Simply denied any legendary powers the toyota 4 runners. One of the most popular off-roading SUVs ever made, the 4Runner has been around for 40 years now, and the latest model is undoubtedly the best in terms of sheer capability. SUVs are more popular than ever, with every manufacturer preferring larger vehicles over smaller offerings in their lineup. At the same time, gearheads still love older generations of the 4Runner, thanks to the lower prices of those older ones. Classic Models that are still tough and reliable.
Many gearheads would argue that the third generation Toyota 4Runner was one of the best steps forward for the Japanese SUV, if not the best. However, that doesn’t take away any credibility from the SUV’s second generation, which ran from 1989 to 1995. Based on the famous Hilux truck, the 1990 Toyota 4Runner in particular remains a great deal today, offering capability and road presence. For a fraction of the price of a new 2023 4Runner. Here are 8 things we love about the 1990 Toyota 4Runner.
8/8 Toyota offered the 1990 4Runner in both 2-door and 4-door options
Between 1989 and May 1993, Toyota sold two-door models of the 4Runner, although it was the four-door variant that was more popular. Like the four-door 4Runner, the two-door model also had a body that was formed as a unit, unlike the first-generation 4Runner.
In fact, two-door 4Runner models are very rare in the US today. Toyota decided to stop selling the two-door 4Runner in 1992, when it became available in the Canadian market in 1993.
7/8 The 1990 Toyota 4Runner was based on the 1989 Hilux pickup.
The Toyota 4Runner boasts the venerable Hilux pickup truck as its base. The famous truck formed the basis of this SUV from the first generation, and in its second generation, the 4Runner SUV continued to be based on the 1989 Hilux.
The 1990 Toyota 4Runner had a redesigned, all-steel integrated body mounted on the existing frame. From the front of the B-pillar, however, both the ’89 Hilux and the ’90 4Runner were virtually identical.
6/8 The ’90 4Runner also came with shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel-drive.
In the 90s, shift-on-the-fly 4WD was still a very new technological feature. Until then, 4×4 vehicles supported four-wheel-drive, but one had to stop the vehicle, get out, and then configure it.
The 1990 Toyota 4Runner featured shift-on-the-fly, which allowed the driver to shift between rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive from the driver’s cockpit.
5/8 The second-generation 4Runner has evolved into a proper SUV with its own identity
The first generation 4Runner was an SUV developed by Toyota based on their Hilux truck. While technically an SUV, the 1983-1988 4Runner was essentially a Hilux with a fiberglass cap.
The second generation model, however, departed from the first, creating a new identity for itself. The 1990 4Runner, thus, was a newly-designed SUV, with an all-steel integrated body-on-frame chassis.
4/8 V6 models of the 1990 Toyota 4Runner featured a new chain-driven case
The 1990 4Runner from Toyota featured both 4-cylinder engine options and a V6 power unit. This new V6 engine produces 150 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. While four-cylinder models retained a gear-driven case feature, Toyota introduced a new chain-driven case for V6 models of the 1990 4Runner.
In addition to a new case, the 1990 4Runner also featured an all-new coil spring rear suspension system. It was introduced to combat sagging of the leaf-spring suspension of the first generation models. It also served to improve the SUV’s ride quality, making for a more comfortable experience for all passengers.
3/8 The second-gen Toyota 4Runner features an independent front suspension for enhanced off-roading capabilities.
Along with a new chain-driven case for the 1990 Toyota 4Runner, there was also the independent front suspension that had also featured the previous generation.
This helped increase the 4Runner’s off-roading capabilities, although it still did not reach the legendary off-roading capabilities that the third-generation Toyota 4Runner boasted.
2/8 The 1990 Toyota 4Runner’s retractable glass trunk is still a nifty and unique feature
Most full-body SUVs at the time, like the Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder, had regular tailgates that only opened upward. Unlike what the 1990 Toyota 4Runner offered, the glass on these SUVs was closed.
The Toyota 4Runner, since its first generation, has featured a retractable-glass tailgate. It’s reminiscent of the pickup truck experience, the way the 4Runner was based on the Hilux truck. To open the tailgate of a 1990 Toyota 4Runner you must first retract the rear window into the tailgate, and then lower the entire tailgate, not unlike what one would do in a pickup.
1/8 Toyota’s 1990 4Runner was one of the most spacious and versatile vehicles on the market
There’s no denying that the Toyota 4Runner has been a beastly off-roader since its third generation from the factory. The 1990 4Runner, however, and the entire second generation of SUVs, were more focused on providing a versatile experience for buyers.
Thanks to its comfortable seats and spacious interior, the 1990 4Runner holds itself above competitors, especially in terms of cabin room and cargo space. Most of the 4Runners were brought home by families, who used it as a step up from a station wagon, using the 4Runner as a family vehicle for the school run and occasionally easily holding five or more passengers; Interstate travel.
Source: Toyota, Edmonds