A Timeless SUV in the Modern Age
The Toyota 4Runner, a stalwart of the midsize SUV market, has maintained its off-road prowess and rugged charm for decades. The 5th generation 4Runner, introduced in 2009 and still in production as of this writing, has been a popular choice among off-roading enthusiasts, adventurers, and families alike. In this post, we delve into the key features, reliability, and resale value of the 5th generation Toyota 4Runner.
Toyota 4Runner Key Features and Performance
The 5th generation 4Runner comes with a bulletproof 4.0-liter V6 engine, producing 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain is paired with a tried and true 5-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, with optional part-time or full-time four-wheel drive systems available for those seeking increased off-road capabilities on its more off road-oriented trim levels such as its sought-after TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro variants.
One of the 4Runner’s standout features is its body-on-frame construction, providing enhanced durability and off-road performance. This rugged design allows the 4Runner to tackle challenging terrain with ease, thanks to its impressive ground clearance, approach and departure angles, and available off-road features like Multi-Terrain Select, Crawl Control available locking rear differential and KDSS.
The 4Runner’s Interior and Technology
The 5th generation 4Runner offers a spacious and practical interior, with seating for up to seven passengers (when equipped with an optional third-row seat) and ample cargo space. The cabin is outfitted with durable materials, perfect for handling the wear and tear of off-road adventures.
While the 4Runner might not boast the most cutting-edge technology, it offers a range of standard and available features to keep passengers connected and entertained. These include a touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone integration, navigation, a premium audio system, and various driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning.
The T4R’s Reliability and Maintenance
The Toyota 4Runner has built a reputation for reliability, with the 5th generation being no exception. This SUV consistently receives above-average reliability ratings, thanks in part to Toyota’s robust engineering and quality control. Routine maintenance costs are generally low, with the 4Runner requiring only standard upkeep like oil changes, tire rotations, and brake servicing. However, off-road enthusiasts who put their 4Runner through its paces may need to budget for additional maintenance related to suspension and drivetrain components.
Toyota 4Runner Resale Value and Market Perception
The 5th generation Toyota 4Runner holds its value exceptionally well, thanks to its reputation for reliability, durability, and off-road prowess. In the used market, the 4Runner often commands higher prices compared to its competitors, reflecting the strong demand for this versatile SUV.
Despite the growing popularity of crossovers with unibody construction, the 5th generation 4Runner remains a top choice for those seeking a rugged, body-on-frame SUV. Its timeless design, off-road capabilities, and reputation for dependability have solidified its position as a sought-after vehicle in the used market, especially in the post-pandemic used car market.
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Pros of the 5th Generation Toyota 4Runner
- Off-road capabilities: The 4Runner is known for its excellent off-road performance, thanks to its body-on-frame construction, high ground clearance, and available off-road features like Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. It also enjoys robust aftermarket support for suspension, armor, and wheel/tire upgrades.
- Reliability: The Toyota 4Runner has a reputation for dependability, with the 5th generation consistently receiving above-average reliability ratings.
- Resale value: The 4Runner holds its value exceptionally well compared to its competitors, making it a solid investment for those looking to resell their vehicle in the future.
- Spacious and practical interior: The 4Runner offers a roomy and functional cabin, with seating for up to seven passengers (with the optional third-row seat) and ample cargo space.
- Towing capacity: The 4Runner has a respectable towing capacity, allowing it to haul boats, small trailers, or other recreational equipment with ease. Its factory roof rails have a few-hundred pound carry capacity, and aftermarket roof racks add even more capability.
Cons of the 5th Generation Toyota 4Runner
- Fuel economy: The 4Runner’s fuel efficiency is below average for its class, due in part to its relatively low-powered engine and lack of gearing. Especially when loaded down, towing, or at altitude, the word “dog” will come to mind often when behind the wheel of the T4R.
- Dated technology: While the 4Runner’s cabin is functional and durable, it lacks some of the more modern design elements and technology features found in competitors, such as advanced infotainment systems or cutting-edge driver assistance technologies.
- Ride quality: The 4Runner’s body-on-frame construction and off-road-focused suspension can make its on-road ride quality less comfortable and refined compared to unibody crossovers, especially if a given 4Runner doesn’t have KDSS, or is equipped with off-road tires.
- Maneuverability: The 4Runner’s larger size and body-on-frame construction can make it more challenging to maneuver in tight spaces, such as urban environments or crowded parking lots.
- Third-row seating: While the optional third-row seat allows for up to seven passengers, it can be cramped for adults and is best suited for children or shorter trips.
The 5th generation Toyota 4Runner is an exceptional SUV that has maintained its appeal in an increasingly crowded market. Its off-road capabilities, reliability, and strong resale value make it an attractive option for those looking for a rugged and dependable vehicle. Whether you’re a seasoned off-roader or a family seeking adventure, the Toyota 4Runner is an excellent choice that will stand the test of time.
In summary, the 5th generation Toyota 4Runner is an excellent choice for those seeking a rugged, off-road capable SUV with a reliable reputation and strong resale value. However, it may not be the best option for those prioritizing fuel efficiency, cutting-edge technology, or a more car-like ride quality.
Based on our proprietary data and the 4Runners in our marketplace, we see the 5th Gen 4Runner retaining its current high values in the near term across all trim levels—albeit depending largely upon the design, features and capability of the upcoming 6th Generation Toyota 4Runner.
While competitors like the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler will invariably have an impact on the 4x4 SUV landscape from a value standpoint, rumors of a revived Toyota Land Cruiser may also cannibalize future 4Runner values. However, we expect TRD Pro Toyota 4Runners in rare and exclusive TRD Pro colors, especially those that are well maintained, minimally modified, owned by 1 owner and with low miles may actually appreciate in value over time. Not bad for a 15-year-old mass-produced platform!
Want to learn more about a particular 4Runner’s history? Try our VIN lookup or license plate search!
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