Toyota 4Runner Best and Worst Years (Top Picks!)
In the year 1984, Toyota released the 4Runner on the market.
Since then, this SUV has grown in favor due to its excellent performance, adaptability, and robust appearance.
However, this car has had quite an exciting voyage like any other car. There have been successful and unsuccessful years.
Let’s compare the Toyota 4Runner’s finest and worst years.
VIDEO: 2019 Toyota 4Runner Review
Toyota 4Runner Best and Worst Years
According to numerous sites, the best Toyota 4Runner model years are 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2002, and 2001. The 4Runner model years 2011, 2010, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1998, and 1997 are the worst. The most popular 4Runner model is frequently thought to be the third-generation model, which was offered in the US from 1996 to 2002. It’s crucial to adhere to the suggested maintenance plan for a Toyota 4Runner, which calls for frequent oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. The longevity and dependability of the car will be increased with routine maintenance. Finally, you can haggle with the seller to get the Toyota 4Runner for the best available price.
Best Toyota 4Runner Years
The finest years will be covered first.
Toyota 4Runner 2017 (5th Generation)
Despite being a Toyota 4Runner that has been around for a while, it is still one of the finest. A 4.0-liter V6 motor with 270 horsepower powers this exceptional model. Even when you travel off-road, this will keep it exciting.
Additionally, this is a reliable car that you can feel at ease transporting your loved ones in, according to NHTSA safety ratings.
According to the results of the crash tests, you’d still be well protected in the event of a mishap.
The infotainment system in this vehicle is another plus.
The infotainment system had received a lot of criticism in the past, but the 2017 edition fixed every problem. In addition, Toyota revamped it, giving it a striking look, improving its responsiveness, and ensuring it was simple to operate.
Toyota 4Runner 2013 (5th Generation)
The 2013 Toyota 4Runner model fixed the issue with previous versions’ high fuel consumption. Because of this vehicle’s fuel efficiency, you won’t need to worry as much about rising fuel costs.
The off-road capability of this vehicle is another key selling feature. It is distinctive compared to its rivals with ease.
The car’s appearance was also changed, giving it a more robust and rugged appearance. Without question, Toyota succeeded in communicating that brand image to its customers.
A comfortable journey is another benefit of the 2013 model, which has easy-to-reach controls. While driving, you won’t have to fear having trouble connecting to Bluetooth.
Toyota 4Runner 2009 (4th Generation)
This type proves that the Toyota 4Runners of the fourth Generation were unquestionably more practical. In addition, it had a sportier appearance that made it perfect for off-road pursuits.
Additionally, even if you frequently travel on paved roads, you’ll still find this vehicle valuable and enjoyable.
Two engine choices are available for the 2009 model, both of which are still powerful.
You have a choice:
- The 4.7-liter V8 engine’s 265 hp
- Or the 4.0-liter V6 with 245 horsepower.
Toyota 4Runner 2006 (4th Generation)
This is the vehicle to buy if you’re searching for a dependable SUV that delights customers.
Toyota has addressed the rust issues and loud vibration noises that plagued earlier versions with this model.
The vehicle provides a smooth journey and has the excellent off-road ability. In addition, the SUV has a roomy interior thanks to its tall body, and even a tall individual would find the seats comfy.
Additionally, the internal design is quite attractive.
Toyota Runner 2000 (3rd Generation)
The 2000 model is considered to be among the finest. That’s because it underwent extensive remodeling and redesigning in response to criticism from the audience of the earlier versions.
Toyota first modified the gearbox. Customers were ecstatic to switch from a manual to an automated vehicle. And of all the models, this one requires minor upkeep.
You still have choices, even though the engine might not be as powerful as some of the models that followed.
Your options include the 3.4-liter V6 with 183 horsepower and the 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 150 horsepower.
You’ll still have a good time, a smooth journey, and spend less money with either.
Avoid Toyota 4Runner Years.
The worst Toyota 4Runner years are up next.
Toyota 4Runner 2015 (5th Generation)
The 2015 Toyota 4Runner has received the lowest ratings across the board. TheAgain, the infotainment device is the main problem.
It simply doesn’t function correctly.
Many customers complained that the sound system needs to be better, particularly given how difficult it is to connect via Bluetooth. In addition, every time you want to use the radio, your car needs to be restarted.
This might seem unimportant, but it can still be a pain.
When using the brakes on this type, drivers risk losing control of the vehicle. In addition, it can be challenging to recover control of the steering after it has become out of control.
Toyota 4Runner 2014 (5th Generation)
Many customers grumbled about numerous electrical problems with this model. For instance, your doors and music system can suddenly stop working.
Another problem with this model was that it might abandon you when you were halted at a stop sign. In addition, the entire operating system would malfunction, necessitating a call to a mechanic to rectify it.
Toyota 4Runner 2005 (4th Generation)
Rust was this model’s most significant flaw.
The problem would worsen, so the car’s body would age prematurely.
Additionally, the drivers of this model were nearly bankrupt by the costs of upkeep and repairs.
The head gasket was the other issue, making traveling uncomfortable for the drivers.
Toyota 4Runner 2003 (4th Generation)
This model, which was in its fourth Generation, had several issues, beginning with rust. In addition, driving in the cold was not recommended for this Toyota 4runner.
This is because the interior and external parts would rust from the salt used to melt the snow from the roads.
The lack of proper head restraints and seats increased the risk of severe injuries in the event of an accident. And even without an accident, body pain could still develop from extended travel periods.
Toyota 4Runner 1995 (2nd Generation)
Dissatisfaction accompanied the first few years of this vehicle’s introduction to the market.
Customers would voice complaints regarding various interior parts. For example, the cylinder gaskets would frequently fail. Additionally, even after fixes, the problem would return after a few weeks or months.
According to other drivers who claimed they periodically lost control of the steering wheel, this model is unreliable.
How Safe Is Toyota 4Runner?
The Toyota 4Runner is typically regarded as a secure automobile. The IIHS awarded the 2020 Toyota 4Runner its “Top Safety Pick” designation, only given to automobiles with particular headlamps.
The 2022 Toyota Tacoma SR Double Cab 4wd, comparable to the 4Runner, scored “Good” in the IIHS’s side impact test. But there have been problems with some 4Runner model years, like the 2015 model year’s navigation system.
Follow the suggested maintenance plan, which calls for frequent oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections to keep the car safe. You can also look up the Toyota 4Runner’s most dependable and secure years, which are 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2013, 2012, 2009, and 2002.
Reliability of Toyota 4Runner
The Toyota 4Runner is typically regarded as a dependable car. According to numerous sites, the best Toyota 4Runner model years are 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2002, and 2001.
But there have been problems with some 4Runner model years, like the 2015 model year’s navigation system. Therefore, the 2015 Toyota 4Runner should also be avoided, as should the 2003–2005 and 2001–2002 models.
In addition, following the suggested maintenance plan, which calls for regular oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections, is crucial for ensuring the car’s dependability.
The Toyota 4Runner is also known for its dependability, and Toyota creates durable drivetrains.
How to find the best deals on a Toyota 4Runner?
Start by looking for current offers and incentives on Toyota’s official website and online marketplaces like CarGurus to discover the best deals on a 4Runner.
The best Toyota 4Runner years in dependability and safety are 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2002, and 200, according to the study.
Additionally, it’s crucial to stay away from problematic model years like the 2015 Toyota 4Runner, as well as the 2003–2005 and 2001–2002 Toyota 4Runners.
Finally, you can haggle with the seller to get the Toyota 4Runner for the best available price.
Tips for maintaining your Toyota 4RUnner
A Toyota 4Runner must be maintained regularly to maintain its dependability and durability. The following advice will help you manage your Toyota 4Runner:
1. Adhere to the suggested maintenance plan, which calls for regular tire rotations, oil changes, and brake inspections.
2. Steer clear of problematic model years like the 2015 Toyota 4Runner, 2003–2005 Toyota 4Runners, and 2001–2002 Toyota 4Runners.
3. To ensure proper ventilation, routinely check and replace your air filters.
4. Continue to keep and grease the propeller shaft.
5. Refrain from jamming too much oil into the slip yoke.
6. Conduct research to determine which years—2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2002, and 2001—are the most reliable and safest for the Toyota 4Runner.
7. Bargain with the vendor to secure the finest deal for the Toyota 4Runner.
8. Press the z key while using a tool.
How Can You Tell Whether Something Is a Lemon?
Purchase a vehicle history report.
There is no better initial step when purchasing a used car than to obtain a car history report. Two well-known services offer this information for little money: Anyone looking to purchase a used car will find the information provided by CarFax and AutoCheck extremely helpful.
The reports let you know the number of past owners, whether or not it had any accidents, how frequently it required maintenance, and the current title.
The final section is among the most crucial since it contains the lemon label, which attests that the car followed the correct legal procedures to be designated as a lemon.
However, in some areas, dealers must inform a customer if the vehicle is a manufacturer buyback, which is a reliable way to determine whether a vehicle has a lemon title.
However, it is the responsibility of the buyer to conduct a thorough investigation into the vehicle’s history.
Therefore, consumers may need help if they accidentally purchase a secondhand lemon because they must inspect it first.
You can view the owner’s history on the vehicle history report, which should indicate whether the manufacturer has purchased the vehicle back.
While owners can claim a car is a lemon in a legal dispute and ask the automaker to buy back the problematic vehicle, that is a guaranteed technique to determine if the car was labeled a lemon.
You can also determine if the vehicle was sold or traded before it was given a lemon tag if the prior owner may have missed an issue. It also implies that the car’s persistent issue must be apparent.
Look carefully at the vehicle’s repair record and try to identify any recurring issues. Recurring problems in cars with lemon histories are simple to spot.
You can determine whether the issues with the car are minor wear and tear concerns, such as those with the clutch or brakes, or a more severe problem.
Check to discover if the repairs were necessary or carried out even when the car was brand new. It can assist in determining whether the car is a lemon or if an incident like a collision or modification caused a misdiagnosed issue.
Are the repairs significant or minor? A severe repair would deal with the drivetrain or suspension, whereas a superficial one would address non-driving-related issues like window or seat controls.
Severe repairs would be more challenging, but handling a car might not be a hassle if a car was considered a lemon for a less severe cause.
The report also shows whether repairs are being made at a dealership or a general shop.
Like you would with any used car, examine the vehicle’s general condition and health and determine whether routine maintenance has also been carried out.
This will assist you in deciding whether or not you should consider purchasing this car.
Inspection before purchase
Is the car still a good investment? You should get a pre-purchase inspection if the flaws are not too concerning or if you believe the automobile may have been incorrectly labeled as a lemon.
A mechanic can determine whether the problems are repairable and why the car was considered a lemon.
A technician can assist you in determining whether or not a recurring issue is indicative of more severe problems or worries about the quality of the vehicle.
Their satisfaction with the car might help determine if it is a worthwhile investment or a lost cause.
Toyota 4Runner FAQ’s
When was the Toyota 4Runner at its worst?
Toyota 4Runner models from the years 2001 and 2002 should be avoided due to a history of rust problems, according to numerous accounts. The automatic gearbox used by the Toyota 4Runner during these years also had issues.
How trustworthy is the outdated 4Runner?
It receives an 8.8 out of 10 reliability rating, making it the most dependable mid-size SUV. The Toyota 4Runner has consistently ranked among the most dependable used SUVs thanks to its immaculate reputation for dependability and off-road prowess.
Which 4Runner generation year is the best?
The fourth-generation 4Runner never achieved the same level of sales success as its forerunner. The 4Runner acquired 114,212 homes in the US in 2004, its best year. However, demand fell to just 48,000 homes in 2008 and fewer than 20,000 homes in 2009, the 4Runner’s worst year since 1987.
Which 4Runner is the greatest investment?
Our top choice for the Toyota 4Runner with the greatest value for the 2021 model year is the 4Runner. The 2021 would cost you, on average, 91% less than a brand-new car while still having 92% of its useful life left. For the 4Runner, the 2022 and 2020 model years are also appealing and offer a respectable bargain.
What 3rd generation 4Runner year is the best?
The most sought-after third-generation 4Runners had a back electronic differential locker and were produced between 1996 and 2000. Toyota made sure the 4Runner was a powerful off-road vehicle by adding a center differential locker and traction control to versions made from 2001 onward.