1997 Toyota 4Runner Consumer Review: High miles, low costs

1997 Toyota 4Runner SUV - Consumer Review

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High miles, low costs
By captron2 on


1997 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4dr SUV


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.

Best Features

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

Worst Features

Cupholders a joke. Solid rear axle gives rough ride on bumpy roads.
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By rpozo
on 10/02/14 05:25 AM (PDT)

The EPA's fuel economy rating is a joke, but the highway mileage given here is overstated. MPG is something more like 19-20 city, 21-23 highway, with the V6. Only time I saw 15 mpg (the EPA's low average) was when driving a steady 90 mph in West Texas. Worst ever was towing a 3000# boat; at 50 mph, it delivered about 12.5 mpg. Best ever was 26 mpg in Mexico, at a steady 50 mph (or so I think --- the dual conversion process of miles-to-kilometers and liters-to-gallons could have skewed the calculation done in my head).

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