Image credits: © Toyota.

2008 Toyota 4Runner

Toyota 4Runner Gains New Safety Feature For 2008

The Toyota 4Runner mid-size sport utility vehicle adds an important safety feature for 2008, standard roll-sensing side curtain airbags. This addition complements the already impressive array of safety technology in the full-capability 4Runner.

The fourth-generation Toyota 4Runner combines true off-road competence wîth supremely high standards for everyday driving comfort, refinement and safety. The 4Runner packages these qualities in a design that is aspirational, youthful, sporty, and most of all, genuine.

Like all Toyota SÚVs, the 4Runner comes standard wîth the advanced STAR SAFETY SYSTEM™, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC), an anti-lock brake system (ABS) wîth Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist. (See page 4 for details.)

'The Toyota 4Runner is the rare full-capability SÚV that is also easy and comfortable to drive every day, an excellent family vehicle as well as a rugged all-activity vehicle,' said Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor Sales executive vice president.

The 4Runner is offered in three grade levels: the SR5, the Sport Edition that features a distinct appearance and enhanced handling performance, and the Limited grade wîth additional comfort amenities. The 4Runner seats up to seven wîth an available third-row seat option on SR5 and Limited models. The seat can fold over or be removed when additional cargo space is needed.

Vital Stats
Engine : 4.0 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 236 hp
Torque: 266 ft-lbs

Engine : 4.7 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 260 hp
Torque: 306 ft-lbs

5-speed Automatic
The most popular 4Runner model, the SR5, is distinguished by a chrome grille, door handles and rear license plate garnish. The SR5 is also equipped wîth standard fog lamps, black running boards, and six-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels wîth P265/70R16 tires – including a full-size spare tire wîth alloy wheel. The 4Runner Sport Edition projects a performance image wîth a hood scoop, smoked chrome grille and headlight bezels, tubular roof rack and side steps, and six-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels wîth P265/65R17 raised white letter tires.

The 4Runner Limited is distinguished by a color-keyed grille and heated power mirrors, black roof rack, black illuminated running boards, and six-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels.

Powerful Engines, Sophisticated Four-Wheel Drive
The 2008 4Runner is available wîth a choice of V6 or V8 engines, in 2WD and 4WD models. The standard 4.0-liter dual overhead cam (DOHC) V6 engine produces 236 horsepower, wîth 266 lb-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The available 4.7-liter i-Force DOHC V8 produces 260 horsepower, wîth 306 lb-ft. of torque at 3,400 rpm. In both engines, variable valve timing wîth intelligence (VVT-i) helps provide substantial low-end and mid-range torque.

The 4Runner's standard five-speed automatic transmission adapts gear-shifting patterns according to driving conditions and driver input. Shift logic holds gears on inclines for power and on descents for increased engine braking, which can be helpful when towing.

An automatic Limited-Slip Differential (LSD) is standard on 2WD models for improved traction in slippery conditions. Four-wheel drive 4Runner models employ a TORSEN® torque-sensing type limited-slip center differential wîth locking feature. The main difference between the V6 and V8 4WD systems is that the V6 uses a Multi-Mode selectable system, and the V8's 4WD is strictly a full-time system. In addition, both models are equipped wîth a two-speed transfer case wîth low range for handling steep off-highway inclines.

In both systems, the TORSEN differential distributes 60 percent of available power to the rear wheels under most conditions and changes the ratio as needed based on §teering input and wheel slip. Automatically shifting to a 29:71 power distribution in the event of front wheel spin ratio during §teering maneuvers helps to enhance vehicle tracking through curves. The center differential can change the ratio to 53:47 when it encounters rear wheel spinto help control rear wheel slippage. The TORSEN differential makes the 4Runner less prone to slippage caused by sudden changes in road conditions.

On 4WD Models, Downhill Assist Control (DAC) is designed to augment the low-speed descending ability of low-range by helping to hold the vehicle to a target speed wîth no intervention from the driver. Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), standard on all models, provides additional control for off-road driving by helping to keep the vehicle stationary while starting on a steep incline or slippery surface.

Rugged Chassis, Smooth Ride
The 4Runner's rugged body-on-frame construction utilizes full-length boxed section frame rails that employ large-diameter body mounts for high torsional rigidity and excellent cabin noise isolation. On V8 models, a standard tow hitch receiver bolts directly to the rear frame crossmember. A draw bar, a high-capacity seven-pin electrical connector for trailer wiring, and pre-wiring for an electric trailer brake controller are also included as standard equipment.

Suspension is by double wishbones in the front and a four-link rigid type suspension in the rear, both systems wîth coil springs over gas shock absorbers. The 4Runner Limited V8 4WD model can be equipped wîth rear auto-leveling air suspension for improved ride and performance when towing or carrying heavy loads. This option is teamed wîth the unique X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension that is also standard on the 4Runner Sport Edition.

The X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension diagonally links the compression chambers of the shock absorbers (front left shock linked to rear right and front right linked to rear left) by a center control absorber. The system helps improve on-road handling and dampens body roll and pitch by passing small body motions from front-to-rear to increase overall vertical shock damping.

Towing capacity is 5,000 lbs. for V6 models, 7,000 lbs. for V8 4WD models and 7,300 lbs. for V8 2WD models. All 4Runner models are equipped wîth skid plates for the engine and fuel tank, and 4WD models add one for the transfer case, as well.

Sophisticated Dynamic Control wîth STAR SAFETY SYSTEM™
The STAR SAFETY SYSTEM™ includes VSC, TRAC, ABS wîth EBD and Brake Assist to help provide optimal vehicle control and driving safety. Four-channel, four-sensor ABS helps to preserve §teering control by preventing the wheels from locking during severe braking situations, while EBD distributes proper brake force between the front and rear wheels according to driving conditions. Brake Assist is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage the (ABS), the system supplements the applied braking power.

The Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system helps keep the 4Runner going on the driver's intended course by detecting front-wheel slide and rear-wheel slide during cornering and attempting to control either condition wîth torque intervention and/or by braking individual wheels. A VSC-off switch allows the driver to disengage the system, which can be useful in certain driving conditions.

The traction control (TRAC) feature helps reduce tire slippage during acceleration. 4Runner 4WD models use an additional yaw sensor, a deceleration sensor, and control algorithms to deliver smoother torque on any surface, including low-range and locked center differential conditions.

Passive Safety
Driver and front passenger advanced front airbags inflate according to impact severity. A front passenger seat sensor verifies if there is a certain amount of weight in the seat to determine whether the airbag should inflate, and the correct inflation power. The standard front and second row side curtain and front seat-mounted side airbags are equipped wîth a rollover sensor and cutoff switch. Posted on

Cargo-area mirrors located on the D-pillars help enhance visibility when reversing. The optional navigation system integrates a rear backup camera that automatically projects an image of what its lens can detect behind the vehicle onto the system's seven-inch LCD screen when reverse gear is engaged.

Space, Versatility and Convenience
Sporty design and extensive convenience features highlight the 4Runner's spacious and versatile interior. The two-tone dashboard houses a three-pod instrument cluster wîth orange illumination. A vehicle level sensor detects when the 4Runner is on an incline and compensates the fuel gauge reading. All exterior glass shields 94 percent or more of ÚV rays, and water-repellent glass is used for the windshield, side windows, and side mirrors.

An automatic climate-control system is standard on all 4Runner models, wîth the Limited grade adding dual-zone temperature control in front. A multi-information display, located just above the climate control panel, shows the climate control status as well as a clock, outside temperature, fuel range meter, average speed, and average fuel consumption. The 60/40-split fold-down rear seatbacks fold flat easily wîth no need to remove the headrests. An extra-wide fold-down rear seat center armrest integrates a pull-out convenience tray wîth two cupholders. Interior storage includes large bins in all doors.

When 4Runner is equipped wîth the available third row seats, the middle row tumbles forward for easy third row access. The rear gate's standard power window includes jam protection, as well as an electric power close function to ensure it is not left partially ajar.

The large rear storage area provides steel tie-down hooks on the floor wîth additional storage hooks on the sidewalls. A 'double decker' cargo system wîth cargo net is standard on 4Runner Limited and optional for other models. The cargo shelf can lie flat or be lifted up easily wîth one hand and locked in place to accommodate larger cargo items (up to 66 pounds).

Toyota Value in All Grades
Standard equipment for the 4Runner SR5 model includes cruise control, power door locks and windows (including rear gate window) wîth driver's auto up/down function, two 12v outlets, remote keyless entry wîth rear hatch window power-down operation, and illuminated entry.

The 4Runner Sport Edition adds a tilt and telescoping §teering wheel, high-contrast fabric-trimmed seats and trim, a leather-wrapped §teering wheel wîth audio controls and cruise control buttons, plus a leather-wrapped shift knob. The V8 SR5 and the Sport Edition also come equipped wîth standard power-adjustable front seats, which are optional for the SR5 V6 models.

The Limited steps up the luxury factor wîth black wood grain-style interior trim, leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, a seat memory system, anti-theft system wîth engine immobilizer, HomeLink® universal garage door opener, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror wîth compass.

The available power moonroof wîth jam protection features a two-stage automatic wind deflector to help minimize wind noise. The deflector lowers to an intermediate height when the 4Runner is traveling over 55 mph and rises to full height again when vehicle speed drops below 45 mph and the roof is fully open.

Powerful Onboard Entertainment, Easy Navigation
A Deluxe AM/FM/ CD system wîth six speakers is standard on SR5 and Sport models and includes a universal mini-jack port to connect most portable music players. All standard and optional audio systems are MP3 and WMA-media compatible.

Standard on the 4Runner Limited is a Deluxe AM/FM/ 6-disc in-dash system wîth six speakers, Satellite ready capability. Available on all grades is a 360-watt JBL Synthesis AM/FM 6-disc in-dash sound system wîth 10 speakers Satellite Ready and a leather-wrapped §teering wheel wîth integrated audio controls and cruise control buttons. The leather-wrapped §teering wheel is also available wîth the Deluxe 3-in-1 audio as a stand-alone option, An available factory-installed DVD rear seat entertainment system uses a wide-format nine-inch LCD screen and includes two sets of wireless headphones.

A DVD navigation system is available for all 4Runner models and is paired wîth an eight-speaker JBL AM/FM/4-disc in-dash audio system satellite ready capability. The system features a touch-screen monitor, voice guidance and Bluetooth® wireless capability and includes more than five million verified data points.

Bluetooth® provides a hands-free communication system when using a compatible cellular phone. Calls can be dialed by using the navigation screen's keypad, while calls can be received and ended by pushing a button on the §teering wheel. The stereo is automatically muted when a call is received, and the stereo speakers act as the phone receiver and transmitter.

Toyota's 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion wîth no mileage limitation.

Source - Toyota
Toyota's fun-to-drive off-road vehicle, the 4Runner combined 4-wheel drive and off-road Runner to form an incredible vehicle. All 4Runners were constructed at the Tahara Plant in Tahara, Aichi, Japan or at Hino Motors' Hamura, Japan plant. Sold in countries such as the U.S., Canada, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Chili and Australia from 1984 until the present, the Toyota 4Runner is a SUV manufactured by Toyota. The Toyota 4 Runner is also sold in other markets such as Pakistan as the Toyota Hilux Surf.

The first of Toyota's comfort-driven SUVs, the Toyota 4Runner was designed around the rugged frame of the truck, though a slight bit more comfortable, unlike the Land Cruiser. While many other automakers were introducing mid-size SUVs in the mid 1980s like the Ford Bronco II and the Chevy S-10 Blazer, Toyota was feeling the pressure to develop a competing model. Introduced in 1984 for the 1985 model year, Toyota introduced the revolutionary new 4Runner, a vehicle that combined the versatility and ruggedness of the 4WD with the comfort and utility that was found in regular passenger vehicles. Open-air driving was easily accessibly by removing the fiberglass top that was covering the cargo area. Indistinguishable from the Toyota pickups from the dashboard forward, the first generation 4Runners had two doors. Mostly all of the changes were to the bottom half of the body, basically because the rear springs were not upgraded to cope with the additional weight of the rear seats and fiberglass top. Unfortunately these early models tend to suffer from sagging rear suspensions.

Originally available in two models, the 4Runner featured one model that was barely more than a pickup truck with a covered car area with an emphasis on utility. The first model featured seats on the front only while the rear area was meant purely for cargo. The second model was designed to encompass up to five passengers and included a rear seat that could be folded flat for additional storage space. This model was available in the SR5 grade and included a larger fuel tank along with more luxurious interior features. Both of these models were powered by the carbureted 2.4L 22R four-cylinder engine that was joined to a five speed manual transmission with two speed transfer case. All had manual locking front hubs.

For the 1986 model year, Toyota added the Hi-Trac independent front suspension which now gave the 4Runner more ground clearance along with more improved ride quality. Also, now available on SR5 models, Toyota gave the 4Runner an injection of power with a turbocharged engine.

The Toyota 4Runner was introduced in 1987 with the SR5 trim available on all models, both truck and passenger. The turbo engine was still only confined to passenger models. For this year slight changes were also made to the grille, headlights, and striping.

Toyota introduced the 3.0L V6 engine to the 4Runner for 1988 as power seemed to be the topic on consumer's minds. The turbo model was discontinued as the V6 model was more suited to the off-road environment that the 4Runner was originally designed for. Now the V6 and four-cylinder engines were all that remained at the end of the 1988 year.

A whole new breed of 4Runner was introduced by Toyota in 1989. This brand was based on the newly redesigned line up pickup trucks. Aggressive looking and muscular, the new 4Runner was still quite capable of delivering the same off-road performance that Toyota's four-wheel drive trucks were known for.

Muscular and aggressive, a brand new breed of 4Runner was introduced by Toyota in the spring of 1989. Resembling the line of pickup trucks, the new 4Runner was still capable of delivering the off-road performance that Toyota's four-wheel trucks were famous for. Now the 4Runner was available as either a two or four door vehicle and came with either two or four wheel drive. Due to the new styling, the fiberglass top had to go, but now the 4runner was quieter and more weather tight.

J.D. Power & Associates awarded the 1990 4Runner with the 'Best Compact SUV in Initial Quality' title along with being among the Consumers Digest 'Best Buys' report. The following year the Toyota 4Runner won two more awards, once again the 'Best Compact SUV in Initial Quality' by J.D. Power along with 'Best Compact SUV in Customer Satisfaction' also by J.D. Power for 1991.

For 1992 the Toyota 4Runner underwent a few minor revisions in styling that included flush headlamps and new grille along with new molding treatments. Optional now on the 4Runner were leather seats. For this year the Toyota 4Runner once again was awarded the same awards from J.D. Power and Associates. For the following year J.D. Power named the 4Runner 'Best Compact Sport Utility'.

For the 1994 model year, safety was emphasized and the Toyota 4Runner received side impact protections, a new center brake light and the option of four-wheel anti-lock brakes on all V6 models. The price of the 4Runner was now close to $30,000 and now featured a CD-player, either speaker stereo, leather seats, sunroof and anti-lock brakes. Fortunately though, the 4Runner hadn't forgotten its off-road heritage and remained as strong as a back-woods performer as ever. Once again, the 4Runner was awarded the ‘Best Compact SUV in Initial Quality' award by J.D. Power.

2 years later the 4Runner underwent a complete redesign that included the installation of all new engines, chassis, interior and exterior styling. The 1996 Toyota 4Runner also received newly enhanced safety equipment and added utility. This third generation of 4Runners was the first 4Runner that didn't share wither body panels for a frame with Toyota's compact pickup trucks. Now the 4Runner was available in either 2 or 4 wheel drive, in base, SR5 and Limited trim. There was now a 4Runner for every consumer with two engine choices, a 2.7L 4 cylinder or a 3.4L V6, both with twin cam, multi-valve designs.

The new chassis for the 1996 4Runner was stiffer for more improved steering feel and more precise suspension travel, and was now two inches longer to increase wheelbase and provide for a more stable ride. Replacing the previous Hi-Trac system was a front suspension with a coil spring with double wishbone design which now resulted in greater wheel travel and ride comfort.

The '96 4Runner also featured a one piece lift up tailgate with power windows, much larger exterior mirrors, a lot more interior volume with greater head and legroom along with a lowered step-in and cargo loading height. Dual airbags were now included along with four-wheel ABS for safety, along with side door impact beams and ALR/ELR seatbelts both in the front and rear. Four Wheeler magazine awarded the 1996 model with a runner-up for the Compact 4-door along with the ‘Most Appealing Compact SUV' by J.D. Power.

For the 1997 model year, the Toyota 4Runner only underwent minor changes that included the addition of a 2WD Limited model, newly revised seat fabric in SR5 models, 2 new Preferred Equipment Packages and the ability to order 16-inch alloy wheels on 2WD models. The 4Runner won even more awards this year that included '1997 Top Three Vehicles in Intial Quality – Compact SUV' by J.D. Power, 'Best SUV' by Consumer Reports Magazine', 'Top 10 Trucks overall Resale Value After Three Years of Ownership' – ADP Autosource Suvey, and '1997 Total Quality Award – Medium SUV Segment' by Strategic Vision, Inc.

Once again the Toyota 4Runner underwent only minor changes for the 1998 model year. The only improvements were new 4 spoke steering wheel, rotary style HVAC controls and revised audio head units.

The 4th year for the 3rd generation of Toyota 4Runners, 1999 introduced many more standard features and options that made this model even more equipped than previous ones. A newly redesigned front bumper, valence cover and grille with multi-reflector headlamps with an auto-off function along with a new center console with dual cupholders, and much more were offered for the 1999 model year. Other options included an overhead console with both garage door and sunglass holder, two power outlets in the center cluster and an LCD odometer with digital duel trip meters.

A new multi-mode 4WD system was placed in the 1999 4Runner Limited model as standard. A full-time all-wheel-drive system with 2WD capability, the new multi-mode features can be used in normal driving conditions on all types of roads. The '99 4Runner once again received the ‘Best Compact SUV in Initial Quality' by J.D. Power along with the 'Best Compact SUV Segment', also by J.D. Power.

Standard equipment for the 2001 4Runner model was now the 3.4 liter V7 engine an automatic transmission, along with Vehicle Skid Control with traction control, multi-mode 4WD and a 2WD/4WD selector switch along with a pre-wired trailer hitch harness. The rear differential lock has now been discontinued for '01 while the brake booster was changed to hydraulic assisted. New interior additions and three new exterior colors were also features for 2001.
Serious changes were incorporated to the chassis and body of the fourth-generation Toyota 4Runner, though targeted at approximately the same demographics as the third generation. Looking very different than the previous 4Runners, the updated 4Runner was based on the Land Cruiser Prado 120 series, though it was still targeted as a mid-size quasi-luxury SUV. Currently the SR5, Sport Edition, and the Limited were the available trims. Standard on the current 4Runner was an all-new 4.0 L 1GR-FE while a V8 became available for the first time for the fourth generation models. An available option for the fourth generation, the same 4.7 L 2UZ-FE V8 that was found in the Land Cruiser, Sequoia and Tundra that produced 260 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque was in the 4Runner.

The SR5 and Sport Edition models were first introduced in 2003 and used gray cladding and bumpers. Early on in the year, Toyota added an optional Appearance Package for the SR5 that included color-keyed cladding, liftgate trim and bumpers. The Appearance Package, along with the early optional fog lamps, running boards, and 16-inch aluminum wheels were made standard on the SR5 in April of 2003. Replacing the grey cladding and silver-painted grille, door handles and liftgate trim, the Sport Edition also added black running boards and color-keyed trim.
Standard equipment including a tire pressure warning system in the 2004 Toyota 4Runner. Both the SR5 and Limited models received a 3rd row seat as optional equipment.

For 2005, new enhancements and updates were brought to the optional V8 engine, and made a 5-speed automatic standard on the V6 model. Minor changes were made to the exterior of the '05 4Runner that included color-keyed bumper trim on the SR5 and Limited. A chrome grille was placed on the SR5 while a black roof-rack and running boards replaced the silver ones on the Limited along with a redesigned rear spoiler. Available on all trim levels, a Salsa Red Pearl Scheme was introduced, though a similar color scheme had been available for third generation models.

The fourth generation's mid-cycle refresh marked the 2006 model year with changes that included revised front and rear bumpers, a new projector-beam headlamps, LED tail lamps, a reworked grille, additional chrome trim on the SR5 model, step bars on the Sport Edition and a smoked-chrome grille with tubular roof-rack. The turn-signals were relocated to the headlamp assembly while the front bumper was revised and now features circular fog lights. The rear bumper reflectors were eliminated by the addition of the redesigned bumper. All audio systems added an MP3 playback capability along with an auxiliary input jack. The Limited model was now further set apart from the other trim levels with the new addition of unique 18' wheels and a seat memory system.

The Toyota 4Runner was basically unchanged in 2007 except the new gray-colored option, Shadow Mica. The following year the 4Runner received standard side air bags, slightly modified front grille design, a switch to disable Vehicle Stability Control, refinements in the Tire Pressure Monitoring System along with a few changes in the seatbelt warning system warning system and brake system control.

By Jessica Donaldson
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