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2008 Toyota 4Runner

Overview
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2008 Toyota 4Runner Review

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Few SUVs are held in such high regard as the Toyota 4Runner. Generation after generation has come to love this midsize SUV for its near-bulletproof reliability, excellent build quality and strong resale value. Although the 4Runner has grown larger and more luxurious over the years, at its core it remains a versatile and rugged SUV, as comfortable traversing a boulder-strewn desert as a four-lane highway. Still, it is easy to find newer SUV and CUV designs with more interior room, smoother rides and more electronic goodies. Budget-conscious buyers will probably suffer sticker shock, as even the most basic 4Runner model starts around $29,000.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2008 Toyota 4Runner provides ample space for four adults and their gear but, in a pinch, can fit seven people. If you're looking for a rugged, powerful midsize SUV that has a reputation for superb reliability and great off-road manners, the 4Runner should be at the top of your list. It also has some exclusive features not found on other SUVs, such as an opening back window.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're one of those people who needs an SUV more for its interior accommodations and sheer size than its ability to leave civilization behind, the 4Runner may not be the best choice.

What's New for 2008

Every 4Runner now has roll-sensing side-curtain airbags as standard equipment.

Driving the 4Runner

Driving Impressions To help the driver remain in control under all driving conditions, Toyota has equipped all 4Runners with a feature known as HAC (Hill Start Assist Control). The HAC system prevents...

the 4Runner from rolling backwards when starting to climb a hill from a start. Also standard on all four-wheel-drive 4Runners is the DAC (Downhill Assist Control), which combines the vehicle's brakes with engine braking to avoid unwanted downhill acceleration. Four-wheel-drive models have a Torsen limited-slip center differential which transfers the bulk of the engine's torque to the rear wheels, thus helping the vehicle remain stable in both off-road and slippery situations. These features complement the 4Runner's standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and traction control.

Rear Back-Up Camera
The 4Runner's rear backup camera option allows you to see objects out of the range of your rearview mirror.

Flip-Up Third-Row Seating
The 4Runner's flip-up third-row seating lets you convert from cargo hauler to people hauler in just seconds.

2008 Toyota 4Runner Details
2008 Toyota 4Runner photo Interior

The 4Runner's dash is typical Toyota: Handsome, functional and assembled of the finest materials with the tightest tolerances. The seats are wide and tall to better accommodate full-sized adults. There is more headroom, shoulder room and, most importantly, rear legroom than in previous models. Toyota adds the option of third-row seats on SR5 and Limited models. A rearview backup camera is optional. It's linked to the optional GPS navigation viewscreen and engages when the vehicle is placed in reverse. For vehicles not equipped with navigation, standard cargo area backup mirrors built into the rear pillars provide a low-tech solution to better rear visibility.

Exterior

The 2008 Toyota 4Runner uses a compilation of bulging fender flares, blocky front and rear bumpers and a wide-slat grille to convey its message of stylish off-road capability. Standard rear privacy glass hides valuables from prying eyes, and the back window that rolls down into the liftgate is a real bonus. With coil springs front and rear, available auto-leveling rear air shocks (Limited V8 only) and about nine inches of ground clearance, the 4Runners' off-road capabilities are not in doubt. Dealer-installed options such as a front skid plate, ski attachments for the roof rails and seven-pin to four-pin adapter for towing further add to the 4Runners rugged image.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 4Runner is available in three trims: SR5, Sport and Limited. Standard features include a V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Hill Start Assist Control, Downhill Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Control and traction control, side-curtain airbags, front side airbags, automatic air conditioning, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, fog lights, dual power mirrors, three-in-one audio with MP3-compatible CD player, side running boards, cruise control, tilt wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels and a rear wiper/washer.

Optional Equipment

Options vary by trim and include a V8 engine, four-wheel drive, leather interior, auto-dimming rearview mirror, onboard navigation, rear backup camera, rear DVD entertainment system, JBL audio, upgraded wheels, off-road package and a power glass moonroof.

Under the Hood

The 4Runner's V6 is more than adequate to move this vehicle with gusto. For those who need to tow a heavy trailer, the V8 makes perfect sense, but it does use more gas.

4.0-liter V6
236 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
266 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21 (2WD), 16/20 (4WD)

4.7-liter V8
260 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
306 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/19 (2WD), 14/17 (4WD)

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2008 Toyota 4Runner Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.5
Out of 10

Based on 828 Ratings for the 2003 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    9.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Terrific value.

By on Sunday, July 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Economical, reliable, comfortable."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my 3rd 4runner, and I have owned it since it was new. Other than routine maintenance, I have never had any problems with it (or the other two, either, for that matter.) The only reason I didn't give it a perfect "10" score is that the mileage could be a little better, and it has some issues in 4WD mode on wet, clay soils - i.e., it tends to slide. This is partly a tire issue, as the mud cakes the treds."

SAVE until you can afford it!!!

By on Saturday, July 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "dependable"

Cons: "poor gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Even if you have to settle for the 2WD and eat Ramen noodles for six months, save your money until you can afford one of these. Don't settle for anything else because every time you see one pass by you'll regret it. From time to time you might encounter a review from someone who complains about his 4th-Gen 4Runner, but I'd be willing to bet that he let his teenage son drive the heck out of it, failed to keep up with basic maintenance, or bought it secondhand from someone guilty of these offenses. The truth is that the 4Runner is the best SUV out there. Problems are few and far between, and usually pretty small: battery, alternator, window motor gear. The major systems on these things are bulletproof. It's not all fun and games owning one of these. You can expect dismal gas mileage. I get about 17.8 no matter what I do. The stats are a little sad when you see that the V6 Highlander gets better HP and gas mileage, but the torque on the T4R is pretty impressive. I know it's a stupid complaint, but I feel like the ride height is too low for the running boards but just a little too high to just step out comfortably - again, stupid complaint. The cargo capacity is a little disappointing when you consider how HUGE this truck is. And it is a truck on a truck frame (unlike the Highlander). The dash pads on these things ALL have cracks. This combined with the cassette player can make even the cleanest 4th Gen feel dated."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

This 4Runner is definitely my best vehicle yet.

By on Tuesday, June 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very reliable car, handles great, smooth ride."

Cons: "Gas mileage, crack in dashboard."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this 4Runner for almost 10 years and have never had any mechanical problems with it. The only issue is a crack in the dashboard that started around the contours of the control panel and in time has traveled the length of the of the dashboard. I love the way the vehicle handles and the great ride. Only downside is the gas mileage. Plan to keep this car for as long as possible."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Awesome vehicle

By on Monday, June 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very reliable"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased this vehicle new and I can't be more happy and satisfied with its quality and reliability. Besides a couple of tire changes,it only has been to the dealer once for a recall about the gas pedal getting stuck. I am buying a new one this year."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

All-round reliable, flexible vehicle

By on Saturday, May 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "reliability, towing and offroad features"

Cons: "No power seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought this 4Runner new and have kept it so long because it has been so reliable and flexible and comfortable. We have taken good care of this vehicle and it has paid us back in 10 years of flawless service."

Best car i've ever owned

By on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Not to many places it won't go"

Cons: "Would like a little better gas milage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have had 10 years and haven't had any problems except with a/c. The condensor had a small hole in it. Also replaced water pump. Other than that all was routine maintance"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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