As this is my first 4Runner, I have been driving Toyotas since 1981. For dependability and reliability they are hard to beat. I wanted to drive the vehicle before I wrote my review so I could give my honest opinion and make a post for others as consumer reviews always help me in my purchasing decisions. I purchased a used 4runner in late December of 2013 with just under 17k miles. Part II Quite a few miles later I am back to post a follow up to my fist review. Have been enjoying my 4-Runner for quite some time now and have put on a few additional miles. The ride is good, may be a bit stiff for some folks but considering the SUV is build on a truck chassis, is it smooth. Going off pavement is is not a problem. I don't go places where I need 4 wheel drive but do some fishing so getting off the pavement is easy. The truck makes you feel comfortable driving on grass, dirt, sand etc. and mives through the terrain easily. The vehicle is a 2011 and has given me zero trouble. All I have done is routine oil and filter changes (includes air and cabin filters as well as oil filters) and rotated the tires since I have owned it. I believe this year I will be needing my first battery and new set of brakes. It fits myfamily of four and everyone has plenty of leg and head room. The dash lights are orange which is not the best Toyota has done. During the daylight hours, it is nearly impossible to see the clock, mileage gauge and other trip info. All the other gages are directly in front of the driver so no problem with those whatsoever. Radio controls are not bad, well within reach as I do not have steering wheel controls on this vehicle. Brakes are a bit soft compared to the other Toyota vehicles I have owned. Dealer says that's how 4-Runners are so getting used to that took some time. The A/C blows nice and cold but not strong. If you're looking for the fan to propell the cold air from the vents to mKe your hair blow like a strong wind, i won't happen but it cools the vehicle sufficiently. All other operations are typical Toyota, easy to reach and work as they are intended to. Miss my pick-up but really like this SUV and would definitely buy another. UPDATE-It is now July 2017 and my 4-Runner still going strong with77K miles. I drive about 66 miles round trip to work each day-both city and highway, although much of my drive home is in bumber to bumber traffic in Houston. According to the vehicle's controls I get between 22-23 mpg which I am happy with. Highway only is in the high 20s. Just had the dealer flush the cooling system as it gets hot here in Houston so thought this would be a good idea. Still have the original set of factory brakes, will need to change them soon I am sure. One thing I ahve major issue with is the windsheild, its the quality of the glass. I ahve written Toyota on several occasions about this as all my newer Toyotas have gotten chips and cracks so easily. My 2008 Sienna, 2007 Tundra, 2011 Highlander, 2015 Highlander and my 2011 4-Runner. Cheap crap. Have never had a crack in my windshield in any car, any Toyota except for the newer purchases. I firmly believe the company/s Toyota contracts out for the windshields is using inferrior materials when building the windshields. I brought this up to Toyota CS in CA and pleaded my case, with my wife's brand new Highlander and they paid to replace the windshield that got a huge crack at 500 miles. Had to use the dealer to ahve it replaced but had a friend of mine that works there have their windsheild guy use an aftermarket part and so far so good. Living in the Houston area there are always rocks/pepples flynig up and hitting the windsheild but most should not cause a crack or chip. I now have 6 stars, a huge crack and now a small crack in my windshield and am bummed. Not with the car but with the windshield. We are restoring a '65 Chevelle for my sone and when I ahve the front and rear glass installed I will have the 4-Runner windshield replaced with an aftermarket one. Still happy every time I drive my 4-Runner and plan to keep it for some time but buyer beware of the windshield!
After much study and driving vehicles all year,I ordered the 4runner. Over the years I have owned Suburbans, Jeeps,Corvette,300ZX,Chevy Pickups,Audi and more. The only time I felt this satisfied with my decision on driving off the dealers lot was the Z. No picking it apart,just a feeling of I got what I paid for. Interior in the factory sand leather with black exterior is classic. It is so easy to get in and out without running boards, the seats are positioned just right and very comfortable. The doors are solid and standing under the rear lift is superb no ducking for 6'2", wow. Wife is 5'7" and she said I can just slide right into the seat. Just buy it if you like riding up high.
After reading the reviews here I had a hard time making the final decision, most people here were way off in their criticisms Let me go over the criticisms: Power-Excellent Does not need a V8 whatsoever. Took it loaded with 4 people to the Top of Mt. Evans, CO with NO problem. It outperformed my 07 Tahoe with big V8 and 320 HP. car buy a highlander. Cheap Plastic interior parts Ok, if you want refined luxury buy a Lexus. This car is not for you. Parts are practical and easy to use.
I've owned 4runners since '86. Bought '11 model this yr. & this is the 1st time I've regretted it. This car is bigger and more awkward than my '02 4runner. It feels giant but the interior feels more cramped. The HVAC controls are not good. It gets really hot inside & with the fan on hi I still feel suffocating. What is most annoying is that with each 4runner I've owned since '86, the gas mpg is now much worse. It is basically the same car (but with more comforts and bells and whistles each year), what are you doing wrong that the MPG is getting worse??? For one, quit making them a few inches bigger each year. If I wanted bigger I'd buy a Sequoia. Now I'm shopping for an Explorer