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2000 Toyota 4Runner Review
Rides rough, but offers great off-road ability.
Reviewed by Automotive on
Toyota’s top-selling SUV, the 2000 Toyota 4Runner, strikes an appealing balance between sophistication and performance.
While not exactly cheap, the midsize, five-passenger 4Runner comes with a more affordable price tag than Toyota’s high-end Land Cruiser, while still providing a long list of luxuries. It also offers the ruggedness of a typical off-road vehicle without the uncomfortable ride. For families on the go, few options beat the flexibility of the 4Runner.
Engines: 2.7-liter four-cylinder, 3.4-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota 4Runner, Toyota 4Runner SR5, Toyota 4Runner Limited
For 2000, the Toyota 4Runner receives minimal changes. Base models now come with a rear window wiper and defogger. For the first time, the base 4Runner offers cassette and CD players, which come standard on the SR5 and Limited. Once optional, an All-Weather Guard Package becomes standard.
Originally based on the Toyota Tacoma, the Toyota 4Runner boasts a rugged, truck-like appearance. A tall ground clearance provides an athletic look and enhances off-road ability, but can make climbing in and out of the vehicle a challenge for children.
The base 2000 Toyota 4Runner comes equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, skid plates, tinted glass, intermittent windshield wipers, a power vertical-sliding rear window, and a rear window wiper. The sporty 4Runner SR5 adds chrome bumpers, automatic locking hubs, and rear privacy glass. The top-level 4Runner Limited gains 16-inch alloy wheels, running boards, a power antenna, and a tonneau cover.
Base models upgrade with a roof rack, a trailer hitch, a tonneau cover, privacy glass, alloy wheels, and a rear wind deflector. SR5 and Limited models gain the ability to add fog lights, wider tires and wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, and a sunroof.
In spite of its truck origins, the 2000 Toyota 4Runner features a spacious and comfortable, carlike interior. The dash and controls suffer from an outdated layout but still look attractive and readable. Wide doors and a low floor allow occupants to enter and exit the 4Runner more easily than most SUVs.
Standard interior features on the base 4Runner include cloth upholstery, bucket front seats, a rear split-bench seat, a center console, and an overhead console. Some seemingly basic features, such as a sound system and power steering, remain absent from the base. Upgrading to the SR5 adds power steering, a sound system with a CD player and cassette player, a tilt steering wheel, and cruise control. The Limited gains quite a few standard features, including a walnut dashboard, leather seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat and front-passenger seat, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, a leather-trimmed shift knob, automatic climate control, a keyless entry system, and power door locks.
The base offers many upper-trim features as options, including air-conditioning, cruise control, the tilt steering wheel, and an audio system. Additional options include a rear heater and a CD changer. The SR5 offers leather upholstery and trim, walnut trim, and automatic climate control. Toyota offers no special options for the 4Runner Limited.
Inside the 4Runner’s cabin, front occupants receive 39.3 inches of headroom, 42.6 inches of legroom, and 49.8 inches of hip room, while rear occupants enjoy 38.7 inches of headroom, 34.9 inches of legroom, and 51.3 inches of hip room. Cargo volume reaches an impressive 44.6 cubic feet with all seats in place. With the rear seat folded, cargo capacity increases to 79.8 cubic feet.
Performance & Handling
The 2000 Toyota 4Runner offers two engines. Base models come standard with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder, producing 150 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The SR5 and Limited get a beefier 3.4-liter V-6, making 183 hp and 217 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard on the base, while the two top trims utilize a four-speed automatic.
With many midsize SUVs now offering V-8 engines, the 4Runner lags behind its rivals in terms of power. In terms of underpinnings, however, the 4Runner’s smooth suspension outperforms competitors offroad and on the pavement.
Standard safety gear on the 2000 Toyota 4Runner includes driver and passenger front airbags, side-impact bars, front seat belt pretensioners, and warnings for oil pressure, fuel level, and battery power. The SR5 and Limited add standard anti-lock brakes.
In National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration crash tests, the 4Runner earns a perfect five out of five stars for its ability to protect front passengers in front-impact collisions and all occupants in side-impact crashes. The 4Runner receives four of five stars for its protection of drivers in front-impact collisions.
EPA Fuel Economy
Toyota 4 Runner 4WD: 15/19 mpg city/highway
Toyota 4Runner SR5: 16/19 mpg city/highway
Toyota 4 Runner SR5 4WD: 15/18 mpg city/highway
Toyota 4Runner Limited: 16/19 mpg city/highway
Toyota 4Runner Limited 4WD: 15/18 mpg city/highway
- Off-road prowess
- Spacious cabin
- Stellar safety scores
You Won't Like
- Truck-like ride
- Wimpy V-6
- Entry and exit takes skill
Rides rough, but offers great off-road ability.
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