4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (2023)

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (1)

5th Gen 4Runner Shot Cred: @yotacruiser

All Generations (1st – 5th Gen) of Toyota 4Runner Explained in Real-Life and an Off-Road Perspective

“What 4Runner should I Buy?”

A question commonly asked in the Off-Roading 4Runner world or for 4Runners in general. If you are asking this question, this is the 4Runner On-Road and Off-Road buyers guide for you. We will be comparing the pros and cons of every 4Runner 1984-Present. We will also be going over available Off-Road upgrades for each model (1st-5th Gen) and the benefits of each model.

1st Gen Toyota 4Runner (1984-1989)

A General Overview of the1st Gen Toyota 4Runner (1984-1989)

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (2)

1st Gen 4Runner Shot Cred: @Rockymtn4Runner

First, let’s start with the classic 1st Gen 4Runner, first released in May of 1984, and spawned from the from Toyota Trekker (Pre 4Runner – a collaboration between Toyota and Winnebago). The 1st Gen 4Runner was a 2-door SUV based on the Toyota Hilux with a truck mix. It’s commonly equipped with the 22re 4cyl and a 3.0 6cyl with the choice of a manual or automatic transmission.

They have a removable rear top/shell similar to a Jeeps removable top. Stock, the 1st Gen 4Runner has good gas mileage with a 19mpgcity and 23 highway but the 22re is pretty sluggish compared to later years. Unless you happen to find the special 22re turbo 1st Gen 4Runner, but that’s an entire blog post on its own. With the 22re 1st Gen 4Runner, you will have a wide range of aftermarket parts as well, which we will get to soon.

They have no real support, body-wise, though. So if rot begins to occur, you will have to find another 1st Gen 4Runner for quarters and floors and other common rot areas. There is also not a ton of options when it comes to the interior if your seats become ripped or destroyed.

As long as you can get your hands on a 1st Gen 4Runner that is well cared for, with a nice interior/ exterior, they are amazing if maintained properly. While we did say the 22re engines are sluggish, they are “unkillable” if maintained properly.

The 1st Gen 4Runner is a solid all-around choice for an old-school look and feel that provides unparalleled dependability on and Off-Road. The key here is being patient, look around on Craigslist from city to city until you find one that has been “Garage Kept” and “Granny Owned”. If you find one of these, call us, we will more than likely buy it out from under you.

An Off-Road Overview of the1st Gen Toyota 4Runner (1984-1989)

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (3)

Possibly one of the most desired Toyota 4runners ever is the 19851st Gen 4Runner as it’s the last year they offered a solid front axle and the first year of Fuel Injection. If you are a rock crawler this is the 4Runner you’re looking for.

Now for the fun stuff you’ve been waiting for, the upgrades. For the 1st Gen 4Runners, you can get bolt-on transmission adaptors to easily install a chevy 350 or a ford 302 with ease for more power if you decide against the stock engine on the 1st Gen 4Runners. These v8s will fit in the engine bay without any major alterations.

Or, you can find a 1st Gen 4Runner for sale with a blown motor that you don’t want to replace or because you have a 350/302 or 3rd Gen 4Runner 3.4l laying around and it would be cheaper.

There are many Straight-Axle Swap Kits available for the later 1st Gen 4Runners as well. But, may we say the factory Independent Front Steering/Suspension (IFS) handles off Road well in 1st Gen 4Runners and all other 4Runner Gens as well. If you decide a straight axle swap isn’t your sort of thing, don’t worry there are plenty of lift kits available.

Now for body armor, there are a wide variety of steel plate and tube bumpers, skid plates, sliders, androll cage kits available for 1st Gen 4Runners. Or, you can head down to your local Off-Road performance shop and have something custom done.

(Video) Toyota 4Runner History, all generations

Just, try to find a Toyota shop, not a Jeep shop. With a Toyota Specific Off-Road shop, they will care more about what they are doing (more than likely) as opposed to another run-of-the-mill Jeep shop.

2nd Gen Toyota 4Runner (1989-1995)

A General Overview of the2nd Gen Toyota 4Runner (1989-1995)

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (4)

Now if the 1st Gen 4Runner isn’t something you fancy but you still want an older 4×4 to go Off-Roading in, the 2nd Gen 4Runner is for you. First released in August 1989 the 2nd Gen 4Runner came with the 4cyl engine again along with the 6cyl, with your choice of a manual or automatic transmission. This is the first generation of 4Runner where they introduced 4 doors. There was a two-door version available, but they are not too common to find anymore. But, the 4-door version is common.

The 4-door 2nd Gen 4Runner was released every year from 89-93, so we will focus on these years.

The 2nd Gen 4Runner, now with the more common 3.0 maintained good mpg and had slightly more power than the previous/current 22re 4cyl engine. The 2nd Gen 4Runner no longer has a removable top but it now has the 4Runner-famous roll-down rear hatch window which we all personally love putting down outdoors, on side streets, and on the freeway (whoever had that idea should be crowned). This is the signature 4Runner.

Like the 1st Gen 4Runners, they lack exterior and interior support for the most part so yet again it’s either find one in good shape or make sure there are part shops and dismantler shops available in your area.

The 22re engine stayed “unkillable” as long as it was properly maintained but the 3.0 has many issues with a common head gasket issue due to the exhaust drying them out. So, if you use this as a 4×4 always be sure to make sure everything is in tip-top shape so you don’t break down your rig or blow a head gasket.

An Off-Road Overview of the2nd Gen Toyota 4Runner (1989-1995)

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (5)

2nd Gen 4Runner Shot Cred: @reedhuettlphotography

Now for the 2nd Gen 4Runner fun stuff. You still can get bolt-on transmission adaptors to easily install a chevy 350 or a ford 302 or even a newer generation 4Runner 3.4l v6 for more power. If you decide against the stock 22re or your 3.0 decides it doesn’t want to keep its head intact, consider swapping in a used engine. There are Straight-Axle Swap kits available for them as well, similar to the 1st Gen 4Runner kits.

We will say the factory Independent Front Steering/Suspension (IFS) handles Off-Road well in 2nd Gen 4Runner like it does in the 1st Gen 4Runner and the later generations as well. If you do prefer to leave it with stock Independent Front Suspension versus doing a straight axle swap there are plenty of lift kits available for the 2nd Gen 4Runner.

Now for body armorand the complete2nd Gen 4Runneroff-road experience. You have steel plate and tube bumpers, skid plates, sliders and roll cage kits similar to the 1st Gen 4Runner but you have more of a variety than the 1st Gen 4Runner.

There are many fabrication companies that make stunning products for the 2nd Gen 4Runner. The2nd Gen 4Runner is a very popular choice for an Off-Road vehicle for many reasons. With the body on frame combined with a straight axle, the2nd Gen 4Runnercan climb anything, anytime and anywhere. It’s just beautiful.

3rd Gen Toyota 4Runner (1996-2002)

A General Overview of the3rd Gen Toyota 4Runner (1996-2002)

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (6)

3rd Gen 4Runner Shot Cred: @4RunninDownaDream

Now for people wanting a 4×4 that isn’t brand new but isn’t a street princess, we bring you the 3rd Gen 4Runner. First released in August of 1996 the 3rd Gen 4Runner yet again had a whole new design along with a new chassis including new driveline options.

(Video) Toyota 4Runner Through The Years

The new driveline options are the not so common 2.7l 4cyl and the well known 3.4l 6cyl. With the3rd Gen 4Runner, you still have the option of manual or automatic like the previous generations. The 3rd Gen 4Runner only came in a 4 door option unlike the previous generations, so the 3rd Gen 4Runner is 100% SUV.

The 3rd Gen 4Runner did keep the rear hatch with roll down window like the 2nd Gen 4Runner.

The 3.4 6 cyl that came in the 3rd Gen is truly the best motor for offroading in most people’s opinion due to it not having any major/common issues to worry about other than timing belts. The only major problem that we experienced with the3rd Gen 4Runner was the brakes. For whatever reason on our first3rd Gen 4Runner (1999 SR5), we replaced the brakes multiple times. And these were all factory brakes, no crazy upgrades. We put 210K miles on our 3rd Gen 4Runner and replaced the drums/ rotors 7 times (that’s not normal). Just a good note to think about.

An absolute beauty of a 4Runner, though. If we were to buy anything somewhat old, it would be a3rd Gen 4Runner, again. With all my heart and soul, this is where Trail4Runner.com passion started.

An Off-Road Overview of the3rd Gen Toyota 4Runner (1996-2002)

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (7)

The 3rd Gen 4Runner has an optional supercharger for more power but without it, the 3.4 still has more power than the 22re and the 3.0. The 3rd Gen 4Runner does not have any support,like the previous two generations if the quarters or rockers rot or are destroyed.

But, there are plenty of them out there for spare parts so it’s not a major concern like 1st and 2nd Gen 4Runners. If you destroy a quarter panel or smash a rocker while Off-Roading, you just need to have a parts shop or dismantler shop nearby.

The same goes for the interior, aftermarket suppliers make plenty of parts and custom fit products that can be swapped out or head over to your local parts shop or dismantlers shop. You can grab new seat covers, quarter panels, and rockers from many places, so it’s not a worry either.

The 3rd Gen 4Runner also comes in a few different models, some include a factory rear locker, which is great for offroading.

In our opinion, the 3rd Gen 4Runner, as of 2015-2017, is probably one of the go-to off-road 4Runners. This thing can be turned into a beast. The 3rd Gen has many creature comforts of a newer 4th Gen or 5th Gen 4Runer without the headache of pinstripes, bumps, scrapes, and bruises.

For the 3rd Gen 4Runner, there are tons of aftermarket upgrades for offroading.

There are Straight-Axle swap kits, long-travel suspension kits, lift kits, skid plates, full undercarriage armor, roll cage kits, drawer systems and more.

There are steel plate and tube bumpers available from many fabrication companies. There are tons of lighting brackets available as well which is perfect if you go trailing/offroading after dark or at dusk.

On many fabrication websites, you will see a 3rd gen category-specific set of mods. There are LOTS of upgrades out there for the 3rd gen with many years of experience in the fabrication.

The 3rd Gen offers ARB and other lockers if your 3rd gen did not come with them from the factory.

Overall The 3rd gen 4Runner is where mainstream and mass-produced aftermarket upgrades really started.

4th Gen Toyota 4Runner 2003-2009

A General Overview of the4th Gen Toyota 4Runner 2003-2009

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (8)

(Video) Best Generation 4Runner Ever Made? | Battle of Gens

4th Gen 4Runner Shot Cred: @uncharteredmedia Driver: @augustconte

Now if you’re looking for an offroading rig with a touch of class or a vehicle your spouse can’t complain about, the 4th Gen 4Runner is for you. The 4th Gen 4Runner has a new look yet again along with a new redesigned chassis and driveline.

The new driveline comes in two options like the previous years but the 4cyl engine is now out of the picture completely. Instead of a 4cyl being the smaller engine you now have the choice of a 4.0 6cyl or the sought after 4.7l v8.

That’s right, now the 4th Gen 4Runner has a v8 which is perfect for offroading but now the 4th Gen 4Runner only comes in automatic which may be a downside to some. But don’t let the 4.0 fool you.

Just because it’s now the smaller engine doesn’t mean it’s weak, both engines are powerful and both receive great mpg.

The 4.7l v8 4th Gen 4Runner is perfect if you ever need to tow anything or decide you want to do a massive lift and need the extra power. The 4.0 6cyl 4th Gen 4Runner is perfect if you want a daily driver offroad rig because you can do modifications and still keep the 6cyl mpg, unlike the v8.

The 4.0 6cyl4th Gen 4Runner does not have any major issues but always be sure to thoroughly look it over. The 4.7l v8 does have a common issue of cracks/leaks forming in the exhaust manifold but otherwise, it is a bulletproof motor along with the 4.0 6cyl.

An Off-Road Overview of the4th Gen Toyota 4Runner 2003-2009

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (9)

With the addition of the 4.7l v8, the 4th Gen 4Runner is perfect if you want a beast on the trails. When you are on a trail, the power comes in incredibly handy in almost every situation. For the first time in Toyota 4Runner heritage, the4th Gen 4Runner now comes packed with an option for the4.7l v8. This is a HUGE addition to the 4Runner world.

For anyone that is buying this generation 4Runner, automatic vs manual should not be a question. Unless you want to do a transmission swap, you are stuck with automatic for your Off-Road adventures. This for some is unthinkable while some of the newer 5th Gen folk may not even know what manual is. To each their own.

For offroad upgrades, the 4th Gen 4Runner is really similar to all the upgrades the 3rd Gen 4Runner has available. The only difference is there are no longer roll cage kits for sale as commonly as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gens. Unless of course, you have something custom made for the4th Gen 4Runner.

5th Gen Toyota 4Runner (2009-2022+Present)

A General Overview of the5th Gen Toyota 4Runner (2009-Present)

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (10)

Now if you’re in the market for something that is offroad capable while being brand new or fairly used, the 5th Gen is the one for you. With the newest generation 4Runner comes a whole new look yet again and a new chassis.

Instead of gaining a new driveline the 4.7l v8 is lost and only the 4.0 6cyl stayed paired with an automatic transmission. With the exception of 2010, there was a 2.7l 4cyl auto option available but it is not so common.

Like the previous 4th Gen’s 4.0, the current 4.0 does not have any major issues. The 5th Gen does have a bit more pep in its step compared to the 4th Gen’s 4.0 though.

The 5th Gen 4Runner can be purchased in a variety of models including; classic SR5, Trail, TRD Pro, TRD Off-Road, and Limited which are all great for Off-Road.

KDSS was introduced in the 5th Gen 4Runner.

(Video) This is One of Best Toyota Engines Ever Made That No One Talks About! And A 4Runner Comparison!

As I can commonly put this, KDSS (Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System) is a system of hydraulic lines that stabilize your 4Runner on-road and senses when wheels drop or you have slippage off-road. With the SR5, TRD Pro and TRD Off-Road without KDSS, you will likely have more travel in and an aftermarket suspension.

There are GREAT benefits to KDSS and not too many downfalls. Check out an article we wrote on the TRD Pro Vs. the TRD Off-Road 4Runner. We covered KDSS and really praised it.

The downfall is travel. Your suspension will have less travel with KDSS over non-KDSS suspensions. This doesn’t really come into play unless you are looking at long travel suspension lift kits and are seriously looking for a wide range of travel.

An Off-Road Overview of the 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner (2009-2018+Present)

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (11)

The 5th Gen does not come off-road ready out of the gates. It comes fire-road ready out of the gates. Odds are, if you are looking to prep the 5th Gen for off-road mortal combat, you will need some work.

If you want to buy something upgraded out the gate, you may want to purchase the TRD Pro as it comes with upgradedBilstein TRD tuned Suspension. With this being said, you are going to need more than a basic suspension upgrade that comes stock on an “off-the-lot” model.

If you really want to step things up with your 5th Gen, you should consider an adjustable suspension system.

If you decide on buying a 5th Gen though, a stock SR5 can be heavily modified cheaper than buying one of the special models but it depends on what you want. With an SR5, you do not have to deal with KDSS. Although, the KDSS is superior on many levels when it comes to on-road performance. Just lookour overview of the TRD Pro over the TRD Off-Road and decide for yourself.

The “upgraded” KDSS suspension is nice, but if you are going to swap your suspension, links, add some sliders and skid plate, KDSS can be a little more time-consuming to work with.KDSS with all of these features, though, is handsomely rewarding on-road and general off-road use, it’s just a pain in the ass to work around sometimes. There are also a few tricks to KDSS that make mods easier.

For upgrades for the 5th Gen, it’s like the 3rd and 4th gen options. No roll cage kits are available yet again, commonly that is. But, there are even more aftermarket Bumpers, Lights, Suspensions, Roof Racks, and Lift Kits then the previous two generations of the 4Runner. So, the same type of upgrades with more variety.

4Runner Model History & Generation Summary

4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History (12)

My personal conclusion that is if you want something older but with more of a variety of upgrades purchase a 3rd Gen 4Runner. If you’re looking for modern but fully capable, both the 4th and 5th Gen 4Runners are amazing vehicles. Either route would be perfect for serious Off-Roading, Fire-Roads or crawling your favorite mall.

If you’re looking for something with a lot of power and the potential to be fully decked out, buy yourself a 1st or 2nd Gen 4Runner and lift it, straight axle swap it, throw a roll cage on it, or v8 swap it.

I hope whatever 4Runner you choose for Off-Roading or a daily driver or a combination of both, that you have fun in it and enjoy it and stay safe.

If you want to see the best video on 4Runner history, check this video out!

Big Thanks To Everyone Who Helped!

This was a pretty special piece for us to put out. There are so many people who helped out to show each and every generation 4Runner in their true beauty. We received over 200 images for this post on Instagram and selected the ones you see above.

Thank you to everyone who contributed, shared photos, and was cool enough to be cool about what we are doing here on Trail4R.com.

(Video) History of the Toyota 4Runner

Reputable Companies that Offer Mods for 4Runners

  • http://www.pelfreybilt.com
  • http://www.shrockworks.com
  • http://www.southernstyleoffroad.com
  • http://www.addictedoffroad.com
  • http://www.cbioffroadfab.com
  • http://www.c4fabrication.com
  • http://www.lowrangeoffroad.com
  • https://www.4wheelparts.com/
  • http://arbusa.com/
  • https://www.toyteclifts.com/
  • http://allprooffroad.com/


4Runner Generation Years and Differences, Best 4Runner Years & History? ›

The fourth-generation 4Runner was never the sales hit of its predecessor. In 2004, its best year, the 4Runner found 114,212 homes in the US, but demand tumbled to just 48,000 in 2008 and fewer than 20,000 in 2009, the 4Runner's worst year since 1987.

What are the best 4Runner years? ›

  • 2017 4Runner. This is the most recent model year of the 4Runner to be named as most dependable in its category. The 2017 4Runner received a total score or 84. For Quality/Reliability, it received an 88. ...
  • 2008 4Runner. The 2008 4Runner was named the most dependable midsize SUV in 2011. It received a total score of 86.
Nov 1, 2022

Which year 4th gen 4Runner is best? ›

The fourth-generation 4Runner was never the sales hit of its predecessor. In 2004, its best year, the 4Runner found 114,212 homes in the US, but demand tumbled to just 48,000 in 2008 and fewer than 20,000 in 2009, the 4Runner's worst year since 1987.

Which year 3rd gen 4Runner is best? ›

The most desirable of the third-gen 4Runners were made between 1996 and 2000, and came with a rear electronic differential locker. Toyota ensured that their 4Runner was a beastly off-roader, and for that, 2001-onwards models got a center differential locker, along with Traction Control.

Which 4Runner is best for everyday driving? ›

For such a hardcore, offroad adventure vehicle, the TRD Pro 4Runner sure makes a great daily driver. It tracks super straight, is easy to drive and park, and is extremely versatile and practical in its applications. It's one of the best all-around vehicles I've ever been in and kind of makes you feel invincible.

What is the average lifespan of a Toyota 4Runner? ›

A Toyota 4Runner can reach 300,000 miles with meticulous maintenance but expect closer to 200,000 miles. The 4Runner is susceptible to Toyota's rust issues. Owners say rust and corrosion are common, and noticeable after only a few years on the road.

What year 4Runners have frame problems? ›

The defective automobiles are Toyota 4Runners manufactured between 2003 and 2009, which fall under the 4th generation of the company's vehicles.

What does SR5 mean on a 4Runner? ›

With this vehicle, you get both off-road prowess and a vehicle that can handle heavy-city traffic in one vehicle. One of the most popular 4Runner trims is the Toyota 4Runner SR5, but not many of our Washington customers know what SR5 means. It stands for Sport Rally 5.

Which 4Runner is top of the line? ›

2022 4Runner TRD Pro

If you want the ultimate experience from all the Toyota 4Runner configurations, then the 4Runner TRD Pro is the vehicle for you. Experience top-of-the-line luxury and capability with this off-road and commute-ready 4Runner trim option: $52,420 MSRP*

Does 4th gen 4Runner have timing belt or chain? ›

The v6 has used a chain since 2003 when the v6 4.0 came out, replacing the old 3.4 v6 which did use a timing belt. Now the 4.7 V8 in the 4runners uses a timing BELT since 2003 when a v8 was an option in a 4runner.

Is 4th gen 4Runner bigger than 3rd gen? ›

The 4th generation 4runner is larger and more powerful. It's better for towing and some people consider it more comfortable. The 3rd generation 4runner is slightly smaller and more nimble. It offers features like a manual transmission and rear locker that aren't found on the 4th gen.

How much does it cost to replace a timing belt on a 4th generation 4Runner? ›

The average cost for a Toyota 4Runner Timing Belt Replacement is between $668 and $989. Labor costs are estimated between $251 and $316 while parts are priced between $417 and $672.

Why is the 3rd gen 4Runner so good? ›

Thanks to its off-road capability and its proven reliability, the third-gen 4Runner earned many fans, including lots of serious off-roaders who used the third-gen as base for some heavily modified rock crawlers and desert warriors.

What year 4Runner has a 3.0 engine? ›

More power was on tap for 1988, as Toyota introduced the 3.0L V6 engine to the 4Runner.

What to look for when buying a Gen 3 4Runner? ›

Take a good look at all of the engine fluids such as engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and clutch fluid if you're buying a manual. *TIP* – Check the fluids first when they're cold, then again after test driving the vehicle when they're warm. Do you notice any changes?

Which 4Runner has full time AWD? ›

The 2023 Toyota 4Runner comes standard with the full-time 4WD that provides optimal traction for every drive. When the road conditions become challenging, this system automatically sends power to the wheels that need it most.

Do 4Runners waste a lot of gas? ›

The Toyota 4runner is bad on gas because of poor aerodynamics, outdated gearing, disregard for fuel efficiency during the design process, and the additional weight from heavy 4×4 components. Some models and engine configurations are better than others, but in general, 4runners are not fuel efficient.

Which 4Runner has the most comfortable seats? ›

The 4Runner Limited is probably your best choice for a comfortable interior. This trim level has the most convenience features and the most comfortable seats available. If you're ready to check out your ideal 4Runner in person, visit Northshore Toyota today!

What Toyota has the longest life expectancy? ›

The top 2 models with the longest lifespans are Toyota SUVs, with the Sequoia and Land Cruiser both enduring nearly 300,000 miles over the past 20 years. Three hybrids, all of them Toyotas (Prius, Highlander, Camry), and two minivans (Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey) also make the top 20.

Are 4runners expensive to maintain? ›

How Frequently Does a Toyota 4runner require maintenance? Overall - the Toyota 4runner has yearly car maintenance costs total to $514 . The table below shows a complete ranking of how various cars rank in this overall system as some comparison.

How far can a Toyota 4Runner go on a full tank? ›

The 4Runner has more than an estimated 500 miles of maximum range with one full tank of fuel.

What year did Toyota fix the rust problem? ›

In 2016, Toyota agreed to repair or buy back millions of Tacomas, Tundras and Sequoia SUVs with rusting frames. This included models from 2004 to 2008, or in some cases, 2010.

What year 4Runners are made in Japan? ›

First generation (N60; 1983)
First generation (N60)
ProductionOctober 1983 – August 1989
Model years1984–1989 (US)
AssemblyJapan: Tahara, Aichi
Body and chassis
15 more rows

What years did Toyota have bad frames? ›

While it's not nearly as common a problem, the trucks built between 2005 and 2010 also have to be mentioned when discussing Toyota Tacoma years to avoid. In November 2016, Toyota said that it would inspect and replace rusted frames if required.

Is SR5 or TRD better? ›

The TRD Sport boasts more towing power—6,800 pounds compared to 3,500 on the SR5—but the SR5 is capable of carrying more payload, at 1,685 pounds compared to 1,525 pounds on the TRD Sport.

Is 4Runner comfortable for long road trip? ›

While the 4Runner is meant for adventure, the inside feels luxurious with comfortable, easy-to-clean leather seating. It's impressive that there's plenty of legroom not only for the driver but passengers too!

Is SR5 better than SR? ›

What's the difference between SR and SR5? The SR5 takes an SR and simply adds more options and has a starting MSRP of $28,940. You can order it in an access can, or a double cab with a five-foot or six-foot long bed. It comes with either the 159-horsepower four cylinder or the 278-horsepower V6.

What SUV is equal to the 4Runner? ›

The Toyota 4Runner is a midsize SUV, so the SUVs that are similar would include the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco, and Kia Telluride.

Is Toyota 4Runner better than Land Cruiser? ›

Toyota Land Cruiser Quality Rating. The iSeeCars Overall Quality rating for the Toyota 4Runner is 8.6 out of 10 while the Toyota Land Cruiser's quality rating is 9.2 out of 10.

What is the Ford equivalent to the Toyota 4Runner? ›

As the above table shows, the 2022 Ford Explorer has a lower starting price and better fuel economy ratings than the Toyota 4Runner. Tall drivers will find the Explorer convenient to drive in as it has a big front head and legroom.

When should a 4runner timing chain be replaced? ›

Older cars may have a timing chain, similar to a chain on a motorcycle, with a life cycle of around 60,000 miles. Newer models use timing belts made of polyurethane and Kevlar for long life and durability. They can go as long as 100,000 miles although it's always a good idea to change it before then.

Is 4th gen 4runner full time 4WD? ›

4th Generation (2003-2009) 4WD Engagement

The 4th generation 4runner was the first to introduce full-time 4 wheel drive. This was found in every model that was equipped with a V8 engine. V6 models kept the same part-time Multi-Mode system that was found in later 3rd gens.

What was the last year of the 4th gen 4runner? ›

A: The Toyota 4Runner - 4th Gen was sold for model years 2003 to 2009.

Is a Toyota 4Runner bigger than a RAV4? ›

The 2022 Toyota RAV4 dimensions measure 181-182″ L x 73″ W x 67-69″ H, while the 4Runner is larger with measurements of 190-191″ L x 76″ W x 72″ H.

What Gen 4Runner had a V8? ›

Every generation of 4runner has offered a V6 engine. V8s however, can only be found in the 2003-2009 models. Out of 5 generations, the 4th Gen is the only one to have a V8 engine. And with the direction things seem to be heading in the auto industry, Toyota will never put a V8 engine in the 4runner ever again.

What year is a 5th Gen 4Runner? ›

2010 – 2013 Toyota 4Runner SR5 [Fifth (5th) Generation]

How often should timing belt be replaced on Toyota 4runner? ›

When to replace the timing belt? Every 60k-90k miles. If an engine is equipped with a timing belt, the timing belt must be replaced at the service interval specified by the vehicle manufacturer regardless of whether or not any problem is visible, typically in the range of 60,000 to 90,000 miles.

At what mileage should a Toyota timing belt be replaced? ›

In most cases, the average timing belt will last anywhere between 60k-90k miles. If your vehicle has over 90,000 miles and has not had the timing belt replaced, you may want to schedule an inspection to ensure safe operation of your vehicle.

Is it cheaper to replace a timing belt or timing chain? ›

Generally speaking, timing belts have the advantage of being quieter and cheaper to produce and replace, while timing chains typically have a longer lifespan.

Which Gen 4Runner is most reliable? ›

Most Reliable Years For The 4Runner

Here are the most reliable years for the Toyota 4Runner: 2017-Present Fifth Generation 4Runner. 2008-2009 Fourth Generation 4Runner. 1999-2000 Third Generation 4Runner.

Is the 3rd gen 4Runner engine reliable? ›

The third-gen Toyota 4Runner is a very reliable vehicle; however, the model is now upwards of 20 years old, and parts are starting to wear out. If you end up looking to buy a 4Runner check the suspension bushings and ball joints. Even a low mileage example can have issues as the rubber is now old.

What is the big three on 3rd gen 4Runner? ›

The "Big 3" (or sometimes called "Big 4") upgrade means improving the current capacity of three cables: 1) alternator output to battery positive, 2) battery negative to frame/body, and 3) engine ground to frame/body.

What year did the head gasket problem occur in the 4Runner? ›

First-Generation: 4Runner Years to Avoid (1988-1989 with a 3.0-liter) Like the other 3.0-liter engines in this article, this 4Runner generation has the same engine flaw design, leading to constant head gasket problems.

What is the best engine in a 3rd gen 4Runner? ›

The V6 engine of the third-gen 4Runner, known as the 5VZ-FE, has cemented itself in automotive history as one of the most reliable engines of all time. The 183 hp and 217 lb-ft of torque the engine made kept it at the top of its class at the time.

Is the 3.4 Toyota a good engine? ›

Is the Toyota 3.4 a good engine? The Toyota 3.4L V6 engine is known to be one of the most reliable engines on the market. The engine code is 5VZ-FE and it can be found in the 1995-2004 Tacoma, 2000-2004 Tundra, 1995-1998 T-100, and the 1996-2002 4Runner in the United States.

What year 4th gen 4Runner is best? ›

The fourth-generation 4Runner was never the sales hit of its predecessor. In 2004, its best year, the 4Runner found 114,212 homes in the US, but demand tumbled to just 48,000 in 2008 and fewer than 20,000 in 2009, the 4Runner's worst year since 1987.

What is the average lifespan of a 3rd gen 4Runner? ›

A Toyota 4Runner can reach 300,000 miles with meticulous maintenance but expect closer to 200,000 miles.

What gas mileage does a Gen 3 4Runner get? ›

It got 15 mpg average empty city/hwy 50/50ish. On road trips empty/lightly loaded it got 15-16 unless I was doing 70+ then it dropped off to 13-14. Loaded with gear, pets, chow, water on a long trip it got 11. A 3rd gen 4Runner should be in that ballpark.

Are 3rd gen 4Runners reliable? ›

The third-gen Toyota 4Runner is a very reliable vehicle; however, the model is now upwards of 20 years old, and parts are starting to wear out. If you end up looking to buy a 4Runner check the suspension bushings and ball joints. Even a low mileage example can have issues as the rubber is now old.

Are first gen 4Runners reliable? ›

First-gen Toyota 4Runners are not known to be powerhouses. They came with the reliable but unexciting 22RE 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and later with the 3.0-liter V-6. The V-6 made slightly more power and was also fairly reliable, but hard on head gaskets.

Which year of 5th generation 4Runner is best? ›

The 2 best models to date would be 2019 and 2023. 2019 is the last year before TSS and all of the other tech updates. They had most all of the issues ironed out by then. 2023 is refined even more and has lots of safety features that will reduce your insurance and possibly prevent an accident.

How long do 3rd gen 4Runners last? ›

Your Toyota 4Runner just might last you 300,000-miles

That's actually ok. Because, as it turns out, the 4Runner is made to last for more than 200,000-miles. In fact, according to iSee Cars, approximately 0.2% of 4Runner models will last for more than 300,000-miles.

What year is a 2nd gen 4Runner? ›

1990 – 1995 Toyota 4Runner [Second (2nd) Generation]

Do 4runners have good mileage? ›

2022 4Runner Driving Range

The EPA estimates the Toyota 4Runner can get 16 miles per gallon in the city and 19 miles per gallon highway, creating an estimated 17mpg combined driving range on all trims.

What is the 4Runner called in Japan? ›

Toyota 4Runner
Also calledToyota Hilux Surf (Japan, 1983–2009)
ProductionOctober 1983 – present
Model years1984–present (US)
7 more rows

Can you sleep in a 5th gen 4Runner? ›

Most average-sized males (around 5'9″) can comfortably sleep in the back of a 4th or 5th generation 4runner with the rear seats folded down. It's also wide enough to accommodate a partner that's the same or smaller in size.

How long will a 3.4 Toyota engine last? ›

How long should a Toyota 3.4 V6 last? A Toyota 3.4L V6 should have no problem going more than 300,000 miles as long as you take care of the engine. The engine is built of many high-strength components and has a cast-iron block to it that is designed to withstand a lot of heat and abuse.


1. The History of The Toyota 4Runner
(Zack Thompson)
2. 2010-2022 Toyota 4Runner 5th Gen Buyer's Guide (Common Problems, Specs, 4x4 Tech)
(Useful Vids)
3. Here's Why This 4Runner is the Best Vehicle Ever Made
(Scotty Kilmer)
4. 2010-2020 Toyota 4Runner buying guide
(The Car Care Nut)
5. 1996-2002 Toyota 4Runner 3rd Gen Buyer’s Guide (Engines, Options, common problems)
(Useful Vids)
6. Toyota 4Runner- Everything You Need To Know | Up To Speed


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