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.
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).
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 2018 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

Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Using iphoneX there is an echo on the receiver side of the call making it very difficult to communicate"

John M., NV (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Phone and Entune system do not pair well often causing display to reboot. Through my research I discovered it is a known problem although my dealer was not aware. They replaced the system thinking it would resolve the problem, but it did not. The only way to solve it is to not sync my contacts with my stereo system."

Anonymous, AZ (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Electronics are very outdated"

Anonymous, (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"The apple phone can not be used with the radio/bluetooth system installed in the Toyota 4runner"

Anonymous, FL (2018 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"It forgets or does not communicate with a phone sometimes."

Anonymous, OR (2018 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"when the phone is used, the communicating to the vehicle, not in the vehicle, receives an echo on their phone to the point it is not doable in the hands free mode."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Radio

"It completely stopped working. It wouldn't turn on at all.. rendering navigation inoperable as well as the screen for the back up camera."

Anonymous, AZ (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Routine software updates

"Update took most of day while waiting at the dealership."

Anonymous, (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Software update fixes

"Toyota dealer has not been able to fix the software issue causing the phone echo problem mentioned earlier."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"The software doesn't resolved the issue with the phone"

Anonymous, FL (2018 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)
Speakers

"When a paired phone makes or receives a call and uses the vehicle's speakers, the incoming audio portion sounds for all the world like two children talking via tin can telephone. It's horrible to the point that it's unusable. My wife has a 6-year-old (Toyota) Venza with the same basic audio system and hers works perfectly. The dealer said it's a known problem with this series 4Runners. He tried software updates (the system was up to date), deleting the phone from the vehicle and the vehicle from the phone and then re-pairing to no avail. I've owned a 4Runner previously, my son has owned three of them (and currently owns one), but this one is putting a real damper on my previous enthusiasm for the marque. I feel the underlying problem is Toyota building these to an unrealistic price point, e.g., 4WD is an option on most of the trim lines. How do you call it a 4Runner without 4WD?! The Entune system in general is horrible in that it's totally non-intuitive and function limited. I can rent any car with an Apple Carplay system and in three minutes feel like I've owned the car 3 years. I've owned this one almost 8 months and still have no use for the infotainment system. Another example is the back-up camera. It displays on a very small screen with not nearly the clarity of newer and/or larger screens, and the guide lines don't move with the steering wheel inputs! Ten years ago, that would have been okay. Today, there's no excuse for it, other than the unrealistic price point. My previous 4Runner was a 1997. The window sticker was about $30k, the window sticker on this one was about $40k. This is a much more capable vehicle in almost every regard and I'm sure it will be as reliable as everything else Toyota builds, but there needs to be a trim line available which addresses a boatload of shortcomings which have no real excuse for being there. Background: I've owned Toyotas continuously for 40 years and this is not my first 4Runner."

John H., DC (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Speakers had to be replaced due to distorted sound."

Anonymous, AZ (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Left front speaker came loose from bracket. Dealership replaced under warranty."

Anonymous, (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)
Voice control commands

"the system does not follow what I say. I will ask to call Granny, it brings up Sharon as an example."

Anonymous, OR (2018 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

"Rear hatch leaks dust into the cabin bottom right and left corners"

D T., NV (2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD 4.0-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"The front seat had to be totally replaced because of squeaking while driving from natural weight shifting due to bumps and normal imperfections in the road. I also have gotten a lot of squeaking noise from the suspension after driving more than half an hour."

Anonymous, MA (2018 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"Fender liner, many trips to dealer to remedy."

Anonymous, CO (2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD 4.0-L V6)

"Squeak coming from the left front of the car. Only audible at lower speeds with the radio off, but very annoying. It took three visits to two dealers and a call to Toyota to finally get fixed. One dealer replaced the Kbss suspension bushings under warranty which did not solve the issue. After my call to Toyota I received a loaner and the dealer kept the car for two weeks and did two test drives with me to finally find the problem. One of the front headlights was making the noise, because of an issue with the seal. Fixed and not a problem since."

Anonymous, CO (2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD 4.0-L V6)
Wind noise

"What I perceive to be excessive wind and road noise every time I drive on the highway Has been like this since I purchased it"

Anonymous, (2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD 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

Alignment

"Vehicle drifts more than expected. Dealer says alignment, not warrentied. Aligned 3 times since new. Better but never really right."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4.0-L V6)

"Told alignment was correct . Vehicle wanders all over road ! was told was normal by service manager !"

D T., NV (2018 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

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"The dealer charged me $1995 for a protection package ( they do this for all new cars ; you have an option to reject ) This is an add on package to increase the dealers profit. This package provides nitrogen in all tires, 1 new key replacement within the first 3 years and protective coating applied to the paint. After about 2 years there were several spots on the hood where the paint developed faded rough spots that couldn't be waxed or detailed out. It was a major fight with the dealer because they said they do not sell such a package. They did change their mind when I took them out to their showroom and pointed out the charge that was present on every vehicle new car sticker on their lot. They did repaint my hood but refused to reapply the protective coating. they gave me a kit from Permaplate and said that I could reapply it myself."

Anonymous, (2018 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

"I hit a deer and had to have the right front repaired. Body man says paint is extremely soft and thin. Multiple chips in paint on front of hood, looks terrible. Anywhere you bump the paint, it leaves a mark."

Anonymous, NC (2018 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

"Engine /drive line stutters or shutters between 30 to 55 mph. Can not hold constant speed on interstates (55 to 70) , must constantly adjust pressure on gas peddle. Deal says Toyota knows about this problem but there is no fix. Toyota confirms. So I just bought a new SUV that runs like a '81 Doge Omni. I would like to talk to someone at CR about this, maybe an article in your magazine would help all 4runner/Tacoma owners."

Anonymous, PA (2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD 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)

"At low speeds 0-25 mph the system does not work, the wheels lockup and the vehicle slides. the dealer tells me this is normal."

Anonymous, ID (2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited 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

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"Alarm kept going off for no reason. It could be as little as 15 minutes between triggers up to 8 hours. Dealer fixed it under warranty. Problem turned out to be a bad hood latch."

Anonymous, NJ (2018 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4.0-L V6)

Exhaust

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

Engine Cooling

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

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.

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.

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 Minor

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

Climate System

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

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.

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