The Toyota 4Runner is a midsize SUV that has been around for more than four decades. It is one of the few remaining SUVs that use a body-on-frame construction, which gives it superior off-road capability and durability. Despite its age and lack of modern features, the 4Runner still has a loyal fan base that appreciates its ruggedness, versatility, and reliability. Here are 10 reasons why people still love the aging Toyota 4Runner.
1. Conquers Any Terrain
The 4Runner is designed to handle any terrain, from paved roads to rocky trails. It has a high ground clearance, a sturdy suspension, and a powerful four-wheel-drive system. Depending on the trim level, the 4Runner also offers various off-road features, such as an electronically locking rear differential, a multi-terrain select system, a crawl control system, and a kinetic dynamic suspension system. These features help the 4Runner overcome obstacles, maintain traction, and control speed when off-roading.
2. Impressive Towing Capacity
The 4Runner is not only good at carrying passengers and cargo, but also at towing trailers and boats. It has a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. This engine allows the 4Runner to tow up to 5,000 pounds, which is more than most of its rivals. The 4Runner also has a standard integrated tow hitch receiver and wiring harness, as well as an optional trailer sway control system that helps stabilize the trailer when towing.
3. Roomy and Practical Cargo Area
The 4Runner has one of the largest cargo areas in its class, especially with the optional third-row seat folded or removed. It offers up to 89.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats, which is enough to fit large items such as bikes, kayaks, or camping gear. The 4Runner also has a unique feature that makes loading and unloading easier: a power rear window that can be lowered or raised with a button on the key fob or the dashboard. Some models also have a sliding rear cargo deck that can be used as a shelf or a seat. Related Articles: The 2024 Toyota 4Runner: Everything You Need To Know
4. Simple and Durable Interior Design
The 4Runner may not have the most luxurious or high-tech interior, but it has a simple and durable design that suits its rugged character. The cabin is made of hard plastics and easy-to-clean fabrics that can withstand wear and tear. The controls are large and straightforward, making them easy to use even with gloves on. The seats are comfortable and supportive, with plenty of headroom and legroom for adults in both rows. The optional third-row seat is best suited for children or short trips.
5. Standard Safety Features
The 4Runner may not have the latest infotainment or driver-assist features, but it has a lot of standard safety features that can help prevent or mitigate accidents. Every 4Runner comes with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. The 4Runner also has eight airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, brake assist, and a rearview camera. Starting from the 2023 model year, every 4Runner also has blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard.
6. Retro-Inspired Special Edition
The 2023 model year marks the 40th anniversary of the 4Runner nameplate. To celebrate, Toyota introduces a special edition based on the entry-level SR5 model that’s limited to a production run of 4040 examples. The ’23 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition comes in red, white, or black paint with tri-colored graphics on the body sides and grille. A set of bronze 17-inch wheels is also part of the package. Inside, the bronze color is repeated in the stitching on the leatherette seats and shift knob. There are also callouts to the 4Runner’s 40th birthday on the floormats, front headrests, and a couple interior badges.
7. Legendary Reputation
The 4Runner is one of the longest-running models in Toyota's lineup, dating back to 1984 when it was introduced as a two-door version of the Hilux pickup truck. Since then, it has evolved into a four-door SUV that shares its platform with the Tacoma pickup truck. The 4Runner has earned a legendary reputation for its reliability, durability, and off-road prowess. It has also won numerous awards and accolades, such as the Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Award, the Edmunds Top Rated Award, and the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study Award.
8. Loyal Fan Base
The 4Runner has a loyal fan base that spans generations and cultures. Many 4Runner owners are passionate about their vehicles and often customize them with aftermarket parts and accessories. They also form clubs and communities to share their experiences and adventures with other 4Runner enthusiasts. Some of the most popular 4Runner forums and websites include Toyota-4Runner.org, 4RunnerForum.com, and Trail4Runner.com. The 4Runner also has a strong presence on social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, where users post photos and videos of their 4Runners in action.
9. Capable and Cool Sibling
The 4Runner is not the only Toyota SUV that can handle tough terrain and heavy loads. It has a capable and cool sibling: the Land Cruiser. The Land Cruiser is a full-size SUV that is more luxurious and powerful than the 4Runner. It has a 5.7-liter V8 engine that delivers 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. It can tow up to 8,100 pounds and seat up to eight people. The Land Cruiser also has a sophisticated four-wheel-drive system that features a two-speed transfer case, a locking center differential, a multi-terrain select system, a crawl control system, and an off-road turn assist system. The Land Cruiser is also known for its longevity and dependability, as it is often used in harsh environments around the world.
10. Fun and Authentic Driving Experience
The 4Runner may not be the most refined or efficient SUV on the road, but it is fun to drive for those who enjoy a challenge and an adventure. The 4Runner delivers a raw and authentic driving experience that is rare in today's market. It feels solid and stable on the road, with a responsive steering and a smooth transmission. It also sounds great, with a throaty exhaust note that matches its muscular appearance. The 4Runner is even more fun to drive off the road, where it can tackle any obstacle with ease and confidence. The 4Runner is not for everyone, but for those who love it, it is an irreplaceable companion.