Trucks & SUVs

Do the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota 4Runner Have the Same Engine?

When it comes to tough and reliable off-roaders, Toyota’s Tacoma pickup and 4Runner SUV are common choices. Although Jeep’s Gladiator and Wrangler can edge them out in rock-crawling, the Tacoma and 4Runner are better daily-drivers. That’s why, despite their age, they’re still popular, new and used. Used 4Runners hold their value better than almost any other vehicle. Part of the appeal is their old-school body-on-frame designs. But with how similar the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota 4Runner seem to be, like some of Toyota’s other body-on-frame SUVs, do they share an engine?

On the Toyota Tacoma’s and Toyota 4Runner’s V6 engines

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Toyota

Both the Tacoma and 4Runner offer a V6. In the Tacoma’s case, it’s actually an upgrade. SR5 and higher trim levels can be equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 making 278 hp and 265 lb-ft. Normally, it’s linked to a 6-speed automatic, but if you opt for a TRD Tacoma and all-wheel drive, you can get a 6-speed manual instead.

2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD
2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD | Toyota

The 4Runner also comes with a V6. Unlike the Tacoma, though, that’s the sole engine option. But the Toyota 4Runner’s V6 engine is completely different from the Toyota Tacoma’s. The 4Runner has a 4.0-liter V6, making 270 hp and 278 lb-ft. The only available transmission is a 5-speed automatic.

So, no, the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota 4Runner don’t share the same engine. But at one point, they did.

Why the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota 4Runner don’t have the same engine

1998 Toyota Hilux | Toyota
1998 Toyota Hilux | Toyota

As Autotrader described, at one point the 4Runner was essentially a Hilux pickup with a fiberglass roof over the bed. And the Hilux was the starting point for the first Tacoma. However, starting in 1995, the Tacoma split from the Hilux and got its own platform.

1985 Toyota Hilux | Toyota
1985 Toyota Hilux | Toyota

However, according to the Toyota 4Runner owner forums, the 4Runner continues to use the same platform as the international Hilux. The SUV is actually called the Hilux Surf outside the US.

This is why the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota 4Runner don’t share engines. They may both be body-on-frame, but underneath they’re completely different vehicles. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t have some similar features.

Do the Tacoma and 4Runner share anything?

2020 Tacoma TRD Pro off-roads through mud
The 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro off-roads through mud | Toyota

The Tacoma and 4Runner do share similar trim levels with similar features. Both of their base trims offer rear-wheel drive, while higher trims can be upgraded to all-wheel drive.

2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro | Toyota

Both their respective TRD versions offer upgrades like Fox shocks and skid plates. Autotrader also reports both the Tacoma TRD Pro and 4Runner TRD Pro come with a locking rear differential, off-road cruise control, and Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select system.

Also, for 2020, Toyota upgraded both the Tacoma and 4Runner with improved safety features. Both the truck and SUV will have forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control as standard.

The Toyota Tacoma and 4Runner don’t ride on the same platform anymore, but they do have at least a few things in common.

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