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Hagerty Employee

Toyota's first-gen 4Runners offer go-anywhere fun with affordability

In 1984, a new wave of small SUVs began to flood the market. Chevy had introduced the S-10 Blazer the year before, and the Ford Bronco II, the Jeep Cherokee, and the Toyota 4Runner were hot on its heels, with more to come.
Intermediate Driver

I had a 1988 4Runner, 4 cyllinder, 4 speed manual, bought a removable soft top for it. Put 31 inch tires on it and a brush guard. That truck went through anything! Wish I never sold it. Good times.

That kind of power from a Malaise era 4 banger is not too shabby at all. Why do I have a feeling there are going to be a bunch of people that are going to call it under powered and complain about lack of a V8?

FYI the K-10 with a 350 in 1986 was pushing 165 HP at 3800 RPM and 265 Lb.-Ft of Torque at 1600 RPM so it was probably even more lacking than the Toyota once you look at the 6100 LB GVW.
Intermediate Driver

Had a 1984 SR-5, traded for a big Jimmy with a 305, stupid mistake, that I traded for a 1987 SR-5 Turbo. Kept that for 12 years, one fine auto.

I loved these things. So underpowered by todays standard I would love to have one come back with a turbo 4 or a V6. I forgot about the turbo 4 that was available for a bit. I definitely remember the regular 4 and V6 models. I wish we could get a simple truck around this size today without the bloat of tech and simple price.
New Driver

I bought a 1984 base model in 1986. It was totaled with front-end damage and a slow rollover on one side! New front sheet metal and some bondo and fiberglass repair and it was ready for paint.
I drove that daily for the next 8 or 9 years.
It was terribly under powered, 65mph on level grade with the pedal mashed to the floor, and when towing anything it was impossible to over 55mph. No AC, and no power steering. Parallel parking was a real challenge.
Still, it was my beach and ski machine, making many a trip to the passes and the coast.
Finally sold it as my future wife had a 1993 W350 (Cummins) from her father.
The 4Runner was awsome and horrible at the same time. I miss it often.