2005 Toyota 4Runner Review Price
– Smooth torquey engine with nice deep sound.
– The 5spd auto (05 was first year) is my favorite automatic transmission ever, (not counting the 8L90 in the C7) and I’ve driven hundreds of different A/T equipped cars over the last 30+ years.
– Pulls my moderately loaded 20ft car-hauler (5500-6500lbs) easily at 65 , 55 up steep hills. Weight distrib hitch drastically reduces white-knuckle moments induced by sail area of trailer.
– Competent, predictable handling and nice feeling brakes w linear response.
Works great off road… V8, A Trac and locking center diff make mild rock crawling fun and easy. Plows easily through fairly deep snow and mud.
– Decent cargo space w seats folded…fits 8ft lumber down the center over the center console w hatch closed. 10 footers can hang out the back when the electric rear window is down.
– Comfortable and durable cloth seats and very durable carpet in cargo area.
– Relatively quiet interior, even w the semi-aggressive tires.
– Good visibility day or at night w stock headlights and foglights.
– Simple, well placed easy to use controls.
– Ultra reliable. 2 lights in the AC control buttons and a turn signal light have burned out. And a dash cover recall. That’s it.
– No safety stories on this one (other than a few panic induced ABS rear-ender saves), but my daughter walked away from a 4 flip rollover down a small embankment in a 92 4runner with just some bruises and a cut eyebrow. Everything on the body but the cab area was mashed like tinfoil. Appeared to have perfect crush-zone engineering.
– Looks and drives better than 5th gen 4runners IMHO.
– Averages only about 14.5 – 15 mpg. Might see 17-19 on longer trips if kept at 70 or under. Gets about 11-12 when towing car hauler.
– Although quick to take a predictable set, it does lean a bit in corners. Use your sedan or coupe for that type of thrill.
– Known defect in factory exhaust manifold (crack) causes a small leak/ticking sound that is pronounced during warm up and under heavy load…annoying, but also a good excuse to upgrade to headers!
– Mediocre factory stereo with no satellite or USB connection… was “upgraded” to aftermarket unit w amp and sub. Better now.
– Factory running boards are good for washes and loading the roof, but flimsy and get tweaked off road almost every time. Needs solid rock-sliders.
– Limited wheel travel/articulation from the IFS limits extreme off-road adventures somewhat unless the owner is willing to add expensive mechanical lockers…it’s still pretty good off-road, but it’s no Jeep Rubicon.
– Recalled dash cover needed replacement for a hairline crack, but it was free.
– HVAC controls are buttons shaped liked dials. Works fine, but seems too clever where conventional old-school temp dial, fan dial and mode buttons would have been better. I suppose you could say the same about nearly every car made these days.
I’d have rated it 4.5 but there’s no 1/2 star option.
I would recommend a 4runner to anyone, including Mom or Daughter, unless they have a long commute.
The only way I’ll ever replace this is if Toyota puts the 5.7L V8 into the 5th gen 4runner. I would overlook the contrived boxy styling for that!