My 4runner is great. It handles well, has comfortable seating in the front. The back seat is pretty tight for taller people, and the floor is high. Its pretty good offroad, but that's not where it usually is. For day to day driving, it sucks gas and has horrible power. It gets decent fuel economy on the highway, but not at all good in the city. THat being said, it preforms similar to other SUVs of its era and size. It handles great on the highway, assuming you do not have hills or anything to pass. A bigger engine is needed, but then again this car has been redesigned with that in mind. It easily has the most dismal performance (power wise) from any vehicle I have ever driven. At low speeds though, it works pretty good. -Its roomier than a jeep, more fuel efficient than a bronco, more reliable than a ford/GM SUV, and has a better style than a nissan (this is said about competitors of the same era). Offroad, it does well. I have a 2wd version, not 4wd. That being said, the ground clearance is phenomenal stock. The suspension does well off road. With 2wd I am limited, but it still does very well. The positives are the clearance and the low first gear. Perhaps the most interesting thing on this car that sets itself a part a bit is the tailgate. The back door is a tailgate, like a pickup truck. Provided the back window works, its a fantastic thing! Its a chair, table, part of a bed. It makes loading long or large items nice, and its great at the drive in. Outside of the poor power and city MPGs, its a pretty good little SUV. I have owned two of these. My current one, at 23 years old, has drove over 4500 miles this summer on roadtrips.
I have been more then impressed with the capabilities of this vehicle. The only downsides is it is a bit underpowered, but it has never held me up on or off road and the sagging rear end which was fixed by some Downey HD springs. The interior is tuff. The exterior is tuff. The engine keeps on a trucking and has been very trouble free. I plan on keeping this vehicle a very long time.
don't get me wrong, I love this car. but stomp on the gas, and don't expect much to happen except a lot more noise. that being said, this is simply the most reliable, capable vehicle i've ever driven. i've had mine for 5 years, it has 300,000 miles, and it runs just fine. off road, it's absolutely unstoppable. the storage and versatility is awesome. UPDATE: head gasket blew, which is common for this engine. the recall had already been done to mine, so it was up to me. A word of advice: unless you have a backup vehicle or motorcycle, get in good with a shop and hopefully they will give you a discount, because it is mega expensive. I did it myself, and the way this engine is put together is ridiculous. You basically need 12 foot long arms as big around as toothpicks to get to some stuff. And take pictures. And if you do it, absolutely change the knock sensor AND wiring harness. It is in the cylinder valley under the intake plenum, and is just as much a pain to get to as the head gaskets. Mine went bad IMMEDIATELY after I put it back together, which apparently is also common. I now drive a Jeep Cherokee, which I have always been a fan of, and the engine is a little simpler to work on if you're a do it yourselfer.
Bought this 4Runner last week for 1800. Surprised that everything works except the rear defroster. The Limited is a joy to drive. Gas mileage is at 17city. I have a hard time getting in the driver seat under the steering wheel. I believe in Toyota quality, this one has over 175k and runs great. I have an Avalon with 198k. Don't like the design of access to rear tailgate thru the window. I would buy a 4Runner again.