Need car parts? Select your vehicle
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Toyota 4Runner is one of the most iconic off-road SUVs of all time, rocking a rugged, boxy exterior with a roomy and cozy interior. It can burn through fuel fast, but it comes with a lot of quality-of-life features that make it a dream to drive without sacrificing its performance.

But which models have the best performance, are the safest to drive, and are generally the most reliable?

2017 Toyota 4Runner

2017 toyota 4runner toyota usa newsroom
Ultimately, the 2017 Toyota 4Runner is an excellent option for people looking to get their hands on an off-road vehicle that’s safe and easy to drive. Image credit: Toyota USA Newsroom.

The 2017 Toyota 4Runner shines away from the bustling city. Its greatest strength is its sheer utility. This Toyota offers tremendous cargo space in addition to its incredibly high maximum towing capacity. It can tow up to a whopping 5,000 lbs, letting you lug equipment that can level up your outdoor adventures, like a boat or a trailer.

Scoring well in crash testing, this SUV is equipped with a wide array of driver-assistance tech and safety features, from anti-lock brakes and stability control to several strategically located airbags.

The 2017 Toyota 4Runner can support up to five passengers at a time. But drivers who need more room can upgrade their vehicle to support up to seven people without sacrificing comfort or storage space.

Ultimately, the 2017 Toyota 4Runner is an excellent option for people looking to get their hands on an off-road vehicle that’s safe and easy to drive.

  • Engine Specs: 4.0-liter V6
  • Curb Weight: 4,675 lbs
  • Max Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs
  • Max Payload Capacity: 1,625 lbs
  • Power: 270 hp
  • Torque: 278 lb-ft

2009 Toyota 4Runner

2009 toyota 4runner toyota usa newsroom
The 2009 Toyota 4Runner boasts outstanding off-road prowess and excellent performance, generating 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. Image credit: Toyota USA Newsroom.

The 2009 Toyota 4Runner boasts outstanding off-road prowess and excellent performance, generating 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque.

It’s a classic SUV in the sense that it’s rugged, sporty, and easy to handle and drive despite its size. It can support up to five passengers without becoming claustrophobic and sacrificing comfy leg space.

This Toyota is a dependable partner for adventures off the beaten path. It’s no slouch when it comes to towing and off-roading. It’s also worth mentioning that the 2009 Toyota 4Runner can be upgraded to accommodate up to seven passengers instead of five, using the third row to make room for more seats.

Its standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, and side airbags.

  • Engine Specs: 4.0-liter V6
  • Curb Weight: 4,045 lbs
  • Max Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs
  • Max Payload Capacity: 1,285 lbs
  • Power: 236 hp
  • Torque: 266 lb-ft

2000 Toyota 4Runner

004runner
The 2000 Toyota 4Runner might not have the fancy driver-assist tech that its successors boast, but it’s powerful and reliable enough for many drivers to recommend it. Image credit: Toyota USA Newsroom.

As far as older vehicles go, the 2000 Toyota 4Runner is one to remember. Not only did it score well in crash tests, it also had truck-tough underpinnings, a brake assist system, and standard vehicle stability control.

This Toyota is available in six trims. They all come with the All-Weather Guard Package as standard, which includes features like a heavy-duty heater and windshield molding.

Its 4WD models come with an optional locking rear differential that makes driving on asphalt roads a breeze, giving them an edge over other off-road SUVs at the time. Some of the trims also offer audio upgrades and daytime running lights.

The 2000 Toyota 4Runner might not have the fancy driver-assist tech that its successors boast, but it’s powerful and reliable enough for many drivers to recommend it.

  • Engine Specs: 3.4-liter V6
  • Curb Weight: 3,885 lbs
  • Max Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs
  • Max Payload Capacity: 1,365.0 lbs
  • Power: 183 hp
  • Torque: 217 lb-ft

1995 Toyota 4Runner

1995 toyota 4runner toyota usa newsroom
The 1995 4Runner boasts excellent handling, comfortable seating, and an interior roomy enough to accommodate up to five passengers and its cargo without much issue. Image credit: Toyota USA Newsroom.

While the 1995 Toyota 4Runner is significantly more dated than the others on this list, there’s no denying that it’s withstood the test of time. Its performance relative to when it was released is exceptional enough that it holds up almost 30 years later.

The 1995 4Runner boasts excellent handling, comfortable seating, and an interior roomy enough to accommodate up to five passengers and its cargo without much issue.

While its tech can’t match the suite its modern versions provide, it offers optional features like a navigation system, cruise control, and power windows. Drivers can also get it with alloy wheels, privacy glass, roof rails, leather seats, and dual-power front seats.

It has a maximum curb payload capacity of 1,256 lbs and can tow up to 3,500 lbs, making it perfect for pulling trailers and towing platforms.

  • Engine Specs: 3.0-liter V6
  • Curb Weight: 4,105 lbs
  • Max Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs
  • Max Payload Capacity: 1,265.0 lbs
  • Power: 150 hp
  • Torque: 180 lb-ft

1984 Toyota 4Runner

1984 toyota 4runner toyota usa newsroom
The 1984 Toyota 4Runner set the standard for all future models to come by simply being a reliable vehicle. Image credit: Toyota USA Newsroom.

The 1984 Toyota 4Runner is the forerunner of all models of the same name, kickstarting that would become a series of boxy off-road behemoths designed for rugged outdoor adventures. Serving as the first model of the first series of the Toyota 4Runner, the 1984 model differs from all the other models on the list in how it only has two doors and two seats. Despite this, it’s every bit as reliable as its successors.

The 1984 Toyota 4Runner set the standard for all future models to come by simply being a reliable vehicle. This particular model featured a retractable windshield, a fiberglass frame over the rear seats and cargo area, as well as a 5-speed manual transmission.

It’s a ride that’s built to last, taking on some of the best traits of a pickup truck such as its size, power, and towing capacity. The biggest difference between a pickup and a 4Runner is how the cargo space in the rear isn’t exposed, protected by the frame of the vehicle. At the end of the day, it’s an old vehicle – but one that isn’t obsolete by any means.

  • Engine Specs: 2.4-liter I4
  • Curb Weight: 3362 lbs
  • Max Towing Capacity: 3086 lbs
  • Max Payload Capacity: 700 lbs
  • Power: 97 hp
  • Torque: 128 lb-ft
About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Toyota , Top Vehicles Tagged With : ,
headlights and components
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

View all Questions & Answers

expand_more
CarParts.com Answers BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY: Share your knowledge & help fellow drivers Join Now
Copyright ©2023 CarParts.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.