How Much is a Used Toyota 4Runner? A Complete Guide on Prices and Features
In 1984, Toyota introduced the 4Runner to the US market, sparking a love affair that continues to this day.
It has changed quite a bit over time. The current permutation is a mid-sized SUV with undeniable off-road credentials, thanks to its powerful engine configurations, wide ground clearance, and optional four-wheel-drive drivetrain. It also enjoys a reputation as a solid family car, thanks to its spacious interior with room for up to three rows of passengers.
But these are nothing compared to its legendary track record for reliability. I suppose it's to be expected. After all, it’s a Toyota. Additionally, the 4Runner’s ancestry stems from the iconic Toyota Hilux, which is famed for its ability to withstand even the most challenging of environments.
In short, this is a truck that can go anywhere, do anything, and live to tell the tale. Read on to learn more about this remarkable vehicle, and how you can find a bargain Toyota 4Runner on the used market.
The latest generation
Toyota introduced the fifth-generation 4Runner in 2009. The underlying platform has remained unchanged since then.
At the heart of this SUV is a 4.0L V6 engine which fares poorly when it comes to fuel efficiency, but offers outstanding off-road and towing performance. Delivering up to 278 lbs of torque, the 4Runner can confidently tow loads weighing up to 5,000 lbs without breaking a sweat.
A rear-wheel-drive powertrain comes as standard, although you can upgrade to a four-wheel-drive by opting for a higher trim, such as the TRD Off-Road or TRD Pro.
The 4Runner enjoys a spacious interior, thanks to its 15.9-ft length. This allows for the option to configure the cabin with five seats across two rows, or seven seats across three.
It's worth noting that Toyota has a fairly conservative approach to the 4Runner, having offered the same engine, transmission, and drivetrain options since the debut of the fifth generation. The differences in model year changes are incremental at best.
Just look at the 2021 edition, which comes with just one change to the standard configuration: namely, the inclusion of LED headlights across all trims.
By contrast, the 2020 4Runner model was comparatively more ambitious, adding a bevy of welcome security features. These included forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warnings as standard. The base configuration also added adaptive cruise control, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The base 2021 Toyota 4Runner has an MSRP of $36,340. This is steep, especially compared to other more affordable mid-size SUVs, like the Ford Explorer. The upgraded TRD Off-Road trim starts at $40,305, whereas the TRD Pro trim retails for $50,470.
Is the 4Runner reliable?
It should come as no surprise that the 4Runner has a solid track record for reliability, with Consumer Reports giving the 2020 and 2019 model years perfect scores on its dependability rating. Each received a rating of five-out-of-five.
Additionally, the Toyota 4Runner has a reputation for exceptional longevity.
According to one iSeeCars study, 3.9 percent of 4Runner models will cross the 200,000 mile threshold on the odometer, making it the longest lasting mid-size SUV on the market. The publication also estimated that 0.2 per cent will last over 300,000 miles.
Of course, this is contingent on how well you maintain the car. Miss an oil change or two, and you risk shortening its potentially lengthy lifespan.
It's worth noting that J.D. Power takes a slightly different view, giving the 2021 Toyota 4Runner an “average” reliability rating of just 79 from a potential maximum of 100.
Still, you can't ignore the fact that the 4Runner has been subject to very few safety recalls, particularly when looking at the most recent models. The 2019 model year has seen just three: one pertaining to the steering, and two for faulty labelling.
The Toyota 4Runner stands out among SUVs for its ability to withstand the forces of depreciation, losing just 35 percent of its initial sale value in the five years following its initial purchase.
Nonetheless, it's worth remembering that Toyota really hasn't changed much since the fifth-generation debuted in 2009. If you aren’t too concerned about missing out on extras like Apple CarPlay, you can save a decent chunk of cash against buying new.
Additionally, buying used can give you access to the more capable off-road variants for the price of the two-wheel-drive standard trim. As a good example: for $3,000 less than the 2021 4Runner standard trim, you can get yourself the 2016 SR5 Premium model, which includes the highly-capable all-wheel-drive drivetrain.
That said, if you aren’t prepared to give up your modern creature comforts, you can find bargain 2019 models, with the all-wheel drive SR5 Pro retailing around the $43,000 mark.
Alternatively, you can look elsewhere. Those concerned about off-road performance may want to consider the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan. You can find a 2016 model with an all-wheel drivetrain for just $20,000. The Tiguan also benefits from decent ground clearance, a V6 engine with good levels of torque, and solid transfer angles.
Those looking for a SUV with plenty of space might want to consider the affordable 2015 Nissan Pathfinder SV. While it isn’t quite as hardy as the 4Runner, it scores highly on the reliability front, and with space for seven seats, there’s room for all the family.
The Toyota 4Runner is timeless and delivers on the two main reasons why people buy a mid-sized SUV: space and power. While it suffers from poor fuel efficiency and a high initial purchase price, it fares highly when driving off-road. Meanwhile, its rock-solid track record for reliability makes it an even more compelling choice.
And you can be certain your next ride won’t let you down. All our vehicles are subjected to a thorough examination by one of our trusted mechanics, and come with a seven-day money back guarantee. Vehicles from our Shift Certified also come with a free 30-day warranty, for extra reassurance. And with no dealerships to visit and straightforward, transparent no-haggle pricing, buying your next car couldn’t be easier.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the author or Shift Technologies, Inc. Shift does not endorse or evaluate the accuracy of any claims made or data provided by third party sources referenced herein.
This article is for informational and educational purposes only and may contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our effort to advance auto education. We believe this constitutes "fair use" of any such copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. The material in this [article/blog/website] is distributed without profit and only to those who have demonstrated an interest in receiving the included information for research or educational purposes.
All prices are based on vehicle availability and pricing as of
October 19, 2021
Pricing shown is not guaranteed and does not include taxes or other product fees.