Toyota 4Runner History
The Toyota 4Runner is a mid-size SUV, and was the first of Toyota’s comfort-driven SUVs. The 4Runner is Toyota’s smaller and more affordable counterpart to the Land Cruiser and has certainly earned its reputation of a tough, rugged, and durable vehicle.
The first Toyota 4Runner was based on the Toyota Pickup, a small 2-door pickup with a removable top. As other manufacturers were building mid-size SUVs in the mid-1980s, Toyota felt the pressure to develop a competing model. The Toyota Pickup underwent a major redesign in 1983 for the 1984 model year, adding a one-piece body with a removable fiberglass top and removable rear seats.
In 1990, the 4Runner underwent another major redesign, making a fundamental departure from the first-generation model. The second-generation 4Runner looked much less like the Pickup it was originally built from, and included interior and exterior updates, including a 4-door model.
The fifth (and most recent) generation 4Runner was revealed at The Texas State Fair in September, 2009, as a 2010 model year. Most manufacturers have abandoned the truck-on-frame architecture in order to offer smother rides, but Toyota continues to build the 4Runner on the truck frame, allowing for a more rugged and versatile ride. Instead, Toyota introduced the Highlander to serve the purpose of an efficient, smooth family SUV.
The 4Runner got a major facelift for the 2014 model year, including LED headlights, redesigned front seats for roomier backseat seating, interior styling and dashboard upgrades, and audio and smartphone integration technologies.
Toyota 4Runner Awards
The 2014 Toyota 4Runner was awarded Kelley Blue Book’s Best Resale Value Award, and Edmunds.com named the 2013 Toyota 4Runner a Best Retained Value® vehicle.