1990 Toyota 4Runner Reviews - Page 4 of 6

1990 Toyota 4Runner SR5 from North America

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.5 / 10
Distance when acquired140000 miles
Most recent distance323000 miles
Previous carChrysler Laser

Summary:

Most awesome vehicle ever!

Faults:

My head-gasket blew at 150000, but there was a recall on it and it was replaced.

I blew the head gasket again at 200000 and it was replaced again at a dealer in Kansas City at no charge.

The coolant fan blew up at 250000. Tore up a lot inside the front compartment.

General Comments:

This is the best truck for the money.

Seriously comfortable and rugged.

Awesome in every condition snow, sand, dirt/mud, and highway.

I think the old 4 runner rides better than the new, it still felt like a truck.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2005

14th Jul 2005, 12:29

It's not that remarkable. many Toyotas have well overl 400k miles on their original engines and tranny's.

1990 Toyota 4Runner 2.4 litre, 4 cylinder from North America

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.4 litre, 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired191000 kilometres
Most recent distance310000 kilometres
Previous carMercury Sable

Summary:

You better like it because you'll NEVER wear it out..

Faults:

Alternator, timing chain, clutch, battery, brake pads, and various steering and suspension components.

General Comments:

Bought this truck to replace a very rusty Mercury Sable (a Ford Taurus). The Sable had done very well, but was becoming a high mileage eyesore. Since we live in the Rockies we needed a FWD for the snow and ice.

The truck was bought second hand from a farmer who had left it in his field, untouched, from November to March with a for sale sign on it. Truck started immediately despite -10C weather and blowing snow.

The 4 cylinder engine is barely powerful enough for cut and thrust driving, but benefits from being a lot less sophisticated than the six.

Easy to work on, lots of access in engine bay. I do all my own oil changes in engine, transmission, and cases, plus lubricating various drive shafts.

Engine simple and built incredibly tough. With some mechanical sympathy and a little home mechanicing I cannot see how you would ever wear one of these trucks out.

Altenator died about 250,000 km, replaced a battery and some brake pads. Timing chain started rattling at 230,000 km and was replaced. This was fairly expensive, (1100 CD$) but doesn't seem to be a regular issue. You have to lift the head to do this and the mechanic said that he could still see the honing marks in all the bores.

Clutch replaced at roughly the same time (600 CD$). The price of a Toyota clutch was roughly the same as an after market item so had Toyota do the work.

No rattles, leaks or weeps. Now with 310,000 km on it and getting ready to pass it on to my son for his first vehicle.

Interior showing signs of wear now. Drivers seat fabric has worn through. After 15 years some interior trim pieces are becoming brittle and need care when removing or they will break. Rear seat leg room limited with low squab height in seat making it a bit cramped for tall adults. Front driver entry and exit a bit tight for bigger guys. Lack of storage space in interior, and a heavy tail gate are only gripes.

The truck gets plugged in during the winter and despite bone numbing cold (-25C (-5 F) still starts every day.

No problems with FWD system, although the truck is pretty light for a FWD. I am convinced that a front wheel drive car with good snow tires is just as good in snow and ice.

Exterior now suffering from rust in the usual 4Runner places (wheel arches and tail gate). All cosmetic though the chassis still looks fine.

Now looking at a '93 Camry as a replacement. Will keep the 4Runner as a winter car until my son takes it away.

Looking at second hand 4Runners they still seem to command good money, despite hefty mileages.

A great vehicle that has given us 5 years of dependable service. The car make numerous short trips to town, lives outside all year, and returns 30 mpg (11ltrs/100km).

All in all a great value vehicle, if you can live without the power, thirst and complexity of the 6 cylinder.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2005

10th Jun 2005, 09:40

I believe that FWD means front-wheel-drive. Four-wheel-drive is either AWD or 4WD. The difference is that AWD is part time four wheel drive and 4WD is full-time four wheel drive. AWD commands respectable grip on-road and 4WD is better for off-roading.

12th Jun 2005, 09:35

Your quite correct. In the above review I referred to FWD as Four Wheel Drive. The Toyota is a rear wheel drive in normal road use. When four wheel drive is selected BOTH the front and the rear wheels are driven. The four wheel drive is selectable by the driver, having high and low ratio settings.

In my experience a front wheel drive car, with good snow tires can pretty much get into and out of anywhere in the winter.

The Toyota's four wheel drive abilities really come down to your choice of tires. The truck is pretty light. If you slide off into snow with normal road tires four wheel drive is probably not going to help much, and you are going to need a tow truck to get you out...

If a vehicle is refered to as four wheel drive, the driver can choose to engage or disengage all four wheels. In all wheel drive vehicles, all wheels are permenantly driven, all the time.

7th Mar 2009, 14:59

Now with over 400,000 km on the car, my son calls it the Little Red Rocket. Burns a bit of oil, replaced the rad, a couple of pieces of the muffler, and the rear tailgate window mechanism (bought complete, including electric motor, on EBay for $50). Car seems pretty much indestructible, body will decay away to nothing before the engine or transmission quits. It's been on many adventures and suffered much abuse. Can't fault Toyota on this one!

19th Sep 2009, 10:53

1985 purchased a Toyota 4wh. new from dealer, soaked about $11K in upgrades & customizing. Too pretty to 4wheel!

Had 2004 Grand Cherokee 4WH. Somethings of the car I liked found it to be expensive, more car like than truck.

A used car dealer took in a 1990 Toyota 4Runner 4 cyl Auto STOCK 118K, original paint ~ Someone has babied this one. A "loaded" model with Chrome fender rings and sunroof. I will add K&N and Cat Exhaust. She is a beauty and I am old enough to appreciate the quality.

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 18 reviews