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2009 Toyota 4Runner

Overview
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2009 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 rear-wheel drive 4Runner model starts around $29,500.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2009 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 power rear window that retracts into the rear liftgate.

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 Toyota 4Runner may not be the best choice.

What's New for 2009

For 2009, Toyota is offering a new Trail Edition package option for the V6-powered SR5 4WD. Trail Edition 4Runners gain a locking rear differential, Bilstein shock absorbers, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), water-resistant seat fabric and a new audio system with a detachable TomTom navigation unit. The system also provides Bluetooth connectivity, iPod integration and satellite radio.

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.
Favorite Features

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.

2009 Toyota 4Runner Details
2009 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 trims. 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 2009 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 4Runner's 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, Trail Edition package, an off-road package and a power glass moonroof. There's also a new Urban Runner package for the Sport trim, which adds the TomTom navigation unit, 18-inch alloy wheels and a number of interior trim upgrades.

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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2009 Toyota 4Runner Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.5
Out of 10

Based on 816 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

Best vehicle I have ever owned

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

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
10/10

Pros: "Reliability, Comfort, Luxury, Capabilities"

Cons: "Price-Epensive. Get what you pay for!"

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

"Even when I sell my company and will be able to afford supercars, I would purchase nothing more than a 4Runner. The reliability, comfort, maitenance, convienence, capabilities for all terrain handling, visible features and appearances have absolutely awed me. I previously owned a VW Passat (4 door sport package), Ford F-150, Mercedes Benz (luxury edition) AMG, and a chevy Silverado 2500 super crew cab, the 4Runner absolutely smashes anything I have owned thus far. A great car whether you are buying as a starter for your kids, a traveling vehicle for the larger families, or your baby and goes everywhere you go, then the 4Runner is perfect for you! The best thing about it, it holds its value. Owned the car for 3 years now and drive it EVERYDAY (highway/city) the only problem I have encountered is your average monthly oil change and air filter. You couldn't make a better investment."

Hands Down... Best SUV Available.

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

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
10/10

Pros: "Great power, good handling in all conditions."

Cons: "Holds their value... but hey; owners love them!"

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

"I've owned quite a few 4x4 vehicles due to my proximity to the snowy mountains, and icy weather. I currently own a 2006 4Runner Limited ( V8, AWD ). I love this SUV. I have had one issue with the navigation head unit (JBL) getting CD's stuck, but was fixed by dealer upon purchase. It honestly goes anywhere I need to go, and doesn't have the maintenance costs that are associated with other Makes/modes. This is now my 5th Toyota, and hands down they'll keep getting my business with vehicles of this quality. Though... I'll probably drive this one till the air peels the panels off of it I love it so much! The V8 does have a timing belt, so be sure to ask if it has been changed! Will wear tires out a little faster than the RWD model due to the AWD function ( typical with most all AWD vehicles. ) True MPG from an owner: city-15mpg .. HWY-18.5-19mpg. Has a lot of pep, but you can get 20mpg on the highway if you stay out of the throttle and you're not in mountainous terrain. Good luck, and yes... this is a definite GREAT vehicle to consider for yourself, or even possibly a first time driver due to its forgiving nature, and well rounded safety and amenity features. One last note... Bravo Toyota; for still manufacturing vehicles that actually live up to their intended purpose, and then outlasting them!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Toyota reliability... Dependable..Great vehicle

By on Saturday, March 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Dependable, Strong Engine, Great vehicle overall"

Cons: "Paint job, wind noise"

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

"2005 4Runner SR5 purchased in 09 w/75K as a certified vehicle. Currently, car has 155K after 5 years of ownership. Gas mileage at 20MPG mixed driving when using BF Goodrich brand. Tires were changed to Hankook at 135K, MPG dropped to 18MPG. No one can explain the drop in mileage.Have used KN Air filter, which (IMO) ruined the Mass Air Flow (MAF) twice after cleaning and using cleaning spray. Ended up replacing to regular air filter. Performed regular 5K oil replacement(DIY - Mobil1 Synthetic) and 100K transmission oil change(Stealer), also Coolant change(Stealer). Since this 05 has timing chain, did not change anything. Performed my own brake pads replacement. Did not perform any towing or off road so cannot give opinion on the ride. Highway is smooth but wind noise can be a bit loud due to height of vehicle. Drove Lexus 1997 LS400 and 2009 Lexus RX350, my 4Runner feels more power and stamina(Not to say those 2 vehicles are inferior but it's just a personal driving preference). Took the family to many trips including Panama City and taken to Vegas and Los Angeles recently, no problem. Overall, beside the regular maintenance, did not have any issue, omitting the error code for O2 sensor which happens to be MAF failure. Highly recommended. Car still drives like it was purchased 5 years ago. One notice, paint job is a bit thin can be easily chipped on highway. Paint job on a 2000 Avalon is much more solid and thicker. Then again, this car is 9 years old and everything still looks great."

95,000 trouble free miles so far!

By on Friday, March 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

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
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Reliable, Safe, Stable"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

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

"I normally keep a car 4 to 5 years. This vehicle I will keep as long as it is still trouble free. It does everything well. Comfortable on the highway, solid and safe in snow or mud and easy to maneuver in the city. The selectable 4 wheel drive is so handy and convenient with shift on the fly. I have the sport version and the seats are a comfortable as many higher end vehicles I have driven. It is a little high for short drivers. The only thing that has failed in 95,000 was 1 coil pack. It was easy to repair and not real expensive. I wish Toyota had not changed the body style. I do not like the newer, larger 4 runner and would not consider one to replace this one. I have the V-6 and it has plenty of power and gets 18 mpg in combined driving( Exactly what the sticker said)"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

I love this car but think it is time for a new one

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,285

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
10/10

Pros: "dependable, comfortable, and stable."

Cons: "Needs to have the rear floor heater like the 2002."

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

"I have owned 4-Runners for the past 24 years. In that time I have owned 4 of them. The 3rd one I sold to my sister and she says it is her favorite car of all time. My next car is also going to be a 4-Runner.....obviously I love them and have never had any trouble with them. I live in the country and drive on gravel and being in Minnesota, I drive through snow and ice. This car is the best!!!!!"

I drove, played with this SUV for 7 years.

By on Friday, March 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great on the highway and the national parks"

Cons: "Sorry no cons"

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

"I hate to let it go. It is like the day I bought it only better. I swear it got better w age. The paint is richer. Yes I buff and wax. The engine is flawless. I am lucky my son wanted to buy it, leaving me free to buy a new 4-runner. It is part of the family. The reason I rated over all 9.5 is because I like the sport ; but I like the options on the limited. So I did without heated seats and nav. I improvised."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?