2013 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
I had a 1997 4Runner that I bought with over 200 miles on it and that was the best car I ever owned. For a little less than two years, I have a 2013 4Runner that is the worst car that I've ever owned. Staten Island dealer insist that it was "Certified Pre-owned". Bald tires that he would not change. Just stab a tire on the side every time you come in for a free oil change, he says. Anyway, the dealer experience was a disappointment of its own but the truck SUCKS. The worst thing is the fake four wheel drive. That dial instead of the small stick. The transmission stunk like it was burning from the time I got the truck but everyone in Toyota had an excuse that was followed with "Don't worry about it". While in four wheel drive, I slid and nearly crashed because I ran over a smashed pumpkin in the street. In a little over an inch of snow I slid sideways and just missed a bus. I was going about five miles an hour trying to get home. I pulled over and let people pass so that I can go slow. I took it back because the brakes were questionable. The idiot in Manhattan Toyota insisted that all of the Toyota brakes slip when they get hot. Recently I nearly crashed again because the rear, right brake cylinder exploded. I'm driving along, just came off of the 59th street bridge, into Long Island City and the car would not stop. I had to maneuver into oncoming traffic and then onto a sidewalk and let it coast to a stop. My wife was screaming through the whole unpleasant event. I was contemplating hitting a lamp post but i wasn't going very fast so I was okay as long as everyone kept moving out of my way. The local garage, put it on a lift and showed me the blown cylinder. I specifically mentioned the brakes to Toyota when I went for the oil change and inspections. I will never buy another Toyota or Lexus again.
This is a workhorse vehicle. Not overly fancy, but just enough to fit my needs. Didn't want to pay for a bunch of features I don't need such as third row seating or navigation....my kids are grown and my phone has navigation. So I'm happy! Love my truck!!!
Update, 6/2016: We did our first long trip in the 2013, from Dallas to Indianapolis via Nashville for the 500. Loved driving it, or being a front seat passenger- comfortable, quiet, great view of the road, but the back seats don't recline like the 2005. I could NOT get comfortable back there. And I really miss the automated comfort controls for a/c. That alone may be justification for getting the Limited version. Mileage is also not as good- I was hoping to see that climb on a long highway trip, but 20.7 is as good as it got. I have yet to pull my trailer with this one, but I am suspecting the larger motor might make it a little easier.
Original Review: We use our 4Runner both as a daily driver and weekend ranch vehicle. That's why we went with this, our second 4Runner- first one was a 2005 SR5 that we just traded on this 2013. We wanted the solid body-on-frame construction because we haul stuff all the time, sometimes off-road, and the towing capacity because we pull a small trailer sometimes. Our 2005 was bulletproof- the ONLY failure in 188,000 miles was the a/c evaporator coil. We expect this one to be similar, as most 4Runner owners will attest- they're reliable and will take punishment. They are more utilitarian and ride a little rougher than other SUVs (except for Jeeps) because of the construction, and tend to pitch or roll on uneven pavement, which can be more than some people can deal with. Towing a 2,000 lb trailer is noticeable but comfortable, no strain on the drivetrain. That 5,000 lb limit? Only if I had to for a short distance- nice to know it's capable though.
We also do quite a bit of highway, and for that, the 4Runner is great. Pretty quiet (70 mph is just over 2,000 rpm), visibility is super, seats are comfy for long hauls, and we've clocked 22 mpg at 80 mph across Wyoming. Factory sound system is pretty good. Watch out for tires with noisy tread patterns though, they'll cut through. The Michelin LTX M/S 2 is the best replacement tire for low noise and good handling.
The interior is very useable with plenty of elbow room, and headroom for a 6-footer. Our 2013 has a nice sunroof too, and I still have a few inches to spare. We did lose some features on the 2013 though that I will miss- the programmable cabin temperature from the 2005 is gone, the powered tailgate latch is gone, and now we have a radio antenna, instead of FM diversity built into the windows. Those are real cost-cutting throwbacks to me. The glove box is half the capacity (no "gun compartment" anymore), and there are no closeable storage compartments around the interior, just open compartments.
Just remember why you bought it- decent performance, classy enough for dinner, haul stuff, tow stuff without breaking down. Ever.