3 Reasons Why the Third-Generation Toyota 4Runner Is the Best

For many, the 4Runner is one of the best vehicles ever created. As an SUV, it’s capable and practical. Plus, the 4Runner has a reputation for being able to pack on hundreds of thousands of miles. It has been sold worldwide since 1984 through five generations. And if you’re looking, you might want to consider the third generation.

Is the third generation 4Runner the best?

For the most part, the third-generation 4Runner is one of the best to get. It rides on an all-new chassis and all-new bodyshell. It also shares most of its components with those of the same era. The biggest plus is that you still get legitimate off-road capability along with comfort on the road. Two pretty good features to have.

it lasted from 1996 to 2002, with production beginning in 1995. While this era of Toyota SUVs aren’t fully modern, they offer enough for daily driving if desired. So what makes the third generation Toyota 4Runner so great?

The 3.4-litre 5VZ-FE V6 engine is legendary

While you can get with a four-cylinder engine, the one to get is the V6. The 5VZ-FE engine is known to be able to exceed 200,000 with proper maintenance. And that’s why you see so many Toyota SUVs from this era with so many miles on them.

Toyota 4Runner | Bull-measuring

In the 4Runner, this engine delivers 183 horsepower and 217 lb-ft of torque. And while it’s certainly not as powerful as today’s engines, it’s enough to propel this midsize SUV forward.

This V6 was produced between 1995 and 2004. It is used in a variety of Toyota products, not just the 4Runner. So clearly, the brand had a lot of faith in it.

The third generation 4Runner is capable

Capacity is where this Toyota SUV really shines. And that’s probably why so many off-road enthusiasts look to this one for 4×4 builds. The new 4Runner was the first to offer an electronically locking rear differential, which was previously limited to the Land Cruiser.

The third generation 4Runner sits by the wayside.
1999 Toyota 4Runner | Bull-measuring

Prior to the 2000 model, Toyota offered a five-speed manual transmission. Then, you get 4WD capability with the ability to row your gears. This is a pretty cool feature to have in an SUV like this.

This Toyota SUV is long lasting

When it comes to lifespan, the third generation is known to last over 300,000 miles. Especially if you take care of proper maintenance and repair. In fact, even with over 200,000 miles on the watch, you’d probably spend around $10,000 if you wanted to buy one. And that’s pretty crazy, considering how old this 4Runner is.

A third generation Toyota 4Runner sits in a parking lot.  Might be the best 4Runner.
Toyota 4Runner | IFCAR
4 things to know before buying a 2023 Toyota 4Runner

According to the third generation Toyota 4Runner is the best. And that’s not the only praise this SUV has received over the years. It’s a good mix of old school with some modern conveniences. And it wouldn’t be surprising if clean models continue to rise in value.

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