With over 30 years on the market of mid-size SUVs, 4Runner is one of Toyota’s most successful nameplates to date. Now, this four-wheeled monster is manufactured by a Japanese mogul, that much is true. However, it doesn’t get any more American than this. It holds its own against the likes of Jeep Wrangler and Chevy Tahoe and other champs, thanks to the high-end powertrain and superb engineering.
There is one area of improvement, though, and it’s the air filtration system. If you invest in the best cold air intake for Toyota 4Runner, you’ll get up to 50% more airflow, which, in turn, will result in a cooler and stronger engine. The boost in HP, towing capabilities, acceleration, and mileage will be a part of the deal as well. So, let’s check out my list of the finest air kits.
Best Cold Air Intake for Toyota 4runner (Updated October, 2023)
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Best Toyota 4runner Cold Air Intake Review
1. K&N Cold Air Intake for Toyota 4Runner
For the 4Runner, an air intake kit by K&N can be a match made in heaven. It will greatly improve the airflow, give the engine more “kick”, and maximize the overall performance both on and off the road. The high-flow filter, capable intake tube, and premium installation hardware (clamps and hoses) turn this intake system into a must-have. Add advanced protection against dust, debris, and moisture, and you’ll definitely see the appeal.
As always, K&N backs up its gear with a user-oriented lifetime guarantee. You can rely on it for ten full years or ten million miles, which is quite generous. Last, but not least, this cold air intake system is available for a long line-up of 4Runner models. They’ve got the right picks both for the 1995 and the 2019 4Runner – all that’s left for you to do is choose the one that fits your SUV. This isn’t a very affordable product, however, and might not fit a tight budget.
Extended compatibility, excellent protection against contaminants, and a brick-strong warranty turn K&N’s air intake kit into a sure pick. The filter, the tube, the hoses – everything is premium-level, meant to serve for many years. All that comes at a slightly steep price-tag, though – keep that in mind.
2. Rtunes Racing Short Ram Air Intake Kit
First of all, this is a low-budget product, and that’s its biggest appeal. Compared to the other two air intake systems on the list, it’s significantly cheaper. Besides, you won’t have any problems with the installation. No tuning, calibration, or any extra parts are required. Just follow the instructions, don’t rush anything, and you’ll be done in no time. Rtunes Racing specifically designed it to be OE fit for the earlier 4Runner models (88 to 98).
So, what’s the catch, you might ask? Is this air intake really on par with the best of the best? Well, mostly, it is, but the build and material quality aren’t that great. Everything is decent – there’s no need to worry about anything. Still, the finish, coating, and all the individual parts aren’t particularly premium-grade. But that’s a fair price to pay for affordability.
If you’re not planning on spending big bucks on an aftermarket air kit, Rtunes Racing may be a good investment for you. It is low-budget and an easy fit for the Toyota 4Runner. The build/material quality is average at best, there’s no denying that. On the bright side, thanks to the sturdy construction and clever design, the Rtunes gear is rather durable.
3. S&B Filters Cold Air Intake For Toyota 4Runner
This next replacement cold air intake kit is one of the best offers on the market right now. It’s only compatible with the most recent 4Runner model years (2010-2019) and brings a lot of pros to the table. I particularly like the enclosed design that keeps the filter nice and cool by “scaring” heated air away. And you can keep an eye on it all through the clear lid. The filter itself deserves our attention as well.
Crafted from silicone, it is well-protected against wear, tear, and extreme temperatures: it can handle 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The increase in airflow + efficiency is outstanding, too. Moving on to the cons, I noticed some (minor) issues with fitment. Mainly, the airbox doesn’t always line up perfectly, and you might have to trim the holes so that the screws can go through.
The enclosed design, reliable filter, and the impressive increase in air filtration efficiency are the main reasons to consider S&B’s intake kit. The stylish all-black finish makes it an even more attractive deal. But, depending on your 4Runner’s configuration, some trimming/drilling may be involved.
The 4Runner isn’t just another middle-class type of vehicle. Thanks to the incredibly sturdy design and mighty engine, it’s any off-roading fan’s dream. According to official statistics, this is one of the longest-running brands in the US, with ~4 percent putting in 200K miles and more. So, if you’re a proud owner of a 4Runner and want to help it “stick around” for a long time, purchasing a good-quality third-party cold air intake system will be a reasonable move.
Here’s my advice: consider all the pros and cons before committing to any aftermarket gear. Say, with Rtunes, you’ll get an affordable air intake with decent performance. S&B is more expensive, but it can significantly improve the airflow and boasts premium parts and hardware. As for K&N, it fits a wide range of 4Runners and is backed by a generous warranty.