Wow I can't believe I'm doing this! I will explain! I was a line tech and did hold a ASE Master Cert. in auto repair. I not real fond of any GM product, Ford is pretty good but always had the best service from Mopars.Owned more of them than anything. Never gave Toyota much thought. Always eyed the 4Runner looked like a nice SUV. We did the Durango (Nice truck), then an 2002 Accord V-6 top line Coupe. We'll lease was up and my wife wanted back in a 4x4 because of snow. Well Dodge decided to make the Durango larger and about as ugly as you could. Wife didn't like the Jeep much and they discontinued use of the straight 6 engine and reduced the tow rating to 3500 lbs. GM out of the question.
This was my dream vehicle. It handled well on the highway, was great in winter conditions, and is one of very few SUV's that have any strong styling anymore. Furthermore, with the truck frame, I believe it is one of the safest. I too was involved in a head on accident at 65 Mph and survived well in this truck! When I originally purchased this vehicle in Spring of 2009, I was glad to have the confidence of all the safety features, but never thought I would have to use them in such a severe accident. Glad to have survived, wish my 4Runner did too.
I bought this truck used in 2011, with 138k miles. Yes, you read that correctly: 138,000 miles! Everything had just been 100% serviced and it was like buying it brand new. In the 30k miles I have had it (including driving halfway across the country), I have only had 2 issues. 1. I have had the driveshaft (?) lubricated twice due to a "thunk" sound and small lurch when stopping - no charge by the dealer; apparently it is common. 2. This winter, the back hatch has begun to freeze when it's below 30° outside and becomes impossible to open (at least for this gal!). Sort of a pain. Of note: the paint scratches relatively easily, but I haven't noticed any rust issues. Just irritating.
I have had my 2008 SR5 V6 for 9 years and it has proven to be the most enjoyable vehicle I have ever owned. Perfect reliability, useful utility configuration (I love the unique lift-gate power window), great comfort, excellent audio system (I use MP3 CD's), and a great looking design. With normal dealer maintenance there have been no problems at all. The only design elements that you need to adapt to are the heat/air buttons. I have no trouble with winters in Iowa, and always look forward to driving this sharp looking model. I just noticed that Consumer Reports listed this version 4Runner as the #1 most reliable vehicle. I installed a chrome horse head hood ornament so I could always look between a horses ears as I drive... I like to think of it like riding an ultra-smooth powerful horse.