Used 1997 Toyota 4Runner SUV Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1997 Toyota 4runner - Consumer Reviews

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88 Total Reviews

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Ultimate Function
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By WildYoats
on

Vehicle

1997 Toyota 4Runner SUV SR5 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

Bought my 4runner with 155k on the odometer 4 years ago for 4k and now I have 231k on it and it still runs great. I get 21-26mpg out of the 3.4L, 4x4 setup. I've done a timing belt job, brakes, and tires, that's it! I do 10k mile oil changes (full synthetic everything) and it doesn't burn/leak any oil. I absolutely love the front cupholder location. It is out of the way and I can still work all the climate controls etc. Toyotas are very thoughtfully over-engineered which makes them indespensible to me. They are the epitome of a functional, rugged, useable, economical, comfortable, and safe tool that transports you in city or wilderness.


Favorite Features

Great running 3.4L, smooth shifting transmission, very nice roll-down rear window, roomy interior, great mpg for a suv, easy to use four wheel drive, plenty of room for my 2 jack russels and all necessary camping gear in the back, low emissions/environmentally friendly.


Suggested Improvements

Maybe a little stiffer rear springs, when I'm loaded down I sometimes hit the bump stops. The transmission downshifts too early when pulling hills in cruise control and it's kinda irritating. That's it, I still love the 4runners and I hope to have one for many more years.


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Just incredible
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Magitu
on

Vehicle

1997 Toyota 4Runner SUV SR5 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

As I approach 300k miles, there is a single, slight rattle coming from the interior of the driver's door. Other than that, this thing is still tight as a drum. I have had to change the power antenna a few times. The driver's side door broke and wouldn't open from the inside at one point, and I got that fixed. Other than that, I have had ZERO mantenance done on the machine other than the Toyota recommended routine maintenance. I can't imagine a higher quality vehicle - and after ten years. I pay $70-$90 for each routine maintenance event, except for major tune-ups and timing belt replacement. My old Ford Bronco II cost $600/yr in brake work alone. 4Runner is an awesome vehicle.


Favorite Features

Cruise control; sun roof; build quality; analog instruments; cargo area tie-downs.


Suggested Improvements

Needs more head room; needs more cubbies in the cargo area.


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Love it!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Toyotagirl
on

Vehicle

1997 Toyota 4Runner SUV Limited 4dr SUV


Review

I bought my 4Runner brand-new in 1996. Granted, I don't put many miles per year on it, but I have spent NOTHING on this SUV other than routine maintenance. It provides a sure, dependable, fun driving experience every time. The vehicle was well thought-out by Toyota -- other than the beverage holders. They're located in front of the AC vents and have to be one of the worst designs in automotive history. If this one ever wears out, I plan to buy another Toyota SUV. That's about the best recommendation I can think of.


Favorite Features

Back seats fold down to make for a huge cargo area. Back window can be lowered with key from outside. Upright windshield provides great visibility in downpours.


Suggested Improvements

I really hope the drink holders have been laughed out of town by now. Toyota can do better than this!


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High miles, low costs
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By captron2
on

Vehicle

1997 Toyota 4Runner SUV Limited 4dr SUV


Review

Swallowed my misgivings and bought this SUV with 118,000 on the odometer. Car now has 190k miles. 4Runners, I learned the hard way, have one generic flaw: rear axle seals. I have had to replace them twice. If there's gear oil in the rear brake drums, plan on spending $1000 to repair. Otherwise, no problems whatsoever. V6 gives decent mileage, too: 20 in city, as much as 26 on highway if you can drive a steady 63 mph.


Favorite Features

Great for road trips, comfortable leather seats, great sunroof.


Suggested Improvements

Cupholders a joke. Solid rear axle gives rough ride on bumpy roads.


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1997 4Runner Fan
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By James
on

Vehicle

1997 Toyota 4Runner SUV SR5 4dr SUV 4WD


Review

I purchased my 4Runner used with 44K on the odometer and have really enjoyed this ute with over 100K miles logged on it during my ownership. It is a great ride and I enjoy the five speed. It's my daily driver, but has seen complex off-road trails. Beyond regular oil changes, I replaced the clutch at 140K on the odometer as well as the oxygen sensors on the left bank of the V6 engine. The antenna is broken (second time) and I elected to get Sirius radio instead of paying a dealer $330 to repair this costly item. A spring-loaded clip on one cup holder is broken - dealer quote to repair is over $125. I've decided to live with the broken clip versus paying a dealer to fix this item.


Favorite Features

Ride is comfortable, one of the only SUVs with a rear window that lowers, 4wd easy to engage & disengage, climbs hills offroad with ease, lots of cargo room, nice stereo. Controls easy to operate.


Suggested Improvements

Overall, this is a great vehicle, but I'm peeved that it would cost me $330 to get AM/FM radio reception restored to my truck. Toyota needs to get a reliable retractable antenna on this vehicle - get rid of the wimpy plastic cable that breaks inside the antenna motor and jams the motor.


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