Best Winches for Toyota 4runner

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022

Toyota 4runner

Want to get your hands on the best winch for Toyota 4runner? You got it!

Having the best winch installed can save you from big troubles. But choosing the best one itself is a hassle. Especially if you are a novice. 

But don’t worry, we got you. 

We have listed all the factors you need to check before purchasing a winch, have a look.

  • Winch type.
  • Winch Size. 
  • Mount Option.
  • Rope Option. 

To make things even easier for you, we have come up with the 5 best Toyota 4runner winches on the market along with in-depth reviews. 

Best Winch for 4Runner

WARN 103253 VR EVO 10-S Electric 12V DC Winch – Top Pick


  • Comes with a powerful synthetic rope, able to take up to 10,000lb load. 
  • Even under load, the series-wound motor and gear train will function faster. 
  • Features high performing Albright contactor, which is highly reliable. 
  • It got waterproof construction, so no worries about rain. 
  • It has been tested several times, and every time it passes, that tells it is a highly reliable unit. 
  • This winch is heavily constructed, and it is suitable for ½ ton jeeps, pickups, and SUVs.


  • The rope might not go into the winch evenly. 

We have found the majority of the users praising this unit for its reliability, durability, and performance. 

With a synthetic rope, series-wound motor, and planetary gear train, this Warn vr evo winch can deal with vehicles weighing up to 10,000 lb. 

Even under that heavy load, you won’t see any delay in the performance. The gear train will send the line faster, and that too with a low amp draw. 

The gear reduction ratio is 218:1. It has free spooling and a spring-type braking system. 

For low-profile installation, you can relocate the control packs. Moreover, it comes with two in one remote along with both wired and wireless options. 

This winch got IP68-grade heavy-duty waterproof construction. So whether it is raining bad or not, the performance will remain the same. 

And the construction makes this winch last very long. The manufacturer has tested it a couple of times to check if it delivers the expected performance. 

Impressively, it passed every test. 

It is a suitable winch for 1 or 2-ton vehicles, doesn’t matter whether it is a jeep, SUV, or pickup truck. 

However, one complaint we have come across about this unit is, the rope sometimes doesn’t get spooled evenly. 

Smittybilt X2O COMP Winch – Second Pick.


  • It comes with everything you will need from hawse fairlead to rope sleeve. 
  • Comes it wireless remote, which makes working with the winch easier. 
  • Can be operated by wireless remote and manually as well. 
  • Features two mounting options and is easy to mount.
  • Waterproof AP68 construction makes working easy even in the rain. 
  • The winch and rope can take up to 12,000 lbs or a 5,454 KG load. 
  • Heavily constructed motor performs flawlessly. 


  • One user reported after a few months of use, the winch draws power from the battery even when it is off. 

This winch can take up to a 12,000 lb load, and it’s huge. Comes with a 6.6 horsepower series wound motor. 

Features 3-stage planetary gear with a ratio of 265.1. An automatic brake makes working with this winch easier. 

It is IP68 waterproof constructed. Apart from that, the overall construction is top-notch, making it a reliable unit for everyone. 

This unit packs Smittyblit X20 COMP synthetic rope, hawse fairlead and forged hook, power cables, and rope sleeve. 

You get a wireless remote with it as well. But that being said, it can be operated manually as well. 

This winch can effortlessly get the job done, whether it is a jeep, SUV, pickup, or mini-truck. 

So far, we have found one complaint about this winch, and that is the power consumption. 

After a year or so, one user has seen the winch consuming power from the battery even when turned off. 

However, the majority of the users are pretty satisfied with its performance. 

Warn 89611 ZEON 10-S Winch – Premium Pick.


  • This winch can take up to a 10,000 lb load, making it suitable for medium-sized pickup, SUVs, and jeeps. 
  • Features synthetic rope that is pretty durable, and it comes with roller fairlead as well. 
  • The convertible control pack has different mounting options, and it can also be attached to the winch. 
  • It got a powder-coated finish and stainless steel fasteners that are corrosion-resistant.  
  • The winch drum isn’t heavy at all, and it lowers the rope wear and tear. 


  • The contractor pack isn’t reliable. 
  • It is expensive.

This warn zeon 10s winch is advanced, strong, and capable of hooking 10000 lb weight. Right out of the box, you will see a satin black cast aluminum housing which is pretty durable. 

You will also see muck busting sealing and convertible control packs with different mounting options, which is a relief. 

The The12V DC Series wound motor is powerful. And have an efficient gear train, the gear ratio is 162:1. 

You will experience incredible line speed from this motor and that too with low amp drawing. 

There is a large winch drum and that lowers the rope wear. And there is an integrated rope anchor which helps in rope replacement.

It also features an automatic mechanical cone braking system.  

Overall this winch is a pretty strong one. It is reliable and highly durable as well. And that is what reflects on the price. 

This winch is way too expensive; not everyone can afford it. We think they could have done a little cost-cutting. 

One more drawback of this very unit is, that the contractor pack isn’t reliable. You might see it not going well after a few months of heavy use. 

Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch – Budget Pick. 

Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch


  • The manufacturer has kept the price of this winch very low, making it one of the most affordable winches. 
  • This winch can hook up to 9500 lb weight.
  • Comes with a powerful and reliable motor. 
  • Features 93.5-inch cable with 4 way roller. 
  • This unit comes with everything you will need for installation. 
  • Highly suitable for small vehicles. 


  • Not waterproof as advertised. 
  • Weak mounting piece. 

Are you a little tight on the budget? And looking for an affordable winch? We got you. 

Have a look at this Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch. It is one of the best you will ever find at such a low price. 

Even being a cheaper winch, it still offers a 9500 lb load capacity which is excellent. Makes it suitable for small SUVs, jeeps, and pickups. 

Comes with a powerful 6.6 horsepower series wound motor. Delivers the line fast even under heavy load. 

The geat train works as expected; it comes with 3 stage-planetary gear trains. The gear ratio is 161.28:1.

It is remote-controlled and comes with a remote. An automatic in-drum braking system makes working with this winch easy. 

Now let’s take a look at some flaws of this unit. 

Although it is advertised to be IP67 rating waterproof constructed, it isn’t waterproof. 

Few users reported that the mounting piece broke or came off quickly. And the winch burned out. 

Winch for 4runner

RUGCEL 12000lb Electric Winch.

RUGCEL 12000lb Electric Winch


  • The load capacity of this winch is 12000 lb. 
  • 6.6 horsepower 12V series wound powerful motor gives good line pull. 
  • Comes with a three-stage planetary gear train system and free spooling as well. 
  • This winch is waterproof and sand proof.
  • Features ⅜-inch Helandimia synthetic rope. 
  • The winch comes with a unique clutch braking system. 


  • Slightly weak line pulling. 

Here we are looking at the last winch of the list, the RUGCEL 12000lb Electric Synthetic Rope Winch.

It can hook up to 12000 lb weight and performs pretty well under the load. 

The manufacturer has specially designed this unit for cars, boats, mowers, small jeeps, SUVs, etc. 

The 6.6 horsepower 12V series wound motor gives great line pull most of the time. 

That being said, we have seen a complaint that a user has experienced a slightly weak line pull on this winch. Since the majority of the users are satisfied with the performance, we can call it a rare issue.

It is waterproof and sand proof constructed. And the overall construction is extremely reliable.  

⅜-inch Helandimia synthetic rope is reliable; you won’t have to worry about rope wear and tear. 

And lastly, a unique braking system gives the user good control over the winch. 

What are the features I need to take into account while purchasing a winch for my Toyota 4Runner?

While purchasing a winch, your first priority should be the pulling capacity. After that, you can take the gears, motor, cable type, material, and length into consideration. Besides, it is recommended to bring a winch that holds a waterproof feature. You can look for a guarantee also.

Synthetic rope or steel cable? Which one will be better for my Toyota 4Runner?

Each type has individual ups and downs. In order to choose the right one for you, you need to weigh their advantages and disadvantages. However, the most popular cable type is synthetic rope.

Synthetic Cable:


A synthetic cable is a type of rope made from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene. It is extremely strong and durable, making it an ideal choice for use in a winch. With its low stretch properties, it is less likely to snap under heavy loads than traditional steel cables. Additionally, it is much lighter in weight than steel, making it easier to handle and less likely to cause fatigue when used for extended periods of time.


One of the biggest drawbacks is that synthetic cable is much more expensive than steel cable, so if you’re on a budget, you’ll be better off sticking with steel. Additionally, synthetic cable is not as strong as steel cable and can break under high stress or strain. It’s also more susceptible to damage from Ultra Violet (UV) light exposure, so it needs to be shaded when used outdoors.

Steel Cable:


Using steel cable in a winch also has several advantages. It is less likely to break than nylon rope. Additionally, steel cable does not stretch as much as nylon rope, so it provides better power and control when winching.


Steel cables are susceptible to rust and corrosion, which can lead to breakage.They are also not as flexible as synthetic ropes, making them more difficult to work with. Steel cables are also heavier than synthetic ropes, which can make them more difficult to manage during use.

What size winch for 4Runner?

Well, as a general rule of thumb,  you need to bring a winch that holds 1.5 times higher capacity than your vehicle’s weight. For example, If your Toyota 4Runner weight is 6300 lbs, then you should bring a winch with a capacity of around 9000-10000 lbs for a better winching experience.

How do you install a winch on a Toyota 4Runner?

  • Identify where you will be mounting the winch on the 4Runner.
  • Remove any bumper guard or other accessories that might get in the way of drilling into the frame.
  • Measure and mark where you will be drilling holes for the winch mount plate.
  • Drill holes into the 4Runner’s frame.
  • Mount the winch mount plate onto the frame using bolts and washers.
  • Replace any accessories that were removed earlier.
  • Connect your winch’s power leads to your vehicle’s battery according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


You will see dozens of winches in the market, but not all of them are going to satisfy your needs. 

And it is actually a little hard to choose one from a bunch of different models, especially for beginners. 

However, if you have gone through the reviews, you surely have got the best winch for 4runner. 

Let us know how it goes. 

4 runners with winch

Winch for 4runner FAQs

Can you put a winch on a 4Runner?
Typically, a winch can be placed on any 4×4 vehicle as long as it is properly mounted to the frame. Most aftermarket companies offer front and rear bumpers with pre-drilled holes for easy winch installation.

Can you put a winch on a stock 4runner bumper?
Yes, you can put a winch on a stock 4runner bumper. The stock 4runner bumper is designed to accommodate a winch and will provide the necessary support for the weight of the winch.

How much does a Toyota 4Runner weigh?
The GVWR of a Toyota 4Runner is 6300 lbs. Here, GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. 

Which IP rating is better?
There are three ratings available for waterproofing. They are:- No rating, IP67, and IP68. Among these ratings, the IP68 is the best one. They are a bit expensive too.

What are the best years for Toyota 4Runner?
As per the opinion of experts, the Toyota 4Runner 2017 model is the most used and reliable model.

Winch For Toyota 4runner

Which year 4Runner I should avoid?

According to the Toyota 4Runner users, the Toyota 4Runner 2003, 2004 and 2005 had the most complaints. It is better to avoid these models, especially the 2003 model.

You might also like to read our reviews of Toyota Tacoma winch, Land Cruiser Winch & FJ Cruiser Winch.

Best Winch for Toyota 4runner

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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