I purchased this vehicle from the original owner with 90k on the clock and currently have 150k on it. In the 6 years and 60k miles I've owned it has given me ZERO problems. Starts up every time, runs quiet, shifts smooth...runs like a top! Not to mention the resale on them is insane. My 1999 is worth more in 2018 than a 2006 Xterra. Ive owned 4 4runners in my life (87, 93, 99 and 00) and in my experience the 3.4 is the BEST engine Toyota ever put in the 4runner. Its a little under powered (as is every 4runner made until 2003), but if you are looking at this vehicle, you are probably more concerned about reliability than 0-60. Ive seen them on craigslist with 300-500k miles on them, and as long as you keep up on routine maintenance. If you love them, they will love you back. Even if you don't love them....they will still love you back
Bought my 99 4runner limited 4wd a couple months ago with 210k on the odometer. Will get over 300k with basic maintenance. Runs and drives better than my wifes 2015 CRV in my opinion. 4wd works great and wont allow you to get stuck anywhere. Love this BEAST!
Excellent value. Just sold the car with 208,232 miles, no reason to believe it won't reach 300K or beyond. The timing belt is expensive to replace, right at $1K every 90K miles, but other than that, general maintenance is all it ever needed.
UPDATE 1/2018: Crossed the 200k mark and this sweetheart is running strong. Fuel mileage is consistent and single digit temps in January didn’t phase it a bit. Put new Kuhmo 265 Crugen HT51’s on and the handling is great. Will be replacing rotors and pads up front soon to deal with a clunk and grab I think is due to slightly stuck pads - only occurs occasionally. Every feature/function on this vehicle works properly as well. Besides that, there’s nothing to report. Still seeing a lot of this generation 4Runner on the road.
Bought this gem in October 2015 with 184k on the clock - one owner, all dealer serviced, etc. A rather rare find. After some back and forth with the dealer, I was OTD at $6800 including taxes, registration and a full tank. Came with Michelin LTX M+S in decent shape - still riding on them at 197k with no appreciable wear. Besides new brake pads/rotors, Bosch 27F-size battery, NGK wires and plugs and a Kenwood Excelon radio, I've done just a little intake and electrical modding to this vehicle. Needs the Tundra brake upgrade - about $300 in parts. Everything works like it should - love the AWD mode for rainy days and have yet to use the 4WD in Low range. Drives beautifully. Fuel mileage varies from 15-19mpg. Comfortable but snuggish, even with my average build and height.
I stumbled upon this car because I needed an SUV after moving to Chicago (very hasty purchase). We had just purchased a house, had a baby and my wife was not working. I drove Honda ( till it was stolen), and 5 german vehicles prior. This 4runner was 15 years old with 126000 miles and affordable ($4K out the door after trading in my Audi A4). I went straight to my mechanic and Replaced the Timing/drive belts, gasket, fuel filter, plugs, battery, and wires. I also poured sea foam into the gas tank and vacuum lines. I also replaced the rear front rotors, pads, rear drums and cable lines (a year later). All in all, $2500 in preventative/replacement maintenance work and $1000 on Dura-trac tires (5). It has been a very dependable, low maintenance vehicle. The only problem I have is an intermittently working digital clock (and If you have ever owned European vehicles, this is laughable or even "cute" problem...REALLY!) I had very little expectations of they vehicle and Toyota in general as I (honestly) snubbed the brand. This truck/runner has been a true winner and worthy vehicle. The 3rd generation build is simple, and ruggedly handsome per-se and I have truly come around to appreciate it greatly (just like Glocks!). I was so impressed that I purchased a 2011 Toyota Highlander for my wife, which we later traded for a Lexus GX 470 (we preferred the body-on-frame V8 - a superb vehicle based on the 03-08 4runner). Back to the subject. What makes this a superior vehicle is the simple design! It drives like it is new, no squeaks or rattles. I will not hesitate to drive this thing to the ends of the earth (literally because parts are readily available world-wide). The engine is amazing! It is not sluggish like the older 4runners/Land Cruiser 80, nor is it as peppy as its modern V6/8 counterparts but It is ample at best. The best thing about the engine is that it is a "non-interference engine" which means that if the TIMING BELT breaks, your engine will just STOP and NOT BE DAMAGED!! I really love this truck and have decided to have the frame sand blasted and undercoated to extend the service-life (what's the point of a 500,000 mile engine when the frame succumbs to rust right?) My mechanic and I have come to the conclusion that my only future repairs will be the bearings/bushings (whenever it goes), regular maintenance and wear replacements. As the blue book value drops, one be sure that this vehicle can command a higher value given the condition. I will most probably never let go of this gem and simply pass it down/on.