is one of the few automakers to sell not one, but two mid-size SUVs, the other
being the Camry-based Highlander.
for those who really have been paying attention, the truck-based 4Runner has been
around for about two decades now, making one of the original mid-size SUVs (actually,
it was more of a compact back in the '80s), and it's certainly the oldest nameplate
in this group.
can attribute its staying power to its winning combination of rugged good looks,
stolid off-road ability and excellent reputation for quality. The new 2003 model
takes all of those virtues to a new level, while offering even more by way of
a comfortable interior with considerably more space), a smoother ride quality
(that won't skip your CDs) and added safety features (like standard front side
air bags and optional curtain air bags).
huge improvement comes in the form of a standard 245-hp V-6 and the offering of
an optional 235-hp V-8. You read that right, there is more horsepower in the V-6
than the V-8, although trailer people should know that the V-8 is the torque champ,
with 320 lb-ft compared with the V-6's "mere" 283 lb-ft. Seriously,
the V-6 is more than enough for nearly all of us, especially considering the 2-mpg
(both city and highway) penalty the V-8 exacts over the more efficient V-6.
are on the high side, with base models starting in the upper $20Ks and top-shelf
Limited models topping $40K in well optioned 4WD guise.