2004 Toyota 4Runner

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Key Specs
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Overview
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Key Specs

of the 2004 Toyota 4Runner. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • V-8 performance
  • Quietness
  • Ride quality
  • Refinement
  • Resale value

The Bad

  • Fuel economy
  • Ride quality in Sport model
  • Difficult entry and exit

Notable Features of the 2004 Toyota 4Runner

  • i-Force V-8
  • Two or three rows of seats
  • Three model choices
  • RWD or 4WD
  • Midsize dimensions

2004 Toyota 4Runner Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
A redesigned version of the midsize Toyota 4Runner with a newly available V-8 engine went on sale in 2003. A V-6 was the only engine choice in the prior generation.

Toyota sought to make the truck-based 4Runner larger and roomier so it would yield a more comfortable highway ride, obtain greater fuel efficiency and maintain offroad ability. A third-row seat for the Limited and SR5 editions becomes optional in the 2004 model year. A backup video camera is newly available on 4Runners equipped with a navigation system. Roll-sensing side curtain-type airbags include a cutoff switch.

Toyota’s Vehicle Skid Control electronic stability system is standard. When equipped with four-wheel drive, the 4Runner features Downhill Assist Control that restricts speed when going down a steep grade. Hill-Start Assist Control keeps the 4Runner from rolling excessively on an upgrade. Customers will find three versions at dealerships: SR5, Sport and Limited.

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 standard power window and a power opening/closing feature. A speed-sensitive sunroof wind deflector is installed.

Standard SR5 equipment includes 16-inch tires, multireflector headlights and taillights, and an integrated towing hitch. The Sport features a hood scoop, a diagonal-linked sport-enhanced suspension and 17-inch tires. The L...
Vehicle Overview
A redesigned version of the midsize Toyota 4Runner with a newly available V-8 engine went on sale in 2003. A V-6 was the only engine choice in the prior generation.

Toyota sought to make the truck-based 4Runner larger and roomier so it would yield a more comfortable highway ride, obtain greater fuel efficiency and maintain offroad ability. A third-row seat for the Limited and SR5 editions becomes optional in the 2004 model year. A backup video camera is newly available on 4Runners equipped with a navigation system. Roll-sensing side curtain-type airbags include a cutoff switch.

Toyota’s Vehicle Skid Control electronic stability system is standard. When equipped with four-wheel drive, the 4Runner features Downhill Assist Control that restricts speed when going down a steep grade. Hill-Start Assist Control keeps the 4Runner from rolling excessively on an upgrade. Customers will find three versions at dealerships: SR5, Sport and Limited.

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 standard power window and a power opening/closing feature. A speed-sensitive sunroof wind deflector is installed.

Standard SR5 equipment includes 16-inch tires, multireflector headlights and taillights, and an integrated towing hitch. The Sport features a hood scoop, a diagonal-linked sport-enhanced suspension and 17-inch tires. The Limited has 17-inch tires and silver-painted running boards, bumper accents and roof rails.

Interior
Without the newly available third-row seat, the 4Runner seats five people on front buckets and a three-place, fold-down, 60/40-split rear bench. Cargo capacity is 75.1 cubic feet. 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 of models with the base-grade audio system allow the driver to see oncoming vehicles when backing out of a parking stall.

Under the Hood
Toyota’s 4.7-liter i-Force V-8 engine sends 235 horsepower and 320 pounds-feet of torque to a five-speed-automatic transmission. A 4.0-liter V-6 that produces 245 hp works with a four-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are available. Models with the V-6 engine and four-wheel drive include a differential lock switch. The 4Runner features a cranking hold system; after the driver holds the key in the Start position for two-tenths of a second, the engine keeps cranking even after the key is released.

Safety
Antilock brakes are standard. Side curtain-type airbags and seat-mounted side-impact airbags are optional in all models.

Driving Impressions
Performance is a big plus with the 4Runner’s quiet V-8 engine. A tap on the gas pedal from a standstill sends this sport utility vehicle practically lunging ahead with eager passion. 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. Its handling is also above average, and the 4Runner produces comfortable sensations on the road. For this type of vehicle, the ride is pleasantly soft — not quite cushiony, but the suspension absorbs many bumps. The Sport model feels a bit tauter and its ride quality is a tad sniffer.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 11/5/03

Latest 2004 4Runner Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

Latest Reviews

(4.0)

Reliable and what we need

by JeanWV from West Virginia on June 10, 2018

The 4Runner is one of safest cars you can own, responsible for among the very least traffic deaths. It's well designed, and comfortable for being more of a truck than a car. Read full review

(5.0)

Best, most reliable car I have ever owned.

by Irishsportsfan from Charlotte, NC on May 28, 2018

Bought it used in 2006 and drove it until 2018, with only normal maintenance along the way. While I don?t think Toyota makes them that way any more, it was by far the best vehicle I have ever owned. I ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2004 Toyota 4Runner currently has 2 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Toyota 4Runner has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The 4Runner received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker