The 4Runner was recently given an overhaul in 2003 with the arrival of a new platform. Since then, changes have consisted of minor updates, and this year is no different. For 2006, the 4Runner received new front and lower body stylings, including updates to the grille and headlights. The Sport trim now has chrome license plate trim, and the Limited now comes standard with 18" wheels.

Styles and Major Options

The 2008 4Runner is available in 3 major trims: the SR5, the Sport, and the Limited. Each of these come standard with a 4.0L 236hp V6 engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission. A 4.7L 285hp V8 is optional. The SR5 is the base model, and while the Limited expands upon the features offered in the SR5, the Sport is equipped to be, as the name indicates, a little more rugged. An Urban Runner package is also offered on Sport models. Some of the standout features include:


  • Integrated fog lamps
  • Hill Start Assist Control
  • 16" wheels
  • 6-Speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 capability
  • 8-way power driver's seat
  • Black/Silver interior trim
  • Cruise Control


Adds to or replaces SR5 options with:

  • 17" wheels
  • Sports enhanced suspension
  • Color keyed front/rear bumpers, door handles, fender flares
  • Smoked chrome grille
  • High contrast fabric trim seats
  • Silver tone accent shift knob
  • Tilt/telescopic steering wheel


Adds to or replaces Sport options with:

  • Auto on/off projector headlamps
  • 18" wheels
  • Black roof rails
  • AM/FM/6-cd in-dash changer audio system
  • Leather interior
  • 8-way power driver's seat with memory
  • Heated front seats
  • Homelink Universal Transceiver


Today's actual prices for the Toyota 4Runner can be found at CarsDirect. The following prices shown are for trims equipped with the base V6 engine and 2WD.

Limited SR5 Trail
$Price1 $Price2 $Price3
$Price1 $Price2 $Price3

Gas Mileage

As seen on the website, the City/Highway MPG averages for the 2007 4Runner are as follows:

2WD V6 2WD V8 4WD V6 4WD V8
18/22 17/20 17/21 16/19

Engine and Transmission

Specifications, details, graphs, pictures and other information regarding the powertrain is placed in this section.


Please make sure to write information of the vehicle's performance in a third-person point of view. This section should include information about the car's acceleration figures, handling, braking, etc.

If using information gathered from Road Test articles from a reputable automotive source, then please make sure to cite the quote.


The most recent generation of the 4Runner debuted in 2003. Automotive Information Systems reports that the 4Runner for that year was overall a reliable vehicle, with some moderate engine problems. However, it can be expected that Toyota has worked to rectify this situation since the debut of this platform.


Both the first and second generation 4Runners became targeted as very unsafe SUVs. 1980s and early-1990s US crash regulations were not very strict for light trucks, and all early model 4Runners were fitted with doors that offered little protection in the event of a side collision. In most areas, there was little more than two pieces of sheetmetal and the window to keep incoming vehicles from impacting passengers.The crash test rating for the second generation 4runner was one star for the drivers side in a frontal collision although the passenger side got a 4 star rating. Later, more stringent crash regulations mandated doors that offered as much protection as passenger car doors.

The most common accusations, however, were that 4Runners (and other narrow-track SUVs of the time) were prone to rollovers. Many light SUVs of the time featured comparatively high centers of gravity and, given the right situations, could be flipped over. Whether or not this is a serious road hazard is dependent on many parameters including the speed of the vehicle, the tires fitted to the vehicle, the road surface, and the driver's ability to predict and correct for situations that may result in a rollover. Third generation 4Runners were designed with a wider track, but it is unclear if this was directly in response to increased pressure from safety groups, or if it was simply a product engineering decision.

For the 2008 model, the NHTSA reports that the 4Runner received a 4-Star rating for front-impact crash tests and a 5-Star rating for side-impact tests. Rollover, however, seemes to remain somewhat a weakness, as it achieved a comparatively low 3-Star rating in that area.


4Runner Limited

4Runner SR5

4Runner Trail


A full list of colors for the 2007 4Runner can be found at Combinations will vary; here are some of the available options:


  • Black
  • Driftwood Pearl
  • Salsa Red Pearl
  • Nautical Blue Pearl
  • Natural White


  • Dark Charcoal
  • Taupe

Main Competitors

Hybrid Models

There are currently no hybrid versions of the 4Runner in production.

Unique Attributes


Fifth-Generation 4Runner SR5 interior

This section should include information on the interior's design, build quality, ergonomics, space (head and legroom, front and rear), features, stowage compartments and overall comfort and livability. Add pictures wherever applicable and keep information in a third-person point of view.

4Runner Limited

4Runner SR5

4Runner Trail

Resale Values

According to Kelley Blue Book, "in the volatile world of SUV resale, the 4Runner continually outperforms the competition. The four-wheel-drive 4Runner SR5's 24-month projected residual value is 62 percent. Compare that to the Nissan Pathfinder SE at 46 percent, the Dodge Durango at 46 percent and the Chevrolet TrailBlazer at 51 percent, and the 4Runner's value story becomes crystal clear."

<MODEL> Year
Year X Year X-2 Year X-3 Year X-4
Resale Value
$ $ $ $


  • Third row seating is uncomfortable and takes up much of the cargo space.
  • Operation of the climate control interface is clumsy.


Current Generation: (2010–present)

2010-toyota-4runner-large 1small.jpg

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Previous Generations

Fourth Generation: (2003–2009)

2008 Toyota 4Runner V8 SR5 4WD
2008 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited 4WD

The fourth generation 4Runner incorporated serious changes to the chassis and body of the vehicle, but was targeted at approximately the same demographics as the third generation. The updated 4Runner looks very different from the older 4Runners, but is still targeted as a mid-size quasi-luxury SUV. Available trims are currently the SR5, Sport Edition, and the Limited. An all-new 4.0 L V6 is standard in the current 4Runner, but for the first time, a V8 became available for the fourth generation models. The same 4.7 L V8 found in the Land Cruiser, Tundra, and Sequoia is now an available option for the fourth generation.



Sport Edition


4.0-liter DOHC 24-valve EFI VVT-i
V6 236 hp @ 5200 rpm/266 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm




4.7-liter DOHC 32-valve EFI VVT-i
V8 260 hp @ 5400 rpm/306 lb.-ft. @ 3400 rpm





Electronic, with Toyota Direct Ignition (TDI)

Transmission V6 and V8 models

5-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive (ECT)

Body construction

Reinforced body-on-frame construction



2WD V6 and V8

Front engine, rear-wheel drive

4WD V6

Multi-Mode 4-wheel drive with Torsen® limited-slip center differential with locking feature

4WD V8

Full-time 4-wheel drive with Torsen® limited-slip center differential with locking feature


Independent double-wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar; 4-link rear suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar


Variable gear rack-and-pinion power steering

Turning circle diameter, curb to curb (ft.)



Power-assisted 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with 4-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) + Traction Control




Downhill Assist Control (DAC)(4WD models)




Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)




Third generation (1996-2002)

1996 marked another significant redesign of the then-aging 4Runner. Whereas the transition to the second generation 4Runner was one that kept the build quality and options roughly on par with the rest of the mid-size SUV market, the changes made in the third generation turned the 4Runner into a more luxury-oriented vehicle. This move paralleled the upgrades to the 1996 Nissan Pathfinder, but moved the 4Runner into a distinctly different class than its older competitors, the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, and Isuzu Rodeo. The third generation 4Runner did, however, look very similar to the second generation.

This similarity largely ended with its looks. It carried over the basic design and concept, but executed it differently with an all-new bodyshell on an all-new chassis. This time, it shared virtually nothing with the pickup it had originally evolved from, and had more in common with the Land Cruiser, as it shared its chassis with that of the Land Cruiser Prado.

Significant changes from the second generation models include a larger body on a longer wheelbase, increased interior space, increased cargo space, twin airbags, ABS, lift-up tailgate, coil-sprung suspension all round, rack and pinion steering. Additionally, Hilux Surf versions immediately moved to 16 in wheels and gained a center differential, enabling the use of four wheel drive on hard surfaces without complication for the first time. The prior system was retained to give on-the-fly shifting between rear and four wheel drive as before.

Second generation (1990-1995)

The 1990 model year 4Runner represented a fundamental departure from the first-generation model. Instead of an enhanced pickup truck, the new 4Runners featured a freshly designed body mounted on an existing frame. The difference is easily seen when comparing pickups and 4Runners of similar vintage: a 1984 4Runner looks remarkably similar to a 1984 Toyota pickup, whereas a 1990 4Runner shares only subtle styling details with the 1990 pickup.

Nearly all second generation 4Runners were 4-door models, however from 1990 to 1992, a 2-door model was also produced. These models are similar to the 4-door models of the time in that the bodies were formed as a single unit, instead of the fiberglass tops used in the first-generation 4Runners. Two-door 4Runners from this era are extremely rare, and were discontinued in August 1992, probably due to high importation duties and insurance costs.

Because the drivelines were still developed from the same source, however, available engines were identical. A new 2.4 L four cylinder and the same 3.0 L V6 were both available in rear wheel drive and four wheel drive layouts. The new 4Runner used the independent front suspension that had been developed on the previous generation. The older style gear driven transfer case was phased out, and both engines now had chain driven cases, probably to cut down cab noise and vibration.

The Hilux Surf version for the Japanese market was also available with a range of diesel engines, including a 2.4 L turbodiesel I4 up to 1993, followed by a 3.0 L turbodiesel I4. A small number were also made with a normally aspirated 2.8 L diesel I4. A small number were also produced with a 2.0 L I4 naturally-aspirated gasoline engine.

Most other full-body SUVs produced at the time (e.g. Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer) featured tailgates that opened upward with the glass closed. In contrast, the second generation 4Runner carried over the retractable-glass tailgate from the first generation. Opening these tailgates requires first retracting the rear window into the tailgate and then lowering the tailgate much like as on a pickup truck.

In 1992, the 4Runner received minor cosmetic updates, including modular headlamps instead of the increasingly outdated rectangular sealed beams. Additional cosmetic changes occurred between 1993 and 1995, the last year of the second generation.

First Generation (1984-1989)

1st Generation 4Runner

The Toyota pickup (upon which the 4Runner was originally based) underwent a major redesign in 1983 for the 1984 model year. Many other automakers were introducing mid-size SUVs in the mid 1980s (e.g., Ford Bronco II, Chevrolet S-10 Blazer) and the pressure mounted on Toyota to develop a competing model. Instead of developing an entirely new model, Toyota took their existing short-bed pickup frame, made some simple modifications, and added an open one-piece body with a removable fiberglass top (much like the full-size Ford Bronco and Chevrolet K5 Blazer).

Thus, the first generation 4Runner is nearly mechanically identical to the Toyota pickup. All first generation 4Runners had two-doors and were indistinguishable from the pickups from the dashboard forward. Nearly all changes were to the latter half of the body; in fact, because the rear springs were not upgraded to cope with the additional weight of the rear seats and fiberglass top, these early models tend to suffer from sagging rear suspensions.

The first 4Runners were introduced in 1984 as 1984 1/2 models. For this first year, all models were equipped with black or white fiberglass tops. An SR5 trim package was offered that upgraded the interior: additional gauges, better fabrics, and a rear seat were standard with the package. All 1984 models were equipped with the carbureted 2.4 L 22R engine and were all available with a four wheel drive system that drove the front wheels through a solid front axle (although this would be changed in 1986).

1985 saw the advent of the electronically fuel-injected 2.4 L 22R-E engine (though the carbureted engine remained available until 1988). Additionally, rear seats were available in all 1985 4Runner trim levels, not just the SR5.

In 1986, all American-market Toyota pickup trucks (and the 4Runner) underwent a major design change as the suspension was changed from a solid front axle to an independent front suspension. This change for the American market made the trucks more driveable at highway speeds and increased the space in the engine compartment, but arguably decreased the truck's off-road capabilities. It also widened the track of the truck by three inches, making it more stable in turns. Outside the US, the Hilux Surf also gained the new Hi-Trac suspension design, though the pickups retained the more rugged and capable, if less refined, solid axle configuration. Tops were color-matched on blue or red 4Runners, while other body colors were still sold with white or black tops. During 1986 many 4Runners were imported to the US without rear seats. With only two seats the vehicle could be classified as a truck (rather than a sport vehicle) and could skirt the higher customs duties placed upon sport and pleasure vehicles. Most had aftermarked seats and seat belts added by North American dealers after they were imported.

A turbocharged version of the 22R-E engine (the 22R-TE) was also introduced in 1986, although this engine is significantly rarer than the base 22RE. These turbocharged models (designated 4Runner SR5 Turbo) were equipped with a wider-ratio transmission and heavier rear differentials. Low-option models had a small light in the gauge cluster to indicate turbo boost, while more plush vehicles were equipped with an all-digital dash that included a boost gauge. All turbocharged 4Runner models sold were apparently equipped with an automatic transmission, though a manual could be had in the pickups. Turbocharged and naturally aspirated diesel engines were available in the pickups at this time as well, but it appears that no diesel-powered 4Runners were imported to the United States.

In 1988, the 22R-E engine was joined by an optional 3.0 L V6 engine, the 3VZ-FE. This engine was significantly larger and more powerful than the original 4-cylinder offering. Trucks sold with the V6 engine were equipped with the same heavy duty rear differential that was used in the turbocharged trucks, as well as a completely new transmission and transfer case; the transfer case was chain driven, and created less cab noise than the old gear-driven unit used behind the four cylinder engine.

Small cosmetic and option changes were made in 1989, but the model was left largely untouched in lieu of the replacement model then undergoing final development.


Prior to the official introduction of the 4Runner in 1984, Toyota entered into collaborations with Winnebago, Griffith Coach, and another American conversion company to convert short-bed Toyota Hilux pickups into 4Runner-style vehicles. Winnebago's conversion used a Toyota RV cab and chassis retrofitted with a fiberglass rear section made by Winnebago. The vehicle was available in two or four wheel drive. In a slightly different approach, Griffith started with a complete pickup, cutting the back of the cab out, sealing the gap between the cab and bed, and attaching a permanent camper shell. Rear seats were also added. Winnebago called their vehicle the Tekker, Griffith called theirs the TrailBlazer, and the third company sold theirs as the Wolverine. All of the vehicles were made in relatively small numbers and few remain in existence today.


Design quirks and oddities

An unusual feature is a pair of small convex mirrors at the rear corners of the interior, designed to help the driver see approaching vehicles when backing out of a parking space. The mirrors work on the same principal as those big convex mirrors mounted at the corners of large parking garages. In the 4Runner, they help the driver detect motion in a busy parking lot. Using them effectively, however, takes some practice, as it's hard to distinguish details. We're guessing most people don't use them.


  • 2005 Editors' Most Wanted SUV Under $35,000 at
  • 2005 Highest Ranked Midsize SUV in Initial Quality by J.D. Power and Associates
  • 2003 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study 3rd Winner (Mid-size SUV)

See also


Toyota Motor Corporation

Toyota | Lexus | Scion | Hino | Daihatsu


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Trucks: T100 · Stout

One-Off Special

Century Royal

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Concept Vehicles

FT-HS · Hybrid X · PM · Endo · FTX · FSC · iQ Concept · FT-MV Concept · i-REAL Concept · Hi-CT Concept · RiN Concept · 1/X Concept · Crown Hybrid Concept · Biomobile Concept · A-BAT Concept · TRD Hilux Concept · Tundra Ducati Desmosedici Transporter Concept · TRD Tundra Street Concept · TRD Tacoma X-Runner Concept · Tacoma V8 Incross Concept · TRD Tundra Double Cab Off-Road Concept · Tacoma Truck Retro Concept · Tundra TR Concept · CNG Camry Hybrid Concept · Lemans Racer Concept · FT-EV Concept · RV-2 Concept · HC-CV Concept · Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept · Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept · FT-86 Concept · FT-EV II Electric Vehicle Concept · Surfrider Camry Hybrid CNG Concept · Billabong Ultimate Venza Concept · Tundra Hot Rod Concept · Tacoma TX Package Concept · TRD Camry TS01 Concept · X-Runner Concept · Sportivo Concept · Dedicated Hybrid Concept · FT-CH Concept · FT-86 G Sports Turbo Concept · Prius G Sports Concept · iQ Disco Concept · NORI Concept · Prius C&A Concept

TRD · Modellista · Engines · Transmissions · G-Book

Sakichi Toyoda Corporate website A division of the Toyota Motor Corporation

External links

News & References

Enthusiast Sites and Discussion Forums

This page uses content from Wikipedia; see Toyota 4Runner, which includes these contributors.