Toyota 4Runner History
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2001 4Runner History:

2001 Toyota 4Runner
Sport Edition
This was rumored to be the last year the 4Runner was to be manufactured in Japan, but it was not true.
The following changes are made for 2001 model year.
1. Model Line-Up
Base models are no longer offered, therefore no more 4cylinder engines. The optional electric rear differential lock has been discontinued. The 3RZ-FE engine models and the 5VZ-FE engine models with a manual transmission have been discontinued. The 4Runner is now available only with the 5VZ-FE engine with an automatic transmission in the 2WD or 4WD models. The following models have been added. VZN180L-GKPSKA, VZN185L-GKPSKA
2. Exterior
The design of the radiator grille has been redesigned to express the vehicle’s strength. The multi-reflector type rear combination lights have been adopted to express innovation and high quality. A pre-wired trailer hitch harness becomes standard. New wheels debut on the SR5 Sport and Limited.
3. Interior
The Limited gets a new rich wood trim color. Extension visors that reduce the glare entering the vehicle from the sides and an illuminated vanity mirror are standard equipment on the Limited grade model and optional equipment on the SR5 grade model. Power door locks are now standard on all models.
4. Engine
The ETCS-i (Electronic Throttle Control System-intelligent) system, which realizes excellent throttle control in all the operating ranges, has been adopted. ORVR (On-Board Refilling Vapor Recovery) system has been adopted to reduce the discharge of fuel vapor to the atmosphere during refueling. The method for detecting evaporative emission leaks has been changed from the previous internal pressure monitor type to the vacuum type. The air-fuel ratio sensor and the WU-TWC (Warm Up Three-Way Catalytic Converters) for improving exhaust emissions have been adopted.
5. Automatic Transmission
A 2nd start mode that enables the vehicle to start off in the 2nd gear when the transfer unit is in the L4 mode and the transmission shift lever is in the 2nd range has been added.
6. Propeller Shaft
The construction of the double-cardan universal joint of the rear propeller shaft has been changed.
7. Transfer
The shift mode has been changed along with the adoption of the A-TRAC (Active Traction Control) function in the brake system. The shift pattern of the transfer shift lever has been changed. A center differential lock switch has been provided in the instrument panel so that the locking and unlocking can be controlled by the push of a button, rather than through the 4WD shifter. A plastic cover is used on the transfer shift actuator to achieve a compact and lightweight configuration.
8. Differential
An electric motor type actuator has been adopted for the A.D.D. (Automatic Disconnecting Differential) actuator.
9. Brakes
The ABS with EBD & Brake Assist & A-TRAC & VSC system is provided as standard equipment. ABS (Anti-lock Brake System), EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), A-TRAC (Active Traction Control), VSC (Vehicle Skid Control) A hydraulic brake booster has been adopted. The incremental type hydraulic auto adjuster has been adopted for the rear brake to adjust the clearance between the shoes and the drum. The proportioning valve has been discontinued along with the adoption of the ABS with EBD.
10. Steering
The construction of the steering gear box has been changed.
11. Seat
CRS (Child Restraint System) anchor brackets for outer rear seat have been provided on the back surface of the rear seat. CRS anchor bracket for center rear seat has been provided on the center hinge between the rear seat back.
12. Combination Meter
An indicator has been added along with the adoption of the VSC system.
13. Air Conditioning
A rotary switch type heater control panel that transmits the operating conditions of the switches in the form of electric signals has been adopted. A servo motor to switch the dampers has been provided in the heater unit and the blower unit along with the adoption of the electric type heater control panel.
14. SRS Airbag
The construction of the airbag sensor that is built into the airbag sensor assembly has been changed. The inflator of the SRS airbag for the driver has been made more compact and lightweight.
15. Seat Heater
A seat heater that automatically switches between the high and low heater output temperatures is standard equipment on the models with power seats.
16. Cruise Control System
A cruise control system that uses the throttle control motor, which is a part of the ETCS-i, has been adopted. The basic construction and operation are the same as in the 1998 Land Cruiser.
17. Power Seat
The power lumbar switch that was previously provided on the seat back has been relocated to the garnish portion of the seat cushion in the same way as with the other power seat control switches.
18. Garage Door Opener
A garage door opener is integrated with the driver side sun visor to operate the garage door, gate, etc. from the inside of the vehicle. This opener is standard equipment on the Limited grade model and option on the SRS grade model. The basic construction and operation are the same as in the 1999 Camry Solara.
19. Audio
An integrated, 2DIN size radio, cassette, and CD changer unit is provided on the SR5 and Limited grade models as optional equipment.
The Toyota 4Runner SUV enters the new model year with numerous upgrades in a more simplified lineup that adds Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) with Traction Control (TRAC) and an Anti-Lock Brake system (ABS), now with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, all as standard equipment.
The 4Runner's VSC system orchestrates the ABS and A-TRAC sensors, actuators and computer electronics to help the driver maintain vehicle traction in skids caused by adverse driving conditions. For 2WD models, VSC comes with 2-wheel traction control and for 4WD models, VSC is paired with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC). The A-TRAC function helps to restrain slippage while the vehicle is driven on snow-covered roads or off-road by controlling engine output and brake fluid pressure that is applied to the slipping wheel and distributing the drive force to the remaining wheels in order to achieve better traction.
The 2001 4Runner is now offered in two trim levels - SR5 and Limited - and has received a modified front grille and taillight treatment. It comes in a variety of new exterior colors, complemented by two new cladding colors and coordinated with all-new seat fabrics and patterns. Inside, for added convenience, power door locks are now standard on all models and a new air conditioner control panel is more user-friendly. Also standard are a pre-wired trailer hitch harness ready to accommodate the up to 5,000 pound towing capacity and also the standard anti-lock brakes now come with brake assist.
Limited models now feature visor extensions with HomeLinkÒ and an illuminated vanity mirror, new rich wood trim color, driver and passenger seat heaters and new 16-inch 5-split spoke alloy wheels as standard equipment.
The 2001 4Runner is now exclusively powered by a mighty 3.4-liter V6 engine with dual-overhead cams paired with a standard automatic transmission. The five-speed manual transmission has been discontinued. The engine produces 183 horsepower at 4,800 rpm and 217 foot pounds of torque at 3,600 rpm. Two-wheel drive models deliver an estimated city/highway EPA fuel economy of 17/20 mpg, while four-wheel drive models provide 16/19 mpg. An Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ECTS-i), which realizes excellent throttle control in all operating ranges, has been adopted. The 4Runner's automatic transmission is electronically linked to the engine control computer to help ensure smooth shifting. This efficient and responsive powertrain provides versatile performance for coasting through town or combating off-road terrain.
Toyota's 4WDemand shift-on-the-fly engagement system comes standard on all four-wheel drive 4Runner models, enabling the four-wheel drive system to be engaged at speeds up to 62 mph. The One-Touch Hi-4 switch, now standard, makes shifting into high-4WD as easy as a touch of a button. All four-wheel drive 4Runners are equipped with a two-speed transfer case.
Toyota's Multi-Mode 4WD system, introduced in 1999, is now standard on all four-wheel drive models. The Multi-Mode 4WD feature is actually an open center differential with locking capability that provides a full-time all-wheel-drive system with the ability to select 2WD mode. The all-wheel 4WD mode may be used in normal driving conditions on all types of roads from dry, hard surface roads, such as pavement, to wet or snow-covered roads. Driving with the Multi-Mode's all-wheel drive system engaged provides the driver with a more sure-footed feel because power is applied evenly to all four wheels which improves traction.
To switch from 2WD to the all-wheel 4WD mode, simply reduce the vehicle's speed to less than 62 mph and push in the One-Touch "4WD" button located on the front drive control lever knob (on the transfer case the all-wheel 4WD mode is indicated as "H4"). Returning to the 2WD mode is just as easy, depress the "4WD" button once more and the vehicle is again operating in 2WD.
Off-road enthusiasts will find enhanced low-traction performance available through a locking center differential and a two-speed transfer case. With the center differential lock switch engaged, the front and rear axles are locked together for better grip in low-traction situations and shifting to Low assists in an extra measure of control. For 2001, a center differential lock switch has been provided on the instrument panel so that the locking and unlocking of the center differential can be controlled by the push of a button.
4Runner successfully balances on-road comfort and off-road performance. Both the suspension and frame were designed to provide the long wheel travel and damping characteristics required by off-road conditions, as well as on-road smoothness. A coil-spring, double-wishbone front suspension features a closed structure for the lower arm. This design gives added strength while minimizing unsprung weight. Low-pressure gas-filled shock absorbers cushion 4Runner's passenger cabin from the occasional bumps in the road, with stroke-dependent shock absorbers accompanying models with P265 tires.
The four-link coil spring rear suspension also utilizes low-pressure, gas-filled shock absorbers for optimum ride comfort. Front and rear stabilizer bars are incorporated into all models. The compliant suspension works well with 4Runner's rigid frame for maximum performance. A wheelbase of 105.3 inches contributes to ride comfort as well as impressive rear seat legroom. The frame is reinforced throughout, while dual front suspension cross members enhance 4Runner's ride and braking performance. The chassis is controlled by engine rpm-sensitive power-assisted rack and pinion steering.
Braking is responsive, thanks to power-assisted, 11.6-inch ventilated front disc brakes with 11.6-inch rear drums. Models equipped with the P265 tire package feature 12.5-inch front ventilated discs and 11.6-inch rear drums. A Brake Assist feature detects emergency braking and applies supplemental line pressure to help maximize the effectiveness of the ABS system. The ABS system is operational even in low-range four-wheel drive while the center differential is locked.
In addition to ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, 4Runner comes with an extensive list of safety features including three-point ALR/ELR seat belts in all outboard positions (except for driver's ELR-only seat belt), front seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters and dual front supplemental restraint system (SRS) airbags. Additional safety features include front and rear side-door impact beams, a two-point non-retracting seat belt in the rear center seat, center high mount stop lamp, child protector rear door locks, CRS tether anchor brackets located on the back surface of the rear seats and a front passenger seatbelt warning light feature. A warning light located in the upper console cluster will flash until the passenger's seatbelt has been fastened.
A rugged exterior houses a spacious interior with plenty of creature comforts. Full cut-pile carpeting, front four-way adjustable fabric bucket seats and rear split folding fabric bench seat successfully blend comfort and utility. An overhead console with a garage door opener/sunglass holder, a center console storage box with dual cupholders and two power outlets in the center cluster and an additional power outlet in the rear cargo area make 4Runner convenient to use as well.
Additional amenities include full door trim with armrests, color-keyed instrument panel with a digital LCD odometer and dual trip meter, power rear window, tinted and UV protection-treated glass on the windshield and front and rear door windows, headlight-on warning chime, spring-back antenna, day/night rearview mirror, dual-fabric sunvisors with passenger vanity mirror, remote fuel door and hood releases, cigarette lighter, five entry/exit assist grips, rain repellant glass on the front door windows, intermittent mist cycle windshield wipers and a redesigned air conditioner panel with rotary switches.
The SR5 grade comes standard with a lighting package featuring an illuminated ignition key ring, ash tray and glove box light is included as standard equipment. Also standard are built-in map lights in the overhead console, color-keyed power heated outside mirrors, power door locks, a digital clock, tilt steering wheel, variable intermittent front and rear windshield wipers, cruise control, black front and rear mudguards and a Deluxe 3-in-1 ETR/Cassette/CD player with four speakers rounds out the list of features.
The SR5 is available with a Sport Package that accentuates 4Runner's ruggedness and includes 16-inch 5-split spoke alloy wheels and alloy caps with P265/70 R16 tires, 12.5-inch front brakes, 4.100 rear differential, sport seats with special material, 4-way adjustable headrests, cloth door trim, hood scoop, painted overfenders, leather-wrapped steering wheel cover, metallic-trimmed instrument panel, integrated fog lamps and color-keyed bumpers and front grille.
The 4Runner Limited adds still more features, providing a heightened sense of comfort and convenience. Leather-trimmed seating surfaces with driver and passenger seat heaters, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power driver's and passenger bucket seats, power door locks and windows with one-touch auto-up/down function and jam protection (front windows only), built-in projector fog lamps, a fully automatic air conditioner with a digital heater and control panel and floor mats are included as standard equipment. In addition, the Limited grade offers a keyless entry with a back window remote and an anti-theft system with an engine immobilizer. The Limited edition also offers superb sound quality with a standard Premium ETR/Cassette/CD radio with six speakers and a power and diversity antenna.
Color and Trim
All 4Runner models are available in 3 new exterior colors which replace two old ones: Thunder Cloud, Dorado Gold and Glacier Metallic. Carryover colors are Millennium Silver Metallic, Imperial Jade Mica, Natural White, Black, Sunfire Red Pearl and Stellar Blue Pearl. 4Runner exteriors are complemented with new Gray or Oak cloth, or Oak leather trim interiors.
Limited Warranty
Toyota's 36-month/36,000-mile basic new vehicle limited warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month limited warranties are available and cover powertrain components for 60,000 miles and corrosion perforation with no mileage limitation.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., reported 4Runner total calendar year-end sales of 90,250 units, down 19.3% from prior year.
2001 Standard Equipment, Optional Equipment and Specifications brochure (PDF)
2001 Color Chart
2001 4Runner Canadian Brochure (PDF) provided by nighthawk
2001 Color Chart
Exterior Interior Comments
Millennium Silver Metallic Gray or Oak  
Natural White Gray or Oak  
Thunder Cloud Metallic Gray or Oak  
Dorado Gold Pearl Oak  
Sunfire Red Pearl Gray or Oak  
Imperial Jade Mica Gray or Oak  
Glacier Metallic Gray or Oak  
Stellar Blue Pearl Gray Not available on 4Runner Limited
Black Gray or Oak  
Oak Leather Trim standard on 4Runner Limited, Gray interior not available with Leather Trim Package


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