As this is my first 4Runner, I have been driving Toyotas since 1981. For dependability and reliability they are hard to beat. I wanted to drive the vehicle before I wrote my review so I could give my honest opinion and make a post for others as consumer reviews always help me in my purchasing decisions. I purchased
a used 4runner in late December of 2013 with just under 17k miles.
The ride is a bit stiffer than my Highlander but comfortable and handles well for its height. I don't have the steering wheel controls but all the buttons and dials are easy to reach and work well. For me gas mileage is exceptional. My 33 mile ride to work in Houston traffic with the more powerful V6 I am averaging 24.5 mpg. Even around town if you keep the Eco light on I am well over 20 mpg. This is better than my 4cy 2011 Highlander it replaced. Very roomy, fits the family well and can haul all my fishing gear or landscaping supplies well and easy to load.
Brakes seem a little mushy compared to the other Toyotas I have owned but am told that is the way they are. Just a little time to get used to them but they stop fine. Also noticed the fan for the A/C doesn't blow as hard as previous cars, especially in the rear seats, but cools the cabin well. Would prefer white or purple dash lights (like our Sienna) as some days they are hard to see with the light on but easy to see at night.
I have had the pleasure of owning 2 other 4runners before this one. One was a 2000 (leased but new) and the other I bought with 18,000 miles on it (2003) and had it until 118,000 miles when I decided to purchase a new 2011 model. While they did some nice improvements (love it being taller!) the quality isn't there anymore. I have had a rattling in the AC vent for 7 months (the dealership tried to fix it 5 times and still hasn't succeeded) and the paint chips so easily. And why would they keep the long antenna? I have been in touch with the dealership and Toyota customer service, and they just keep saying to take it to the dealership. Its a shame...
Better paint, smaller antenna and better materials.
After owning the 2011 4runner for less than a month I began to notice several “NEGATIVES” about the vehicle which weren’t apparent after one test drive at the dealership.
1)The transmission is very jerky. Pressing on the gas from a dead stop will result in a jerk forward followed by a slight shimmer in the suspension.
2) The vehicle is painfully slow. 3) Vehicle makes a whistling sound or tone that is related to the SUVs aerodynamics (very boxy).
4) Thin sheet metal hood. Shakes at higher speeds. 5) Susceptible to crosswinds.
6) The paint quality is horrible.
7) The breaks on this vehicle feel very spongy and too sensitive.
8) The Variable Stability Control is very abrupt and awkward.
Sold 1998 v6 ltd 4runner for 2011. Couldn't afford Ltd, but no regrets. Tried a few crossovers first(Highlander & glitzy cheaper Veracruz) but once in 4runner I knew it was the one. V6 in 2011 is so much more powerful than v6 in 1998(w/o giving up same gas mileage- avg 19.8 mpg), more spacious too & rides high which makes me feel like a queen & easy to see when navigating traffic. Love Toy kept the power tailgate window (no one else has this). Fold down flat back seats- great for dogs & hauling long items. Cargo space better than crossovers. 4runner's great quality, reliability, style, rear psgr heat, & 2-year Free maint very nice to have. Will keep 12+ yrs again. Very happy w/ choice!
Very powerful v6. Sits hi, so is easy to see around navigating traffic. Pwr tailgate window. Style in & out. Very smooth for SUV. Reliability. Spacious cargo. Cargo cover avail. Value-5 year loss in maint & depreciation better than many. 2 year free maint service.
Ability to convert open side panel spaces where 3rd row seats go to covered storage. Ability to shut off rear psgr heat so it only goes to front if no rear psngrs-more efficient. Pwr antennae w/ basic sr5. Upgrades too $$$, so found basic w/ few upgrds I wanted now & will have to upgrd rest on own.
I have been driving the 2011 4Runner for about a week now and every single time I hop in, I like it even more. The ride is smooth, even over not so favorable roads (Dirt/Sand/Holes). I have been averaging about 19.8 MPG mixed driving. The engine puts out a lot of power for a V-6. By the way, I tried the pathfinder, pilot, and a couple of crossovers and this 4runner blows them out of the water. Toyota did a great job on this model.
Great design. Sturdy feeling. Spacious interior room. Very nice standard features. Visibility. Good gas mileage for this size engine.