Used 1997 Toyota 4Runner

1997 Toyota 4Runner
List price range
1997 Toyota 4Runner


  • Great looks and ground-pounding performance make the 4Runner an ideal choice for people who love the great outdoors as well as those who just want to look like they do.


  • Steep price and choppy highway ride temper our enthusiasm for this otherwise outstanding truck.
Toyota 4Runner years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

After a successful five-year run, the second-generation Toyota 4Runner has been retired, and not a moment too soon. Fresh in 1990, the 4Runner aged quickly as the sport utility market exploded and other automakers introduced larger, safer and more powerful rivals. By 1995, the compact pickup-based 4Runner offered little, other than Toyota's reputation for reliability, to entice buyers.

For 1996, Toyota has separated this high-volume SUV from its pickup truck roots. The new 4Runner shares little with the Tacoma pickup. As a result, engineers have created a more refined vehicle without sacrificing tough off-road ability. Suspension travel and tread width are both up to improve off-road ability, ride, and handling. The interior is larger in every direction, thanks to a wheelbase that is two inches longer than the previous version. A lower floor and wider doors make getting into and out of the 4Runner less of an exercise in contortionism. Rear leg room is up by three inches, and cargo space has been improved as well.

Two engines are available on the 4Runner; a 2.7-liter inline four cylinder that makes 150 horsepower at 4800 rpm and 177 foot-pounds of torque at 4000 rpm., and a 3.4-liter V6 producing 183 horsepower at 4800 rpm and 217 foot-pounds of torque at 3600 rpm. These figures represent a substantial improvement over the old anemic four cylinder and wheezy V6 -- in fact, the new 2.7-liter four is more powerful than the 1995 model's 3.0-liter six.

Needless to say, all of this adds up to a much improved sport-ute. Safety hasn't been ignored in the revamped 4Runner, which sports dual airbags. Antilock brakes are standard with the V6 and optional on four cylinder models. Steering response and feel have also been improved by replacing the old recirculating ball-type steering with a rack and pinion setup. Access to the cargo area is improved by switching from a two-piece tailgate to a one-piece hatch-style liftgate with a power-down rear window.

Also new are 20-ounce cupholders, a bigger console storage area, and relocated rear speakers. Seven new exterior colors debut, and all new interior fabrics and designs round out the new 4Runner package. Overall, a very nice effort, resulting in a tough truck with looks to match. Pricing runs from $20,000 for a 2WD four cylinder Base model to $36,000 for a fully loaded Limited. This lands the 4Runner right smack dab in Tahoe, Explorer and Grand Cherokee territory. Keep it in mind.

1997 Highlights

Toyota's SUV receives minor changes. The most noticeable is the addition of the 2WD Limited to the model lineup. SR5 models receive new interior fabrics.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Toyota 4Runner.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Awesome SUV
I bought this SUV new in Sept. 1997 and it now has 150,000 miles and it is still running strong. Wife wants me to buy a new truck and I would get another 4Runner, but I am not ready to give up this truck. They just don't build them like this anymore. Quality for all manufacturers is just not the same as it was in the 90's. 13 years old and is as dependable as the newer cars in our family. I may give this truck to my daughter in a couple of years when she starts to drive and needs a car.
My Reliable Rig
It is so reliable. I looked in consumer reports before my purchase as it had 44,000 miles on it and was spendy at that time.The only thing I have ever had to do is change the starter at 85K and purchase tires.I have never had any mechanical problems.
Bullit proof SR 5
I bought this car new early in 1997. Has 185,000 miles still has original shocks/ struts. Replaced right front wheel bearing at 160,000 miles. Currently replacing rear axle seals and brakes. The drivers seat is starting to show some wear, the rest of the interior and paint is in excellent shape except for minor hail damage thanks to spring Texas storms. Still drives very well, 19 mpg city, 23 mpg highway. The mechanic that works on my car has a customer with one of these with 470,000 miles on it still going strong. Mechanic told me to never sell this car, this model 4-runner is the best toyota made. Best car I have ever owned, never breaks and has never let me down.
Best SUV
bought my '97 SR5 as a demo with 20k on it. It has been the most reliable car ever. I think the late 90's was a time when Japan and Toyota in particular decided to overtake GM and Ford in market share and the chose product quality as their method of attack. Essentially this car is the antithesis of a GM or Ford. It never breaks. I have replaced the battery brakes and tires and a few worn out mechanisms like the ignition switch and bulbs but everything else remains in perfect working order and starts every single time I turn it over. I just hit 225k and am handing the keys to my 16 year old daughter who refuses to drive anything else because she grew up in this vehicle.
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Features & Specs

15 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
183 hp @ 4800 rpm
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
150 hp @ 4800 rpm
15 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
183 hp @ 4800 rpm
15 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
150 hp @ 4800 rpm
See all Used 1997 Toyota 4Runner features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Toyota 4Runner
Used 1997 Toyota 4Runner Overview

The Used 1997 Toyota 4Runner is offered in the following submodels: 4Runner SUV. Available styles include SR5 4dr SUV, 4dr SUV, SR5 4dr SUV 4WD, Limited 4dr SUV, 4dr SUV 4WD, and Limited 4dr SUV 4WD.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Toyota 4Runner?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1997 Toyota 4Runners are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Toyota 4Runner for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Toyota 4Runner.

Can't find a used 1997 Toyota 4Runners you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota 4Runner for sale - 8 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $22,816.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 4 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $12,308.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota 4Runner for sale - 3 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $10,311.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 3 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $11,268.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Toyota 4Runner?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Toyota lease specials
Check out Toyota 4Runner lease specials