Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
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Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
These city and highway gas mileage estimates are for the model's standard trim configurations. Where there are optional features, packages or equipment that result in higher gas mileage, those fuel-economy estimates are not included here.
By Jim Flammang
January 20, 2005
Vehicle Overview Toyota redesigned its midsize 4Runner sport utility vehicle for 2003, making a V-8 engine available for the first time. Toyota wanted to make the truck-based 4Runner larger, roomier and more fuel-efficient, while maintaining its offroad capability.
For 2005, the V-8 gains 35 horsepower; it's now rated at 270 hp. In V-6 models, a five-speed-automatic transmission replaces the prior four-speed unit. A backup video camera is included on 4Runner Limiteds equipped with a navigation system.
Toyota's Vehicle Stability Control electronic stability system is standard. Four-wheel-drive-equipped 4Runners feature Downhill Assist Control that restricts speed when going down a steep grade. Hill-start Assist Control works to keep any 4Runner from rolling backward on an upgrade.
Exterior Built on a 109.8-inch wheelbase, the 4Runner measures 189 inches long overall. Body-on-frame construction uses full-length boxed-section frame rails. The rear liftgate contains a power window.
Standard SR5 equipment includes 16-inch tires, multireflector headlights and taillights, and an integrated towing hitch. The Sport Edition features a hood scoop and 17-inch tires. The Limited includes illuminated running boards.
Interior Without the available third-row seat, the 4Runner seats five people on front buckets and a three-place, fold-down 60/40-split rear bench. Seven occupants fit inside models equipped with a third-row seat. Leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat and heated front seats are standard in the Limited.
Cargo-area backup mirrors mounted in the rear pillars allow the driver to see oncoming vehicles when backing out of a parking stall.
Under the Hood Toyota's 4.7-liter V-8 is rated at 270 hp and 330 pounds-feet of torque. The 4.0-liter V-6 produces 245 hp. Both engines team with a five-speed-automatic transmission. Rear- and four-wheel-drive models are available.
Safety All-disc antilock brakes are standard. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain-type airbags with new rollover sensors are optional in all models.
Driving Impressions Performance is a big plus when the 4Runner is equipped with the available, quiet V-8. From a standstill, a tap of the gas pedal sends this SUV practically lunging ahead. Acceleration while passing and merging is wholly confident.
The 4Runner steers easily and with a reasonably good feel, which is a cut above the truck-based SUV norm. Handling skills also rank above-average. For this type of vehicle, the ride is pleasantly soft � not quite cushy, but the suspension absorbs many bumps. The Sport Edition feels a bit tauter, and its ride quality is a tad stiffer.