Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
The 4Runner remains a sound choice among midsized SUVs, especially with its available stability-control system. The pickup-truck ancestry is still apparent though in its jittery ride, tight cockpit, high floor and low roof. On the other hand, improved emergency handling and capable off-road ability do help offset those flaws.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
NA
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available; standard from 2001. ESC standard from 2001. Side and head protection air bags available from 2003, standard from 2008.
Road Test

The 4Runner remains a sound choice among midsized SUVs, especially with its available stability-control system. The pickup-truck ancestry is still apparent though in its jittery ride, tight cockpit, high floor and low roof. On the other hand, improved emergency handling and capable off-road ability do help offset those flaws.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.4-liter V6 (183 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2002 Toyota 4Runner owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“charcoal canaster”

Sam P., IL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Despite having replaced the Evaporative Container devise on my vehicle TWICE....at a cost of almost $600 per event, I still have three dashboard lights that remain permanently lit...telling me it's time to get yet another Evaporative Container. Toyo”

Anonymous, IN (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“Catalytic converter”

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“For the third time since original purchase, this vehicle required a new Evaporative Emissions Charcoal Canister...at a cost of over $400”

Anonymous, IN (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“Front Catalytic Converter”

Tom T., VA (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“Had to replace the catalytic converter -which with 160,000 miles is not unreasonable”

Eddie C., TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“Fuel tank cap gasket was cracked from 12 years age”

Mike F., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Fuel pump

“Fuel filter was plugged. Replacement allowed passing CA Smog”

Mike F., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“Check engine light went on”

Stephen W., NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“The engine light came on, as soon as I replaced the O2 SENSORS, the light went off, then the engine light came back on again, this time it was a fuel sensor that needed to be replaced”

Claude C., WI (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“it still not fit”

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“Needed to replace one”

Foley K., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“When replacing the catalytic converters, it is a common recommendation to also replace the O2 sensors, which I did”

Niel L., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“sensor was revealed with computer”

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“just needed new brake pads for front end, nothing out of the ordinary, wear was good, possibly exacerbated by rotors”

Anonymous, WA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“At about 236,000 miles the brake caliper kept the pad against the rotor and all parts needed to be replaced. This is only the second set of front brakes on this vehicle”

Mary H., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Premature brake wear

“Brakes continue to have problems with premature wear and giving vibration upon braking. It has been to the shop several times and they claim they've fixed it, but it has continued for years, even with new brakes (pads, rotors). Dealer shop problem?”

William M., CO (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Had the brakes redone at a shop and then had to have them redone in less than 3 months”

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Rotors

“The vehicle developed an extreme vibration under breaking, happened suddenly, rotors had to be turned and ground”

Anonymous, WA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“This is the first set of front rotors needed to be replaced”

Mary H., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Braking system in general requires excessive pedal force. The rotors in particular overheated and warped repeatedly. I upgraded to larger tundra brake parts with better success but still not up to typical Toyota performance standards”

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Warped”

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“New rotors installed by dealer 60000 miles ago are warped and vibrate considerably when braking. Had rotors resurfaced, which was a temporary fix. I don't believe that these are genuine Toyota parts, but cheaper aftermarket parts installed by the Toy”

Jeffrey L., WI (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Brakes are undersized which causes over heating leading to warped rotors. I'm on my 4th set in 230k miles”

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

“Plastic trim coming loose. Latch for sun visor breaks multiple times”

Anonymous, IA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“weather stripping came loose”

John F., IL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“rubber molding on passenger and driver side, that is attached to door frame, seems to have schrunken, and is partially detached from door frame”

Gerald M., NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Rust

“Under body rust, trailer hitch rust, replaced bumper, gas tank shield oil pan shield, all do to under body rust. I can not tow with the hitch safety issue. I filed a complain with NASTA, never received a reply”

Anonymous, NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Had to replace rear bumper”

Stephen W., NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Rust bubbles on door sills. Rust on frame and undercarriage, not currently structural. Rust on factory trailer hitch”

Anonymous, IA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“chassis frame is rusting through in many places. shield over gas tank is almost rusted away. mechanic says both need to be repaired. rear bumper is rusting through. It was replaced once already”

Carl B., NJ (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“rear bumper completely rusted thru (not used for towing or in salt water) I replaced rear bumper”

Gerald M., NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“This car appearantly is famous for a Rusty Bumper, both front and back. Everytime I see this year on the road, the bumpers are rusting. There is a hole rusting through the front one and the back. I had the back one replaced a few years ago because i”

Anonymous, CT (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

“Normal wear”

Anonymous, HI (2002 Toyota 4Runner Unsure 3.4-L V6)
Ball joints

“Warranty work from National Recall for Toyota”

Paul V., HI (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Bushings

“was causing steering to wander. Replaced for $250”

David S., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Shocks or struts

“The shocks and struts finally needed replacing after 100,000+ miles”

Andy W., IA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“The rack and pinion had to be replaced due to rusting out and thus leaking”

Anonymous, ME (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Tie rods

“Normally worn out”

Anonymous, HI (2002 Toyota 4Runner Unsure 3.4-L V6)
Power steering leaks

“Leaking on ground . Trouble steering”

Gary V., PA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

“Engine light come on and off, Now having trouble with the state inspection”

Anonymous, NY (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Got OBD error 0420 indicating catalytic converters were bad. The car has two and the recommendation is to replace the O2 sensors (2) as well. I bought California CARB approved replacements on the Internet and put them in. With the exception of one ba”

Niel L., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“I had the engine light and two other lights come on the dash. The error code was 402 which is the cat efficiency was below 95%. Toyota wanted $4100 to repair the cat problem. You tube said to replace the spark plugs, do an engine cleaning, replace engine air filter and ONLY use top tier gas, I had it all done at VIP auto, And the problem has been cleared for two months”

Anonymous, ME (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Had to replace it”

Anonymous, MO (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“rust”

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“loose and rattless”

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

“Engine oil leaks. Not work fixing, but it does leak a lot”

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Valve cover seal has developed a leak which got noticeably worse after the last oil change I got at the dealer”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Had to replace the valve cover gaskets -which for 160,000 miles maybe reasonable”

Eddie C., TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“The valve cover gaskets hardened to the point that they allowed oil to ooze down the sides of the engine. A new gasket set fixed the minor problem”

Brad M., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Engine computer

“Ever since ethanol has been added to the gas back in 2009 or 2010 the check engine light has been on along with 2 other lights. When I had my mechanic take a look he wanted $75 to disconnect the sensor. I refused and have been driving it with the engine lights on ever since”

Derek B., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

“The head has had the gasket replaced multiple times. Now I may need to get a short block as the whole engine is suffering from the vacuum leaks”

Hal R., CO (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“head gasket needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“They needed replacement. Cost including labor was about $400.00 in May of 2017”

Derek B., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Scheduled timing belt replacement

“Normal service requirement based on mileage”

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Timing belt or chain

“Changed due to excessive mileage and poor fuel economy”

Richard B., OR (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

“Weather stripping on doors wears permaturely”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“door weatherstrips have shrunk, creates wind noise when driving”

Michael C., CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“I have a loud rattle in the left rear side which only occurs at idle with the transmission in fwd or reverse. Once the car starts moving the noise stops (not just "not noticeable")”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Wind noise

“air coming thru door seals”

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

“tailgate oor lock broke”

John F., IL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)
Seat belts

“Driver side seat belt retractor does not work and so the belt ends up getting slammed in the door upon exit of the car”

William M., CO (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Seat belts are the Achilles heel of Toyota 4-Runners. On this one the front ones have not consisently fully retracted for years. The metal tongue frequently rests in the bottom of the door frame and gets hit by the closing door. Most annoying”

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“Tranmission was slipping and grinding as it went into overdrive (4th gear). Required removal and replacement of transmission”

Surya F., UT (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“Gears slipping needed new transmission”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“3000 rebild”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

“When playing a CD, it periodically skips. At first I thought the CD was bad, but it does it on all CDs even new ones, even when the car is sitting still. So it's not being bumped or bounced”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

“stuck CD's”

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)
Radio

“The automatic antenna quit working. Does not extend up or down”

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

“Despite my 4Runner being in truly showroom condition...with NO rust whatsoever, my rear axle rusted to the point that its mounting rusted through, mandating an entirely new axle be mounted at a cost of almost $4,000. This vehicle is in mint conditio”

Anonymous, IN (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

“When I took the car to the dealer for an oil change they discovered the axel seal on the right rear wheel was leaking”

Peter T., FL (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Water pump

“water pump failed ,it was replaced 3yrs ago”

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota 4Runner Limited 3.4-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Clock

“Power rear window wasn't working, had a switch replaced and now the clock isn't working”

Anonymous, MT (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Coil

“Complete failure of 1 of the 3 coils. This caused extremely poor performance (only 4 of 6 cylinders could fire), reduced gas mileage (~30%), and catalytic converter failure”

Hal-Audrey R., CO (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“Noisy - screeching. Still not fixed, but continues to work”

Paul V., HI (2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 3.4-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Change Vehicle