Cons: "ignition typically has to be replaced eventually"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is the second 4Runner I have owned. Previous one was a 1996 SR5 Sport. Only reason I bought the newer one was because I totaled the '96 (we rolled it and walked away without a scratch!) 4Runners are the types of vehicles you can literally drive until you decide you want something else, or wreck them! If you do your part with regular maintenance, they will drive like a dream for 100's of thousands of miles. They are affordable, solid, spacious, low-mainentance, and fun to drive. These older models (prior to 2008) are a perfect medium size SUV and maneuver great. Only problem I have had is that the ignition gets worn out and has to be replaced. It's not overly expensive to replace, but you end up with 2 different keys (one for exterior doors, one for ignition) so that's kind of annoying. Happened on both my '96 and '02. Also, in the pre-2001 models, the front cupholders are awkardly placed right in front of all of the vents and dials on the dash, so that's annoying too. They're great for young drivers because they're solid and safe, but they're also still good looking and classy enough for working professionals. I love them."
"I got mine at 100K miles. It has all original engine and components. All I've done is change the fluids and spark plugs and belts. Lived next to a toyota mechanic that called it "bullet proof". It's a reliable old horse, but it's great looking. It's a four cylinder so the acceleration is slow but I calculate 20 mpg average driving."
"bought vehicle new nearly 11 years ago and, with 243K miles, is still running quiet and strong. Never, ever had a problem that left me stranded on the side of the road. Have had all scheduled maintenance performed by dealer. Toyota quality demonstrated once again...."
"This truck was bought seven and a half years ago and it has been the best we've ever owned. Completely reliable and never left us stranded. Engine is super smooth and has great power. Still looks new and will drive til the boneyard! Only complaint: back seat is cramped and uncomfortable for adult passengers."
"Bought brand new '98 4Runner in May 1998 from dealership, and now it is 300,000 miles. it runs like a champ. All I did to do the oil change every 5k miles, and minor tune-up every 30k, major tune-up at 150k. I have been four-wheeling a lot on medium to hard trails around the Rocky Mountain region. It is most reliable vehicle I ever owned, first unscheduled service was at 122k miles for replacing the starter's contact (solenoid), then next one was replacing oxygen sensor #1 at 192k miles. The first brake service was at 248k miles by replacing the pads & shoes. And, most recent service was the worn out throttle position sensor at 270k miles. The rest of everything else are still original, and running so strong."
"I have had my 4runner for 13 years and it has 197,000 miles. In that time, I have changed the oil every 6,000 miles, replaced the tires every 3 years, and the break (believe it or not) only once (after 90,000 I thought that I should do it regardless if it needed it or not). The only breakdown I ever had was the starter had to be replaced after 125,000. Other than that, the SUV just keeps going. I have thought about buying a newer SUV, but why? This one has been paid off for over 10 years, it still gets about 21 miles per gallon and it is very reliable. At this piont, I bet I will reach 20 years and 350,000 miles without a problem."
"In the 10 years owned this vehicle needed repairs around 200k approx 3k to "refresh" worn out rubber and parts been flawless.
In contrast in that time frame 2bmw's that were shop queens and a 2005 4runner this one is fantastic.. Going for 300-400k on the engine and tranny. Used for road trips and snow trips. Solid in both cases."
"Fantastic in snow! Believe it or not, this past winter i drove through snow up to the headlights. I would not have believed it had i not done it. It seemed nothing would stop it.
Now it's not the most comfortable nor the most ergonomically devised car. I have a Lincoln ls which beats the 4-runner in those reguards but is bad in snow. The turn signal lever is too close to the steering wheel. While wearing gloves it's easy to hit it while turning the wheel. The radio buttons are a bit small. The cruise control takes a bit getting used to. It's hard to adjust the power seat while driving because ones' arm doesn't fit between the seat and the door panel without a tight squeez. There is no power lock switch near the rear hatch. If you open it to unload you have to lock it with the key, the remote or walk up front to the drivers door and hit the switch. If you change your own oil be careful not to drop the drain bolt. It will always fall onto the skid plate and you'll spend 1/2 hr hunting it down. I hope i don't sound too down on the car. you just have to put up with a few quirks to enjoy a really great car. The good far out weighs the bad."
"I dont know if god is on my side but this car is the shizzz! I bought it from a dealership with 71k miles and it now has 193k and drives the same as the day I bought it. I have taken this car on more long trips than I can remember. I have only had one or two major problems with the engine but easily fixable and not costly. I have yet to give my car a tune up due to the fact that IT DOESNT NEED IT!! the car handles great on and off road and the 4x4 this thing has is insane and can go pretty much anywhere. This suv is underrated by all and is one of the best investments I have ever made by far."
"The most reliable vehicle that I have every owned probably. I have done nearly nothing with regard to repair except general maintenance items. Repairs costly at local dealership, but I want to maintain a good repair log. Thought many times about getting something different, but when I read the reviews of other vehicles...I get scared and have decided to drive this baby into the 250000 range. Toyota had it right back in the 1990s for sure. Minor cosmetic things have been the only real problem with vehicle. Tear in drivers seat. Plastic in cargo area easily scratch from hauling things that slide around."
"I bought this truck( Limited 4X4) in 2009 with 196000 miles on it for 4500. Truck runs great and quietly.The dependability of this truck is crazy, seeing as I'm a college kid and drive it a little hard at times, but my 4Runner keeps on truckin. Looks great when I clean it up and I often surprise people when they find out its a 97. Greatest car I've owned and if you take care of it, it'll take care of you. No problems yet. Buy Toyota"
"I have had my 1998 Toyota since 7 miles were put on it. I have had to do the normal maintanence for the oil changes which I do myself. If you do this note there is a skid plate you have to remove the inspection panel on even if it's only a 2 wheel drive. The power antennae shaft had the normal cable break on it around 100,000 miles. I had the dealer replace the antenea and do the 100,000 mile replace of timing belt, 3 drive belts, waterpump and they replaced the engine oil seals as part of this mantinence for $995.00 dollars. The rear wiper motor mount on mine has come loose causing the rear window not to roll down completely. This is a simple do it your self fix and it took only 2 hours I just had to remove the rear cosmetic panel and retighten the bolt. I had to replace the starter (again did it myself) at 40,000 miles easy to get to and took around an hour using common tools. My Toyota has 180,000 miles on it currently and it is driven everywhere from Atlanta Ga to the mountains and Florida yearly. It has excellent towing capacity (5,000 lbs) for this vehicle although the most I have towed is around 3500 lbs. The 3.4liter v-6 is a little anemic in the mountains but as a typical guy I always want more power. The next new car will be a newer 4runner with the v-8 option. This was the first foreign car I have ever owned and I have gotten on average 150,000 or more miles out of the Fords and GM's I have owned in the past. Unlike the GM's nothing of the interior has broken (cup holders, accessory nobs, etc...) or the Ford (electrical etc...) problems have ever surfaced and I have always heard that you can get around 200,000+ miles out of a Toyota. After owning one with close to those miles I can truly give my take on the matter and I would receommend without a second thought to buy one if it's even a little more it has proven to be definately worth it on my experience."
"I bought this vehicle because I read all the amazing reviews. So far it's okay. The seats are extremely uncomfortable. There is a lumbar support bar that sticks into the bottom of my back. I can't drive longer than ten minutes without any pain. Also, the cruise control really struggles at the sign of any hill. Instead of gradually increasing the rpms to maintain speed the engine revs up and lurches. On a positive note, the four wheel drive is outstanding. I made it through some crazy snow when other big four wheel drive vehicles couldn't. And the antenna already went out and i've only owned it for three months."
"I bought my 2000 Limited 4x4 with 60,000 miles on it. I now have 206,000 and it's still going strong. I push the car to it's limits, and it's still running great. I pull a 3,500 pound trailer with it (with four passengers inside), use the 4 wheel driver regularly, and seem to have one repair a year. I've had to put in a body control unit ($300), a throttle position sensor ($300), New surbo motor for the climate control ($300), replace the rear axle seals (partly because I overloaded it with the trailer--$700), and have had to put in a new starter. Other than that, it's been scheduled maintenance only. Not bad for a car with this many miles, and this kind of hard use. I'd definitely buy it again."
"By far the best mid size SUV ever built. How many other SUV's still look stylish and as clean as a 6,8,10 yr old 4runner. None in my opinion.
I have had 2 4runners 2000 and my just purchased 2002. ( only sold the 2000 because I deployed to Iraq, I should have put it in storage) The styling on these SUV's is unbeatable, my 2000 looked new, I got more compliments on it than my 2005 camry. I live in Utah so having a 2WD 4runner is unthinkable, you can climb up a tree in 4WD in one of these.
My newly purchased 2002 SR5 4X4 still books at $15,025 with 122,000 on it. Its a 1 owner with full documentation from the dealer
I got it for $ 10,500. Some people still remember back when a vehicle had 100,000 it was garbage. I didnt think twice, If your in the market for an SUV honestly these really cant be beat. Lastly as others have mentioned they dont seem to age, the design is so streamlined that with some nice wheels, and some of the little after market things you can buy, you cant tell a 2000 from new SUV's from other car manufactures.
Hands down the best SUV I have ever owned. Ok 20 mpg not the best, but they are a blast to drive, even with the V6 they will pull a boat, trailer, whatever, all day long.."
"A solid vehicle, with good performance, and with careful driving can deliver 20 MPG highway. After 90k miles, it looks new, and drives almost new. It is still going strong! Negative: It should have had a limited slip differntial to handle slippery roads."
"Bought this vehicle new in 1997 and just had to do some repairs at a 197,000 miles. Valve cover and oil pan gaskets. Vehicle has had no other work done, except recommended maintenance, all done at the Toyota dealer. No vehicle can beat Toyota's reliability and quality. Not bad for an soon to be 11 year old vehicle. Will buy another."
"If your looking for a good long lasting reliable car, look no more. Be careful though, Gas use can be painful (13 mpg City, 18-20 Hwy).
MPg while in 4H all wheel drive ~9mpg city (never took it on hwy in AWD)
Took mine off road a few times...WOW, nice, rugged...a rock climber at heart. Plenty of cargo space, especially with back seats folded. Comfortable ride in the front, not so much for the back seat passengers (seats don't tilt or move).
Overall, good powerful (even though only 3.6 L V6 @ 200 BHP), not a drag racer, but a nice family ride."
"I own a 1996 SR5. I've owned it for six years (second owner) and now have 246,000 miles on it! It never gives me any problems. I take it on and off road - camping, roadtrips, 4X4-ing, tow boats etc., and it has always been reliable. It still has good power, nice interior. It fits a bunch of people.
Only downside: gas mileage is around 19 on the highway and it burns oil (change every 2500 miles)"
"This is my second 4Runner (my first being an '89) and this has been the most solid, reliable, versatile vehicle I have ever owned. Plenty of power to pull all my toys and plenty of grip for the snow or off-road. I go to the mountain many weekends during the winter and have never had to use chains to get up the hill. Great for camping. Roadtrips are comfortable for everyone with plenty of cargo room, gets good gas mileage for an SUV (19-24 mpg), and she looks sassy to boot. I'd recommend this vehicle to anyone. Perfect for the Pacific NW."
"In my 50 years of driving in the USA,Canada,also in Europe and Australia,( years as a professional truck owner/driver ),I truly believe,I am driving one of the best-ever designed and constructed veh-icle.This is the second Toyota 4 Runner I bought new and drove for close to 80000 miles,with only a new set of tires,and no repairs at all... I also
tow a 17 foot camping trailer with this SUV,hardly
feeling that it is behind us... After 5 years, the
private re-sale value is still around $17,000, or
about 60 % of original purchase price.The 3.4 L , 24 valve, 4 cam V6, matched with the silky-smooth
automatic transmission, and great overall handling
and braking is a real pleasure to drive and own..."
"I have 129,000 miles on my 4 Runner since new, outstanding value, maintain it as told by manufacture, had zero problems.
Installed Flow Master exhaust system after warrenty expired, average 20 in town, 22 on hwy.
Only complaint I have is when towing the rear end sits low with tong weight of trailer,
has to do with anti-skid system on 4 Runner"
"I have had my 4Runner for 5 years putting 22,000 miles on per year. Much of that was stop and go driving. It has been a great truck with two exceptions. The right passenger door seal has never fit right. It was replaced twice by the dealer and is still too small to stay in place. Also the water pump and radiator went out at 70,000 miles which was a shock for a Toyota!"
"My 4 Runner is the best vehicle ever.
We first met in 1997 and I have had the SR5 for the last 11 years. I am currently at 190,000 miles and haven't had to have any other work besides maintenance on the vehicle. It's not really too comfy (also stated by family/friends) for looong car trips b/c it rides similar to a jeep however, it's very dependable and I love my truck!
It's a great vehicle that got me through high school, college, and many years beyond."