You Bought The Wrong Toyota 4Runner

Photos: BaT

I bought a Toyota 4Runner recently. I haven’t written about it yet because it’s hardly the most exciting thing in the world, but so far I like it a lot. It’s a 2002, a Limited, it has some really great equipment and drives like a nearly new car at 200,000 miles. (This is what happens when you get burned out on old BMWs.)

Thing is, I fucked up. I bought the wrong 4Runner. So did you. We all did. We all bought the wrong 4Runner.


The 4Runner I (we) should have bought is this stellar 1988 4Runner currently for sale on Bring a Trailer. I’m sure it will go for some obscene amount of money because that is how that site works, but I still believe buying this may be the finest decision a person can make.

The 4Runner is being sold out of Marion, Mass. The listing says this 4x4 example was refurbished by its previous owner, including with a new light blue paint coat and a number of new parts for its 3.0-liter V6 engine. It comes with the hard top, two soft tops and all recent service records.

“The seller notes scratches, chips, and overspray as well as mismatched body panels,” the site says. Who cares? It’s a 4Runner, not some garage queen Porsche. You have to deal with a four-speed automatic, which isn’t great, but if I can live with that every day so can you.


The truck—and this is a truck, the way they used to make ‘em—is listed at 194,000 miles and clearly has tons of life left. It’s fairly rare to find first-generation 4Runners in such amazing shape, and you know this thing is tough enough to handle just about everything that can be thrown at it.


Check out the full listing at Bring a Trailer. And don’t buy any other 4Runner. Buy this one.


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About the author

Patrick George

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.