"the toyota 4runner, in my experience, is one of the best all-around production vehicles made. especially in when looking at the 3rd gen models. with the creation of the highlander toyota developers were allowed to develop the 3rd gen 4runners, and later models, to be specifically enhanced offroad. while also still maintaining great on road performance and handling. on road they ride smooth, turn accurately, with little to no oversteer, and accelerate aggressively. off road they keep an astonishing weight to power ratio and are able to pull you out of whatever you may find yourself in. even on street tires with open differentials you still wont be stopped. and like all other toyotas they are build to last. im pushing 250,000 miles now with no signs of wearing down."
Pros: "Solid smooth feel. Super reliable. Looks cool!"
Cons: "Small for a family of 4. No bigger than a Prius."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this used when it was one year old. I've now had it 10 years and the only thing that stopped working was the motor for the radio antenna. Nothing else has EVER gone wrong with this. I've had the normal routine tune-ups and it just keeps going and going. We could and should buy a bigger more expensive vehicle but I'm torn because I love this so much!"
Cons: "check out design defect on 2wd 2 piece drive shaft"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The 2wd 4runner has a design defect in the drive shaft. It will cause the rear axle wheel bearings and aventually cause the tranmission to go out if the drive shaft is not replaced. Other than this it's a great vehicle."
"I've owned Toyota's since 1984, started overseas with a Celica hatchback. Moved back to the states in '86 and got another used Celica hatchback then quickly moved up to a new pickup. Then within the year I saw my first 4-Runner and just had to get it. It was a new '86, yes that's right I went from a Celica to a pickup to the 4-Runner in just a year (just so it's clear, I wasn't disappointed with the first two). I kept that runner (a 4-banger) for 14 years, it even went to Germany with me for 8 years. It took me to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, East Germany and all over West Germany. I really abused it over there in Europe, like not changing oil, not polishing, and very high speeds. I even had a low speed head on collision with a small pickup (Ford Courier type) in '93...I won, the other pickup was totalled but I drove home, luckily there were no injuries. The only problems I had was a leaky water pump, a stuck closed thermostat, and bad oil pump. Back in Idaho I finally traded up in 2000 to this one. It was the last standard stick shift on the lot. I put 82K on it so far and I'm taking a lot better care of this one than I did my first. Only had two major problems, both rt & lt rear axle bearing boots failed (not at the same time) and had to replace the bearings seals and brake shoes (soaked with oil). One under warranty and the other 20K miles later. I did have the automatic antenna mast replaced but that was because of a couple winters worth of driving through freezing fog. The ice build up tends to wreak havoc on the drive when it tries to pull it back down. Gas mileage is still steady at 19 MPG. Best is 22, worst was 13 when pulling a U-haul trailer 600 miles from Idaho to Vegas. Did very well on the 2,700 mile trip from Boise to Montgomery, the trip back was the same. I plan on keeping this till it dies...Sorry Toyota I'm a loyal customer but I won't be buying another for a long time. Toyota, I don't see how anyone could go wrong with buying one, the value far exceeds the price.
I'm actually thinking of adding a Prius, Tundra, or Sienna to my garage...we'll see."
"I build my 4runner on/off road, arb front bumper, yakima roofrack,lift kit, and 32" tires and this truck keeps in an amazing good condition, mud, wet roads, snow, sand, you name it nothing stop this car. And the best, vary cheap maintenance, regular gas, easy to work on it, $200 for a full tune-up...!!!! DIY."
Pros: "Excellent Reliability and Great Smaller SUV"
Cons: "Lacking Power, Limited Interior Space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have owned my 4Runner SR5 since new and am going to miss it when it is gone. It has been ultra reliable with very few issues. Looking back aside from routine maintenance the only things I have had to replace are one of the oxygen sensors, one of the fuel injectors, the power antenna, and the clutch master cyclinder. The original clutch and brake pads were replaced at 164,000 miles and still had some life on them. The original brake shoes still have serviceable life left so no replaced. While I have done very limited off road excursions in the 4Runner it has handled them well. The 4-Low is able to get you through most all situations. 4-High has been great for trips to the snow. Some of the things I wished the 4Runner had were a more powerful motor capable of truly towing its 5k towing capacity. I have towed a small 17 foot travel trailer (about 3,500 pounds fully loaded) with the 4Runner and feel that is about the maximum for its capabilities. I'm sure the next generation 4Runner with the 4.0 liter motor was much more capable in power. Another gripe was how the 4Runner sagged in the rear when loaded, even with just passengers. I installed AirLift airbags inside the rear coil springs and that alleviated the problem both carrying passengers and towing. The 4Runner currently has 169,000 miles and feel confident it will go another 100,000 miles easily if properly maintained. Since about 90,000 miles I have been running full synthetic oil, filling with fresh fluids in the cooling system, brakes and clutch systems, as well as running top tier gasoline. Timing belt was replaced at 93k and probably due for a new one soon along with the water pump and thermostat. This has truly been a remarkable vehicle and out lasted several of the other vehicles I have owned."
"This is by far the best automobile... easy to drive, safe, timeless good looks. I wish Toyota would have just kept making this body style while upgrading everything unseen. If I could drive this little rig the rest of my life, I would. Wish I didn't need a new car.
If TOYOTA still made cars as good as this one, I would reccommend it to everyone I know, however, neither the Highlander nor the new 4-Runners seem to hold a candle to it."
Pros: "Excellent and reliable vehicle from all points of view"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I own this car now for 11 years and is driving like new. Excellent engine and pretty good on gas comparable with newer models!Never have any issues other that normal tear and wear (tires, brakes, belts). High value retention, too. Highly recommended."