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2015 Toyota 4Runner Review

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner’s Unparalleled off-road abilities aren’t enough to offset its rough ride, sparsely equipped cabin, and low safety scores. As a result, it ranks near the bottom of the midsize SUV class.

Pros & Cons

  • Respectable off-road capability
  • Low-rent interior materials
  • Frustrating infotainment system
  • Uncomfortable on-road ride
  • Low fuel economy estimates




Critics' Rating: 6.0
Performance: 5.8
Interior: 5.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 8.6
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Toyota 4Runner Overview

Is the 2015 Toyota 4Runner a Good Used SUV?

Although the 2015 Toyota 4Runner is an off-road specialist, it’s not a good midsize SUV for the everyday commuter. The ride is rough, the transmission sluggish, and the cabin is full of plastics. The 4Runner also returns poor fuel economy. However, as an off roader, it’s tough to beat. Available off-road features include a locking rear differential, multi-terrain select mode, and crawl control. Unless you plan to purchase a 4Runner as a second vehicle for off-roading excursions, you’re better off with just about any other compact SUV.

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Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 48 Toyota 4Runner reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Toyota 4Runner?

There are more than 870 listings on our site for the 2015 4Runner, with an average price of about $30,800. Prices range from $26,000 to $36,000, and vary depending on the vehicle’s trim, mileage, location, condition, and features.

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How Much Does the 2015 Toyota 4Runner Cost to Own?

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner’s five-year estimated costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs total to nearly $25,100.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Toyota 4Runner?

The 2019 Toyota 4Runner starts at $35,110. Aside from a few new features and added trims, the 4Runner has received few updates from the 2015 through 2019 model years. The 2015 model is the way to go because it’s nearly indistinguishable from the 2019 model, and it costs a fraction of the price.

Read about the new Toyota 4Runner »

For less than the average price of a 2015 Toyota 4Runner, you can get a 2019 Kia Sorento, which has a base price of $26,290. It ranks near the top of the class, and we named it our 2019 Best 3-Row SUV for the Money because of its stellar combination of value and quality. It has a long list of standard features that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The Sorento also has higher-quality cabin materials and delivers a comfier ride than the 4Runner.

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Which Model Year of the Toyota 4Runner Is Best?

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner is part of the SUV’s fifth generation, which began with the 2010 model year and includes the 2019 model. Toyota made only minor styling and trim changes throughout this generation, so it’s possible to purchase an older model without sacrificing much in the way of features. We recommend the 2016 4Runner, which replaced the previous models’ complicated infotainment system with a more user-friendly version.  

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 4Runner »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Toyota 4Runner?

J.D. Power gives the 2015 4Runner a reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Read more about 4Runner reliability »

2015 Toyota 4Runner Recalls

As of this writing, the 2015 Toyota 4Runner has seven reported recalls. These address issues with the SUV’s air bags, accessory exhaust tip, pieces that may detach, and incorrect weight calculations. Ensure that these issues have been resolved before you buy a 2015 4Runner.

See more information on Toyota 4Runner safety recalls »

Which Used Toyota 4Runner Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 4Runner has six trim levels: SR5, SR5 Premium, Trail, Trail Premium, Limited, and TRD Pro. The 4Runner Limited is the most practical trim for the everyday driver. It provides the best-possible combination of on-road comfort, features, and off-road capabilities. You’ll get heated and ventilated seats with leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a premium JBL sound system, and parking sensors. Some Limited models come with full-time four-wheel drive and a locking rear differential.

If off-roading is your primary purpose, you’ll want either a Trail-designated trim or the TRD Pro trim, all of which come with part-time 4WD, off-road upgrades, and heated front seats.

See 2015 Toyota 4Runner trims and specs »

What Does Toyota's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Toyota offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 85,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the initial sale date or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like a CarFax vehicle history report, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Toyota’s CPO program is about average for an affordable carmaker, according to our research. Mazda, Hyundai, and Honda all have better programs.

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How Safe Is the 4Runner?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 4Runner an overall rating of four out of five stars, with four stars in the frontal crash tests, five stars in the side crash tests, and three stars in the rollover test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 4Runner the top rating of Good in four crash tests and the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the driver-side small overlap front test.

A rearview camera comes standard in the 2015 4Runner. Front and rear parking sensors are the only available driver assistance features, while most midsize SUVs are available with several more.

See 4Runner safety scores »

2015 Toyota 4Runner Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Toyota 4Runner or 2015 Nissan Pathfinder?

It’s difficult to recommend either the 2015 Nissan Pathfinder or the 4Runner, but unless you want the Toyota’s off-road prowess, you’ll likely find the Pathfinder to be a better vehicle. The Nissan provides a smooth ride on pavement and a nice interior with roomy seating. The Pathfinder also returns excellent gas mileage for the class, and it has more available safety features than the 4Runner, like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.

Which Is Better: 2015 Toyota 4Runner or 2015 Toyota Highlander?

The 2015 Toyota Highlander is an excellent family-friendly SUV that covers many of the 4Runner’s drawbacks. First, the Highlander’s interior is quiet and much more upscale, and it has a number of technology and safety features not available in its competitor. The Highlander also has better on-road manners, with a suspension that absorbs bumps for maximum passenger comfort. Unless you’re going to do a lot of off-roading, stick with the Highlander.

Compare the 4Runner, Pathfinder, and Highlander »

2015 Toyota 4Runner Performance

How Does the 2015 Toyota 4Runner Drive?

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner has a 270-horsepower V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Power and acceleration are suitable for most driving situations, but the transmission can be slow to find the right gear.

The Toyota 4Runner is available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. On paved surfaces, the 4Runner has numb steering, lackluster handling, and an uncomfortable ride that make it an impractical vehicle for everyday use. However, it’s one of the most capable off-road SUVs on the market. Some trims come with off-roading features like a locking rear differential, multi-terrain select mode, crawl control, and other trail-ready upgrades.

Does the 2015 Toyota 4Runner Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 4Runner’s large engine returns below-average fuel economy estimates of 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

Read more about 4Runner performance »

2015 Toyota 4Runner Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Toyota 4Runner Seat?

In its standard configuration, the 2015 Toyota 4Runner seats five. Some used models may have an available third row that increases seating to seven. The available third row only has enough space for a couple of kids, which is typical for three-row SUVs. The front seats are inviting, and they provide a commanding view of the road, but the second-row seats are tight and positioned too low for comfort.

The cabin is filled with hard plastics, which is great if you spend a lot of time in the mud. However, it’s not ideal for day-to-day travel. Cloth upholstery is standard, and some models come with leather upholstery as well as heated and ventilated front seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Toyota 4Runner?

There are two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the 4Runner’s second row, and there is a top tether anchor for the middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use.

2015 Toyota 4Runner Features

Standard features in the 2015 4Runner are minimal. The standard Entune touch-screen infotainment system features satellite radio and Bluetooth, but it is slow to respond and has confusing menus. You can find some 4Runners that include a navigation system, dual-zone automatic climate control, a premium JBL audio system, proximity keyless entry, and a moonroof.

See 2015 Toyota 4Runner specs »

Read more about 4Runner interior »

2015 Toyota 4Runner Dimensions

Toyota 4Runner Cargo Space

The 2015 4Runner has 9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the optional third row, 47.2 cubic feet behind the second row, and 89.7 cubic feet with both rear rows folded. That’s a lot of space for a two-row SUV.

2015 4Runner Length and Weight

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner SR5 and SR5 Premium trims are nearly 15.6 feet long. Trail and Trail Premium trims are almost 16 feet long, and the Limited trim measures 15.9 feet long. The gross vehicle weight rating ranges from 6,100 to 6,300 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Toyota 4Runner Built?

Toyota manufactured the 2015 4Runner in Japan.

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