1999 Toyota 4Runner Review
1999 Toyota 4Runner Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Powerful and reliable with more luxury options than ever before.
- These things cost bucks! The new Grand Cherokee is even more rugged and still offers plenty of luxury for less money.
The 4Runner receives a number of upgrades this year, starting with a new and improved four-wheel-drive system equipped with a center differential and featuring a full-time 4WD mode in addition to the current two-high, four-high and four-low modes. New exterior features include a front bumper redesign, multireflector headlamps and an enhanced sport package with fender flares and a hood scoop on the SR5 model. Inside, a new center console/cupholder design will improve beverage-carrying capacity of the 4Runner and an automatic climate control system will be featured on the Limited models.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4dr SUV and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$224/mo for 4Runner SR5
Avg. Midsize SUV
In 1996, Toyota separated this high-volume SUV from its pickup truck roots. Thus, the current 4Runner shares little with the Tacoma pickup. As a result, engineers have created a refined vehicle without sacrificing tough off-road ability. Generous suspension travel and tread width provide capable off-road ability, ride and handling. The interior is quite roomy, thanks to a wheelbase that is two inches longer than the previous version. A low floor and wide doors make getting into and out of the 4Runner less of an exercise in contortionism than those riding in Jeep Cherokees or Nissan Pathfinders are likely to experience.
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 previous anemic four cylinder and wheezy V6. In fact, the 2.7-liter four is more powerful than the 1995 model's 3.0-liter six, and is nearly as powerful as the base engine found in the Ford Explorer XL.
Needless to say, all of this adds up to a competitive sport-ute. Safety isn't ignored in the 4Runner, either, which sports dual airbags and standard antilock brakes on V6 models. (Antilock brakes are optional on four-cylinder models.)
Overall, the 4Runner is a nice truck which provides the sophistication that we have come to expect from Toyota products with the overall ruggedness more often associated with Jeeps. Prices are high, however, running from $21,000 for a 2WD four-cylinder Base model to over $36,000 for a fully-loaded Limited. This lands the 4Runner Limited right smack dab in Mercedes-Benz ML320, Nissan Pathfinder LE and Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited territory. The competition in this segment is getting fierce and there are plenty of good choices for your money, definitely something worth considering when shelling out such a large chunk of change.
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4dr SUV
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.
5 out of 5 stars
191,000 miles and still drive it daily
Rob U, 08/08/2015
1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4dr SUV 4WD
Have put 120,000 miles on the '99 4Runner. The only repair issues are a small oil leak, replacing the clutch every 8-10 years, and a brake job or two. All relatively minor repairs. Handles and drives great. Wonderful in the Colorado snow. Great visibility. Sturdy design. Relatively quiet inside although newer models are even quieter. It's a V6 so it has decent power but not great, … especially up mountains. If you're thinking of buying a used 99 4Runner and it's got 200k miles on it - Do it! Plan to drive mine another 100k miles at least. Older, reliable vehicles are better for your bank account than losing thousands of dollars in depreciation every year. Repair costs have been minimal in the 9 years I've owned it.
4.63 out of 5 stars
This is my baby
1999 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4dr SUV 4WD
This, in my opinion is one of the greatest all-purpose vehicles ever created. It is an absolutely fantastic, drama-free truck that rolls easily down the road, and is capable of crushing the deep mountain snows that fall in our area. I've got over 145k miles on mine, and she asks only for new brakes every couple of years, and a new battery every 4 or 5 years. The build quality is … incredible. 16 years old and not one rip in the leather interior. Fuel mileage is kind of poor (avereage about 17 mpg), but incredibly low cost maintenance makes up for that and more.
4.38 out of 5 stars
1999 4Runner Limited 4WD
1999 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4dr SUV 4WD
Great vehicle if you like the outdoor lifestyle. I love driving with all the windows and sunroof open. Feels like a Jeep but without the noise and rides much better. The V6 engine is weak once you start to load up the vehicle. Although it does have great off the line torque. The ride is truck-like but I am happy with it. The reliability and build quality is quite good. As long as you … keep a good maintenance, this vehicle will practically run forever. Lots of aftermarket upgrades for the vehicle. I end up adding a TRD supercharger, URD fuel mods, Doug Thorley header, TRD exhaust, IPT valve body upgrade, 32" A/T tires, Bilstein shocks, and offroad armor. Overall, it is a very capable vehicle.
1999 4Runner Highlights
|Combined MPG||18 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$213/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver4 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRolloverNot RatedDynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalAcceptable
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested