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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Jim Mateja
July 10, 1989
Toyota did it again. Chevrolet and Ford have been boasting for months that they`ll bring outfour-door versions of the compact Blazer S-10 and Bronco II utility vehiclesin the `90 model year. With far less fanfare, Toyota has brought out a
four-door version of its4Runner-now. Last time Toyota upstaged the domestics was with its mini-van. Chryslermade all the headlines promoting its upcoming mini-van, but Toyota brought outits version months ahead of the Detroit automaker. Come
to think of it, however, the Toyota mini-van was a poor excuse for a multipurpose vehicle and Chrysler whalloped it in the market. The Toyota vanwill be redone in 1990 in hopes of making up for the initial ugly looks andbuckboard ride and handling.
But we digress. 4Runner joins the Jeep Cherokee and Wagoneer from Chrysler`s Jeep/Eagledivision in offering four-door utility vehicles. The four-door utility market will be interesting to watch in 1990.Chrysler owns a major chunk of that
market, but Ford and Chevy insist that`sbecause Cherokee and Wagoneer offer four doors and they don`t. Once Blazer andBronco add two more doors, the rivals say, Chrysler`s dominance will quicklyfade. Now that Toyota, the nation`s best selling
import, has ventured into thefour-door utility market, it will be equally interesting to see what, if any, impact it will have on the battle among the domestic competition. 4Runner is available in four-door version in two-wheel- and
four-wheel-drive modes. The two-door remains in only four-wheel-drive mode. With theaddition of the doors, the detachable fiber glass top has become an integratedsteel roof. Of note, 4Runner added two doors, but dimensions stayed the same.Wheelbase
remains 103.3 inches, length 176 inches. Base price for the four-door with two-wheel drive is $15,458; the four-door with four-wheel drive starts at $17,348.