I was lucky enough to find a 1991 2WD 4Runner about two years ago (summer 2003). Much to my surprise it only had a little over 70,000 miles on it. After first running a car-fax scan on it, I found that it had a clear title and no wrecks or major repairs. I took it to a mechanic I know to have it checked out before I bought it. After a thorough check-up it seemed that the only problems were dry rot on the the tires, hoses and wiper blades. My mechanic said that it looked like this 4Runner had been sitting somewhere for quite awhile. After replacing said tires, hoses etc., I am glad to say that I've had no major problems.
I don't know why everyone is bragging about how reliable Toyota vehicles are. I owned a 1991 Toyota 4runner V6 SR5 4WD (top of the line model, paid top $ at the Toyota dealer for it), and it is a big piece of lemon. I had fun driving it the first 2 years of ownership when it was new, then my nightmare started. Everything in the vehicle is practically inoperable. The sunroof is not working, the sound system is not working, the power antenna is not working, and the 4WD and the overdrive system are not working properly. The engine burns oil. The vehicle has rattling noise coming from everywhere. The vehicle sounds like it is going to fall apart. I kept proper Toyota dealer schedule maintenance on it. Even have everything done at the dealership ($$$$$$$). Head gaskets started to fail after 65000 miles. I am glad there was a recall on that, and I did not have to pay. The vehicle gives poor fuel economy (13.9 mpg city + highway). I just found out the crash rating on the vehicle is poor. I still own the vehicle, and I don't know what to do with it. I wonder if anybody out there shared my pain.
I have a 1991 Toyota 4 Runner SR5 with V6 and 5spd transmission. I bought it used in 1996, and at that time it had 115,000kms. It now has 394,000kms on it with no major problems. It has been from Vancouver to Toronto about 12 times while I have owned it and it has never let me down. I replaced the CV shafts once and I have put two sets of shocks into it. Other than oil changes, one clutch, and other regular maintenance it has never failed me or my wife. I plan to put another 100,000kms on it before I rebuild the engine and perform a total overhaul of the running gear. I have no doubt it will last another 10 years. I must say it is the best vehicle I have ever owned. It is my second. Great in the snow. I average 19.5mpg over a one year period.