Product Reviews

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The 4Runner is among the best off-road-ready SUVs in this price range. Despite retaining a body-on-frame construction, the 4Runner rides better than some car-based SUVs. While its cabin is very roomy and quiet, the 4Runner doesn't provide the nimble, carlike handling of car-based models. Still, it is sound and secure. Side- and curtain-airbags are standard.
Alerts
There are 5 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 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.
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 is among the best off-road-ready SUVs in this price range. Despite retaining a body-on-frame construction, the 4Runner rides better than some car-based SUVs. While its cabin is very roomy and quiet, the 4Runner doesn't provide the nimble, carlike handling of car-based models. Still, it is sound and secure. Side- and curtain-airbags are standard.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
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
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 4-liter V6 (236 hp)
  • 4.7-liter V8 (260 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2008 Toyota 4Runner owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Calipers

“changed during routine brake service”

Ely T., IL (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“The brake calipers on this 4Runner are 4 piston and were VERY expensive to replace! Not sure why this vehicle came with 4 piston calipers? Seems like overkill to me”

Kevin K., OH (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)

“When replacing brake pads, did not notice loose calipers”

Jim W., TN (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Pistons in other front calipers we either frozen or very stiff. Of the 8 pistons in the two calipers, 5 we're having serious issues. I replace both. The job was easy and less than $200 for both but if I'd had the dealer or garage perform the work, i”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“2 out of 4 pistons were jamed on each front whells”

Anonymous, QC (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“replaced them a number of times, front may be heavy due to V8”

Mark D., MA (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Rotors

“serviced during routine brake service”

Ely T., IL (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“At 129000 miles it was time to have the rotors, calipers, discs, shoes, etc. changed to new ones”

Anonymous, LA (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Master cylinder

“Master cylinder kept trying to up pressure making a funny noise all the time while driving. Replaced with used one from California as CA didn,t have any and problem was solved. No dealers CA or US had this problem”

James B., ON (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Pads we're replaced and the wear was reasonable for the milage”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“premature brake disc wear”

Matthew L., NY (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“I had the brakes fixed 2 times and there are still problems with them. I took them to a reputable repair shop which is why it makes me mad”

Ann N., WI (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“On having my winter tires removed it was brought to my attention that I needed new brakes. This was after 100,000 kms. This seemed quite normal to me. I have been VERY pleased with my 4Runner. (I use it to tow my 19 foot Airstream.)”

Wallace H., BC (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Glazing on brakes in first 18 months. Not covered by warrantee”

Anonymous, NC (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-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

“1st wheel alignment. Took multiple trips back to Toyota dealer to realign because continued to pull left or right. Finally settled on least pulling alignment”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“The car has needed 2 alignments in 48,000 which seems excessive”

Anonymous, NM (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“The shock absorbers leak. Toyota does not allow one or two to be replaced. All must be replaced and the fluid lines as well. Cost: $3000.00+”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“The struts are starting to leak. They will need replacing soon if they continue to leak for a cost of $900”

Anonymous, NM (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“leaks in system required replacement with new system”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“The back shocks were shot after 37,000 miles”

Lundy S., NH (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.7-L V8)

“strut rubbers were torn”

Anonymous, ID (2008 Toyota 4Runner Unsure 4.0-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“Power steering rack leaks. Cost of repair $2800”

Anonymous, CO (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“Steering rack had to be replaced. Still under extended warranty but very costly repair”

Dale H., OH (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“excessive noise at highway speed. Had to replace for one wheel. Initially hard for Toyota maintenance dept to diagnose problem”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Electronic or air suspension

“Indicator lights always coming on”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-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

Doors or sliding doors

“Back door opener needed the switch replaced”

Anonymous, AL (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“Rear door handle cover became soft and mushy. Had to replace entire handle assembly. It seemed that only the rubber covering was the problem. Much more expensive to fix than expected”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Sunroof

“sunroof control does not work consistently. Iy does not respond or work at times”

Dusty H., AL (2008 Toyota 4Runner Unsure 4.0-L V6)

“The sunroof is very nice, however, the seal on the sunroof became lose and won't stay on in one corner. After we use the sunroof, we then have to close it and put the rubber seal back where it belongs”

Melissa C., PA (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“The rubber for the rear latch deteriorated and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, NC (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“trim dry rotted and came off the rear window”

Dusty H., AL (2008 Toyota 4Runner Unsure 4.0-L V6)

“Rubber cover on tailgate virtually melted into lumpy mesh. Must manipulate to use auto lift/open. Afraid rubber will fall off. No repair and very expensive to replace as entire mechanism involved”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“The tailgate rusted from the inside to the outside and had to be completely replaced”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-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

Backup or other camera/sensors

“Works intermittently”

Rocco V., WI (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)
Display screen difficult to see

“Backlighting out for time/mileage display and unable to see it at night”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Intermittent loss of use . POS!”

Norman D., AZ (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“They have replaced before. What a POS!”

Norman D., AZ (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Radio

“The radio unit (whether on radio, CD player or Aux) will randomly change from one of the above options to another or change radio stations randomly. The thing is possessed. :)”

Anonymous, OR (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Speakers

“2 rear and 2 front Speakers were blown when purchased (used) and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
CD player

“CDs would not eject”

Thomas P., NV (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)

“The CD player stops and comes on intermittently”

Robert T., BC (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-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

“Rear axle seal leak”

Anonymous, CT (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“The electronic transfer case failed at roughly 74000 miles. I had an extended warranty that covered the repair however, my issues are that it failed at all at 74k miles and that if I had not taken the extended warranty it would have cost me over 3000 dollars to fix”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“4WD transfer case. THe component that puts the vehicle in 4WD. Cost to repair $3500.00”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“will not shift into 4 wheel drive low range”

Anonymous, KS (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“4wd would not work - had actuator replaced and transfer case rebuilt”

Anonymous, MS (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Failure to engage the 4wheel Drive . A new redesigned and upgraded 4WD was installed at no expense to me by Toyota Corp . Works perfect now !!!”

Richard R., IA (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Transfer case

“Will not shift in 4wd or 4wd low any more. Dealer not helpful”

Anonymous, KS (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

“Bubbling of finish on wheel rims. Interior seat tearing”

Anonymous, NC (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“Paint fails in small spots under the top clear coat, or top clear coat fails in small spots that get full sun exposure”

Allan M., FL (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“The paint on the 4Runner is rusting and fading plus the alloy wheels paint has all bubbled up and cracked off. A friend of mine has the same year and the same paint and rust problems”

Melissa C., PA (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)
Rust

“Significant rust has occurred around the back window, tail gate, and door handles”

Anonymous, VT (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

“slight rust near tailgate window”

Steve L., MN (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“Many rock chips begin rusting”

Anonymous, AB (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“The tailgate rusted from the inside”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-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

12V power plug

“Blows the fuse frequently”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Headlights

“Never have been able to get the daylight running lights to work since purchase of car”

James R., AZ (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“electrical wiring short”

Anonymous, GA (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“Both front turn signal bulbs went out. Both were easily replaced by the vehicle owner”

Anonymous, TN (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“electrical wiring short”

Anonymous, GA (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Power door locks quite working, back hatch latch quit working”

Debra S., UT (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Warning lights for anti lock braking system stay on. Seal on back rear tire leaked and cost several hundred dollars to repair”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

“Was not cooling”

Anonymous, HI (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Last year, 2014, I experienced an Air Conditioning failure. This was satisfactory fixed by a do it yourself recharge can of Air Conditioning -fluid, gas. This past month, April 2015, the evaporator coil experienced a major leak requiring the dash t”

Gary S., VA (2008 Toyota 4Runner Unsure 4.0-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

“Low refrigerant, was topped off and has been fine for the past 4000 miles”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Radiator was replaced”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“Refrigerant reservoir needs to be replaced”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.7-L V8)

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

Fuel pump

“4runner stopped working. Dealer said it was the fuel pump. dealer charged me to change the fuel pump but did not actually change it. The fact that the fuel pump was not changed was confirmed by another Toyota dealer”

Herman W., TX (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

“leaked. Had to change it. Labour was 2 to 3 times cost of the part”

Anonymous, MB (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Fuel cap

“Had to replace Fuel Cap twice since I've owned the vehicle. An engine warning light is traced back to the fuel cap”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Water pump

“The dealer reported that the water pump was leaking when I brought the vehicle in for routine maintenance. I had them replace the pump, but they did not install a gasket properly and so I had to have the gasket replaced later”

Anders S., NV (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

“water pump leaking at 36158 miles”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.7-L V8)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

“Funny noises while backing up, Toyota mechanics cant' find anything wrong”

Anonymous, YT (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Wind noise

“it's a loud vehilcle”

Anonymous, YT (2008 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

“Poor down shifting under light acceleration in the 900-1,200 rpm range”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Slipping transmission

“I began to experience a chattering shift from 4th gear to overdrive at low speed only. Example slowly accelerating in heavy traffic. This overdrive shift occurs at about 35-40 mph. Faster acceleration this did not occur. Dealer did computer analys”

Gary S., VA (2008 Toyota 4Runner Unsure 4.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

“does not always happen but it is relayed to lock out”

Anonymous, PA (2008 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4.0-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

“rusted welded hanging bracket caused hole in exhaust pipe”

Anonymous, CT (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Head gasket

“The oil in the engine is like putty. The dealer says is condesation”

Anonymous, MI (2008 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

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

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