The Ultimate 4Runner Tire & Wheel Guide
If you want your 4Runner to stand out from the rest, one of the best ways to do so would be swapping out the wheels. If you have a very specific terrain you need to tackle, then adding competent tires to a highly competent SUV will help you get the most out of your driving experience. Before you get started, there are a couple things you should know, so let’s get started with the ultimate wheel and tire guide for your Toyota 4Runner.
Stock 4Runner Wheel Sizes
Since 1984, Toyota has given the 4Runner a variety of different wheels and tires from the factory. In more recent times, there can be many options depending on the trim level. While different sized tires can fit on stock wheels, it’s best to check your manual to see what size you should have. I’ll get into why that’s important in a second.
4Runner Lug Pattern
Your lug pattern is important to know when considering wheels. Toyota decided to keep it simple on this one with the same six lug pattern… Since at least 1990, all 4Runners have a 6x139.7mm medium offset. You may also see this as 6x5.5, and that is in inches. This is the exact same lug pattern as you'll find on Tacoma's, but Tundra's are a 5 lug pattern.
When it comes to torquing down your wheels, you want to make sure you follow the correct specs. Always double check your manual, but here are the specs since 1990.
PROBLEMS WITH BIGGER TIRES
Generally speaking, bigger tires on an SUV or truck tend to look better, and Toyota gives us room to expand. However, you may start running into some problems if you go too big. Let’s take a look at some issues you can run into.
The speed and mileage of your vehicle is calculated by the number of rotations your tire makes. All of this is based upon factory specs. If you intend on going larger, your speedometer and odometer will no longer be accurate.
Here’s an example. Your 2020 4Runner has stock tires that are 265/70R17s, but you put some big ol’ 285/75R17 tires on instead. Your speedometer will read 50 MPH, but you’re actually going 53.52 MPH. While that may not seem like such a big issue, that will add up over time if you drive your SUV quite a bit. Let’s not forget that some police officers may be looking for just that little bit over! You can solve all this by getting your 4Runner reprogrammed for the new tire size.
Over time, that will lead your odometer to be inaccurate. Not the biggest deal if you plan on keeping your 4Runner for the long run, but still important to keep in mind.
A more noticeable issue with larger tires is a loss of power. When you increase the diameter of your wheel, you effectively decrease your rear axle ratio. This will cause a reduction of torque upon acceleration.
Fuel Efficiency Loss
Larger tires, thicker tread, and tires that are aired down (if you were off-roading) can all cause you to lose a few miles per gallon off your 4Runner. Your drivetrain is optimized to work the best with factory spec wheels and tires. While you won’t damage anything changing to different sizes, drag and the extra power required by your engine and transmission will burn a little more fuel.
Lift Kits and Spacers: How High can you go?
While higher may be better, unfortunately the sky is not the limit in this case. Toyota designed everything on the 4Runner to work well with factory specs. Eventually you will have to lift, change wheels, or trim away parts of your SUV to get larger tires to fit. If you lift your SUV, you can get away with bigger tires. Generally speaking, if you lift you 4Runner, you can get away with some larger rubber!
Legal Note: If your wheels and tires are wide enough to where they extend beyond the body of your truck, you may have to buy fender flares to cover the excess protrusion. Some states in the US require wheels to be covered. Check with your state laws to be on the safe side.
The guys and gals over at Trail4Runner have an excellent guide that will show you the biggest tires you can run on your 4Runner!
POPULAR 4RUNNER TIRE OPTIONS
When it comes down to what tire to get, it does depend on your needs and budget. While wheels/rims are more style based, you want to make sure you have the right tire for the driving you want to be doing.
Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure
If you want a great tire to use whenever and wherever, then you can’t go wrong with these tires from Goodyear. While a typical all-terrain tire is never best at one thing, if you need to drive on the highway and do some decent off-roading, you’re covered. However, that does come with a price: about $253 per tire.
BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3
If you find yourself mainly using your SUV for some serious offroading and adverse conditions, a good mud tire can help. This rubber from BFGoodrich will make an easy time of mud! While with any tire with aggressive tread, you will have to worry about noise on the highway, so plan accordingly. Budget accordingly too! These will set you back $288 each!
Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Even though the 4Runner is very capable off-road, if you find yourself mostly on pavement, you don’t need the noise and drag from aggressive, off-road tires. These tires from Michelin are designed for the highway drivers. Keep in mind that they are not the best in snow or heavy rain, and they will run you about $222 per tire.
Toyo Open Country A/T III
For around $145, these are some good all terrain options for your truck. If you want to do some mild off-roading, go to the grocery store, and not break the bank all in one day, then this could be the option for you. Considering most tires on this list are about $100 more, this one is almost cheap!
You have plenty of options depending on budget, lift, and where you will be driving. As long as you keep in mind the speedometer and odometer changes, as well as potential rubbing issues if you go too big, then you'll be fine.
This has been mentioned a couple times, and it has probably come up in your research. So, what is it? Wheel offset is the distance from the wheel hub mounting surface to the centerline of the wheel. There are three types, and they are measured in millimeters.
- Zero Offset: The mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel
- Positive Offset: The mounting surface is located in the front half of the wheel closer to the wheel face.
- Negative Offset: The mounting surface is located in the back half of the wheel closer to the back lip flange.
POPULAR 4RUNNER WHEEL OPTIONS
Now that we have all the boring terminology out of the way, let’s talk about wheel options! This is definitely going to come down to personal taste. What looks good to you, might look terrible to the next person. However, here are some popular options that many 4Runner owners like.
TRD Pro Wheels
If you want factory looks and factory flair, then you can’t go wrong with TRD Pro wheels. You can find these on Amazon for $830 for all four wheels. Considering higher end factory trim pieces generally cost a pretty penny, this is a pretty good price! They come in a matte black and gun metal silver color and are definitely a fan favorite.
Fuel makes a few popular wheels that are popular with 4Runners, as well as Tundras and Tacomas alike. The Anza is one of their most popular wheels. It is a sleek, five-spoke design that has an aggressively subtle look. They can be found for around $200 each, and you can select different color options. Bronze and black seem to be most popular.
Relations Race RR2
If you’re looking for something that’s modern, sleek, and simple, these wheels from Relations Race fit the bank. They do many many other models so you can get the color and style you want. You can get them for around $270 each.
Anthem Off-Road Intimidator
If you want something aggressive that says “here I am,” then these are it. The muscular design paired with the black finish will be sure to set you 4Runner apart from the rest. While not cheap at over $300 each, you get what you pay for: style and intimidation.
In closing, there are a ton of options out there for you and your SUV. Now that you have the knowledge, get out there and find what works for you and your budget, and make your Toyota 4Runner look and run the best!
Fuel Anza - Courtesy of Tail4Runner
Race Relations RRS - Courtesy of Race Relations
Anthem Off-Road Intimidator - Courtesy of Anthem Wheels
TRD Pro Wheel - Courtesy of Trail Built Off Road