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1996 Toyota 4Runner Review
Everything an SUV should be.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1996 Toyota 4Runner is a well-rounded sport utility vehicle (SUV) with something to offer almost every driver. While it might not be able to match more specialized luxury and off-road SUVs, it also does not share any of their weaknesses either. It offers competent performance under any condition and a large, spacious interior that can be equally useful for carrying passengers or hauling cargo.
The 1996 Toyota 4Runner base model and SR5 are more typical of general usage SUVs with fairly limited standard interior features and a large, fairly comfortable interior. The Limited comes equipped with numerous features that enhance the comfort at a fairly modest price increase, which brings it closer to passenger-oriented luxury models. Very few other SUV lines offer similar diversity in model ranges. Even so, the Limited does not completely bridge the gap compared to many luxury SUVs, but the extra comfort is better than many of the non-luxury options on the market. As a result, it has a slightly unusual position, offering enhanced comfort without becoming as pricy as some of the more expensive luxury models.
Engines: 2.7-liter four-cylinder, 3.4-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Toyota 4Runner, Toyota 4Runner SR5, Toyota 4Runner Limited
The 1996 Toyota 4Runner receives a more powerful six-cylinder engine option. In addition, some of the interior and exterior styling has been redesigned.
The Toyota 4Runner is a four-door SUV that measures 178.7 inches long and has a wheel base of 105.3 inches. It offers a roof rack, brush guard, trailer hitch, and fog lights as optional equipment for all models, and the Limited adds a power moonroof as an optional feature.
The 1996 Toyota 4Runner's interior features are not quite as robust as some passenger vehicles or luxury-oriented SUVs, but it has a better offering than most off-road SUVs. On the low end, the base model has little to offer beyond a cassette player; optional features include power windows, power locks, power mirrors, and even air-conditioning. The SR5 is a little more robust in terms of features, but air-conditioning is still optional. The Limited has the most luxurious interior with power leather seats, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, air-conditioning, cruise control, and leather trim as standard features.
Performance & Handling
The 1996 Toyota 4Runner has good overall performance, especially compared to older models that pre-date the redesign. The roadway capabilities are adequate and better than many other SUVs on the market. It's not going to perform in the same league as a car or minivan, but it's not as cumbersome as a pickup truck or some of the larger SUVs on the market. The off-road capabilities are also strong. While it's not quite in the same league as more powerful SUVs, but it can get through most off-road terrain without any issues. Overall, the Toyota 4Runner does well under almost any condition and is mostly outperformed by more specialized vehicles.
All 1996 Toyota 4Runners come with dual-front airbags. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are available as an option for the base model and standard equipment for the SR5 and Limited.
EPA Fuel Economy
Toyota 4Runner, 2.7-liter four-cylinder, five-speed manual: 17/22 mpg city/highway
Toyota 4Runner, 3.4-liter six-cylinder, four-speed automatic: 15/19 mpg city/highway
Toyota 4Runner, 3.4-liter six-cylinder, five-speed manual: 15/18 mpg city/highway
- Spacious interior
- Quiet engine
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
- High price tag
Everything an SUV should be.
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