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The Toyota 4Runner is a generational icon. When you see this rugged, tough, and high-riding SUV, you know it’s time for some fun. Although the 4Runner brings the off-road equipment to be a blast out on the trails, no one will say it’s comfortable on the road. This Toyota SUV has been one of the most popular models ever made, but we still have a couple of questions we’d like answered. Does the ruggedness of the Toyota 4Runner drag down its reliability scores? Is this Toyota SUV misunderstood?

What are the Toyota 4Runner reliability scores?

Toyota 4Runner Tearing Up a Gravel and Dirt Trail - The Toyota 4Runner ranks high for reliability among midsize SUVs
Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

The Toyota 4Runner receives a reliability score of 4.0 out of 5.0 from RepairPal. This places the 4Runner ninth out of 26 models for the Midsize SUV class. This ranking is based on three factors which are:

  • Cost – The Toyota 4Runner’s average annual repair and maintenance costs are $514 compared to $573 for midsize SUVs.
  • Frequency – 4Runner owners bring their vehicles to the repair shop for unscheduled repairs 0.4 times per year compared to 0.4 for the class.
  • Severity – The probability of severe repairs for the Toyota 4Runner is 13% compared to 13% for midsize SUVs.

The Toyota 4Runner ranks ninth for reliability but is the most reliable off-road SUV. The only other off-road SUV in RepairPal’s top ten is the Subaru Outback.

What are the three most common Toyota 4Runner problems?

Owners face various common problems with all vehicles. The Toyota 4Rnner is pretty impressive, with low owner numbers reporting its most common problems. The three most common issues owners face in this Toyota SUV are:

  • Automatic transmission may not shift correctly at high mileages – Reported by 263 owners
  • EVAP system fault due to failed charcoal canister – Reported by 78 owners
  • The car won’t start due to worn/corroded solenoid contacts in the starter – Reported by 65 owners

RepairPal collected this data for the 2010-2019 4Runner models, which makes the low number of common problems even more impressive.

Is the 2023 Toyota 4Runner competitive in its class?

2023 Toyota 4Runner on a Forest Trail
2023 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

If we only took U.S. News & World Report data, the answer would be a resounding “no.” The 2023 Toyota 4Runner ranks 22 out of 22 midsize SUVs with U.S. News. The marks against the 4Runner include:

  • Antiquated interior design
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Unrefined automatic transmission
  • Unpleasant ride and handling on pavement

Despite these negative notes, U.S. News tells us that J.D. Power gives the 2023 4Runner a predicted reliability score of 87. This puts the venerable off-road Toyota in the Great category.

Is the 2023 Toyota 4Runner a good midsize SUV?

If you admire the old-school off-road driving feeling of the Toyota 4Runner, it can be the right midsize SUV for your wilderness adventures. Even in 2023, the 4Runner uses a 4.0-liter V6 engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. If that doesn’t make this Toyota a dinosaur, we’re not sure what would.

Most consumers understand what the 4Runner represents and what to expect. The impressive Toyota 4Runner reliability scores are a bonus when searching for an off-road SUV.


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