1996 Toyota 4Runner Review

Used 4Runner for sale
List Price Estimate:$1,304 - $2,628
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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

After a successful five-year run, the second-generation Toyota 4Runner has been retired, and not a moment too soon. Fresh in 1990, the 4Runner aged quickly as the sport-utility market exploded and other automakers introduced larger, safer and more powerful rivals. By 1995, the compact pickup-based 4Runner offered little, other than Toyota's reputation for reliability, to entice buyers.

For 1996, Toyota has separated this high-volume SUV from its pickup truck roots. The new 4Runner shares little with the Tacoma pickup. As a result, engineers have created a more refined vehicle without sacrificing tough off-road ability. Suspension travel and tread width are both up to improve off-road ability, ride, and handling. The interior is larger in every direction, thanks to a wheelbase that is two inches longer than the previous version. A lower floor and wider doors make getting into and out of the 4Runner less of an exercise in contortionism. Rear leg room is up by three inches, and cargo space has been improved as well.

Two engines are available on the 4Runner: a 2.7-liter inline four cylinder that makes 150 horsepower at 4800 rpm and 177 foot-pounds of torque at 4000 rpm., and a 3.4-liter V6 producing 183 horsepower at 4800 rpm and 217 foot-pounds of torque at 3600 rpm. These figures represent a substantial improvement over the old anemic four cylinder and wheezy V6 -- in fact, the new 2.7-liter four is more powerful than the 1995 model's 3.0-liter six.

Needless to say, all of this adds up to a much improved sport-ute. Safety hasn't been ignored in the revamped 4Runner, which sports dual airbags. Antilock brakes are standard with the V6 and optional on four-cylinder models. Steering response and feel have also been improved by replacing the old recirculating ball-type steering with a rack and pinion setup. Access to the cargo area is improved by switching from a two-piece tailgate to a one-piece hatch-style liftgate with a power-down rear window.

Also new are 20-ounce cupholders, a bigger console storage area, and relocated rear speakers. Seven new exterior colors debut, and all new interior fabrics and designs round out the new 4Runner package. Overall, a very nice effort, resulting in a tough truck with looks to match. Pricing runs from $20,000 for a 2WD four cylinder Base model to $36,000 for a fully loaded Limited. This lands the 4Runner right smack dab in Tahoe, Explorer and Grand Cherokee territory. Keep it in mind.

1996 Highlights

A new 4Runner with a potent V6, updated styling and more interior room debuts.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Toyota 4Runner.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.63 out of 5 stars
247k miles and still kicking!
SR5 4dr SUV
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
5 out of 5 stars
Great SUV
SR5 4dr SUV 4WD
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.
4.88 out of 5 stars
158,000 mile 4 runner
SR5 4dr SUV 4WD
Except for a head gasket recall paid for by Toyota this vehicle has been great. The rear seat is uncomfortable for adults & teens on long drives. Rear seat riders cause a harsh ride over bumps as well. With AC running gets 18/21 MPG. Without AC gets 19/24 MPG. No problem driving around in 20 inch snow. Pulls my 2,800 lb boat/trailer OK. Pleasure to drive. Don't like the unconventional tail lamp bulbs - (expensive at dealerships). Too bad Toyota hasn't got the Jade Green Metallic paint and good intruments on new 4runner models.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Great SUV
SR5 4dr SUV 4WD
I drove 3 Cherokees over 200,000 miles each, but wanted even better reliability since I drive 40,000+ miles per year in sales. I looked for 3 years until I found the 4Runner I was looking for. The reliability factor was just as great as the reviews said. All I have had to do is change the oil and struts. I have already driven it 120,000 miles. I would definitely buy another.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Toyota 4Runner

Used 1996 Toyota 4Runner Overview

The Used 1996 Toyota 4Runner is offered in the following submodels: 4Runner SUV. Available styles include Limited 4dr SUV 4WD, 4dr SUV 4WD, SR5 4dr SUV 4WD, 4dr SUV, and SR5 4dr SUV. Pre-owned Toyota 4Runner models are available with a 3.4 L-liter gas engine or a 2.7 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 183 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1996 Toyota 4Runner comes with four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Toyota 4Runner?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Toyota 4Runners are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Toyota 4Runner for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Toyota 4Runner.

Can't find a used 1996 Toyota 4Runners you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota 4Runner for sale - 11 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $12,770.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 3 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $19,780.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota 4Runner for sale - 9 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $9,133.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 4 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $11,347.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Toyota 4Runner?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Toyota lease specials
Check out Toyota 4Runner lease specials