"My husband bought this car in 2006, used. Prior, East Coast lease car then privately owned in Pennsylvania. We were moving to New Mexico mountains and I knew exactly what I wanted and needed. She is a 2000 4-runner, manual -- nothing else would do!!!!
From the outset, there were repair issues, which did not surprise me. After about 14 years of my ownership, I finally took her to a reliable service center in Albuquerque. My parting words: "Resurrect her!!! I want her as new as the day she was born". Well --- they tore her down and truly did what I asked. She is beyond worth it and she out-pulls everything on this mountain (including my husbands 2001 Ford 350 power stroke truck)......and THAT is while operating on pure prayer in seemingly forever.
Footnote here: My husband has nagged me to death to LEASE something new. The ONLY option that fits the needs up here on the mountain is a Jeep Rubicon -- pure off-road vehicle. Well, that is between $38,000-$45,000 to own;God alone knows how much I would pay each month. NO THANK YOU!!! I want my trustworthy baby back, all repaired and almost new. Now for the cosmetic face-lift after I recover from this cost!!!!!!!"
Pros: "Reliability, excellent 4x4, prefect for camping"
Cons: "gas mileage, low power, a bit thin"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this Limited 4Runner with 160k miles back in 2012 to use as a off road camping truck. I ended up using it as a daily driver. I lifted the truck 3in and added bigger and (265/75/16) aggressive AT tires. I previously owned two Landcruisers and knew of Toyota reliability. To this date, I have only replaced the timing belt. Everything else was just maintenance. I drive mainly city, so the gas mileage is horrible (im getting around 14mpg). I would not recommend this to someone who is mainly commuting unless you are willing to pay. Otherwise, I love everything about this 4runner. The body style has a 'timeless' design in my opinion and continues to look 'modern' in today's futuristic looking cars."
"I bought my 1998 SR5 4 Runner 4x4 new at the end of of 1997 in desert dune color. It's been on countless trips to the mountains, thru snow, mud and dirt. Long drives from no cal to so cal to Utah and in between. Drop the seats, add a egg crate mattress and a couple of Coleman sleeping bags and it was extremely comfy during the winter while on patrol in the backcountry. Even at its young age of 18, I never had to worry about the 4Runner making the trek in and back from the mountains. Out of all the other cars we have bought over the years it has been the most reliable of them all and in fact the only one we kept. I agree with the other reviews that gas mileage is pretty poor by today's standards. As far as repairs I've had done, the most expensive was to replace the ac unit that finaly gave out in 2012. Other expenses were due to suspension upgrades and brake replacements. Never had any transmission issues. (It's was an automatic)
The only reason I had to give her up is she was totaled in a accident recently. Up to that point I never thought of trading or selling it. Anyway I was just fine being higher than the vechicle that plowed into the driver side. Thank goodness I had Nerf bars which took a big brunt of the force.
If I could have repaired her, I would have but it was deemed to expensive to repair due to the age and today's value.
With that said, if your looking for a RELIABLE & SAFE older model suv that doesn't look dated, look no further then the 1998 4Runner. Seriously, these suv are still seen all over town 18 years later."
"I have 1998 Toyota 4Runner, and I can't say enough about the dependability and durability of this SUV. recently I had an issue with the rear differential and got it fixed but besides to that I had never had any major issue. I will definitely recommend this SUV for anybody that wants a dependable SUV."
Pros: "4WD easy to use, great trunk space, comfy leather"
Cons: "No A/C in rear, gas mileage, rear leg room"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had this car for around three years and I couldn't be more proud of her. She has taken me back and forth from Savannah GA to North Georgia many many times and other than gas mileage (which you kind of figured is bad since it is 4WD and an SUV) has been nothing less than stellar. The now 13 year old leather is still in great condition in the back and the front driving seat has only minor wear and tear. My car has mostly been a highway vehicle (might be the reason why it has lasted so long) but I also had her on a few trails near my house in the North Georgia mountains. She delivers great torque for any payload but also a smooth ride on the interstate. I would absolutely recommend this car to all of my friends and again, I couldn't be happier for another 50k miles with her! Toyota's keep on going..."