Solid performer, very reliable.
By Unit891 on Friday, January 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000
overall rating 9 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Safe and secure handling, all weather machine"
Cons: "V8 Engine fuel economy-expect 15 mpg city, 18 hwy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I purchased the Toyota 4Runner new in 2004, and have not been disappointed with it. I own the SR5, full-time 4WD version with the 4.7L V8 and Class III towing package (rated for 7000 pounds). The engine runs smooth as silk, and has awesome torque and plenty of power. The first week I owned it I rescued daughter's Honda Civic from a muddy, snowy lot where the little Honda had sunk into the soft ground when the snow melted. Cool!
I have used the 4Runner as a travel car, hauling machine (have pulled many trailers, some quite large), camping machine, and so forth. It is also my "bad weather" car - - I work over 30 miles away, and in KC road conditions go sour quite rapidly during winter storms - - the 4Runner has brought me home safely countless times during these storms, often passing droves of lesser cars and trucks stuck spinning their wheels on icy hills.
This model also has Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), which is a great safety feature, and is now standard on many Toyota vehicles. It also has true 4-channel Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS), which gives safe and sure stops even when the roads are slick. (Remember, these systems can't change the laws of physics, but Toyota has seamlessly implemented these systems such that the car really works with the driver to maintain control when things get squeamish.)
The 4Runner is also quite capable off road; I can personally attest to that, and have put quite a few trail miles on it, some in very icy and snowy weather, where this machine really excels. The 4Runner will patiently and comfortably navigate off-road terrain all day long. Just an aside, the 4Runner is part of the dwindling breed of body-on-frame SUVs. This construction is very rugged and is built to stand up to off-road use as well as heavy-duty towing. The 4Runner has double sets of rubber seals on all doors, and even a set under the hood, which makes for quiet running.
The primary con for this vehicle is its fuel economy...but that is true for any true SUV, and the 4Runnner really is very efficient for its size and capabilities. Keep the oil changed (the 4.7L V8 runs very clean, I might add), and very important, don't "cold cycle" the engine. (If you start it on a cold morning, don't shut it off until it has run at least 5 minutes, as the EFI system pumps lots of fuel in for cold starts, which can impair cylinder wall lubrication if the engine is shut off before this fuel can be burnt or expelled from the engine. This is true for most EFI vehicles, but critical in this one, where lubrication is crucial.)"
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