The Toyota 4Runner, on the other hand, helped sparked the sport-utility vehicle craze. The first generation came with a removable top, which exposed the rear seats. That particular 4Runner looked ideal for off-roading and is still used to today as a potential Moab crawler. The second generation Toyota 4Runner seen here, provides a hard top all the way through. This helped broaden the market appeal. With 150 horsepower and 180-lb.ft. of torque, it wasn’t speedy by any means. I even recall the 15 city/18 highway gas mileage out of a 3.0-liter, V6 engine. The base four-cylinder engine was even more gutless at a whopping 116 horsepower and 140-lb.ft. of torque. The 4Runner came with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic for varying four-wheel drive editions.
This vehicle by far, means the most to my family at heart. It was my father’s favorite vehicle. It had seen the worst of money troubles, my high school years, and the years of my family becoming financially successful through hard work. The rugged looks, reliability, and lack of power, all symbolized that while we had little to start with, my parents showed up every day for work, school, and I kept my grades up, consistently throughout the years. We made it.
After nearly 300,000 miles on our 4Runner, we didn’t have the heart to sell it. It was well maintained by my father, who chose to donate the truck to someone who truly needed it.