The the toyota The 4Runner has always been a healthy contender in America’s hotly contested mid-size SUV segment, staying true to its name by doubling as a comfortable and reliable daily driver while offering an alluring off-road capability. While the current 4Runner is woefully outdated and unrefined, the second-generation 1990 model was the exact opposite at the time of release.
Intended to compete with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevy S-10 Blazer, and Ford Explorer, the 1990 Toyota 4Runner emerged with numerous second-generation upgrades that made it one of the most capable off-roading SUVs on the market. .
Even today, the 1990 Toyota 4Runner is still considered an absolute gem of an SUV, and more than 30 years after its release, it’s not uncommon to see a few of them around. Here’s why off-road enthusiasts love the 1990 4Runner.
The 1990 Toyota 4Runner has a very reliable engine
Upon release, despite boasting a completely redesigned body, the 1990 Toyota 4Runner actually carried over the engine from its first generation run. It’s a 2.4-liter 22RE four-cylinder that delivers a peak output of 115 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque.
Even at the time those numbers were pretty weak, and the engine could be mated to either a four-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission. RWD came standard when 4WD was a desirable option, and when equipped with the latter, the 4-cylinder 4Runner can accelerate from 0-60 mph in about 17.5 seconds. We know, it’s extremely slow, and the 1990 4Runner’s performance was as unexciting as Monday morning, but that wasn’t the goal for either. The second generation 4Runner had the beauty of the 22RE engine and still its unfailing reliability.
No matter how hard or how long you pushed it, the resilient 4-cylinder was happy to deliver a faithful punch as long as there was fuel to chug. Even today, many used examples of 1990 4Runners still sport the original 22RE without modification or modification – a true testament to the mill’s seemingly immortal nature.
However, for those interested in not being the slowest at a stop light, Toyota has also made sure to offer an optional 3.0-liter V6 that delivers 150 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. With the same transmission options and available 4WD, the 1990 Toyota 4Runner V6 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 15 seconds.
The 1990 Toyota 4Runner is a true off-roader
The Toyota 4Runner’s intent was to be a pure off-roader from the get-go, and that was evident with the first-generation model, which featured solid front and rear axles that were a nightmare on pavement but capable heavy-duty components that perfected off-road use. Served. For the all-new 1990 model, the Steel Hilux-based 4Runner swapped its stiff front axle suspension for independent coil-sprung double wishbones that made on-road driving more forgiving, while the rear axle retained its overall configuration with the addition of coil springs.
Additionally, the 1990 Toyota 4Runner’s optional 4×4 drivetrain and more than 8 inches of ground clearance made it a capable off-roader right off the bat, and though it didn’t come with many off-road-ready driving aids you might find. In today’s options, experienced off-roaders can still take the 4Runner rock to old-school trail crawls.
The 1990 4Runner doubles as a daily driver
Unlike the first-generation 4Runner—which was essentially a Hilux pickup with a capped-off bed, the second-generation 1990 Toyota 4Runner featured a fully enclosed steel roof and an overall layout that made it quite a capable daily driver. It features comfortable seating for 5 adults, as well as a 43 cubic-foot trunk area that expands to 74 cubic feet with the rear seats lowered. The ’90 4Runner also has some modern touches that were missing from its rugged predecessor, such as rear-wheel ABS and a roll-down trunk window.
To boil things down, the second-generation Toyota 4Runner was a major SUV contender at the time of its release, selling nearly 50,000 units in 1990 alone. These days, you can get your hands on one for under $10,000, and if it’s in reasonable condition, it should still be a practical and hassle-free family hauler capable of handling tough terrain while covering your daily needs.
Source: Toyota, Hemmings