2008 Toyota 4Runner

Debut

Originally a small sport utility vehicle, the 2008 Toyota 4Runner evolved into a mid-size vehicle. The 4Runner was produced and sold by Toyota around the globe from 1984 until the present. The Toyota Hilux Surf pickup truck, as it was called in Japan, was produced from 1997 to 2009. The original Toyota 4Runner was a small SUV that was nothing more than a Toyota pickup truck with a fiberglass cover over the bed. The vehicle has since developed into a mix of compact and mid-size SUVs, and it is now available in a variety of body styles.

Most 4Runners were built in Japan, either at Toyota’s plant in Tahara, Aichi or at Hino Motors’ plant in Hamura. The phrase “4Runner” was coined by a copywriter named Robert Nathan, who worked for the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. Several months before the introduction of new Toyota models, the agency held naming contests. 4Runner was inspired by the term “pioneer,” since it was Toyota’s first sport utility vehicle. It was also the first to have 4×4 capabilities, making it a true forerunner in its class. One of our long-time favorites, it considers itself the “Captain of The Road”. The 2008 Toyota 4Runner is a conventional midsize SUV that performs well in almost every situation.

Overview

The 2008 Toyota 4Runner offers great dependability, a comfortable ride, and remarkable off-road capability in a compact package. Thus, it is ranked in the top half of its class as well as among other off-road SUVs in general. The body-on-frame 4Runner, a staple of Toyota’s range, retains the anticipated rugged good looks and genuine off-road capabilities of a robust, no-nonsense sport-utility vehicle while also delivering on its promise of reliability and durability.

When you consider that only a small percentage of SUV owners really travel off-road, this may seem to be a foolish attitude, but Toyota takes a different approach to the issue. It considers the 4Runner’s all-terrain capabilities to be a distinct advantage over its competitors. It features a smooth ride, a strong V6 or optional V8 engine under the hood, and it is a fairly comfortable vehicle. In terms of interior size, riding quality, and fuel economy, the 2008 Toyota 4Runner is outperformed by the competition.

2008 Toyota 4Runner Owner's Manual is available online.

As a used vehicle, the 4Runner retains Toyota’s reputation for reliability.  When acquiring a used 4Runner, sometimes the proper literature does not make the transition from it’s previous owner. Though limited, the 2008 Toyota 4Runner Owner’s Manual are still available.

Servicing and maintaining a vehicle is a priority for the owner. A variety of other Toyota 4Runner Repair Manual and other manual types needed to keep your specific vehicle in operation.

4Runner Performance

The 2008 Toyota 4Runner specs are impressive, in that the standard engine in the 2008 Toyota 4Runner is a 4.0-liter V-6 with variable valve timing that produces 236 horsepower (VVTi). A 4.7-liter V-8 engine with variable valve timing and 260 horsepower is available as an option.

A five-speed automatic transmission connects both engines, which provide pleasing acceleration. Although the V-6 is a little louder than the V-8, which is a very smooth and polished performer. Be aware that the V-8’s fuel efficiency is considerably worse than the V-6. The V8 gets 14 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the interstate when equipped with 4WD.

For the 2008 Toyota 4Runner, a number of electronic aids are included to improve off-road performance. These include Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), which assists with starting the vehicle from a standstill on a slippery slope. Additional Downhill Assist Control (DAC), which assists with slowing the vehicle’s speed when driving on a steep surface.

2008 Trim Levels

The Toyota 4Runner is available in three different trim levels: SR5, Sport, and Limited. Sixteen-inch wheels, automatic climate control with rear vents, and remote keyless entry are standard on the base SR5, as are cruise control, full power accessories (including a power rear window and tilt steering wheel), a trip computer, and a CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary audio jack. Optional features include leather upholstery and heated front seats (on V8 models).

Sport Edition upgrades the vehicle with bigger 17-inch wheels, “X-REAS” shock absorbers and color-keyed exterior mirrors. Inside, power front seats (for V6 versions), unique seat fabric, and an audio controller mounted on the telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel. Luxury Limited versions are equipped with lighted running boards, 18-inch wheels, and dual-zone automatic temperature control. An optional115-volt power outlet, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a six-disc CD changer, and satellite radio, among other features. A GPS system, Bluetooth, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a premium JBL audio system, a third-row seat, and a two-tier cargo shelf are all available as optional features. The X-REAS shocks are available as an option for the Limited, which also has a height-adjustable rear air suspension system.

Interior & Exterior

The Toyota 4Runner has a spacious interior that can accommodate four to five people comfortably. There are eight-way power adjustments for the driver’s seat, as well as a memory feature, which makes changing drivers a snap. A leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt and telescope capabilities, as well as controls for the music system, is standard. Most of the controls are simple to locate and operate, which contributes to an overall visually appealing and practical interior design.

The maximum load capacity of the 4Runner is 75 cubic feet, which is much less than the majority of its midsize rivals. On the exterior, the 4Runner seems to be a true workhorse of a vehicle. Adding to the car’s sporty appearance is an intake scoop on the hood and a robust roof rack system. The system can accommodate almost anything you can imagine. It conveys its message of sleek off-road capabilities via a combination of bulging fender flares, blocky front, and rear bumpers, and a wide-slat grille.

Toyota 4Runner Safety

The 2008 Toyota 4Runner has favorable crash-test results and is equipped with a number of electronic active safety features. As such, this makes it a safe vehicle to drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the 4Runner a flawless five stars in side-impact testing. Similarly, it received four stars in frontal-impact testing. Furthermore, three stars in rollover resistance and rollover crashes during crash testing, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Frontal offset and side-impact accidents received the best possible grade from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which was “good.” Airbags and electronic antilock brakes are also included as standard equipment. Electronic stability and traction control systems are optional.

Verdict

The Toyota 4Runner is a reliable conventional mid-size SUV that is equally capable of hauling as it is of transporting people in luxury.  Not just that, it has that level of ruggedness that some customers desire in a SUV.