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4Runner newbie seeks thoughts on Gen4 price

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by charleypartanna, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Nov 7, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    charleypartanna [OP] New Member

    Nov 7, 2017
    Hi all!

    About to buy my first 4Runner (first offroad vehicle, actually).

    I'm looking for a Gen 4 (2003 - 2009) Sport that is near-stock, has been very well maintained, and has little or no rust. High mileage is fine, provided it has been well maintained.

    I plan to do some mild upgrades (2" OME lift; AT tires) so that I can do some offroading but also use it on the road and for towing.

    I've found one at a dealer about 500 miles away that fits the bill. It's a 2005 one-owner with 165k miles. The prior owner looks like they maintained it very well:
    • Oil changes every 3-5k
    • Timing belt and water pump 125k (a bit late, I know)
    • Spark plugs, diff fluid, xfer case fluid, steering fluid flush at 90k
    The dealer is asking $11k, which sounds fairly reasonable. Thoughts on that price? KBB is around $7k, but that's not market reality as far as I can tell.

    I will take it for a PPI first, of course.

    I would plan to do a refresh on the fluids. Assuming the PPI doesn't reveal anything, is there any major preventative maintenance I should plan on?

  2. Nov 8, 2017 at 11:23 AM

    RonT4R New Member

    Mar 24, 2015
    First Name:
    Virginia Beach
    2007 4runner SR5 4WD
    Well like everything else in this world, things are only worth what you are willing to pay. With that said there are a lot of good 4Runner deals out there, a lot more than Tacoma Deals. Take your time, be patient and I am sure a good one will come along. I prefer to buy from private party over dealers. Not sure the area you are in but dealers ask $1k to $2k more than private party sellers. Vehicles today are not appreciated like in the past so finding one well maintained and clean might be more challenging. Main issues are 2003 to 2005 had some head gasket issues and I would inspect all frames for rust. Good luck and welcome to the forum!!!!:thumbsup::wave:
    BassAckwards and brochacho like this.
  3. Nov 9, 2017 at 12:51 PM

    Batmango66 New Member

    Aug 11, 2017
    First Name:
    N.E. Hoosier Land
    2006 Limited
    '06 Limited V8 Shadow Mica | USB Charger | OCD Console Organizer| Int. LEDs | Always on Fogs Mod | added LED strip light foot well | Smokers kit | Always on 115v | Always on 12v Cig. Lighter Mod | By-passed TPS | Wind Deflectors | 3/2 Corn Fed | 18" Moto Metal MO962 0 offset with General Grabber AT2 275/65's | Bilstein 5100's | 15% tint min. | 22" LED Light Bar Behind lower Grill | TINMANS Awesome Front Cup Holder. Yeah, I know it's mostly convenience and looks...
    As usual, I agree with Ron. A lot depends on your location or how far you are willing to travel if you live in the north. I haven't bought a vehicle within my state for a long time but with that comes other risks. Frame rust is a realistic problem, search frame rust on any 4runner forum and you'll quickly be discouraged but, that's why you should ALWAYS take it to a shop and have it put on a lift as part of the inspection. If possible, BE THERE when it is on the lift so that you too can take a look for yourself. I personally would not have a problem buying a 4runner (or any vehicle for that matter) from any place in the nation as long as I could clearly see the frame. I've seen rusty frames on South Carolina vehicles and clean frames on Michigan vehicles. It really depends on the owner and how much they actually care for the vehicle. Years with inherent problems should be avoided, there is always the risk that the problem has already surfaces once and they fixed it themselves just to sell. Most new car dealers will not even bother with a vehicle that is a certain number of years old, problems or not, this helps them maintain their rating and keep service returns to a minimum, cars from auction are a risk but sometimes you can get lucky. It's hard to give someone a good answer for a used vehicle because if you are willing to give yourself enough time to search for the perfect vehicle, you will find it. If you are in a hurry, that's where the risk comes in. Don't get attached before you buy and always plan to walk away. a one owner is most likely going to have a better record than a many times traded or sold vehicle even if it has a ton of miles on it, one owners usually have maint. records. Don't be afraid of high mileage 4Runners, maintenance is the key. If you are looking online you can start to see which vehicles have been taken care of and which ones are junk just by looking at the picture and I don't mean as a package, if there is something that seems like an easy fix thats isn't fixed, it's likely the same throughout. Take your time and be picky. It took me 4 months to find mine but I wanted exactly what I wanted, no less and did not settle. I've bought off of eBay and Auto Trader with good luck and I have gone 300 miles to see a piece of junk too so just be patient you are spending a lot of money and i'm sure, hope to have it for a long time.
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  4. Dec 16, 2017 at 8:10 PM

    RomaniGypsy New Member

    Nov 23, 2017
    2004 4Runner SR5 4WD, 2014 Prius v, 1972 Cadillac Calais
    For $6,183 out the door (not including sales tax), I got a 2004 SR5 4x4 with the V6, no body rust, a frame so clear of rust that the mechanics at the dealership were all gawking at it when it was put up on the lift, 191,370 miles, clean Carfax (I saw it), and no known problems except for a slight power steering whine at times (could just be low on fluid) and a slight exhaust tick under hard throttle.

    I live in northeast Ohio - rust country. Bought the 4Runner in northwest Pennsylvania - rust country. It was bought new in PA, taken to Texas after one year, then brought back to PA in early 2017. It was traded on a new car and the dealership, which had just taken it in, was willing to sell it to me "as is" without reconditioning, for what they figured they'd get if they took it to auction. (As always, it all comes down to timing. Had I not pounced on that one when I did, someone else would have snapped it up within a day or two. Know what you want and what you can spend, and pull the trigger right away if it fits the bill.) I've put about 800 miles on it since getting it, and no other problems have surfaced. Everything seems to be working properly.

    I wouldn't pay $11,000 for the one you described. Compared to the one I got, if this one you found is similarly rust-free, it'd be worth its KBB value of $7,000. I looked at a 2007 at a dealership, it had 141,000 miles, also SR5 4x4 with clean Carfax, and they were asking $7,500. It turned out to need $1,800 worth of work when I took it in for a PPI, but the guy said he'd come down on his price on that knowledge. (He said his mechanic could do all of that work for half what the shop quoted. I told him to get the work done and then let me know what the 4Runner would cost. He never got back to me.)

    Had I gotten it for a discount and then taken it to my mechanic to get the work done, I would have had a 4Runner that's two years newer, with over 20,000 less miles, with only "moderate" underbody rust (the shop said there was nothing worth worrying about), for $8,500. Yeah... definitely wouldn't pay $11,000 for the one you described.

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