Recently, we added yet another vehicle to the lineup of four-wheel-drive machines here at 4WD&SU. We'd like to tell you about the fourth-generation '03 Toyota 4Runner we recently acquired. First, you may be asking, "Why a newer 4Runner? That's a street vehicle."
Well, not really. The Toyota comes equipped with an advanced four-wheel-drive system, and there are a great number of aftermarket manufacturers that offer accessories for this vehicle.
Our first impressions of the vehicle have been very positive. Like the majority of Toyota vehicles, the 4Runner is comfortable and very fuel-efficient, has unobscured visibility from the driver seat, is packed with more than enough horsepower under the hood, and is a pleasure to drive.
The 4.0L, all-aluminum, DOHC, four-valves-per-cylinder V-6 cranks out an impressive 245 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque. Believe it or not, the V-6 in the '03 4Runner actually produces more horsepower than the optional V-8. Highway travel in this vehicle is also enjoyable due to the smooth-shifting four-speed automatic transmission.
We aren't going to tell you that this vehicle, even modified, can dance around the tough obstacles of a rockcrawling course, but we will say that this is the perfect vehicle for family outdoor activities. Once lifted and fitted with recovery gear, without a doubt the 4Runner would easily negotiate the types of trails found around Moab, Utah, or Silverton, Colorado.
The list of electronics is long and distinguished, resembling the types of components you would see in a luxury vehicle. To us, this makes a lot of sense because we're sure there is some carryover from Lexus engineering.
In the next few issues of 4WD&SU, we will show you what aftermarket performance accessories are available for this Toyota. All-Pro Off-Road makes a very functional suspension system for the vehicle that includes front coilover shocks. ARB has just released its new Deluxe Bull Bar Winch Bumper. As you know, ARB produces absolutely top-shelf equipment. We will also review the Superwinch EP9.0 9,000-pound winch, which fits neatly inside the ARB Bull Bar Bumper.
If there is anything you would like to see on the Toyota 4Runner, please feel free to e-mail the staff here at 4WD&SU to let us know.