Template:Infobox automobile The Toyota 4Runner is a mid-size SUV manufactured by Toyota and sold throughout the world from 1984 to the present. In Japan it was known as the Toyota Hilux Surf. The original 4Runner was a compact SUV and 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 cross between a mid-size and a full-size SUV. All 4Runners have been built at Toyota's Tahara plant in Tahara, Aichi, Japan or at Hino Motors' Hamura, Japan plant, and in Brazil. Its mid-size crossover SUV counterpart is the Kluger/Highlander. Template:Anchor
First generation (1984–1989)Edit
Template:Infobox automobile 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, Nissan Pathfinder) and the pressure mounted on Toyota to develop a competing model. Instead of developing an entirely new vehicle, 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), and removable rear seat.
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 bear the additional weight from the rear seats and fiberglass top, these early models tended to suffer from a sagging rear suspension. The first 4Runners were introduced in 1984 as 1984½ 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, much to the chagrin of many off-road enthusiasts). 1985 saw the arrival of the electronically fuel-injected 2.4 L 22R-E I4 engine (though the carbureted engine remained available until 1988). Additionally, rear seats were available in all 1985 4Runner trim levels, not just the more upscale 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. Track width was also increased by three inches. These changes made the trucks more comfortable on-road, and improved stability and handling. However, this change arguably decreased the truck's off-road capabilities. Outside the US, the Hilux Surf (similar to the 4Runner) also gained the new independent suspension design, marketed as Hi-Trac. The pickups in those markets retained the more rugged and capable, if less refined, solid axle configuration. The 4Runner grille changed from the three segment type to the two segment grille on all 4Runners in 1986. Tops were color-matched on blue, red and some gold 4Runners, while other body colors were still sold with white or black tops. During 1984–1986 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 aftermarket 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 22R-E. It appears that all turbocharged 4Runner models sold in the US were equipped with an automatic transmission, though a five-speed manual could still be ordered in the turbocharged pickups. Most Turbo 4Runners were equipped with the SR5 package, and all turbo trucks had as standard a heavier rear differential. 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 gauge cluster that included a boost gauge. Turbocharged and naturally aspirated diesel engines were also 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-E. 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. An engine which was not used in the US market and rarely in the Japanese domestic market pickups was the 3Y engine, which was used in place of the 22R engine in New Zealand models, followed more rarely by the 4Y 2.2 petrol in later versions. This was a decision by Toyota New Zealand to reduce parts required to be stocked by dealers as no other Toyotas sold in New Zealand at the time utilised the R series engines. Small cosmetic and option changes were made in 1989, but the model was left largely untouched in anticipation of the replacement model then undergoing final development. Template:Anchor Template:Anchor
Second generation (1989–1995)Edit
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 four-door models; however, from 1989 to 1993, a two-door model was also produced. These models are similar to the four-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 of the second generation are extremely rare, probably due to higher importation duties and owner insurance costs. US sales ended in August 1992, but it continued to be available in the Canadian market through 1993. Because the drivelines were still developed from the same source, however, available engines were identical. The same 2.4 L four cylinder (22RE) and 3.0 L V6 (3VZ) engines were 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 2L-TE I4 up to 1993, followed by a 3.0 L turbodiesel 1KZ-TE I4. A small number were also made with a normally aspirated 2.8 L diesel 3L I4. A small number were also produced with a 2.0 L 3Y I4 naturally aspirated gasoline engine. A common modification for normally aspirated diesel engines (e.g. 2.8L) is the retrofiting of a turbo (with or without intercooler kit), which can significantly improve performance. 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.
Both the first and second generation 4Runners became targeted as 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 driver's 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. Airbags for both the driver and passenger were added in 1995 (1996 model year). Template:- Template:Anchor
Third generation (1995–2002)Edit
Template:Infobox automobile In 1995 (for the 1996 US model year) 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 changes to the 1996 Nissan Pathfinder, but moved the 4Runner into a distinctly different class from its older competitors, the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Blazer, 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 body shell 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. The third generation 4Runner also featured new engines that are also installed in the first generation Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks. :
- 2.7L 3RZ-FE I4 replacing the previous 2.4L 22R-E I4; Template:Convert, max horsepower: 4800 rpm, torque: Template:Convert, max torque: 4000 rpm;
- 3.4L 5VZ-FE V6 replacing the previous 3.0L 3VZ-E V6: power: Template:Convert, max horsepower: 4800 rpm, torque: Template:Convert, max Torque: 3600 rpm.
In 1996 the 4Runner was dropped from sale in the UK, to be replaced by the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, which was badged as the Toyota Land Cruiser Colorado. Significant changes from the second generation models include a larger body on a longer wheelbase, increased interior space, increased cargo space, dual airbags, ABS, lift-up tailgate, coil-spring suspension all round, rack and pinion steering, and aerodynamic contour designed glass headlights. Additionally, Hilux Surf versions immediately moved to 16-inch 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. The new 4Runner was also available with a factory installed selectable electric locker in the rear differential, a first for the 4Runner but available since 1993 in the Toyota Land Cruiser. 1997 Models received a few minor updates, including the addition of a color keyed cargo cover. 1998 remained largely unchanged, save for a few changes in the electronics. More ergonomic switch control panels and a newly designed 4 spoke steering wheel, which also necessitated a redesign of the air bag system.
1999 Models received both major cosmetic and interior enhancements. A new "fat lip" bumper was designed to allow for an extended crush zone on the front of the frame, as well as new multi-parabola style headlights, projector style fog lamps, and updated side marker lights and front turn signals. Vehicles with "Limited" and "Highlander" (later called "Sport Edition") trim received color-keyed running boards, front and rear bumpers, mud flaps and flares. The ergonomics of the interior was completely changed, moving all the controls to the center of the dash for the rear window, and defrost. The Limited trucks also received a brand-new electronic temp control, and upgraded stereo. The multimatic transmission became available as an option for 4WD 4Runners in 1999, giving the option of AWD operation.
2001 Models received new transparent tail lights and new front grille design. The wheels were also changed to a five-spoke design rim. Limited models received newly designed five spoke wheels as well, however different from SR5 and base model. Also included was a new, sleeker side view mirror design. SR5 and base model 4Runner's also have redesigned climate control units utilizing 3 knobs and 2 buttons, contrary to the 1999 model's 2 sliders and 2 knobs. 2001 models were equipped with Vehicle Stability Control standard, and 4WD models came standard with the multimatic transmission. The optional e-locker for the rear differential was dropped in 2001. Template:- Template:Anchor
Fourth generation (2002–2009)Edit
Template:Infobox automobile 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. Based on the Land Cruiser Prado 120 series, the new 4Runner retained the same basic exterior styling themes, and was still marketed as a mid-size semi-luxury SUV with off-road capabilities. Available trims are currently the SR5, Sport Edition, and Limited models. An all-new LEV certified 4.0 L 1GR-FE V6 which produces Template:Convert and Template:Convert of torque is standard, but for the first time, a V8 became available, the ULEV certified 4.7 L 2UZ-FE engine which produces Template:Convert and Template:Convert of torque. Fuel economy is estimated at 17/20 mpg for the V6 and 15/19 mpg for the V8. Towing capacity is 5000 pounds on V6 models and 7300 pounds on RWD V8 models (7000 pounds w/4WD). The 2003 4runner first entered dealer showrooms in October 2002 as a 2003 model year. Three trims levels were offered, SR5, Sport Edition, and Limited. When it was first introduced the SR5 and Sport Edition models used gray plastic cladding and bumpers. Sport models also featured a non-functional hood scoop. The front suspension used a double wishbone while the rear is a solid rear axle type. The 4runner continued to use a body on frame construction design and a solid rear axle for strength and durability compromising interior room and on-road handling. Toyota's other mid-size SUV, the Highlander is a crossover which is not designed for off-roading. The optional 4WD systems were full-time on V8 models while "Multi-Mode" or part-time on V6 models, both systems used a lockable Torsen center differential. A new suspension system, X-Relative Absorber System (X-REAS), became standard on the Sport Edition and optional for SR5 and Limited models, a rear auto-leveling height adjustable air suspension is included with this option on Limited models. The X-REAS system links the dampers diagonally by means of hydraulic hoses and fluid using a mechanical center valve which reduces body roll during hard cornering. All 4runners were equipped with skid plates for the engine, transfer case, and fuel tank to prevent damage during off-roading. The Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) system prevents the 4runner from rolling backwards on inclines and a Downhill Assist Control (DAC, 4WD only) modulates the brakes and throttle automatically without driver inputs for smooth hill descents at very low speeds, both electronic aids are standard on 4WD models. Major standard features included a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, dual zone automatic climate control, power driver's lumbar support, power rear tailgate window, and on V8 models a tow hitch receiver bolted directly to the rear frame crossmember. Options included HomeLink, an electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror, power moonroof, third row seating, a DVD-based navigation system (loses in-dash CD changer), a 10-speaker JBL Synthesis stereo, and rear seat audio. An optional backup camera system on Limited models used two cameras mounted on the interiors D-pillars to give a wider view when backing up. Some trim levels get two mirrors mounted on the interior D-pillars just inside the rear hatch.
All 4Runners came with Toyota's Star Safety System which includes anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, traction control and Vehicle Stability Control. Side torso airbags for the front rows as well as side curtain airbags for the front and rear rows were optional on 2005–2007 models and became standard on 2008 models. The April 2007 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report also shows the 4Runner to have one of the lowest death rates for all vehicles on the road at only 13 deaths per million registered vehicle years during calendar years 2002–2005. Only the Infiniti G35 and BMW 7 series had lower rates. The IIHS rates the 4Runner as "Good" overall in the frontal offset crash test and "Good" overall in the side impact test on vehicles with side airbags, these scores rank the 4Runner as among the best truck based mid-size SUV's in crash tests. The 4runner received the "Good" rating in 13 of the 14 measured categories.
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Model year changesEdit
- In early 2003, Toyota added an optional Appearance Package for the SR5 model that included color-keyed cladding, bumpers, and liftgate trim. In April 2003, Toyota made the Appearance Package, along with the previously optional fog lamps, running boards, and 16-inch aluminum wheels, standard on the SR5. The Sport Edition also added black running boards and color-keyed trim, replacing the grey cladding and silver-painted grille, door handles and liftgate trim.
- In late 2003 (for the 2004 model year), a Tire Pressure Monitoring System was added as standard equipment. A 3rd row seat became optional on the SR5 and Limited models.
- In 2004 (for the 2005 model year) enhancements were brought to the optional V8 engine and a 5-speed automatic was made standard on the V6 model. Slight changes were made to the exterior including color-keyed bumper trim (replacing the silver painted trim on all colors except Dorado Gold) on the SR5 and Limited; a chrome grille on the SR5; a black roof-rack and running boards (replacing silver) on the Limited; and a redesigned rear spoiler. A Salsa Red Pearl scheme was also introduced for all trim levels, although a similar color scheme was available for third generation models.
- 2005 (for the 2006 model year) marked the fourth generation's mid-cycle refresh. The changes included revised front and rear bumpers; a reworked grille; new projector-beam headlamps and LED tail lamps; additional chrome trim on the SR5 model; and a smoked-chrome grille with tubular roof-rack and step bars on the Sport Edition. The revised front bumper features circular fog lights and a relocation of the turn-signals to the headlamp assembly. The redesigned bumper eliminates the rear bumper reflectors. MP3 playback capability and an auxiliary input jack were added to all audio systems. In addition, the Limited model was further differentiated from the other trim levels with the addition of unique 18" wheels and a seat memory system. Shadow Mica was added as a color option.
- In 2006 (for the 2007 model year), the 4Runner remained unchanged.
- In 2007 (for the 2008 model year), the 4Runner received standard rollover sensing side curtain airbags and front row side torso airbags, a switch to disable Vehicle Stability Control, slightly modified front grille design, refinements in the Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and some changes in the seatbelt warning system and brake system control. An Urban Runner Package was also available on the Sport Edition V6 4x4, which added an in dash Tom Tom navigation system, alcantara inserts in both the front and back seats with dark leather bolstering, the 18" Limited style wheels, a color-keyed front grill and a double-decker cargo system.
- In 2008 (for the 2009 model year) the 4Runner remain unchanged. A Trail Edition package offered an electronic locking rear differential, Advanced Traction Control (A-TRAC) and Bilstein dampers.
Later models offered a DVD Rear Seat Entertainment System (RSES) which used a nine-inch LCD screen and two wireless headphones. Template:Anchor
Fifth generation (2009–present)Edit
Template:Infobox automobile The fifth generation 4Runner was unveiled at the Texas State Fair on September 24, 2009. It is available in 3 trim levels, 2 of which were available previously. The base SR5 trim as well as the top-of-the-line Limited trim are available as a 2WD or a 4WD. The new Trail Edition is only available as a 4WD. The SR5 and Trail Edition 4WD's will receive a part-time 4WD drive system, while the Limited will have full-time 4WD. All models will come with A-TRAC. The new Trail Edition offers Toyota's Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) and Crawl Control which had previously only been available to premium Toyota vehicles, as well as a rear locking differential like the previous Trail Package. The 4.0-liter V6 adds Dual VVT-i which improves horsepower, torque and fuel economy, and comes standard in all models. A 2.7-liter I4 was available on 2WD models, but was discontinued after the 2010 model year.
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- Toyota.com : Vehicles : 4Runner. Toyota's US 4Runner website.
- History of the 4Runner from off-road.com.
- 4Runner History from toyotaoffroad.com.
- History of the Toyota 4Runner is the first of four pages describing the history of the 4Runner.
- Directory of 4Runner Personal Websites A comprehensive directory of active personal 4Runner websites.
- Photo Gallery
- 2010 Return of a Rock Star That Didn’t Cross Over 4Runner/Hilux Review and history from New York Times.
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