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.
I bought this car new early in 1997. Has 174,000 miles still has original rear brakes and shocks/ struts. Replaced right front wheel bearing at 160,000 miles. 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 like new, 20 mpg city, 23 to 26 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.
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.
I have had this 1997 2 wheel drive 4runner for seven months. It had 138000 miles when purchased and now has 145000. It has been a very dependable, reliable vehicle so far. I receive about 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The gas gauge falls very fast once it reaches the quarter tank level. The v6 engine provides all of the pick up I need in the traffic conditions I have encountered so far. I have had only one problem. The sunroof drain leaked onto the headliner. I had to buy a new motor for the sunroof which cost 700.00 at the dealer. They told me it was the only way to move the roof so they could clean out the drains. As with all Toyotas they are well engineered but the parts and labor are overpriced. Who wants to spend over a hundred dollars for floor mats? I owned a 1996 Toyota for 12 years previously and it was the best vehicle I have ever owned. Overall very pleased so far with this 4runner.
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.