The Toyota 4Runner is a staple in the Japanese giant’s lineup of SUVs for more than a decade. It’s easily one of the most popular midsize SUVs in recent memory. Over the years, the team over at Toyota has done an excellent job at keeping 4Runner enthusiasts well-taken care of with each new model year, staying true to the manufacturer’s roots and producing a top-tier 4×4 vehicle praised for its rugged capability.
The beautiful thing about this SUV is the fact that you’ll have no problem adventuring off-road in it. With multiple trim levels available, there’s also quite an array of 4Runner versions with cosmetic improvements and different technologies available for each model year.
Every few years, the 4Runner goes through upgrades and changes throughout the vehicle, including the body style, interior dimensions, engine specifications, and other highlights. Toyota has been highly successful in keeping a consistent benchmark of quality throughout every generation. 4Runners are reliable and are built to last.
That said, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the best Toyota 4Runner models based on past ratings and specific features. If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a used Jeep SUV, keep reading to find out why a certain generation 4Runner could be one of your biggest wins in a long time.
2010-2013 Model Years (5th Generation Toyota 4Runner)
Trims and Specs
|Trim||Toyota 4Runner SR5||Toyota 4Runner SR5 V6||Toyota 4Runner Trail||Toyota 4Runner Limited|
|Engine||2.7L Inline 4-Cylinder||4.0L V6||4.0 L V6||4.0 Liter V6|
|Transmission||4-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic|
|Horsepower||157 HP||270 HP||270 HP||270 HP|
|Torque||178 lb-ft||278 lb.-ft||278 lb-ft||278 lb-ft|
|Configuration||RWD||RWD or AWD||4WD||RWD or AWD|
|Fuel Efficiency||18 MPG City / 23 MPG Highway||17 MPG City / 23 MPG Highway||17 MPG City / 22 MPG Highway||17 MPG City / 23 MPG Highway|
When the 2010-2013 models were new, the prices ranged from $27,000 for the 2010 base version up to $41,030 for the 2013 Limited Trim. Currently you can find a 2010 or 2011 for under $15,000, or a 2012 or 2013 between $15,000 and $20,000. Recent price estimates depend on the trim level.
Why They’re the Best
2010-2013 and the 2017-2019 models all fall under the 5th Generation category. They’re both included in our list of the best year 4Runner, but they have some notable differences. The 2010-2013 Toyota 4Runner models are so special because of the change into a new body style and upgrades for the Toyota 4Runner.
These years included new trim options with off-road features like crawl control and other terrain modes that provided maximum domination on any road or surface. Because the brand does such a great job at holding its value, you’re likely to find a high-quality used Toyota 4Runner out of this group, even with 200,000 miles or more. The fifth generation represents the widest range of Toyota 4Runners, giving drivers plenty of options for 4runner model years.
2017-2019 Model Years (5th Generation Toyota 4Runner)
Trims and Specs
|Trim||Toyota 4Runner SR5||Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium||Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road||Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road Premium||Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro||Toyota 4Runner Limited|
|Engine||4.0L V6||4.0L V6||4.0L V6||4.0L V6||4.0L V6||4.0L V6|
|Transmission||5-Speed Automatic||5-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic|
|Horsepower||270 HP||270 HP||270 HP||270 HP||270 HP||270 HP|
|Torque||278 lb-ft||278 lb-ft||278 lb-ft||278 lb-ft||278 lb-ft||278 lb-ft|
|Configuration||2WD and 4WD||2WD and 4WD||4WD||TRD Off Road Premium 4WD||TRD PRO 4WD||Limited 2WD and Limited 4WD|
|Fuel Efficiency||17 MPG City / 21 MPG Highway||17 MPG City / 21 MPG Highway||17 MPG City / 20 MPG Highway||17 MPG City / 20 MPG Highway||17 MPG City / 20 MPG Highway||17 MPG City / 21 MPG Highway|
Brand new, the 2017-2019 4Runner Models ranged from $34,210 for the 2017 base model up to $47,400 for the highest trim of the 2019 model. Current prices are between $25,000 and $30,000, depending on the trim.
Why They’re the Best
The depreciation value is what makes these model years such an excellent buy. The 2020-2022 versions don’t differ much from the 2017-2019. However, you can expect to pay about $10,000 less for 2017-2019. In addition, you’re only paying about 83% of the new price but still have 92% of the vehicle’s life remaining. This gives you the opportunity to drive an SUV with extended life or sell it later for an excellent price point. Being relatively new vehicles, they can be packed with the modern comforts you’d expect even from brand new vehicles.
2007 and 2008 Model Year (4th Generation Toyota 4Runner)
Trims and Specs
|Trim||Toyota 4Runner SR5 V6||Toyota 4Runner SR5 V8||Toyota 4Runner Sport V6||Toyota 4Runner Sport V8||Toyota 4Runner Limited V6||Toyota 4Runner Limited V8|
|Engine||4.0L V6||4.7L V8 Engine||4.0L V6||4.7L V8 Engine||4.0L V6 Engine||4.7L V8 Engine|
|Transmission||5-Speed Automatic||5-Speed Automatic||5-Speed Automatic||5-Speed Automatic||5-Speed Automatic||5-Speed Automatic|
|Horsepower||236 HP||260 HP||236 HP||260 HP||236 HP||260 HP|
|Torque||266 lb-ft||306 lb-ft||266 lb-ft||306 lb-ft||266 lb-ft||306 lb-ft|
|Configuration||RWD and 4WD||RWD and 4WD||RWD and 4WD||RWD and 4WD||RWD and 4WD||RWD and 4WD|
|Fuel Efficiency||16 MPG City / 21 MPG Highway||15 MPG City / 19 MPG Highway||16 MPG City / 21 MPG Highway||15 MPG City / 19 MPG Highway||16 MPG City / 21 MPG Highway||15 MPG City / 19 MPG Highway|
Brand new, this generation ranged anywhere from $28,000 to $39,315. Now, you can find this model year for less than $8,000 if you shop around enough. Despite the drop in price, the fourth generation 4Runner is still incredibly dependable and durable.
Why They’re the Best
What made this generation so special? Two things: This 4th generation experienced the lowest number of complaints with Consumer Affairs, and it’s also the only generation to feature the V8 engine. If you’re looking for the most powerful version of the 4Runner, this is where you’ll find it.
In addition, this generation contains the best used Toyota 4Runner prices while maintaining the trademark durability. These years also marked the generation after a significant change in body style from the first generation and second generation 4Runner exteriors. First generation and second generation models were boxier. By the time the fourth generation emerged, Toyota was able to work out the bugs from the third generation. However, cosmetic-wise, the fourth generation, and third generation are almost identical.
It is no surprise that the best year 4Runner is spread out across multiple generations. As one of Toyota’s staple releases spanning decades, the Toyota 4Runner is a picture of dependability and reliable performance.
The 4Runner is unique because it bridges the gap between the clunkier, big-bodied SUVs of the past and the sleeker, more efficient SUVs of the future. Assuming Toyota continues its streak of quality on the 4Runner, you can bank on this model sticking around for a long time.
If you’re curious about the other end of the spectrum, check out our post listing 4Runner years to avoid.