• 2006 Toyota 4Runner

    toyota 4runner

The fourth-generation Toyota 4Runner sport utility vehicle (SUV), which received V8 powertrain enhancements for 2005, gains freshened styling and interior upgrades for the 2006 model year. The Toyota 4Runner was named the "Highest Ranked Midsize SUV in Initial Quality" in the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Initial Quality StudySM (IQS)*, and the "Most Dependable Midsize Sport Utility Vehicle" in the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS). The VDS measured problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2002 model-year) vehicles.

Toyota redesigned the 4Runner’s front fascia for 2006, giving it a new grille, bumper, headlamps and fog lamps. The look is bolder while still maintaining the sophisticated design of this popular model. The revised styling extends to the overfenders and lower body side cladding, culminating in a new rear bumper and tail light clusters.

Individual 4Runner grades are further distinguished in appearance for 2006. The most popular 4Runner model, the SR5, receives chrome door handles and rear license plate garnish. The 4Runner Sport Edition gets its own unique smoked chrome grille and headlight bezels, a tubular roof rack, tubular side steps and 17-inch six-spoke alloy wheels. Limited models receive all-new standard six-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels.

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The new exterior look is complemented by new interior enhancements. The SR5 V8 and Sport Edition models gain new standard power-adjustable front seats, which are optional for the SR5 V6. The SR5 and Sport Edition grades add new seat and bolster fabric, with the Sport Edition also featuring high-contrast interior trim. The Limited adds another luxury touch with standard power memory seats and new black wood grain-style interior trim. New standard audio features include MP3/WMA capability and universal mini-jack connector.

An optional factory-installed rear seat entertainment system is now available for all 4Runners. Also available on all models is an all-new navigation system with voice activation and Bluetooth® capability.

Like all Toyota SUVs, the 4Runner comes standard with the STAR SAFETY SYSTEM?, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC), an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist. (See page 4 for details.)

Three Model Grades

The 4Runner seats up to seven with an available third-row seat option on SR5 and Limited models. The seat can fold over or be removed when additional cargo space is needed. The 4Runner is offered in three grade levels in two- and four-wheel-drive: the SR5, the Sport Edition that features a distinct appearance and enhanced handling capabilities, and the Limited grade with additional comfort amenities.

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The most popular 4Runner model, the SR5, features a chrome grille, door handles and rear license plate garnish. The SR5 grade is also equipped with fog lamps, black running boards, six-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels with P265/70R16 tires and a full-size spare tire with alloy wheel.

The 4Runner Sport Edition is distinguished externally by a hood scoop and P265/65R17 raised white letter tires. The 4Runner Limited grade is identified by a color-keyed grille and outside heated power mirrors, and black roof rack, black illuminated running boards.

Advanced Drivetrains

The 4Runner’s standard 4.0-liter dual overhead cam (DOHC) V6 engine produces 236 horsepower, with 266 lb-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The available 4.7-liter i-Force DOHC V8 produces 260 horsepower, with 306 lb-ft. of torque at 3,400 rpm. In both engines, variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) helps provide substantial low-end and mid-range torque. An electronic throttle control system with intelligence (ETCS-i) helps optimize performance and fuel economy.

The advanced five-speed automatic transmission in all 4Runner models provides seamless shift quality. Shift logic holds gears on inclines for power and on descents for increased engine braking – helpful when towing. Artificial Intelligence (AI) shift control changes gear-shifting patterns according to driving conditions and driver input.

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An automatic Limited-Slip Differential (LSD) is standard on all 2WD models for improved traction in slippery driving conditions. Four-wheel drive V6 4Runner models use a Multi-Mode shift-on-the-fly 4WD system with a Torsen? torque-sensing type limited-slip center differential with locking feature. The driver can select 4WD or 2WD operation. Driving with 4WD engaged provides more sure-footed handling on all types of road surfaces, because power is applied to all four wheels.

The full-time four-wheel drive system in V8 4WD models uses a Torsen limited-slip center differential with locking feature. The Torsen differential distributes the power 40 percent front / 60 percent rear under most conditions and changes the ratio as needed based on steering input and wheel slip. Automatically shifting to a 29 percent front / 71 percent rear distribution ratio during steering maneuvers helps to enhance vehicle tracking through curves. If the rear wheels should spin, the center differential can change the ratio to 53 percent front / 47 percent rear to control the slippage. The Torsen differential also makes the 4Runner less prone to slippage caused by sudden changes in road conditions.

All 4WD 4Runners are equipped with a two-speed transfer case with low range for handling steep off-highway inclines or descents. Downhill Assist Control (DAC) is designed to augment the low-speed descending ability of low-range by holding the vehicle to a target speed with no intervention from the driver. The Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) system, standard on all models, provides additional control for off-road driving by helping to keep the vehicle stationary while starting on a steep incline or slippery surface.

Rugged Chassis, Smooth Ride

The 4Runner body-on-frame chassis employs full-length boxed section frame rails that use large diameter body mounts for high torsional rigidity and excellent cabin noise isolation. A standard tow hitch receiver bolts directly to the rear frame crossmember on V8 models. A draw bar, a high-capacity seven-pin electrical connector for trailer wiring, and pre-wiring for an electric trailer brake controller are also included as standard equipment.

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Suspension is by double wishbone in the front with a four-link rigid type suspension in the rear, with coil springs over gas shock absorbers. The 4Runner Limited V8 4WD model can be equipped with rear auto-leveling air suspension for improved ride and performance when towing or carrying heavy loads. This option is teamed with the unique X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension that is standard on the 4Runner Sport Edition.

The X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension diagonally links the compression chambers of the shock absorbers (front left shock linked to rear right and front right linked to rear left) by a center control absorber. The system improves on-road handling and dampens body roll and pitch by passing small body motions from front to rear to increase overall vertical shock damping.

Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds for V6 models, 7,000 pounds for V8 4WD models and 7,300 pounds for V8 2WD models. All 4Runner models are equipped with skid plates for the engine and fuel tank, with 4WD models adding one for the transfer case, as well.

Sophisticated Dynamic Control with STAR SAFETY SYSTEM(TM)The STAR SAFETY SYSTEM? includes VSC, TRAC, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist to help provide optimal vehicle control and driving safety. Four-channel, four-sensor ABS helps to prevent the wheels from locking during severe braking conditions, while EBD distributes proper brake force between the front and rear wheels according to driving conditions. Brake Assist is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage the (ABS), the system supplements the applied braking power.

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The VSC system helps keep the 4Runner going on the intended course by detecting front-wheel slide and rear-wheel slide during cornering and attempting to control either condition with torque intervention and/or by braking individual wheels. The traction control (TRAC) feature helps reduce tire slippage during acceleration. The 4WD models use an additional yaw sensor, a deceleration sensor, and control algorithms to deliver smoother torque on any surface, including low-range and locked center differential conditions.

Safety and Convenience Features

Driver and passenger advanced dual-stage front airbags inflate according to collision severity. A front passenger seat sensor verifies if there is a person in the seat as well as the person’s weight category to determine whether the airbag should inflate, and the correct inflation power. Available front and second row side curtain and front seat mounted side airbags are equipped with a rollover sensor and cutoff switch.

Cargo-area backup mirrors located on the D-pillars help provide enhanced visibility when reversing. The optional navigation system also includes a backup camera that helps provide the driver with a view of what’s behind the vehicle. The camera automatically projects the image of what the lens detects onto the navigation system’s seven-inch LCD screen when reverse gear is engaged.

A Tire Pressure Monitoring system (TPM) can detect a severe loss in pressure in one or more tires and alert the driver.

Spacious and Versatile Interior

A sporty design and extensive standard comfort and convenience features complement the spacious cabin. A two-tone dashboard houses a three-pod instrument cluster with orange illumination. A vehicle level sensor detects when the 4Runner is on an incline and compensates the fuel gauge reading. The instrument panel includes a scheduled maintenance indicator light. An automatic climate-control system is standard on all models, with the Limited grade adding dual-zone temperature control in front. A multi-information display, located just above the climate control panel, shows the climate control status as well as a clock, outside temperature, fuel range meter, average speed, and average fuel consumption.

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The 60/40-split fold-down rear seatbacks fold flat easily with no need to remove the headrests. An extra-wide fold-down rear seat center armrest includes an integrated pull-out convenience tray with two cupholders. When equipped with the available third row seats, the middle row tumbles forward for easy third row access. The rear gate is equipped with a standard power window with jam protection, as well as an electric power close function to ensure it is not left partially ajar.

The large rear storage area includes steel tie-down hooks on the floor with additional storage hooks on the sidewalls. A "double decker" cargo system with cargo net is standard on 4Runner Limited and optional for other models. The cargo shelf can lie flat or be lifted up easily with one hand and locked in place to accommodate larger cargo items (up to 66 pounds). Interior storage includes large bins in all doors.

Toyota Value in All Grades

Standard equipment for the 4Runner SR5 model includes cruise control, power door locks and windows (including rear gate window) with driver’s auto up/down function, two 12v outlets, remote keyless entry with rear hatch window power-down operation, a rear tonneau cover and illuminated entry. All exterior glass shields 94 percent or more of UV rays, and the windshield, side windows and side mirrors use water-repellent glass.

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The Sport Edition adds a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, high-contrast fabric-trimmed seats and trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and cruise control buttons, plus a leather-wrapped shift knob. The SR5 V8 and the Sport Edition also feature standard power-adjustable front seats.

The 4Runner Limited steps up the luxury factor by adding leather-trimmed seats and heated front seats, a seat memory system, anti-theft system with engine immobilizer, HomeLink® tranceiver/garage door opener, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with compass.

The available moonroof with jam protection features a two-stage automatic pop-up wind deflector to help minimize wind noise. The deflector lowers to an intermediate height when the 4Runner is traveling over 55 mph and rises to full height again when the vehicle speed drops below 45 mph and the roof is fully open.

High-Speed Navigation System

An optional eight-speaker JBL AM/FM/CD audio system including an all-new navigation system with touch-screen monitor, voice guidance and Bluetooth® capability is available on all 4Runner models. The navigation system gained new-generation software for 2005 and features more than five million verified data points. Its route searching capabilities are more than twice as fast as competitive systems. Map data for the contiguous United States and major cities in Canada is stored on one digital versatile disc (DVD).

The integrated Bluetooth® feature provides a hands free communication system using a cellular phone with built-in Bluetooth® capability. Calls can be dialed by using the navigation screen’s keypad, while calls can be received and ended by pushing a button on the steering wheel. The stereo is automatically and conveniently muted when a call is received. The stereo speakers act as the phone receiver and transmitter.

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Deluxe 3-in-1 AM/FM/Cassette/CD system with six speakers is standard on all models. An all-new universal mini-jack port is standard on all 4Runner audio systems and allows for connectivity to most portable music players. The mini-jack port allows users to listen to their portable music collection through the 4Runner’s speakers. MP3 and WMA-media capability is also standard on all audio systems.

Available on all models and standard on the Limited model are a 360-watt JBL Synthesis 3-in-1 sound system with 10 speakers, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated cruise control buttons and audio controls. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is also available with the Deluxe 3-in-1 audio as a stand-alone option, and the JBL Synthesis is available with a six-disc CD changer.

A factory-installed DVD rear seat entertainment with nine-inch screen and wireless headphones is also available.

Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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