"Nothing touches this car in the arena of mid sized truck based suvs. Reason being, it has decent fuel economy, amazing in the snow, extremely smooth ride, great lines, huge wheels and tires, and more appealing options than most trucks offer at the limited trim (I own an SR5). If you want something close to it in terms of reliability and resale, get a Pilot. But all around this thing is ridiculous. It took me a year of searches, 7 test drives, and about a hundred hours to finally get one with both low mileage and a decent price. The single best indicator you know you are getting an amazing truck...you can find ones for sale that are 20 years old with over 250,000 miles that still have actual value. This is the honda accord/toyota camry of SUVs. Unreal."
"I bought 2004 SR5 with V6 2 wheel drive used with a bad head gasket and catalytic converter :(
Drove it with the slight head gasket problem for 2 years until the check engine light started flashing. Replaced head gasket for $2700 (not at the dealership). Only other problem I have had was it overheated once when the tube that sucks coolant out of the overflow and back to the radiator fell off in the overflow container. Last year my dash got cracks from being left in the sun all day in the GA summer.
Still best vehicle I've owned. I've hauled 4 kayaks in it! 2 on top, 2 in the rear window! Looks great. AVG 21 mpg combined. It's supposed to drive like a truck. It's not your mommy's SUV. I love driving it, especially with the back window down and sunroof open and my dog in the back with his head out the window, ears flapping in the wind! I'll drive it til the wheels fall off! It's a good size. Not too small (I feel safe). Not obnoxiously big either."
"Had this 2003 for approx 5 up years. Replaced fluids regularly, and new brakes at 90,000 miles. I had the injectors cleaned at 100,000 mile dealer service . Runs like new. At 100,000 miles I replaced the tires, but the shocks and suspension are still factory. The v6 has a timing chain, so only the 4x4 v8 model needs a timing belt replacement at 100,00 miles. My only complaint....... DASHBOARD cracking.. Most of the 2003-05 models have them, all in the same places....Toyota doesn't warranty the dash. Otherwise, it's just awesome"
"We live in the Sierra mountains in California. The 4Runner proves itself with it's true 4WD system in the snow and ice. We use the locking center differential often on slippery conditions and it just plows through. However, you do need compatible tires so we have
our 3rd set of Michelin Mountain tires on the 4Runner.
Ride is not great: bouncy, harsh at times. But this is not your phoo-phoo crossover SUV. It is a true 4WD truck like vehicle and that makes it tough. Whether using it off road in the summer to get to our fishing spot or running it through snow in winter.
Dependability had been excellent. Our OEM Panasonic battery lasted 160,000 miles (8.5 years)! We had to replace front axel seals on both sides due to bearing failure. But the mechanic said it was probably due to hitting a deer some 9 months earlier as he never seen front axel bearings fail before. Other than that we have had an annoying driver's side mirror that vibrates.
I would buy again. But if you are looking for a smooth riding SUV, look elsewhere."
Pros: "Great price range and minimum maintenance cost."
Cons: "no mp3 interface."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"150K miles (8 years) and I've changed nothing but the front brakes, tires, one parking light bulb and the battery.
No rattling noises and suspension is still superb. Fuel consumption was better than advertised and has held steady."