Toyota Hilux Surf
The Toyota 4Runner is a mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by the Japanese manufacturer Toyota and sold throughout the world from 1984 to present. In Japan it was known as the Toyota Hilux Surf (豊田 ハイラックスサーフ). The original 4Runner was a compact SUV and little more than a Toyota pickup truck with a fiberglass shell over the bed, but the model has since undergone significant independent development into a cross between a compact and a mid-size SUV. All 4Runners have been built at Toyota's Tahara plant at Tahara, Aichi, Japan, or at Hino Motors' Hamura, Japan plant, and in Brazil. Its mid-size crossover SUV counterpart is the Toyota Highlander.
Hilux Surf models in Japan are widely exported as used vehicles to Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia.
For Southeast Asia the Hilux Surf was replaced in 2005 by the similar Fortuner, which is based on the Hilux platform.
As of 2014, the Toyota 4Runner is sold in the U.S., Canada, Central America, Bahamas, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.
The fourth-generation 4Runner incorporated serious changes to the chassis and body of the vehicle, but was targeted at approximately the same demographics as the third generation. Based on the Land Cruiser Prado 120 series, the new 4Runner retained the same basic exterior styling themes, and was still marketed as a mid-size semi-luxury SUV with off-road capabilities. Available trims are currently the SR5, Sport Edition, and Limited models. An all-new LEV certified 4.0 L 1GR-FE V6 which produces 245 hp (183 kW) and 282 lb•ft (382 N•m) of torque is standard, but for the first time, a V8 became available, the ULEV certified 4.7 L 2UZ-FE engine which in the US produced 235 hp (175 kW) and 320 lb•ft (434 N•m) in model years 2003 and 2004, then, with the addition of VVT-i, 260 hp (194 kW) and 306 lb•ft (415 N•m) from model years 2005–2009. Fuel economy is estimated at 17 mpg city, 20 mpg highway for the V6 and 15/19 mpg for the V8. Towing capacity is 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) on V6 models and 7,300 pounds (3,300 kg) on RWD V8 models (7000 pounds w/4WD). The 4Runner first entered dealer showrooms in October 2002 for the 2003 model year. Three trims levels were offered, SR5, Sport Edition, and Limited. When it was first introduced the SR5 and Sport Edition models used gray plastic cladding and bumpers. Sport models also featured a non-functional hood scoop.
Toyota Hilux Surf SSR-X
The front suspension used a double wishbone while the rear is a solid rear axle type. The 4runner continued to use a body on frame construction design and a solid rear axle for strength and durability compromising interior room and on-road handling. Toyota's other mid-size SUV, the Highlander is a crossover which is not designed for off-roading. The optional 4WD systems were full-time on V8 models while "Multi-Mode" or part-time on V6 models, both systems used a lockable Torsen center differential. A new suspension system, X-Relative Absorber System (X-REAS), became standard on the Sport Edition and optional for SR5 and Limited models, a rear auto-leveling height adjustable air suspension is included with this option on Limited models. The X-REAS system links the dampers diagonally by means of hydraulic hoses and fluid using a mechanical center valve which reduces body roll during hard cornering. All 4runners were equipped with skid plates for the engine, transfer case, and fuel tank to prevent damage during off-roading. The Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) system prevents the 4runner from rolling backwards on inclines and a Downhill Assist Control (DAC, 4WD only) modulates the brakes and throttle automatically without driver inputs for smooth hill descents at very low speeds, both electronic aids are standard on 4WD models.
Major standard features included a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, single zone automatic climate control, power driver's lumbar support, power rear tailgate window, and on V8 models a tow hitch receiver bolted directly to the rear frame crossmember. Options included HomeLink, an electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror, power moonroof, third row seating, a DVD-based navigation system (loses in-dash CD changer), a 10-speaker JBL Synthesis stereo, and rear seat audio. An optional backup camera system on Limited models used two cameras mounted on the interiors D-pillars to give a wider view when backing up. Some trim levels get two mirrors mounted on the interior D-pillars just inside the rear hatch.
In 2009 with the end of this generation, Toyota Japan ceased production of the Hilux Surf, leaving only the 4Runner available in the subsequent model series.
All 4Runners came with Toyota's Star Safety System which includes anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, traction control and Vehicle Stability Control. Side torso airbags for the front rows as well as side curtain airbags for the front and rear rows were optional on 2003–2007 models and became standard on 2008 models.
The April 2007 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report also shows the 4Runner to have one of the lowest death rates for all vehicles on the road at only 13 deaths per million registered vehicle years during calendar years 2002–2005. Only the Infiniti G35 and BMW 7 series had lower rates. The IIHS rates the 4Runner as "Good" overall in the frontal offset crash test and "Good" overall in the side impact test on vehicles with side airbags, these scores rank the 4Runner as among the best truck based mid-size SUV's in crash tests. The 4runner received the "Good" rating in 13 of the 14 measured categories.