2003 Toyota 4Runner Owner Reviews & Problems


61 Reviews

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4runners are reliable, but maintenance costs can be quite high.

The 2003 Toyota 4runner I have is a sport 2wd automatic with a V8. It has cloth seats (very comfortable and easy to maintain) and most of the important features are mechanical as opposed to electrical. I prefer a 4runner this way, as mechanical accouterments tend to be built more robustly and last quite a bit longer (usually even out-living the vehicle). The engine is strong and powerful, but is definitely not frugal in the fuel department. (ironically, the 6-cylinder model of this generation of 4runner wasn't much better in fuel economy, only out-performing the V8 engine by one or two gallons per mile on the whole. ) Overall, the 4runner is a superb SUV that is rugged, sturdy, and stable off-road, while retaining a level of refinement that Toyota is adamant about maintaining. The 4runner series in this model generation begins with the sr5 model which is, even as the base model, loaded with excellent creature comforts. Above that, the sport model with many upgraded feature. It is most prominent upgrade being the x-reas sports suspension (the first time such a suspension was ever included in a mass-produced vehicle), which has a push-me/pull-you type of design, keeping the vehicle stable and level on the street or off-road. Toyota vehicle are, for the most part, quite reliable; however their maintenance costs may be cost-prohibitive for some. Preventative maintenance is recommended. Use mobile-1 oil a the very least and your engine will remain very happy. Use xado 1-stage engine and transmission treatments every 6 months and it will run like new. 4runners are difficult to find used a market-reasonable prices, and for good reason. They are built like tanks and can outperform many other similar vehicles on the road, even today.

- Jason B

Comfortable for the long haul.

The Toyota 4runner has the reliability that you would expect from Toyota. It can take me anywhere with the room and power my family needs. From groceries to yard sales to camping, I can find a way to haul what I need and some of what I don't. That being said, it will cost me; as it has a big gas tank and power, all wheel drive, all the time. The better option is the newer models that give you the ability to switch between drives, so it is there for you if you need it. Overall, I haven't found a more comfortable ride for the long haul.

- Carrie H

Great commuter, and adventurer.

I love my Toyota 4Runner. I have owned several Toyota models in the past, including a Corolla sport, and Tacoma 4x4, and the 4Runner has been my favorite so far. Toyota holds its value better than any other vehicles I have owned. My 2003 4Runner is still in great condition, although unfortunately the bottom has rusted up a bit from the salt on the roads (live in mountains) electronically nothing has failed, and with great gas mileage it still acts as a fair commuter from for work and traveling, camping, etc.

- Jeremy M

It is the most luxurious SUV

I LOVE my 2003 Toyota 4Runner limited edition because it has E V E R Y T H I N G i love. It has heated seats and dual climate control. I adore the sound system which is AMAZING!!!! The truck has a sun/moonroof, leather seats, v8, and you can use the key fob to slide the back window down to load groceries from the outside rear of the truck. I was given a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee by my husband and within a year, I demanded my 4 runner back.

- Kris S

Toyota runner vehicle review.

Drives great, has lots of room, back seats fold easily down to provide extra room for larger items or multiple items. Purchased a cargo net to help hold groceries in the back so they do not get thrown around so much. Sunroof works great and is fun to use. Not used to leather seats which typically causes items to slide around too much.

- Sharon W

The best vehicle I have ever owned.

I have owned my 4runner for over 16 years and have not had a single problem. Handles great and very good off road. I love that it has drive, 3rd, 2nd, and low gears available for both 4 wheel high and low. Extremely comfortable interior. Especially the leather seats, which are all true leather, not faux or 'leather trimmed'.

- Stephen G

It still runs like it's new!

I love the fact that my vehicle still runs and drives well for it's age. We have had no major problems with our Toyota. This is the second Toyota that we have owned and it most likely is not our last one. My 14 year old son will inherited this vehicle and we will probably replace it with another Toyota.

- Kelly O

The sunroof and the back window that opens are my favorite part.

The car has over two hundred thousand miles on it and still runs very well and I have not had to do much maintenance on it for the past 3 years other than normal up keep, it has nice leather seats and the air conditioning is good in it, plus seat warmers and sun roof and back window opens as well.

- Laney R

Very reliable and dependable.

My Toyota 4Runner is extremely reliable. I have never had any problems with my vehicle. Performance is amazing. I get good gas mileage. I am very good about keeping up with oil changes and regular maintenance. I am a Toyota owner for life. I have four other family members that own Toyota’s.

- Jane W

Still running strong after 16 years!

The seatbelt does not fully retract and does not provide its original tension... But this is after 16 years. The foam dashboard is beginning to crack. But other than that, it runs like new! I do however keep up with maintenance, check tire pressure, and assure that I only use 91 gasoline.

- John L

the 4runner is a great family vehicle.

i really like my Toyota 4runner, i actually hope to upgrade to a newer Toyota 4runner soon. I just recently found out that you can get them with a third row which would be ideal. I bought it used about 2 years ago and haven't had any major problems with it just normal maintenance.

- melissa c

Drives good and smooth and runs and shifts good.

My vehicle is very reliable. Dependable gets you where you need to go. Great for families. Vacations are a plus. To me Toyota’s are the best. They have the highest resale value. I think it is the most dependable make of vehicles on the road. I would recommend this to everybody.

- John R

2003 Toyota 4Runner with v8 and all wheel drive!

The 2003 Toyota 4Runner is the greatest car ever made. With the long lasting v8 and the easy to drive all wheel drive system, you will not want to drive anything else. With over 250, 000 and counting, this thing will go forever. It is fast, reliable, and can haul a load.

- Charles R

It's a very reliable car because it is a Toyota , it's a nice car to have not over the top luxury but a good car for a small family

I like the make & model of the vehicle, I like that it is family friendly but I don't like that I doesn't have the 3rd row . I dislike that it's not a newer model & I dislike the interior I would've liked a little more luxury , but it drives well & is very reliable

- Stephanie H

The young fathers review of a 2017 Toyota Corolla.

Vehicle is amazing and great on gas mileage, little to no maintenance required other than the usual work oil, tire rotation, etc. Only issue on my vehicle is the light interior stains very easily especially having children. Overall a well built economic vehicle.

- Ryan M

Incredible mileage - seriously the best car for people who drive a lot.

Although my car is an older model (2003), my Toyota 4Runner still runs like it is brand new, despite its 250, 000 miles. As long as you take good care of the car and change the oil and rotate your tires often, this car will easily make it to 350, 000 miles.

- Corinne H

Good vehicle for the runner.

I bought the car used and so far have only had one issue. The cava lights and check engine light come one frequently and then go off. It is a nice size vehicle for a mother with small kids. I feel it's a very reliable vehicle & comfortable for travel.

- Angela H

It is a long lasting, well made vehicle that I trust and would continue to trust for a long time.

I love how smooth the driving is. The vehicle is very spacious and sporty. My car is older so, several things are going out on it including the back door latch and the heat shields on the undercarriage have been dislodged from the body and rattle.

- Brad D

Very reliable. I have over 250,000 miles, and still running great.

It is small enough that i can drive it like a car, but it is large enough that i can haul 8 foot boards in the back (with the back seat down). I can also tow a light trailer behind when i need to haul other stuff. I just wish it had better mpg.

- Benjamin W

It is reliable and if you do the recommended maintenance on your vehicle you will have one that will last for years!

I love my 4Runner with 270,000 miles on it because it has ALWAYS been reliable. It has never needed any major repairs. Also, Toyota Dealerships are awesome and have taken great care of my car and my family. I will only buy another Toyota.

- Erin S

it has good acceleration.

I love how roomy it is. The extra little compartment throughout the car. I dislike that some of the smaller parts that needs replaced are not sold separately. You shouldn't have to replace what isn't broken just for 1 small piece.

- Brenda D

It's stronger than you'd think. It can tow what a truck and and It's good for 4 Wheeling.

I like how I feel safe in it because of all the airbags, plus it has enough space in the back to take my dog and still have space for all my camping stuff. I mostly just hate the color of it - It's currently gold.

- Rachel G

Toyota vehicles are the best!

I love my 4runner, but I am almost a 300, 000 miles. It has been a very reliable truck over the years. Problems that I have had along the way are the traction sensors. We cannot get them to work even when replaced.

- Stephanie B

As reliable a car as you can buy

It has been one of the best cars I have ever owned. Very reliable, in 15 years I have only had a few minor issues with it. I really don't have any complaints, and I will definitely buy a Toyota again.

- Kathie S

It's a Toyota and you can't go wrong with a reliable brand that will always treat you well.

Mostly, I love my car. It's the perfect size, has a sunroof and lots of power when I need it. My only complaint about it is that it doesn't handle any amount of rain very well and I wish it did.

- Morgan F

It's totally reliable even with over 280k miles.

1) auto transmission the converter does not kick into overdrive a all times. a times when I it reaches 65 it rev a 1k and other time it will rev a about 2k. 2) brakes seem to be way too soft.

- Gil P

Excellent truck,not a gas guzzler if you love a truck good on gas get a 4runner.

I love the space in my vehicle I can have my kids comfortable in the truck and have enough room to pack groceries. It's a v8 but excellent on gad especially because I just drive in my town.

- Aqueelah S

It is very reliable and is efficient in transporting things around town.

I enjoy the space that the 4Runner has inside and the versatility it provides. I can put a lot of things in the trunk and on top of the car. It also is extremely mechanically reliable.

- Ben m

Very reliable vehicle and inexpensive to repair.

I love my 4runner. It drives like a car but is high up with hardly any blind spots and is very safe. It has space for passengers comfortably as well as capacity to pack full of stuff.

- Jamie M

Well worth the money, extremely reliable family vehicle.

Reliable vehicle, as long as maintenance is kept up, this vehicle will last a long time. Drives smoothly. Comfortable and spacious for a small family, plenty of storage space in back.

- Krystal V

Going strong at 180k miles! Love this SUV!

This car is incredibly reliable, and mine is still going strong at 180k miles. I love my 4runner--so much storage, the ride is comfortable, and I love the look of it.

- Ryan F

Great family SUV. Safe, dependable, great quality.

The Toyota 4runner is a great choice for a small family. I absolutely love it. My has four wheel drive, anti lock brakes. I feel safe driving my children in it.

- Leah M

Dependable and roomy. Toyota 4runners have the reputation of running for many miles. Fits my 5 member family comfortably.

Very dependable. Nice power. Average gas mileage. Getting older now so paint is starting to peel. Looking to buy a new one in the next year.

- Carrie D

Very reliable and great for road trips.

I love my 2003 4runner, it has the best traction and control when going off-roading, in the winter or summer. V8 has speed and performance.

- Justin K

Buy one and enjoy it for a long time.

Gas mileage is great for an suv. Plenty of power for a 6 cylinder. My complaint is that I always get a shock when I get out of the car.

- Lindsay h

It never breaks down always starts.

It drives smoothly. It never breaks down it always starts. I have spent a minimal amount of money to keep car running. Great gas mileage.

- Rei S

It is reliable and efficient.

I love my car. It is really reliable. My car has been with me for 12 years, it is still up and running i can not complain about.

- Yesenia T

It does take a lot of gas.

It's perfect for any high schooler or college student. Very reliable and I love the safety it makes me feel when on the road.

- Scarlett G

Quality car that will last a long time.

Like that is small enough to drive and park easily. Dislike it is getting older and may have to replace. No complaints.

- Sue B

Dependability and resale value.

Likes, dependability. Ride, comfort, fit and finish. Resale value. Dislikes, fuel mileage, heater and a/c controls.

- Clayton C

These cars last many miles.

It's almost paid off. I feel safe. But I do not like how much gas it takes compared to cars I have had is the past.

- Brittany M

I love how my vehicle is so easy to park.

My 4Runner has been great. Its over 100K miles and with routine checks and maintenance it has held up really well.

- Renee C

It works really well for it's age, It has tons of room and works well with kids

My vehicle works amazing, I've had it for many years and only had to change the oil and power steering fluid.

- Bridgette L

It's old but reliable enough for me to get where i need to go

Reliable until it really wasn't. The windows were nice. But it always had a problem with the engine and age.

- Laskin L

This vehicle is very reliable even with 280k miles, comfortable and fun to drive.

1) Transmission Overdrive does not kick in over 65 mph at all times. 2) Breaks seem very soft but very save

- Gilbert P

Does not break down and can go for many miles.

Drives well and does not have problems. Does not get good gas mileage. Has roomy inside. Looks really nice.

- Chris K

It's old, but trusty. Toyotas hold up well. I haven't had much work done on it.

It's old, but trusty. I enjoy Toyota. I will likely look for another Toyota when it comes time to purchase.

- Matthew R

It is old but it can still run with pretty good miles

It sometimes cant lock too well and engine doesn't start with that also comes tires that i need to replace

- Jeff J

It is a very strong car that is pretty good of gas

This car is very dependable I have only had a couple of problems with it. The instrument panel went out.

- David F

It has been used for a while in our family. It makes a loud start up noise but always manages to be reliable.

MY car is durable and big. It can traverse large mountains but fits well in a city environment as well

- John M

The most important thing people should know is that it makes me feel safe.

Love that it is quiet. It makes me feel safe driving it. It is reliable. Wish it had better rear AC

- Jana F

Very reliable and dependable don't have to worry about it breaking down that often

Very reliable and safe has had very few issues have owned for 12 years been great vehicle

- Wanda S

They will last forever. The body is falling apart faster than the components

Love everything about it. I've had no major mechanical issues since I've owned it.

- Amanda T

If you have a problem with it, buy me a new car.

It's old. But, it's still running. It was my mom's. It's a momentum.

- Andrea W

It's hard to consistently clean and it's not a very luxurious car.

The vehicle is good on gas mileage especially since I drive it often.

- George T

It is reliable and in great shape considering its age.

I like the cruise control. I wish it had a plugin for charging.

- Nicholas H

I love my 4Runner, it is roomy and has space for the whole family and a large storage area in the back. I love the interior and the leather seats, however in my older model the drivers side seat is really worn out and expensive to repair/replace.

It is a great family car with plenty of space and great mileage!

- Sara C

Toyota makes reliable and dependable vehicles

It is very reliable and dependable it is safe and no complaints

- Bill B

the car is perfect! I really love toyota and 4runners especially they are reliable and it's a nice car for road trips or regular family use.

it does not waste as much gas as many people would think

- victor c

The car has a lot of room

The vehicle handles well and has been reliable.

- Kevin M

Perfect size and reliable.


- Ashley R