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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TLDR; 300,000 mile stock 4Runner is good. 4.9 out of 5, $0.18/mile cost of ownership excluding gas, $0.37/mile cost of ownership including gas.

Hello, Everyone

I used to be more active on forums over the years, but really haven’t had the time to ever get involved when it comes to the 4Runner. After having clocked over 311,000 miles as of this post, I felt that I should create an account to share my experience and thoughts after 300,000 miles.

I purchased my 2014 4Runner brand new in February 2014. I drive it for work, covering a territory of mainly Illinois and Indiana. It has seen hot summers, brutal winters with salt-covered roads, hauled vehicles for thousands of miles, and taken road trips spanning from Grand Lake, CO to Charleston, SC. After 300k, I still wouldn’t hesitate to load it up and take it on a 2,000 mile road trip. This vehicle has been as dependable as one could hope for.

I would estimate that about 80% of my miles were highway or country roads, with the rest being suburban and city. This vehicle has been parked outside for 99.9% of its life, has never been waxed, never hand washed, and no paint protection whatsoever. If we get a good rain, i consider that a wash, otherwise I will drive it through an automatic occasionally. During the winter i probably go through a couple additional times per month to get the salt off.

I don’t say the above because I believe that vehicles don’t need washing or paint protection to stay in top shape. They do. But since purchasing this vehicle, I have always seen it as an appliance. It’s a workhorse, and I have spent over 5,000 hours in the drivers seat. It hasn’t been babied, and it truly is amazing how well it has held up. Bravo Toyota.

  • Original engine
  • Regular synthetic oil changes every 10,000 miles at Toyota
  • All regular suggested maintenance performed by Toyota with exception of the recently suggested injector cleaning.
  • Alternator failure at 250,000 miles for about $1,000 (the only real mechanical part to fail thus far)
  • 1 oem replacement battery
  • Engine filters, cabin air filters
  • Original injectors, guessing the spark plugs were replaced once or twice
  • Very small oil leak around the timing cover since about 200,000 miles that I haven’t fixed. Its not under pressure and the leak was checked by Toyota Service and is extremely minor. If I chose to fix that, it would be about $2,000.
  • I’ve tracked 310,000 miles via Fuelly, and I still average 18-21mpg
  • No loss of acceleration, no rattles, no vibrations, no clunks
  • Original transmission fluid
  • Differential fluid has been flushed twice
  • No slips, no grinds, no shaking under acceleration
  • Sometimes the shift lever will feel a little stiff moving into Drive when the vehicle has sat for several days or it is extremely cold outside. This has been the case since about 200,000 miles but it doesn’t seem to affect performance
  • Shifts into all gears as well as Hi-Lo, 4WD etc with zero issue
Brakes, suspension and steering
  • A full set of brakes lasts about 100,000 miles. I recently replaced rotors and pads again at 300,000. Calipers still original.
  • Original suspension, original bushings
  • No noises, no clunks, no vibrations
  • The ABS locks up pretty aggressively if you have to slam on the brakes, and the vehicle pitches forward quite a bit. It would be nice if the front dampers were a little firmer.
  • Ride quality is still very comfortable
  • Steering wheel has always been dead nuts center and drives perfectly straight
Wheels and Tires
  • OEM wheels, very little pitting, have lost 2 of the little cosmetic center trim rings
  • I have been able to get 100,000 miles out of every set of tires. Replaced the OEM with Michelin MTX, and have stuck with those.
  • Minor cupping on the outside after about 50,000 miles
  • Rotated with every oil change
  • I’ve picked up nails maybe 2 or 3 times and needed a patch and drove on the spare for a short period of time.
Exterior and Paint
  • Original, no orange peel, no fading that I can tell
  • Front bumper was replaced with OEM Replica after an old lady jumped a curb and hit me in a parking lot. Fitment is not perfect where the bumper snaps in by the fenders.
  • Passenger headlight has some minor yellowing on the top of it. This headlight was also replaced in the aforementioned accident (around maybe 80,000 miles), i am guessing that it is not OEM since the driver side headlight looks brand new.
  • The headlights suck. They are not bright, hopefully we get some good headlights with the 6th gen.
  • The exterior black plastics could use some conditioning, theyve got a bluish discoloration to them from the autowashes
  • There is some very fine concrete splatter on the hood from a concrete truck. Ive never attempted to clay bar it off, not sure if it would come off or not. That is where having some wax on the vehicle would’ve made a difference.
  • If someone took the time to do a paint correction, it would look almost new.
  • Hail damage mainly isolated to the roof happened 3 months into ownership. I never had it fixed because I didnt want the dent removal shop to screw up my interior paneling and create a bunch of squeaks
  • The undercarriage is rusty, the worst spot of it all is the front skid plate. I think its held on by two remaining bolts. This is the unfortunate reality of Illinois vehicles… Probably should get it replaced though.
  • 1 windshield replacement
  • PIAA windshield wipers installed around 60,000 miles and they are still holding up perfectly. Highly recommended.
  • the factory cloth seats have held up tremendously. While most of them get very little use and look new, the driver seat has hardly any visible wear either. Probably some minor loss of shape in the butt, otherwise it still has good support and the buttons all work as they should
  • The backup camera has had intermittent outages since about 200,000 miles. I have not paid to get it fixed. Its an annoyance but at this point not worth the money to repair.
  • The AC finally needed to be recharged at 300,000 miles
  • I load lumber, building materials, tools, etc into the vehicle and the interior plastics have all held up extremely well. The rears are pretty scratched up though.
  • Weathertech floor liners installed right away, the only area where the carpet is worn is the top right corner of the dead pedal.
  • I frequently roll down the rear windshield to fit long lumber and decking into the vehicle. I have probably loaded about 50# onto a half-rolled down rear windshield on a few occasions and it hasnt broken. I’m sure that Toyota doesn’t recommend that though.
  • The steering wheel probably shows the most wear, but its just cosmetic. The stitching is all intact, and the cover is not peeling off anywhere.
  • No visible wear on the armrest or doorcard rests
  • The rear middle seatbelt gets hung up on the plastic trim when folding the seats and that has gotten a little messed up.
  • Infotainment needs to be brought into the modern age
  • The sound system has been adequate
Driving impressions
  • I still love driving this thing even after so many miles. The car looks and feels great and nobody can ever believe that its a 300,000 mile vehicle.
  • The ride is still very quiet for a vehicle in this class
  • Inclement weather and heavy snow are no match for this thing. I’ve driven hundreds of miles through feet of snow and blizzards and not once have I gotten stuck. In H4 you can literally plow through anything.
  • The roll-down rear window is such a fantastic feature. If I ever moved away from a 4Runner that would be one of the things I missed most.
  • My biggest gripe with the vehicle is the fuel economy. While the reliability, versatility and driving experience have more than made up for this, $41,000 spent on gas over 7.5 years is a lot of money… I’m looking forward to seeing the 6th gen 4Runner, and hoping perhaps for a hybrid 35+ mpg trail version. Could be wishful thinking, but if anyone can do it, it’s Toyota.

Honestly, this vehicle has been fantastic, and only until recently have I felt that it is time for a new vehicle. That is mainly due to the increase in gas prices and the outdated electronics. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the unveiling of the 6th gen Runner. I had hoped we would see it for 2022, but I think I can hold out for the 2023 model at this point. I’m not going to lie though, part of me is being seduced by a Model Y. The thoughts of saving $5-7k per year in fuel + Auto-pilot is tempting. But the Y is just not as versatile as the 4Runner. So, c’mon Toyota!

300,000 mile review rating: 4.9 out of 5.
Cost of ownership (not including gas): ~$0.18/mile ($0.37/mile if you include the fuel)

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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well toyota service calls it a “lifetime” fluid. If you ask them about changing it, they act like you dont need to. Now the tricky thing about automatic transmissions is that the belts can wear and if you put fresh fluid in after a lot of miles you risk it slipping from the new fluid. So you either choose to change it regularly at an early interval (but again, toyota says its “lifetime”), or take your chances not changing it.

Fingers crossed, but the latter theory seems to be holding strong.

2022 4Runner SR5, 2013 Corolla CE
195 Posts
Great post. I can’t believe you never wash or wax that thing, at 300,000mi it looks as good as the 2022 I just picked up with 3km. Other than the undercarriage anyway…

And those Defender LTX are great. Absolute best truck tire you can get (as far as highway tread goes anyway).
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