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2005 Toyota 4Runner

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2005 Toyota 4Runner Review

A lot of adventure, a track record of reliability, and safety features that continue to improve.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2005 Toyota 4Runner has a myriad of desirable features. With over 10 years of manufacturing the midsize sport utility vehicle, Toyota has created a legend with the 4Runner.

The primary selling point for the 2005 Toyota 4Runner remains its ability to handle a daily commute or a day in the woods. Reasonable gas mileage and comfort make it a sensible daily driver. Equipped with a 5000-pound towing capacity, it becomes a good toy-hauler. The all-wheel drive and increased stability control make it sensible for going places without roads.

Many of the sport utility vehicles in this range have veered away from the ideal of the sport utility vehicle, becoming too luxurious or too practical. The 2005 Toyota 4Runner remains practical without getting heavy and comfortable without being lavish. As a model that endures the test of time, the Toyota 4Runner delivers all the best of the sport utility vehicle.

The Range

Body Styles: midsize SUV
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6, 4.7-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Toyota 4Runner SR5, Toyota 4Runner Sport Edition, Toyota 4Runner Limited Edition

What's New

The 2005 Toyota 4Runner increases its safety with a rollover sensor with an optional head curtain airbag system and a stability control system with limited-slip differential.

The SR5 model offers a five-speed automatic transmission, and the engine can be upgraded to a V-8 with 270 horsepower. The style changes include black running boards, color-keyed bumpers, and a chrome grille. The Sport Limited model has a color-keyed grille, an illuminated black running board, and a black roof rack.

Other options (added mid-year) include projector-beam headlamps, fog lamps, and LED tail lamps for improved visibility.


The standard roof rack indicates that the 2005 Toyota 4Runner focuses on adventure. An engine-protecting skid-plate appears rugged while protecting the undercarriage of the vehicle from anything you might drive over. The four-wheel drive models also add protective plates for the fuel tank and the transfer case.

The color-keyed bumpers and grille bring a very finished look to the 2005 Toyota 4Runner. It uses 16-inch wheels and offers optional 17-inch alloy wheels to complete the adventurous attitude of the 4Runner.


Seating seems well-executed in the 2005 Toyota 4Runner. It looks appealing in both the cloth trim and the leather trim, although light-colored cloth may get dingy over time.

Most control systems remain simple and intuitive. The center-console climate controls mark the exception, with knobs that resemble video game joysticks. These controls require some practice before they become fully intuitive.

The optional third row seating can fold up or be removed completely. When combined with the folding second row seating, the 4Runner offers up to 42.1 cubic feet of cargo space.

An in-dash single-CD player with six speakers comes standard. Inboard navigation and a power sunroof remain available as options.

Performance & Handling

The 4.0-liter, V-6 engine delivers 245 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. The five-speed automatic transmission comes standard on all trim levels and gives a smooth transition during normal acceleration and deceleration. The transmission tends to hesitate when attempting rapid acceleration, leading to a slight lurching sensation.

The double-wishbone suspension of the 2005 Toyota 4Runner delivers a smooth ride on good roads. The solid rear axle provides strength and durability for offroad excursions.

On standard roads, the truck-based chassis of the 2005 Toyota 4Runner does not feel as smooth as other sport utility vehicles with a car-based chassis. The truck-based chassis excels in rough-road and offroad situations. The wider base gives added stability in uneven situations.

The height of the vehicle remains a drawback, especially in areas of high wind. The higher profile of the vehicle makes it more likely to move in the wind and contributes to a top-heavy feeling at times.

The rear drive seems responsive and nicely weighted. The handling of the vehicle feels good both on-road and offroad.


Toyota’s Star Safety system gets fully integrated into the 2005 Toyota 4Runner. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, and vehicle stability control comprise standard safety features. The primary drawback to the vehicle remains the high center of gravity, which can lead to rollover accidents. Toyota has made a concerted effort to address this problem.

Driver and front-passenger airbags provide standard features. Side curtain airbags for the first and second row remain optional, along with side-impact airbags for the driver and front passenger. For drivers who enjoy off roading, the head curtain airbags can be deactivated to avoid accidental deployment.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota 4Runner 4.0-liter V-6: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Toyota 4Runner 4.7-liter V-8: 15/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Goes offroad with confidence
  • Simple and cost-effective maintenance

You Won't Like

  • Stiff rear suspension
  • Low gas mileage

Sum Up

A lot of adventure, a track record of reliability, and safety features that continue to improve.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Lexus GX470
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Nissan Xterra

See the New 2015 4Runner.

Front & Driver Side View