NEW FOR 2008:

– SR5 V8 Sport model deleted
– Sun visor extensions replaced with sliding visors
– Enhanced Sport V6 Package seat fabric
– Exterior colours: Shadow Mica replaces Meteorite Metallic; Driftwood Pearl deleted

For 2008, the Toyota 4Runner receives only minor changes. The SR5 V8 Sport model has been deleted, with the V8 now available only in Limited trim.

Based on the Prado, a Land Cruiser model not sold in North America, the 4Runner is a body-on-frame truck that comes with part-time four-wheel drive on V6 models, and full-time 4WD with locking centre differential and two-speed transfer case on the V8.

Engine choices are a 4.0-litre V6, or 4.7-litre V8; both are rated as Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles(ULEV), and both are mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Trim lines are the SR5 V6, Limited V6, and Limited V8.

Features on the SR5 V6 include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic temperature control, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, manual driver’s seat adjustment with power lumbar, 60/40 split folding rear seat, power locks with keyless entry, power windows, tonneau cover, tilt wheel, floor mats, cruise control, engine immobilizer, power mirrors, running boards, towing hitch, fog lamps, variable intermittent wipers and intermittent rear washer/wiper.

A Sport package can be added to the V6, for $4,820, consisting of 17-inch alloy wheels with mud and snow tires, sport suspension, larger-diameter ventilated front brake discs, telescopic wheel, six-CD/MP3 stereo with wheel-mounted controls, power driver and passenger seats in two-tone premium cloth, garage door opener, power sunroof, front skid plate, hood scoop, heated mirrors, silver-painted roof rack, leather-wrapped wheel, "double-decker" cargo floor, anti-theft system and light control system.

Both Limited models add 18-inch alloy wheels, premium six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack and wheel-mounted controls, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated leather seats, eight-way power driver’s seat with memory, power passenger seat, key lockout protection, auto-dimming rearview mirror, "double-decker" cargo floor, tilt and telescopic wheel, garage door opener, 115-volt power outlet, side and curtain airbags, anti-theft system, light control system, heated mirrors, roof rack, and power sunroof.

The 4Runner offers good handling blended with a relatively smooth ride, while its body-on-frame construction and four-wheel system is seriously off-road capable. Drawing on the Land Cruiser’s almost legendary ability, this is a good choice for the all-around needs of those who stay both on and off the beaten trail.

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