In the 80's when the 1st generation Toyota 4Runner came out I want to buy one but back than it was too expense and I cannot afford to buy one. I waited and waited for a long time until 1998 I finally afford to buy me a 1996 4Runner. I own this vehicle even since I bought it from a used car dealer. The SUV still running today. All I did is changed oil every three months, replace spark-plug, wire , buy new tire and do alignment that's it. This SUV is 22 years old and still running like new. I own this 4Runner for 20 years now and I still love it. One of the thing I need to do next is to put a new paint on since the car is 22 years old and the original paint is fading out. Every pieces of the car still have the original factory stickers on. If you are looking for a SUV Sport, I suggest you buy 4Runner. I told my wife I will restore this vehicle and keep for a long time. I also own a Acura MDX 2007. Compare both to each other the 4Runner is better then the MDX.
I wanted a 4 Runner for 16 years before I could afford/find one: it was a 1996 Limited purchased in 2004. I've since owned it 13 years now and it was everything I hoped it would be: strong, dependable, capable and surprisingly affordable to maintain. I always felt confident driving it no matter the road conditions, and I drove through some challenging stuff, especially any combination of snow, rain and ice. The 4WD is so reassuring, the engine and transmission flawless in delivering that confidence to the road. It has been a wonderful 13 years, but now I move on to my next reward: a 2003 Land Cruiser, my next dream-come-true.
I got this car 7 years ago at 150k miles. I'm now nearing a quarter of a million mi (247k). I've had to replace several things, but nothing unexpected and this car has only left me "stranded" once (hole in radiator, so if you count pulling over to put water in as "stranded"). This thing takes a beating from me--I offroad often and it takes 300miles trips constantly as I go back and forth from school (for 6yrs). Couldn't ask for a more fun, better looking, more reliable car! I plan on running this thing into the ground, and at 247k that still seems far away! Things changed: o2 sensor, radiator, timing belt, rear axle seals, booster, ignition, 1 fuel injector. Spread out over 7yrs, NOT BAD
For such an old SUV, with so many miles on it, I definitely can't complain about the mpg (24 highway). Everything is built to last, stock radio, AC, transmission, the motor itself, etc is still working. Considering most cars have major issues at 100k
miles, and I got mine at 150k and have put nearly another 100k on it, I'm amazed at how well this thing still runs! I've put less money into this thing, and had less things replaced than people I know with cars that are 5+years newer than my 96 4runner. And it's still holding value!
One thing that bugs me which is really not a huge issue: the cup holders. The drinks hold suspended, and right above the shifter. Condensation freely drips down off the drink, onto my shifter.
Is this a real problem? No, but it's the only "improvement" I can think of!
I bought my 4 runner new in 1996. It now has over 230,000 miles. Other than change the fluids and filters, and replacing the brakes, it's only required one repair; a cracked exhaust manifold at 190,000 miles. The 4 cylinder lacks power, but it gets good gas mileage (25 mpg highway). It will cruise at 80 on the highway as long as it's flat. The paint started fading after about 10 years. It also had two rust spots under the roof rack that I had to repair, but I'm not complaining since it sits outside, a mile from the ocean in South Florida.
cup holders block A/C controls. 4 cyl should be a diesel, more grunt and better mpg.