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Old 11-08-2023, 01:22 PM #1
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Buying advice - new/slightly used, limited or SR5 premium

Hello, I'm new here and in the market for a 4Runner. My wife will be driving it primarily. She's wanted one for years, at least since us having twins (for a total of 3 kids) caused us to get a minivan and sell her beloved Commander. She wanted a 4 Runner back then too but the fire sale on Commanders after the first time gas went to $4 made it very cheap to buy.

Anyway - we haven't bought a vehicle since the minivan in 2011 so while I'm a guy that wrenches on my cars I've been out of the market for a long time.

We're going to look at some 4 Runners this week. We looked earlier in the summer but at that time there was very little inventory anywhere to actually sit in.

I'm not sure if we'll end up buying a new one or a slightly used one (say 2020 or newer). I think we'll go with a SR-5 Premium or a Limited. This vehicle won't be used for any offroading, at least while it's her primary car. Before kids I did some offroading with an Wrangler but it's been 15 years...

Anyway I was looking for advice on Limited vs SR5 premium. It doesn't look like the gas mileage is any different despite full-time 4WD vs part-time 4WD. The leather seats are different as are some of the options. I don't think we'd do a new Limited - the prices of all of these seem like a stretch to me, but that one in particular is too high. We live in central Indiana so we don't see a ton of snow. I'm kind of debt adverse so I'd look to pay it off in about 3 years or so. Probably can put about 1/3 down.

Also I'm looking for advice on new vs slightly used. I see a 2020 limited in my area with 55K for $38K. I'm not sure if they'd take less. Seems like a decent deal compared to new around $55K or so. It's certified used so warranty extends to 100K. I did see on another thread that some dealers are starting to discount new ones.

Thanks for any input. I'm new to 4Runners. I like the lack of "new" tech but also find the prices to be a bit crazy, but that's probably the same on anything. A pilot or a highlander would probably be a better choice for what she'll use it for, but this is what she wants. And she's been driving a minivan for 12 years so I get it....

EDIT - JUST MOVED THREAD TO CORRECT FORUM

Last edited by Hoosiers; 11-26-2023 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 11-08-2023, 01:33 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosiers View Post
I'm not sure if we'll end up buying a new one or a slightly used one (say 2020 or newer). Also I think we'll go with a SR-5 Premium or a Limited. This vehicle won't be used for any offroading, at least while it's her primary car. Before kids I did some offroading with an Wrangler but it's been 15 years...

Anyway I was looking for advice on Limited vs SR5 premium. It doesn't look like the gas mileage is any different despite full-time 4WD vs part-time 4WD. The leather seats are different as are some of the options. I don't think we'd do a new Limited - the prices of all of these seem like a stretch to me, but that one in particular is too high. We live in central Indiana so we don't see a ton of snow.

Also I'm looking for advice on new vs slightly used. I see a 2020 limited in my area with 55K for $38K. Seems like a decent deal. It's certified used so warranty extends to 100K.

Thanks for any input. I'm new to 4Runners. I like the lack of "new" tech but also find the prices to be a bit crazy, but that's probably the same on anything. A pilot or a highlander would probably be a better choice for what she'll use it for, but this is what she wants. And she's been driving a minivan for 12 years so I get it....
So first up, this thread should be in the 5th gen forum and a moderator can shortly move it .

With regards to your new versus used question, it really comes down to where you want your price point to be and your own individual budget. If a $38K limited is a lot more desirable to you than a ~$55K+ limited, there's nothing wrong with going used. 2020 is a good year I'd say as they did a lot of updates to the vehicle that year, but it's also getting old enough that you can get a decent discount on one if you find a (relatively) low mileage vehicle). I'd actually argue we're just getting to the point where used may make sense on 4Runners again given the fact the 2020s are approaching 4 years old in most cases now (and previously you'd be giving some stuff up going 2019 or older).

In general you should assume a 4Runner will easily run for 200K to 300K miles, especially if you do all your routine maintenance and keep up with things (which it sounds like you clearly will and likely do yourself at a lower cost than the dealership). So with a ~50K vehicle, you'll still have about 75% to 85% of the usable life in it likely with the initial depreciation hit having already taken place at the highest level it'll likely be.

For your use case (pretty much street driven, likely looking for extra luxuries, maybe a small 3rd row), I think a used Limited would work out great. Generally if folks are going to use them offroad the TRD Offroad trims are the way to go, but for the small premium a Limited will command over a SR5 in the used market at this point, I think you won't be disappointed.
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Old 11-08-2023, 03:53 PM #3
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Thanks for the input. Yes it looks like I posted this in the wrong forum. Hopefully someone can move it...
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Old 11-09-2023, 02:07 PM #4
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I would personally go for the limited. Not only for the leather, heated and cooled seats, but mainly for the full-time 4wd. I am in central Indiana as well and agree that we don't get much snow, what we get is usually patchy slick spots. with the part-time 4wd, like my Tundra, i keep it in 2wd to not bind the system. With full-time 4wd, there is no worry. BTW, my 4rnr has been awesome when we do get decent snowfalls.

for 2023, the limited added heated steering wheel - a very nice feature. once you have had this, it's hard to give it up.

local dealerships have really added a lot of new 4rnr inventory lately - mostly new 2023 models. I would wait until closer to year-end for a deal. Seems like 2024 will be the last model year with most anticipating a new model 2025 4rnr with the turbo 4 and turbo max engines that are in the Tacoma.

I have to add, my first 4RNR was a 2006 model. The 2024 model has the same engine and transmission as my '06. I am waiting for the new model for better performance.
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Old 11-09-2023, 02:18 PM #5
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Also, search xreas suspension system. this comes on the limited. most like it, but once a leak develops in a shock or anywhere in the system - it is usually cost-prohibitive to replace. you can install regular shocks, so not a big deal. but if you are looking for a used 4rnr with 55k miles, it's worth checking for leaks. doesn't seem to fail at a typical mileage or length of time. xreas seems to last between 50k-130k miles - kinda a crap shoot
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Old 11-15-2023, 09:07 PM #6
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This may help as a gauge to go by- Just this past Saturday, I purchased my very first 4RUNNER at a Toyota dealer.

Mine is a pre-owned 2022 SR5 Premium 4WD. It’s certified. NO third row seat, NO moonroof. NO obnoxious luggage rack. (I don’t need or want a rack on the roof.) 28,9XX miles on the odometer. White, w/black interior. Tires are in great condition. The build tag on the vehicle said the build date was July, 2022.

They were asking $37,900.00. After much wheeling and dealing, I got the vehicle for $35,500.00, before tax, title, fees. I had NO trade in. The sales manager told me I really beat him up. I don’t know. He probably said that just to make me feel good. It’s still a boat load of money to me.

When I was looking at the vehicle, I asked my sales lady how long it had been on their lot. She said 37 days. The vehicle had two little door dings on the driver’s door. It probably wouldn’t even bother most people, but to me they were monster craters. In addition, the RF alloy wheel had a slight abrasion / scuff on the outer rim of the wheel.

I bring these things up because I used the length of time that they’d had the vehicle on their lot, plus those minor cosmetic boo boos as
ammunition in helping me to negotiate a bit more off the price when it looked like we were at an impasse with the negotiation process.

I’ll be danged after I mentioned the two door dings and the scuffed wheel, they dropped the price another $400.00 to the final amount of 35,500!

She’s a beauty. I’ll get the minor door dings fixed on my own. I have a friend who does that PDR (Paintless Dent Removal). If he can’t do it, I’ll just have a body shop fix it.

I’m also going to get the cosmetic wheel scrape / scuff fixed. Alloy wheels can be re-conditioned these days if they are not severely damaged.

With the money I saved off their asking price, I did spring for the Toyota extended warranty program. If I remember correctly, that will cover a lot of defective stuff on the truck for 7 years or 125,000 miles. I figure that will give me some peace of mind down the road in case some defect pops up.

You’ll have to decide if the extended warranty is worth it to you. Opinions vary on this. The only extended warranty I would consider buying would be directly through Toyota at a Toyota dealer.

I specifically wanted the SR5 Premium. Personally I do not care for the cosmetic looks of the Limited. Good luck with your 4RUNNER search. Keep us posted as to how you make out and what you end up with.

Last edited by Rick G.; 11-15-2023 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 11-15-2023, 11:24 PM #7
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I purchased my Ď18 SR5 used in 2019 with 24k on the clock at a local small town Ford dealer. The dealer was part of a larger corporation with Toyota dealerships (the nearest Toyota dealer is more than two hours away). With tax and license I paid $36k and change. My rig has the optional Entune with Navigation and 3rd row seating. I paid in full and had no trade in (I gave my Ď02 Tacoma TRD 4x4 to my grandson). Through the parts department at the Ford dealer I ordered and purchased the 4Runner HD mats, cargo mat, cargo cover and cargo net.



My 4Runner currently has 55k miles on it. I get snow, mud and ice where I live. I live on a gravel road. Dirt roads outnumber paved roads where I live. I use my rig for dragging my acreage and driveways and dirt road out to the paved one with a large railroad rail. I do some light to moderate off roading, especially during hunting season. I tow a small, 2,500# capacity utility trailer periodically. Nature washes the truck more than I do (the color is silver); though I keep the interior cleaned up. No rattles or squeaks. Iíve been quite happy with the comfort, quiet and ride of my truck; even with BFG All Terrain T/A KO2ís in load range E on it. I am now solidly in my senior years so donít do the more daring off roading I once did with my Tacoma, but my 4Runner hasnít let me down yet. I would like the heated seats in the Premium.

I have no regrets with my 4Runner.
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Old 11-16-2023, 08:03 AM #8
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Dave, nice looking truck in a beautiful setting. What size are your BFG tires?
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Old 11-16-2023, 10:23 AM #9
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Dave, nice looking truck in a beautiful setting. What size are your BFG tires?
Stock, OEM size. I spooned them on about two months after I got the 4Runner after I ripped the sidewall on the front, OEM passenger side tire by a sharp stone along a trail in the mountains near my home.

Iíve run BFG All Terrain T/Aís in stock size on all my trucks since the 1990s.
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Old 11-18-2023, 02:57 PM #10
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I have a limited and its incredible in terms of safety, capability, and comfort. The biggest plus if the full time 4WD. No tire slipping in the rain and the vehicle handles really well in the city and even off-road due to xrease suspension. The one drawback is that the xreas system is known to start leaking early, in which case you will want to have that system replaced with standard shocks (replacing with xreas is very expensive, like $4k). If you are buying from a dealer always inspect the xreas system for leaks before purchasing. Hope this helps
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Old 11-23-2023, 02:22 AM #11
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Thanks for input. We finally went to a dealership together today.

They still had that certified 2020 Limited. It's been there awhile. We drove that, and also drove a new SR5 premium.

I've also done some looking around online and have seen some dealers with some decent discounts.

It was good to get her in the vehicles to see what's important to her. I liked the seats better in the Limited - she didn't seem to care at all. She did mention the limited seemed to ride smoother. We were a little tight on time and I've driven a bud's 4runner quite a bit so she did the driving. From the passenger seat I didn't really notice the difference in ride.

She's definitely set on getting a white one above all else The limited is grey, so that's probably off the table. She would prefer a new SR5 premium over a used Limited, but I think she'd be ok either way.

Now that she's driven a few, I can do some more targeted looking at what is out there.

We do need a 3rd row seat and she wants a sun roof, so that narrows it down a bit. We have a few kids, and while this won't be a road trip vehicle, it's fairly common for our younger two to have friends with them after school and for sports, etc. so the 3rd row seat will get some use around town.

I'm wondering if the AWD would be better for her in the Limited just because there won't be decisions to have to be made in marginal weather. But I'm also concerned about the cost of shocks down the road.

I also really hate car payments. We've been setting aside about $600/mo for a few years but we'll need to borrow some either way.
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Old 11-26-2023, 11:38 PM #12
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Just moved this to the correct forum. Think I did that right at least.
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Old 11-27-2023, 03:29 AM #13
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We have a 2013 SR5 with about 45k. It has XREAS and we have not had any issues. There have been issues with leaks on 4Runners with KDSS; which are expensive to repair. If you are not into going off road, than KDSS isn't worth it IMHO. 4Runners really hold their value, so (to me) it's better to buy new and get the full warranty and 0 miles. We don't have third row; but do have the sun roof. I think we have opened it maybe 3 or 4 times! I wish we didn't have it living in hail country; but have been lucky so far.

Since ours is a 2013, we don't have the new Toyota Safety Sense system. Not sure I'd want it, but it comes on all newer models.

There have been issues with the Toyota infotainment / Nav system. You have to pay for map updates and some folks have issues pairing their phones. I never bothered paring my phone and I use a Garmin GPS with free lifetime updates that I can put in any vehicle.

Good luck with whatever choice you make.
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Old 11-27-2023, 10:11 AM #14
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A used Limited will always be more discounted from original MSRP because they are filled with items that the core buyer of a 4Runner is not interested in, which means fewer buyers. Case in point, few who go off-road are interested in 20Ē wheels.

Iíve dealt with the wife as buyer on the 4Runner. She currently owns two: 2023 ORP and 2014 SR5. The things that interest or are important to a woman buyer continue to astound me, this after 32 years of marriage.
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Old 11-27-2023, 06:09 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosiers View Post
Thanks for input. We finally went to a dealership together today.

They still had that certified 2020 Limited. It's been there awhile. We drove that, and also drove a new SR5 premium.

I've also done some looking around online and have seen some dealers with some decent discounts.

It was good to get her in the vehicles to see what's important to her. I liked the seats better in the Limited - she didn't seem to care at all. She did mention the limited seemed to ride smoother. We were a little tight on time and I've driven a bud's 4runner quite a bit so she did the driving. From the passenger seat I didn't really notice the difference in ride.

She's definitely set on getting a white one above all else The limited is grey, so that's probably off the table. She would prefer a new SR5 premium over a used Limited, but I think she'd be ok either way.

Now that she's driven a few, I can do some more targeted looking at what is out there.

We do need a 3rd row seat and she wants a sun roof, so that narrows it down a bit. We have a few kids, and while this won't be a road trip vehicle, it's fairly common for our younger two to have friends with them after school and for sports, etc. so the 3rd row seat will get some use around town.

I'm wondering if the AWD would be better for her in the Limited just because there won't be decisions to have to be made in marginal weather. But I'm also concerned about the cost of shocks down the road.

I also really hate car payments. We've been setting aside about $600/mo for a few years but we'll need to borrow some either way.
maybe I can give some additional perspective on the limited that you can then use in decision making. I'll summarize in point form

- the third row seat in general is only useful for kids. anyone older than 15 or 16 will not be comfortable back there for long periods of time. kids sure, but keep in mind you don't have much cargo space with both rear seats up. in fact you can maybe put a couple grocery bags there. that is often overlooked

- the full time 4WD is fine for bad weather and winter. it's nice to have in snow and up here in Canada that system is enough for winter driving. I've never felt the need to put it in H4L driving on any municipal roadways. if I'm offroad I will usually be in H4L, but normal everyday driving you won't have any issues. depending where you drive if you're on rural roads it's a real pain to shift between H2 and H4 when you hit a snow drift bad section of road.

- XREAS is a fine system. it can be expensive to repair or replace but more likely than not you will get at least 50k miles out of it. I got 153k miles on my factory shocks. one started leaking so I replaced all 4 with XREAS again. if I can get another 80k at least on this set (maybe I was lucky first time around) I'd be happy. if you have XREAS just keep an eye on the shocks, every service you do or time you take it in make sure you have a look. if you spot a leaking or weeping shock early that hasn't lost too much fluid you can replace individual components without running new hard lines. it's not true you need to replace everything at once in every case where there's a leak. it's assembled in the factory in pieces, you just can't add fluid to it. there are pintle valves which allow you to remove a shock without fluid spilling everywhere. if not too much fluid has leaked you can replace just a shock - I am told that the individual components come slightly over pressurized from the factory to compensate but I have not had a chance to confirm this

- the 20" wheels I didn't like and swapped them to 17s. much more comfortable ride and more sidewall. lighter offroading with the 20s is not going to be a problem but I wanted more sidewall and wider tire for the occasional rocky spot I encounter

- don't listen to anyone who says you can't wheel a limited, it's the same vehicle underneath as the other models. I wheel mine, not on the rubicon trail or anything like that but for recreational offroad use it's fine, even on some tougher trails that will test it. A trac is great. it's very damn capable with some good tires. and for recreational offroading the limited will be more than enough, I've never felt hindered by the XREAS. if you want to build up a rig with the purpose of being an offroad beast and push your rig to the limit then get a ORP or TRD pro with rear locker. if you intend to go offroad though I would swap the fuel skid plate with the one from the TRD pro or ORP (the limited and SR5 I think come with half length fuel skid plates - for my MY 2012 it was a simple swap for a full length fuel skid). I also got rid of the running boards and swapped my rocker panels for the trail version, another consideration if you wanted to reduce low hanging trim on the sides

- another consideration, if your wife is shorter and you have car seats it might be hard for her to get he kiddos in. my wife is about 5'3 - 5'4 and we have a 2 year old. she can just get him in his seat from outside the vehicle. if I lifted the vehicle 1" I'm pretty sure she'd have a hard time
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