2013 Toyota 4Runner Consumer Review: Back in a 4runner

2013 Toyota 4Runner - Consumer Review

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15 of 23 people found this review helpful
Back in a 4runner
By rart on


2013 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


I have had 4Runners in the past,
so I knew I would be getting a quality product.
I was right.
I enjoy everything about the 4Runner. It is equally at home in "high society" or pulling a boat down a gravel road.
I will say that I'm shocked at how harsh the media has been on this new model.
IMO, that is due to the fact that most review agencies are centered in urban areas.
They would prefer everyone drive compact cars,
so they naturally prefer car based SUV's and have trouble understanding people that actually plan to use an SUV outside of grocery and soccer duty.
Do not let subjective reviews get to you.
They are comparing it to a car in every respect.
It is not a "car".

Best Features

Being as how my previous truck was 9 years old, I am not used to the features that are commonplace these days. The backup camera, voice control, heated wipers, bluetooth, touch keyless entry, and HD radio are all new and exciting to me. Beyond that, I can't think of any exclusive features that really standout. All of these things are pretty much standard on vehicles in this price range these days.

Worst Features

I would really be reaching here, but my 4Runner came with running boards. At 6'2", I find these totally useless. I have to actually step over them as I enter and exit the vehicle. IMO, only vertically challenged people and children will actually need assistance from the running boards, otherwise they are a nuisance. This is a non-issue, because they can be easily removed (or added) if necessary. Also, the gear shifter looks and feels really cheap for a 40K+ vehicle. IMO, it takes away from an otherwise very attractive interior. I was a little upset that it did not come with remote start or lane change sensors. I feel that it should have, being a Limited.
Recommend (15) (8)

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By rart
on 09/17/13 09:26 AM (PDT)

I just wanted to add some more info after 6 months with this vehicle. I will say that it has been great and has no issues at all. One thing I have noticed that really irritates me is that Toyota went overboard on trying to turn this now prehistoric engine into something it isn't- powerful and efficient. The transmission programming is anemic. It does too much to keep the RPM's down to save gas, but it comes with a heavy price in terms of drivability. The engine does not have the power or torque to cruise at highway speeds in overdrive. It constantly has to violently upshift to maintain speed if cruise control is engaged. If you are not using C/C, you will look down to see that you have lost 10 mph, because the 4runner refuses to drop a gear to keep the speed constant. If you plan on towing ANYTHING, even if it's 500 pounds, it will put a major dent in your fuel economy and make the drivability that much worse. IMO, this engine and transmission combo is way past it's prime and should have been updated in 2010 with the redesign. To me, this negates any real benefit of marketing the 4runner as the last SUV with any real SUV heritage left in it. It needs a direct injection engine with 290+ HP, at least a 6 spd transmission, and it needs to return at least 20 mpg average, instead of the 17.5 I get. All of this was acceptable 6-8 years ago, it's not now. One last thing, Toyota obviously went with overly narrow wheels in an effort to reduce resistance and improve fuel economy. It didn't work. Now you have a vehicle that is scary in heavy rain because there is too little rubber on the road, and has virtually no choices when it come time to replace the tires because virtually all tires in this size need at least a 7.5" wheel and are not recommended for the 7" wheel that Toyota decided to use. The 4runner is a nice vehicle, and seems to have the typical Toyota quality, but Toyota ruined this vehicle by trying to eek out another half mpg and taking the easy way out when it came time to modernize the power plant and transmission. At this moment, I'm torn between keeping this vehicle for what it is, or selling it because of what it isn't.

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By amarrao14
on 01/03/14 00:53 AM (PST)

Seems like Toyota tried to address all of these concerns on the 2014? Looks like it has wider tires - at least the Trail Edition, which is the only one I've looked at - and they've remapped the transmission a bit. Let's hope it worked ..

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