Should you Supercharge your 5th Gen 4Runner?
Magnuson Supercharger Initial thoughts, Overview and Daily Driving Review
So, we’ve had the Magnuson Supercharger installed for about two weeks and spent this past weekend covering approximately 200 miles behind the wheel. Here is the breakout:
- Highway: 140 miles
- City: 10 miles
- Trail: 50 miles
Let’s talk about how the supercharger performed in each scenario.
Between highway, city, and trail driving. Highway is the favorite. This is the opportunity that you really get to see, feel, and hear what the supercharger has to offer.
Let’s talk on-ramp. This is exhilarating, to say the least, and putting your right foot to the floor will throw you back in your seat while the supercharger whines and the engine roars.
It’s important to keep in mind that supercharging your 4Runner does not turn it into a racecar. However, the power gains you receive completely transform the vehicle to put power and acceleration back into your hands (or foot).
The on-ramp is not the only area of driving you can take full advantage of the Supercharger. As all 4Runner owners know, the vehicle is not known for its power output. This is made crystal clear when trying to pass or accelerate up a hill while already at cruising speed. With the supercharger installed, highway cruising, passing, and hill climbing is truly where the 4Runner shines.
The response you receive from the supercharger when you make the decision you need to move is immediate. Keep in mind, this does not mean the pedal is to the floor, though this is where I found the most notable addition of torque. Putting your foot about halfway down on the pedal will allow the supercharger to essentially do the work the OEM engine is not capable of performing.
Highway Driving Rating: A++
Next on the list is city driving. City driving is thoroughly enjoyable, but there is not as much room to move and use the additional power as you can on the highway.
When the supercharger was first installed, the pedal was to the floor pretty much everywhere. After a few weeks in, we’ve spent more time finding the sweet spots and taking advantage of the tiptronic shifting.
The highlight here is the tiptronic shifting and the ability to have control of what gear you want to drive in. Anyone who has driven a manual transmission understands the joy of being able to control what gear you are in, and adding in the supercharger puts the vehicle on a completely new level.
The supercharger will kick in at right about 2,200 RPMs. At that point, the decision is yours on how to drive.
City Driving Rating: A
Now the real conversation, off-road/trail driving.
We spent 3 hours and covered approximately 50 miles of trail driving. The majority was spent in 4Hi. The stock 4Runner does fabulously in 4WD in any scenario, but the supercharger made the experience unbelievable.
Here is the bottom line… Matching the control of 4WD and the power of the supercharger in snow, mud, and incline scenarios, the vehicle is unstoppable and driving is effortless.
Trail Driving Rating: A+
Magnuson Supercharger – The Dyno
The big questions… What are the gains?
Note*: Initial results are for stock 4Runner with Magnaflow Exhaust and power is measured at the wheels, not at the crank.
Here is a breakdown of the dyno.
- Base Results:
- Max Horse Power: 231
- Max Torque: 237
- Supercharger Results:
- Max Horse Power: 302
- Max Torque: 297
Bottom line: the supercharger provided an almost 31% gain over stock. For reference, the stock 4Runner engine 4.0L V6 puts out 270HP to the crank and is now outputting about 353 HP.
Price – Material & Installation
Let’s be real, the Magnuson Supercharger is not cheap. However, let’s keep in mind this simple rule: You get what you pay for.
Magnuson specializes in the manufacturing of superchargers and bolt on blowers are factory tested to be installed as if it came right from the Toyota factory.
So here is what you are looking at:
- Magnuson Roller Rocker Supercharger: $5,695.00
- Shipping: +/- $150 (two packages at about 50lbs a piece)
- Installation: +/- $1,700
Unless you decide to buy during one of the holiday sales that Magnuson puts out, you are looking at about +/- $7,600. That is a major investment sure to agonize anyone’s significant other…
Let’s tie in the decision to buy. I had a lot of questions for the mechanic I took the 4Runner to about “how” to drive the vehicle. I was curious to if I ever needed to hesitate when driving the supercharger to now “blow up” my engine. He laughed at me and pointed out that I should stick to electrical (I’m in transit/light rail).
His response was simple. The blower is not going to put out enough power to destroy the OEM parts, and there is no reason I should ever have to hesitate or not use the supercharger to its full potential. Additionally, the supercharger has a CPU that is programmed to somewhat peel-off when needed. The mechanic mentioned that if I ever felt like the supercharger wasn’t putting out as much power as it should that it was because the CPU was letting it know that it essentially needed a break and that there were no issues.
Overall, you can drive the vehicle however which way you like and you should not do anything harmful to your 4Runner.
Many start the conversations about the effect of the supercharger on gas mileage. There is no distinct evidence that the supercharger either adds or takes away from your MPGs. However, the way you drive the vehicle obviously will play a role in how efficient the vehicle is consuming fuel. When the supercharger was first installed, gas mileage hit an all-time low of 9 MPG J. Obviously, we were driving more aggressively.
On our 200-mile trip, we refreshed the MPG to get a feel for what the average would be. Keep in mind, this is for 140 miles on the highway, 10 in the city, and 40 on the trails (in 4WD).
17.0 MPG is a pleasant surprise for us, but take this with a grain of salt.
Note*: The supercharger requires premium fuel. On average, we found the delta between 91+ and 85 fuel to be about $0.30 a gallon. Taking an average of 17 gallons per fill up, you’re looking at an additional $5.10 every time you’re at the pump.
Would I do it again?
Absolutely, 100%, no questions asked. The supercharger has completely transformed the 4Runner to reach its true potential. If/when I ever buy another Toyota, the first thing I’ll do is call Magnuson.