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2013 Toyota 4Runner Review

A disappointing ride over pavement and an interior filled with hard plastics push the used 2013 Toyota 4Runner into the bottom third of our rankings. Good reliability ratings and safety scores keep it from falling lower.

Pros & Cons

  • More capable off-road than many rivals
  • Straightforward audio and climate controls
  • Sloppy handling
  • Vague, imprecise steering




Critics' Rating: 6.7
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Toyota 4Runner Overview

Is the 2013 Toyota 4Runner a Good Used SUV?

The 2013 Toyota 4Runner is not a good used midsize SUV if you’re looking for a daily driver. Its body-on-frame construction is designed for handling off-road terrain and heavier towing loads, not delivering smooth rides over uneven pavement. The 4Runner includes a terrain adjustment system to ensure the wheels stay properly gripped on various surfaces, and the interior is filled with easy-to-clean hard plastics.

Used 2013 Toyota 4Runner Performance and Interior

A 270-horsepower V6 and five-speed automatic transmission propel the 2013 4Runner. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive available. The engine has good acceleration and the transmission shifts well. Its handling draws mixed reviews. The ride is bumpy over uneven pavement, and the steering is too light for parking lot maneuvers. Some test drivers complained that even easy turns produced body lean.

The 4Runner gets good marks for its off-road abilities. It has an available electronic locking rear differential for better traction, as well as a selectable terrain system that controls how much your wheels slip on different surfaces. The 4Runner’s towing capacity is a respectable 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.

The rear-wheel-drive 4Runner has an EPA rating of 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. The four-wheel-drive 4Runner has the same city mpg rating, but 21 mpg on the highway.

Read more about 4Runner performance »

The standard 4Runner seats five across two rows of cloth seats. A third row is available, but it’s only suitable for children. Waterproof fabric and leather are available, as are power and heated seats. The 4Runner has complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats, plus a middle-seat tether anchor.

In keeping with its rugged focus, the 2013 Toyota 4Runner has lots of hard plastics in its cabin. Standard features include Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo system with an auxiliary input jack and a USB port. Navigation, Toyota’s Entune infotainment system, and dual-zone automatic climate control are available. The 4Runner has a power-retractable window in the back, which allows you to load cargo without opening the liftgate.

Read more about 4Runner interior »

Used 2013 Toyota 4Runner Prices

The price of a used 2013 Toyota 4Runner ranges from about $24,000 for the SR5 trim with rear-wheel drive to around $29,200 for the Limited trim with four-wheel drive. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 37 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 37 Toyota 4Runner reviews and included information on safety, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a comprehensive overview of the 2013 4Runner.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Toyota 4Runner?

The 2013 Toyota 4Runner has a reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power. That’s well above average for the auto industry as a whole.

See 4Runner reliability scores »

How Safe Is the 4Runner?

The 2013 Toyota 4Runner earned an overall rating of four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It received three stars in the rollover crash test, four stars in the frontal crash, and five stars in the side crash test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2013 4Runner a Top Safety Pick. It earned the highest rating of Good in the moderate overlap front, side, rear, and roof crash tests. The 4Runner has standard rear parking sensors. A rearview camera is available in some models.

See 4Runner safety scores »

Is the 2013 4Runner the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Toyota 4Runner is part of a generation that launched in 2010 and saw updates in 2014. You may want to consider the nearly identical 2012 4Runner to save some money. The 2011 4Runner will cost you even less, but it will lack standard satellite radio, a USB port, and Bluetooth.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 4Runner »

Which Used Toyota 4Runner Is Right for Me?

The 2013 4Runner has three trims: SR5, Trail, and Limited. The base Toyota 4Runner SR5 has a standard eight-speaker stereo system with satellite radio, an auxiliary jack, Bluetooth, a USB port, keyless entry, 17-inch alloy wheels, skid plates, and fog lights. The Trail trim includes a power moonroof, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, a sliding rear cargo deck with an under-floor storage compartment, crawl control, and multiterrain modes. The Toyota 4Runner Limited has dual-zone automatic climate control, a 6.1-inch touch-screen navigation system with a rearview camera, an Entune connectivity system, flat-folding second-row leather seats, leather-trimmed and multistage heated front seats, push-button start, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a steering wheel with controls for audio, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, and voice commands. The Limited models are the most comfortable, but you’ll need the Trail trim for the best off-road experience.

Even with the 4Runner’s above-average reliability, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned model for added peace of mind. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully. The model's original sales date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

2013 Toyota 4Runner and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota 4Runner or 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a capable off-roader that has several advantages over the Toyota. The Jeep offers a compliant, comfortable ride, and its interior is filled with high-quality materials. It’ll cost you a bit more to own, but the extra money is worth it in this case.

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota 4Runner or 2013 Ford Explorer?

The 2013 Ford Explorer lacks the 4Runner’s off-road chops, but it is a respectable driver on pavement. Still, neither SUV is particularly desirable. Inside, the 4Runner has a hard plastic interior, while the Explorer’s passenger space can be cramped. The Toyota has an above-average reliability rating; the Ford has the lowest possible score of two out of five. Overall, the 4Runner is the better of the two – and it can go off road. Shop the competition before buying, however, as there are better options out there.

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota 4Runner or 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser?

Like its corporate sibling, the 4Runner, the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser is good at off-roading. The FJ is also the better choice for daily use. It has a smooth and refined ride and maneuvers well in parking lots. Add in a perfect reliability score, and the FJ Cruiser wins this match.

Compare the 4Runner, Grand Cherokee, and Explorer »

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