Used Toyota 4Runner Information

The original Toyota 4Runner was actually little more than a Toyota pickup, modified to turn it into a rudimentary SUV to compete with trucks like the Ford Bronco II, Chevy S-10 Blazer (and GMC S-15 Jimmy) and Nissan Pathfinder of the early-to-mid-1980s. The second-generation model that arrived in 1990 was the first to be designed as an SUV from the ground up, with most having four doors (though a two-door was produced) and a fully integrated roof. From there, apparently, the only way to go was up, in size, weight and refinement, so that the fourth-generation that arrived in 2003 was practically a near-luxury vehicle compared to the original.

Where all of the first three generations of 4Runner were offered with four-cylinder engines (the first-gen got nothing else and the third-gen's four-cylinder was dropped after 1999), the fourth-generation model's base engine was a 4.0-litre V6 (245 hp; 283 lb.-ft.). For the first time, too, a V8 was offered; it was a 4.7-litre unit good for 235 hp and 320 lb.-ft. of torque. No manual transmission was offered; V6 models got a four-speed automatic and V8s used a five-speed automatic, but all 2005-and-newer models got the five-speed auto as the only transmission choice.

In 2005, the V8 got a horsepower boost to 270, and torque increased slightly to 330 lb.-ft.; the 2006 4Runner got a mild restyling, including new head- and taillights. Note that engine power and torque ratings dropped for 2006 due to updated SAE power measurement standards. The new figures were 236 hp/266 lb.-ft. for the V6 and 260 hp/306 lb.-ft. for the V8; the changes didn't affect the engines' performance. For 2008, the V8 engine's availability was dropped from all but the top-end Limited model.

Natural Resources Canada's fuel consumption numbers for the 2003 4Runner are 13.7/10.7 L/100 km (all figures city/highway) with the V6 engine and 15.5/11.5 with the V8. Both models' numbers improved in 2005, to 13.5/10.2 (V6) and 14.6/11.3 (V8), and by 2009, the 4Runner's ratings were 13.4/9.9 for the six-cylinder and 15.0/11.5 with the V8.

Like many Toyota models, the 4Runner earns Consumer Reports' "good bet" used vehicle designation.