A huge favorite of large families that love to travel, the Toyota 4Runner is a vehicle you’d describe as a jack of all trades.
The Toyota 4Runner features impressive off-road credentials yet is comfortable for daily driving. If you’re looking for a tough, versatile SUV that is at home both in the wilderness and city streets, the 4Runner is just the vehicle for you.
To help you make an informed purchase, we’ve compiled vital statistics relating to the 4Runner models.
Read on to get production numbers, resale values, reliability ratings, recall actions, and more:
How Many Toyota 4Runner Have Been Sold Per Year in The U.S.?
Toyota’s release of the 4Runner coincided with a rise in demand for SUVs that offered truck-like performance and were comfortable enough for regular driving.
While the initial 4Runners had the Spartan feel of pickup trucks, later models would add several luxury features.
As a result, sales of the 4Runner in the U.S. shot up. Toyota sold 6,498 4Runner models in 1984; five years later, the figure had improved to over 20,000 models sold.
Annual sales of the 4Runner continued in the six-digit region for long. However, the post-2007 oil crisis, which witnessed high fuel prices, saw the demand for 4Runners decline. Annual sales reached a nadir in 2009 when Toyota moved only 19,675 models. Only three years earlier, Toyota had sold over 100,000 models.
Demand improved later, as fuel prices went down, and the demand for hybrids cooled. The SUV craze, thought to be over, was back in full swing. Big, brawny, but comfortable SUVs like the 4Runner saw sales increase, with annual sales reaching six-digit figures again.
Sales even peaked in 2018, with over 138,000 models sold that year.
Here’s a breakdown of yearly sales figures starting from 1984 to date:
|Year||No. of Models Sold|
What Year Did Toyota Start the 4Runner Models?
Production of the Toyota 4Runner started in October 1983, and models started selling in 1984.
At inception, it was based heavily on the Toyota Hilux truck. In fact, it was essentially a Hilux, but with rear seats and a fiberglass shell.
Toyota would later redesign the 4Runner to distinguish it from the Hilux pickup. It also had a new integrated steel structure mounted on the existing frame to replace the previous fiberglass top.
The 4Runner’s third generation [1995-2002] saw the SUV break away from its Hilux-sized mold.
Toyota’s engineers redesigned the 4Runner completely, giving it a new body and chassis. Safety and convenience features were also introduced to bolster the 4Runner’s reputation as a family-friendly vehicle. Lift-up tailgates, ABS, improved suspension, dual-airbags, comfortable seats, and a bigger cargo-hold all appeared on the new 4Runner models.
Toyota continued to modify elements on the 4Runner in the following years, improving performance and towing capacity. The 4Runner’s body size also increased, landing it a spot in the midsize SUV segment [it was previously a compact-SUV].
The Toyota 4Runner has undergone four iterations in its 35-year history:
- 1984 – 1989 [First Generation]
- 1990 – 1995 [Second Generation]
- 1996 – 2002 [Third Generation]
- 2003 – 2009 [Fourth Generation]
- 2010 – Present [Fifth Generation]
Presently in the fifth generation, the Toyota 4Runner has been in production for 35 years.
How Is the Fuel Economy On Toyota 4Runner?
Most of the 4Runners are V6-engine performance-oriented vehicles.
Do you know what that means? Yes, higher fuel consumption and more money spent on fuel.
The 4Runner’s fuel economy isn’t bad for an off-road SUV. However, prepare for more visits to the fuel pump. What the 4Runner lacks in fuel efficiency, it makes up for in a cavernous gas tank. A full tank can take a family of seven on a 460-mile journey.
Here are gas mileage figures for the 2020 4Runner models:
|Model||Highway MPG||City MPG||Combined MPG|
|4Runner 2WD 4.0 L [6-cyl.]||19 MPG||16 MPG||17 MPG|
|4Runner 4WD 4.0 L [6-cyl.]||19 MPG||16 MPG||17 MPG|
How Quickly Do Toyota 4Runner Depreciate?
The 4Runner does many things well, and that includes holding its value.
According to iSeeCars, the 4Runner is #3 least-depreciating SUV, after the duo of Jeep Wrangler models.
It also ranks it the #5 least-depreciating vehicles overall. Similarly, KBB ranked the 4Runner #2 Off-Road vehicle with the best resale value in its 2020 Best Resale Value Awards.
4Runners have good resale values due to their reputation for reliability and longevity. Add their off-road prowess, and you discover why they appeal to so many buyers.
Strong demand for the 4Runner has kept resale prices high, and depreciation rates low on used models.
The average 4Runner retains 63.5% of its value after the first five years, depreciating at a rate of 36.5%.
Did Toyota Recall Any of the Toyota 4Runner Models?
Toyota’s 4Runner is one of the most reliable vehicles on the market.
However, no vehicle is beyond problems, and the 4Runner has had some over the years.
Some of these problems have led to recalls. Toyota has recalled the 4Runner 45 times.
We’ve ranked each model year based on its appearances in recall actions:
|Year||No. Of Recalls|
How Much Do The 4Runner Models Pollute?
Off-road vehicles and environmental-friendliness rarely mix, and this is the case for the 4Runner models.
Because of their fuel-thirsty engines, they have high greenhouse gas emissions. As such, they leave a larger carbon footprint.
From EPA data, the 2020 4Runners emit, on average, 514 grams of CO2 per mile.
How Much Do The 4Runner Models Tow?
Between its 4-liter V6 engine and rugged body, the 4Runner has all it needs to tow loads.
From reports, the 2020 4Runner models can tow up to 5,000 lbs. This makes it one of the best vehicles in the midsize SUV segment in terms of towing ability. Rivals such as the Ford Edge, Jeep Wrangler, and Santa Fe Sport, all have lower tow ratings.
All models in the 2020 4Runner lineup come with a towing hitch receiver, wiring harness, and 4WD capability that ensure your vehicle can tow safely.
How Reliable Are Toyota 4Runner?
4Runners were always popular as tough-as-nails vehicles with impressive reliability.
Even today, the 4Runner is considered one of the most-reliable midsize SUVs ever made. Therefore, you can rest assured that your 4Runner won’t leave you on the roadside.
Here’s some proof of the 4Runner’s legendary reliability:
- The 4Runner appeared on an iSeeCars list of longest-lasting vehicles created in 2018.
- iSeeCars ranked the 4Runner #5 longest-lasting vehicle, with 3.9% of its models crossing the 200,000-mile mark.
- The 4Runner won J.D. Power’s award for Most Dependable Midsize SUV in 2020.
- It ranked first among all midsize SUVs reviewed in the 2020 Vehicle Dependability Study.
- RepairPal gives the 4Runner a 4/5 reliability rating, ranking it the 6th most reliable midsize SUV.
How Safe Are Toyota 4Runner?
4Runners come standard with the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of safety systems.
The TSSP comes with a pre-collision warning system, lane-departure alert, dynamic radar cruise control, and pedestrian detection. The vehicle also comes with Automatic High Beams designed to make driving in low-visibility conditions less dangerous.
Other safety features include Anti-Lock Braking System [ABS], Advanced Airbag System, and Vehicle Stability Control.
Despite its array of safety technologies, the 4Runner’s performance on crash tests isn’t inspiring. The NHTSA gave it a four-star rating overall. This includes a four-star rating for its protection in a frontal crash and a three-star rating for its rollover risk.
Similarly, the IIHS gave the 4Runner high scores in most of the crash tests. However, it gives the 4Runner below-average marks for its frontal-crash protection. The IIHS also rated the 4Runner’s headlights poorly.
What Is the Typical Buyer Demographic for This Model?
Buyers of the 4Runner are usually younger and wealthier than the average midsize SUV buyer.
Their median age is 50 years [segment average is 56 years], and annual household income is $120,750 [segment average is $113,384].
4Runner buyers are image-conscious individuals who want unique vehicles. They are not overly concerned about fuel economy and are less likely to pay a premium for an environmentally friendly vehicle.
They care about the vehicle’s performance, with many identifying as performance-buyers.
Toyota 4Runner Theft Numbers
Here are annual theft rates for the 4Runner models [Numbers gotten from NHTSA Vehicle Theft Rate Database]:
|Year||No. Of Models Stolen|