Buying a Toyota 4Runner Is a Great Defense Against Depreciation
Although the Toyota 4Runner SUV recently received several valuable updates, it didn’t need them to be popular. The 4Runner, especially the off-road TRD Pro model, recently enjoyed one of its best sales years. No, even with its updates, it isn’t the most advanced midsize SUV, but fans prefer it that way. Owners keep their SUVs for 200,000 miles and beyond, giving it an excellent reliability rating. All these explain why the Toyota 4Runner is good at resisting depreciation.
Does the Toyota 4Runner hold its value well?
The Toyota 4Runner, however, lost only 36.5% of its value. Only the Jeep Wrangler retained its value better amongst SUVs. In fact, not only was the 4Runner the least-depreciating SUV, it ranked fifth in the Top 10 vehicles with the lowest depreciation. The only cars that did better were the Jeep Wrangler and the Toyota Tacoma and Tundra. And the latter two are the one and two least-depreciating pickup trucks. The Toyota 4Runner, particularly the TRD Pro, can hold its value so well that used ones sometimes sell for more than new ones.
iSeeCars recently analyzed over seven million new and used vehicles to determine the best and worst at retaining value. Overall, over five years, the site found a vehicle loses 49.6% of its value to depreciation. SUVs did slightly worse: the average SUV lost 51.6% over the same 5-year period.
Is the Toyota 4Runner reliable?
Despite its recent updates, the 4Runner remains an old-school midsize SUV: heavy body-on-frame design, 5-speed transmission, and a 4.0-liter V6. The infotainment system was also somewhat dated until recently, as was the safety equipment. And even now, you still can’t get automatic braking.
But it’s precisely because of its dinosaur-like design that the 4Runner is so popular. As the experts point out, no one makes an SUV like this anymore. iSeeCar’s CEO Phong Ly stated that the 4Runner is “built like a truck and has truck-like durability.” It has a reputation for being rugged and dependable, as do many other Toyota trucks and SUVs. Such a loyal following and positive perception make for high resale values. And because the model’s been in production so long, Toyota’s ironed out all the bugs.
Plus, the TRD Pro comes with useful off-road features like a locking rear differential, bypass shocks, and skid plates. Then there’s the Venture Edition, which adds a steel roof rack and the TRD Pro’s Crawl Control. As Autotrader described, the 4Runner is the Land Cruiser that many buyers wish Toyota still made.
Other things to consider before buying a Toyota 4Runner
There are some drawbacks to the 4Runner’s vintage design. Although Toyota has added safety features like pre-collision and lane-departure warning, there’s no blind-spot monitoring. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ranked its headlights poor and gave it a marginal score on the small overlap test. The NHTSA did give it four stars, though. But considering the current state of the IIHS SUV testing, these results should be carefully considered before putting a family into a 4Runner.
Car and Driver noted that the interior was plasticky, though rugged. Both Car and Driver said that the midsize SUV rides a bit rough, a common issue with off-road SUVs. The V6 and 5-speed transmission also make for relatively poor fuel economy: Car and Driver only got 19 mpg on the highway. And while the TRD Pro and Venture Edition are excellent off-roaders, not every 4Runner comes with four-wheel drive. The entry-level one is rear-wheel drive, and the Limited’s four-wheel drive is only part-time.
Stepping up to the TRD Pro can also be rather expensive. The base 4Runner starts at $36,020, while the TRD Pro starts at $49,765. However, Toyota does offer two years (or 25,000 miles) of complimentary service. Still, based on owner reports, the SUV will be in the family for far longer than its 5-year/60,000-mile warranty.