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2017 Toyota 4Runner Review

The 2017 Toyota 4Runner is a marvelous off-road SUV, but it is limited when it comes to creature comforts. This is part of the reason it ranks toward the bottom of its class.

Pros & Cons

  • Impressive off-road capability
  • Great overall cargo space
  • Firm ride
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Cramped third-row seats
  • Very few advanced safety features available




Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
Safety: 8.6
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Toyota 4Runner Overview

Is the 2017 Toyota 4Runner a Good Used SUV?

The 2017 Toyota 4Runner is an excellent SUV for adventurers, with special off-road models and loads of cargo space to carry all your gear. However, it doesn’t excel as much on the pavement, and commuters may tire of its stiff ride and poor fuel economy. The 4Runner’s crash test ratings are also lower than those of most other midsize SUVs

Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Toyota 4Runner in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 50 professional Toyota 4Runner reviews.

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2017 Toyota 4Runner?

Prices for a 2017 Toyota 4Runner range from about $29,500 to $42,000, according to more than 900 listings for this SUV on our used car site. The average price is $34,600. Exact prices depend on the mileage, condition, trim level, and regional demand of the vehicle.

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How Much Does the 2017 Toyota 4Runner Cost to Own?

You can expect to pay almost $25,000 over the course of five years to insure, fuel, repair, and maintain a 2017 4Runner.

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

Because Toyota made no major changes to the 2018 4Runner, there’s no compelling reason to buy new instead of used. In fact, you can likely save a couple thousand dollars if you buy used, based on the difference between the average listing price of a 2017 4Runner ($34,600) and the starting MSRP of a 2018 model ($36,685).

Read about the new Toyota 4Runner »

For the same amount of money as a 2017 4Runner (or potentially even less), you can buy a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee instead. It places much higher in our midsize SUV rankings. Prices for the entry-level Laredo trim start at $30,695 with two-wheel drive and $32,995 with four-wheel drive. Another excellent off-road SUV that’s within this price range is the Jeep Wrangler. Fully redesigned for 2018, the Wrangler now offers a similar level of refinement as its rivals, as well as features that are mainstream among many other SUVs. Its midlevel Sport S trim starts at $34,195 for the four-door Unlimited model. Lastly, for a well-rounded SUV that ranks at the top of its class, check out the 2018 Toyota Highlander ($31,230).

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Which Model Year of the Toyota 4Runner Is Best? 

Toyota last refreshed the 4Runner’s exterior and interior styling for the 2014 model year, and it updated the infotainment system for 2016. Most of the changes beyond that pertain only to the trim levels; the SR5 Premium, Trail Premium, and TRD Pro trims debuted in 2015, and the TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road Premium models were added in 2017. Since its refresh, the 4Runner has earned nearly identical scores for each model year. In other words, unless you are after one of the newly added trims, you can save money with a very similar older model.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 4Runner »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Toyota 4Runner?

The 2017 4Runner has a predicted reliability score of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is average across the industry.

Read more about 4Runner reliability »

2017 Toyota 4Runner Recalls

Four recalls have been issued for the 2017 4Runner as of this writing, all of which affect around 1,000 or fewer vehicles. These recalls tighten potentially loose roof racks, check the air pressure in the spare tire, replace potentially faulty grille hardware, and replace incorrect load labels. Before buying a used 4Runner, make sure that any applicable recalls have been properly addressed by an authorized Toyota dealer. 

See more information on Toyota 4Runner safety recalls »

Which Used Toyota 4Runner Model Is Right for Me?

Among the 2017 4Runner trim levels, the SR5, SR5 Premium, and Limited models are oriented more toward passengers. They mostly upgrade the cabin as you move up in trim level. Rear-wheel drive is standard, though four-wheel drive is available in each. The 4Runner TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, and TRD Pro trim levels, on the other hand, are outfitted for adventure. All three come standard with four-wheel drive, along with heavy-duty components like a locking rear differential, crawl control, off-road tires, and heavy-duty shocks.

For an appealing blend of off-road equipment and comfort amenities, we recommend the TRD Off-Road Premium. If most of your travels will keep you on civilized roads, then the 4Runner SR5 will be an excellent value for you. Its standard features include a 6.1-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, and a power rear liftgate.

See 2017 Toyota 4Runner trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Toyota 4Runner Warranty

You may want to consider buying a certified pre-owned 4Runner, partly because Toyota’s CPO program is one of the best among nonluxury brands. 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 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.

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Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the 4Runner?

The 2017 4Runner earned mixed crash test results, and it has one of the lowest safety scores in our used midsize SUV rankings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it four out of five stars for overall safety, in addition to a five-star side crash rating, a four-star frontal crash rating, and a three-star rollover rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety scored the 4Runner as Marginal in the driver’s side small overlap front test, but Good in all other simulations conducted.

The only standard safety feature in the 2017 4Runner is a rearview camera. Notably, no other advanced safety equipment – such as adaptive cruise control or forward collision warning – was offered.

See 4Runner safety scores »

2017 Toyota 4Runner Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Toyota 4Runner or 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

If you’re specifically after an off-road-ready SUV, you won’t go wrong with a Toyota 4Runner or a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Once you’re back on the pavement, though, most shoppers will prefer the smoother ride of the Grand Cherokee over the firm 4Runner. Furthermore, both rows of seats in the Grand Cherokee are cushy, the cabin has an upscale flair, and the infotainment system is one of the best. Though the Grand Cherokee can’t seat more than five people (the 4Runner has an optional third row) or carry quite as much cargo as the Toyota, it’s the better pick overall.

Which Is Better: 2017 Toyota 4Runner or 2017 Toyota Highlander?

For shoppers who plan to stick to urban exploring, the Toyota Highlander is a superior SUV to the 4Runner. It tends to be slightly more expensive to buy and own than a 4Runner, but we think it’s worth the added cost for several reasons. In the Highlander, passengers in the first and second row of seats have more room to spread out than in the 4Runner. For added comfort, the Highlander’s second- and third-row seats slide and recline. Families will also approve of the Highlander’s higher crash test ratings and predicted reliability score.

Compare the 4Runner, Grand Cherokee, and Highlander »

2017 4Runner Performance

How Does the 2017 Toyota 4Runner Drive?

Only one powertrain was offered in the 2017 4Runner: a 270-horsepower V6 engine paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. The engine is reasonably powerful, but it doesn’t accelerate very quickly.

Does the 2017 Toyota 4Runner Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 4Runner’s five-speed transmission not only hinders its acceleration rates, but its fuel efficiency as well. Its fuel economy rating of 17 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway is one of the lowest in the class.

2017 Toyota 4Runner Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the 4Runner can tow up to 5,000 pounds. This is typical for a midsize SUV.

Read more about 4Runner performance »

2017 4Runner Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 4Runner Seat?

The 2017 4Runner has standard seating for five on cloth upholstery. With its optional third row, you can carry up to seven people. The front seats are reasonably accommodating, though the cushions aren’t as comfortable as some. Its rear seats aren’t particularly comfy – the 4Runner has less second-row legroom than its rivals, and its third-row seats are pretty cramped. 

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Toyota 4Runner?

LATCH hardware in the 2017 4Runner includes two sets of lower anchors and three tether anchors. Each anchor presents a challenge, from tether anchors that are difficult to identify, to lower anchors that take a lot of elbow grease to clip seats into. For these reasons, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 4Runner a Marginal rating for the ease of use of its LATCH hardware.

2017 Toyota 4Runner Features

Even the base 4Runner comes with an agreeable list of interior features. The standard infotainment system is straightforward, and it comes with niceties such as Bluetooth, satellite radio, a USB port, a rearview camera, Siri Eyes Free support, a 120-volt and multiple 12-volt power outlets, and a 6.1-inch touch screen. However, few upgrades were offered, including advanced safety features. 

See 2017 Toyota 4Runner specs »

Read more about 4Runner interior »

2017 Toyota 4Runner Dimensions

Toyota 4Runner Cargo Space

It’s easier to haul oversized items in the back of a 4Runner than with most other midsize SUVs. In addition to its generous 47.2 cubic feet of space behind the second row (89.7 cubic feet with these seats folded flat), the 4Runner has a flat load floor and a wide tailgate opening. A power liftgate is standard.

Toyota 4Runner Length and Weight

Depending on the configuration, curb weight of the 2017 4Runner ranges from 4,400 to 4,805 pounds. Gross vehicle weight tops out at 6,300 pounds. The base model is 15.9 feet long; TRD Off-Road models grow by an inch.

Where Was the 2017 Toyota 4Runner Built?

Toyota built the 2017 4Runner in Japan.

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