While almost every other midsized SUV has moved to car-based construction, the 4Runner remains an old-school, body-on-frame SUV, good for off-roading but not much else. The ride is unsettled and handling is mediocre at best; Limited trim versions have a sports suspension 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.
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.
Emissions
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).
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).

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 has moved to car-based construction, the 4Runner remains an old-school, body-on-frame SUV, good for off-roading but not much else. The ride is unsettled and handling is mediocre at best; Limited trim versions have a sports suspension 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; an automatic system 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 2017 Toyota 4Runner owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

"After starting car, in about 5 min screen would go blank. Did not affect the ability to drive. Dealer suggested to replace in dash unit but problem seemed to clear itself after last scheduled service"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"It got lost. Software was not updated. Hope it is fixed"

Ronald H., NC (2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Half of the time, the car does not automatically connect to my phone. I took the car to the dealership because I thought I was not setting it up correctly. The service person walked me through the process, which was exactly what I had done and was told that some people have problems with the system."

Anonymous, MO (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Entente system not working properly with my iPhone."

Joseph M., IL (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Software update fixes

"I just wish they did software fixes when the car is in for an oil change"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Voice control commands

"The voice control software is not good. Sometime I have to speak like I'm talking to my 2 year old."

David O., CO (2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"Toyota has the worst voice command/ navigation system I have encountered in a car. I had a Ford vehicle prior to this one and it was easy to learn and functioned intuitively and reliably. It takes several tries to get the voice commands to do what you ask, if they do them at all. And Blue Tooth connections are frequently dropped."

Anonymous, MO (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Every voice command given gets the response "I don't understand what you're asking. Try again." Every single time. It's never worked."

Anonymous, (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Had 2016 SR5 4WD, same brake problem, noise when press the brake, dealer has to changed the Master cylinder to make noise go away. Traded in for 2017 TRD, after hard brake once on the road, brake starts getting noise, grind noise every time press the brake. people say worn pads and rotor causing it. I am not so sure since it still has low mileage."

Yinghao L., NC (2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD 4.0-L V6)
Calipers

"Front calipers partially seized due to corrosion at 48,000 km. Had to replace all the rotors, the front calipers, plus all brake pads."

Anonymous, BC (2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD 4.0-L V6)
Parking brake

"Had to replace the parking brake pads at 48,000km, because they were cracked"

Anonymous, BC (2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD 4.0-L V6)
Pulsation or vibration

"Rotors needed to be machined. I felt that it was too early considering the age of the vehicle and the mileage driven."

F R., MI (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Rotors

"Pulsations required machining of the rotors much earlier than expected."

F R., MI (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 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

Shocks or struts

"Replacement under warranty"

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"The factory shocks failed and were replaced in November. This week it sounds like the shocks failed again. Appointment on Friday for diagnostics."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD 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

Keyless entry

"The vehicle is not supposed to be able to be locked with the keys inside and not in the ignition. At home, we normally take the key out and put in the cup holder in our private fenced yard on 30 acres. This vehicle decides to lock itself with the keys inside. You cannot stick a hanger down to push the unlock button because the keys are inside. It won't unlock. A locksmith has to be called. The fob also decides when it's going to work and not work. Often I have to lock it with the key from the outside. Sometimes it sets the alarm. Other times it does not. Just like the 12v and USB ports. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. Also, the Bluetooth connection. Sometimes it connects and sometimes it just disconnects and refuses to connect. It's like a tin can. The slightest pressure makes an ugly dent."

Anonymous, (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

"Rear window wiper would not retract completely. Apparently the assembly had serious corrosion problems. Unit was replaced under warranty."

Anonymous, BC (2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD 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

"Front left bumper panel pops out. Seems to be a problem with newer model 4 Runners."

Anonymous, NC (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Front left bumper molding came loose from clips. Bangs back in but comes loose after driving."

Anonymous, NC (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 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

Differential

"The 4Runner and Tacomas have a known problem with the needle bearing in the front differential during cold weather until the engine gets up to operating temperature. There's a rhythmic grinding noise/vibration between 37-43mph. Toyota has replaced the entire differential once and the problem occurred again within 2-3 weeks. There is an aftermarket fix out there through East Coast Gear Supply. Toyota acknowledges this problem with the Tacomas but not the 4Runners, even though they share THE SAME DRIVETRAIN! Toyota's fix is to install a larger needle bearing which seems to do the trick after having spoken with a few Tacoma owners that have had this recall work done. Toyota will not perform this same procedure on my 4Runner because there isn't a recall for it. So, I'm left to use the aftermarket solution. Seriously....go google search East Coast Gear Supply and then look up Toyota needle bearing replacement. You'd be SHOCKED at how many people have had this problem. Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE my 4Runner and I would still purchase it again if I had to."

Anonymous, IL (2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-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

Engine harness

"Took to dealer for service. Informed that an animal had chewed on electric harness. Repair was $500"

Anonymous, DC (2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 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

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Rear hatch seal was installed improperly. Replaced by dealer under warranty."

Anonymous, BC (2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD 4.0-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

Exhaust

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

Transmission Minor

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

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.

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.

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