While almost every other midsized SUV had moved to car-based construction, the 4Runner remained an old-school, body-on-frame SUV, which was great for off-roading but not much else. The ride is unsettled and handling is mediocre at best. Limited trim versions have a sport suspension package with somewhat better control, but a stiffer ride. Off-road is where the 4Runner excels.
Alerts
There are 10 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.
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.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
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.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

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
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
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
2019
2020
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

While almost every other midsized SUV had moved to car-based construction, the 4Runner remained an old-school, body-on-frame SUV, which was great for off-roading but not much else. The ride is unsettled and handling is mediocre at best. Limited trim versions have a sport suspension package with somewhat better control, but a stiffer ride.

Off-road is where the 4Runner excels. Ground clearance is generous and underbody skid plates are standard. The four-wheel-drive system includes a low range for tough off-road duty, but the system is part-time only. Automatic four-wheel drive is available only in the top-level Limited trim.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

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 (270 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 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

Antilock system (ABS)

"Loss of control when applying brakes and going over bumpy pavement"

Clay N., TN (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"it is activated too easily"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Calipers

"Front calipers have not worked properly since the vehicle was new. This has become clearly apparent after having them replaced. Upon assessment my mechanic found that 2 pistons on both sides of the car were not operational. The only pads contacting the rotor were the inside pads on both driver and passenger side. Braking has always been an issue with very long pedal travel and high effort to stop. It took a lomg time to get used to these brakes after buying the vehicle, and now with new componen"

Anonymous, CO (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Drivers side rear caliper seized up and was making a grinding noise. Vehicle was still drivable, but very noisy."

Anonymous, (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Rear calipers seized. Requiring replacement of both rear calipers, rotors, and pads."

Adam L., BC (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"calipers froze up due to corrosion resulting in premature brake pad wear. This problem has been common to all of my Toyotas, (3 Camrys and 4 4-runners) sometimes resulting in rotor damage and replacement. The slide pins that the pads run on become corroded and the pads do not release."

Daniel S., WI (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"brake pedal travels too far before braking occurs"

Anonymous, WY (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Brakes were fading with poor stopping performance at 74,000 miles. I was expecting better but was normal."

Anonymous, MN (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"Normal brake wear. Was informed during routine service. Used the vehicle to tow a RV, which impacts rear brakes"

Anonymous, NC (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"replaced pads and rotors at 60000 miles"

Gary P., SC (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Premature brake wear

"Rear brakes are always a problem. I have replaced the rear pads twice as many times as the fronts. I am on my third set of rear rotors and second fronts"

Anonymous, CO (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"LOW MILAGE HAD TO COMPLETELY REPLACE"

Carl B., NY (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"Brake wore out faster than normal"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Regular brake failure

"Worst brakes on any vehicle I have ever owned/driven. After driving highway in hot whether for some time, the free play of brake pedal will go nearly to floor when braking. Had into dealer more than once, but can't find problem. Say it is normal! Bullshit!!! Wife will not drive this car."

Curtis N., OH (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Rotors

"Rotors were warped at less than 30K, had to be resurfaced"

Leland H., CA (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"I had my tires rotated by a different non-Toyota service center , they torqued the lug nut down so tight that it warped my rotors. I consequently needed to replace the rotors"

Gary P., SC (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 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

Electronic or air suspension

"Replaced shocks and pumps attracted toSuspension system"

Anonymous, (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Power steering leaks

"Mild fluid leak secondary to leaking gasket"

J G., CO (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"worn out at 70k miles"

Anonymous, WY (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"The limited addition comes with a sophisticated suspension system that changes the hydraulic pressure to the struts in a turn. As the vehicle gets older the struts tend to leak and need to be replaced. I have had to replace them twice and it is expensive"

Anonymous, IL (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"3 of 4 are leaking and need replaced"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"Both front struts and one rear shock started leaking at 118000 miles"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"worn out"

Anonymous, WY (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"This vehicle has a special hydraulic shock absorber system that frequently fails. Mine failed (leaked) and decided to replace with a quality Bilstein system for significantly less money as the factory shock system was out of warranty."

Anonymous, TX (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"XREAS system had to be replaced. It was leaking."

Evangelos S., VA (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Wheel bearings

"100,000 miles, wheelbearings needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, IL (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Trim is plastic. Trim around lock of back door sits away from car body. Brush from an automatic car wash caught in that space, and pulled the trim off, breaking the plastic attachments. (Also, almost all the plastic chrome-like trim developed pits and discoloration early on, and Toyota does not feel that is a defect, though I do.)"

J G., CO (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"Rear OEM mud flaps then after accident rear bumper cover, fixed at TOtyota dealer"

Hugh W., MA (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Window belt molding all deteriorated and dry rotted so badly they all had to be replaced."

Anonymous, NC (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"paint chipping on hood"

Syed H., CA (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"Paint is very thin, scratches easily. Vehicle has extensive scratches"

Leland H., CA (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Although this car has over 95,000 miles, there have been driven under moderate road and weather conditions. However, the quality of paint on the front and hood of the vehicle is severely pitted"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Hood paint has been chipping and flaking off badly. It will have to be repainted in the next year."

Anonymous, NC (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"paint is peeling on the hood"

Joyce M., FL (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Rust

"Front door seam (inside)"

Anonymous, MI (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"windshield has minor water leak"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Moon roof drains continually plug up. The Toyota service blows them out for a fee, but that does not completely clean out all the debris s so they plug up again within a few months"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"rubber strips at bottom of windows on door and rear tailgate has torn completely across window"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"Squeaks coming from rear wind deflector above rear door. Dealer lubricates and squeak disappears for about a year. then reoccurs. Cost min $100 to stop noise"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Sqeaks coming from tailgate, quarter panels and rear window deflector. this is a repeat of a problem that occurred several years in 2015 or 16. It was repaired but has come back."

Anonymous, TX (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Wind noise

"get wind and road noise"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 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

Display screen goes blank

"Display screen on backup camera occasionally goes blank. Dealer unable to replicate and therefore fix the problem"

Anonymous, AZ (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"The bluetooth microphone has gone out twice and costs $600 to fix. Toyota does not warranty"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"poor voice quality using bluetooth"

Anonymous, NJ (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"The bluetooth function has not worked since I purchased the car. I have tried to trouble shoot myself . Plan on having Toyota dealer take a look at it"

Dwayne K., FL (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Radio

"Original equipment sirius xm radio stopped receiving. Advised that antennae likely rusted/broke"

Anonymous, NH (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"Sirius XM antenna failed. Cost to repair exceeds $500 at the dealership. Not covered under existing warranty"

Anonymous, AZ (2011 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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"In-the-mirror turn signal failure"

Anonymous, WY (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Left brake light was inop. The bulb was ok. The entire left rear light module (brake, turn, reverse, tail light) bad to be replaced. Way more expensive than a bulb. I traced the problem myself and my mechanic (independent) whom I trust, agreed."

Anonymous, TX (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Keyless entry

"Had to replace two of the four door locking mechanisms, in one month"

Jeff C., AL (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Recall"

Joel M., NC (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"the recall of the Takata airbags."

Daniel S., WI (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Pipes

"LOW MILEAGE< HAD TO COMPLETELY REPLACE"

Carl B., NY (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 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

Glass defects

"Not only on this Toyota vehicle, but also on the past Honda Odyssey 2008 and the newer 2014 model the windshield glass is very inferior to a previous 1999 Odyssey I owned in that these newer windshields tend to pit from moderate driving conditions"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Locks and latches

"Toyota has an issue with door handles cracking in Florida and will not cover this. Numerous customers have this issue with Toyota vehicles in Florida. They call it environmental which is BS"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 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

Gear selector or linkage

"Shifter handle froze. Unable to shift"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"PArk neutral safety switch replaced twice (3 switches total) at cost of $700 ea. Caused hard shifting and at times would not get into gear at all, and transmission slipping out of gear on highway - creating a dangerous situation. Dealer claimed it was not not a manufacturing defect!!!"

Anonymous, (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 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

Driveline vibration

"The car gives a slight jerk when starting to drive after coming to a stop after application of brakes as if someone bumped into the car from behind"

Syed H., CA (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Electrical failure

"4 wheel low moduel was installed with bent pin, didnt work. OEM"

Hugh W., MA (2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Transmission had to be replaced with rebuilt unit at 80,000 miles. Toyota normally has extremely reliable transmissions so this was very unexpected."

Anonymous, MN (2011 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

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

Engine Major

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

Engine Minor

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

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.

Climate System

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

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