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Toyota 4Runner Real World MPG

steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,982
edited October 24 in Toyota
How's your mpg doing? Please give us a report and include any details that will help others compare their mileage to yours (commute, driving style, city/highway mix, mods, etc.).

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Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

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Comments

  • i drive all local, living in the outer burbs of nyc, with short trips and ac on during most of the summer. i average no more than 12-13 mpg with my v8 4runner. i've gotten close to 17 on the hw while cruising at 70. the onboard comp is always high by about 10%. it always shows 15 mpg for when i'm driving local, and about 19 for hw. i suppose you could achieve 19 if you cruise at 50. but, who does that?
  • chiefjojochiefjojo Posts: 39
    I get 18 city and up to 23 highway (best case)--usually 21-22 highway... probably average of about 20mpg overall.
  • just did a 300 mile day in the rain, all hw, so the speeds were rather slow-about 60 average. the comp said I averaged 21.5 mpg. after filling up, I figured it to be 18.5. better than I've ever had it.
  • 18 city and 20 overall?!!! a 4400 lb truck?!! regardless if you have the 6 or the 8, you MUST tell me your secrets!
  • oops! I guess the 2002 didn't have an 8, and the 4 cylinder didn't come in 4wd. so, how do you get 18 mpg?
  • chiefjojochiefjojo Posts: 39
    Well, the 2002 is a 3.4 V6, and the 3rd gen is smaller and lighter than the newer ones--i think around 4000 lbs. Also, since gas prices have been so high, I've taken it easier by driving close to the speed limit. If you keep it closer to 65-70 instead of 80 on the hwy, it can make a HUGE difference in mpg numbers.

    Drag losses due to wind resistance increase exponentially with speed... double your speed, and air becomes 4 times more resistant.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    Drag losses due to wind resistance increase exponentially with speed ...

    Actually, the drag force varies with the square of the speed so it is not exponential.

    tidester, host
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I get around 17 mpg in mixed suburban driving. On the highway, with the cruise control set at 70 I get around 19 mpg.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    gets me 20-20.5 mpg as a running average, in a little bit of suburban and mostly vacation driving. I have found that A/C use makes very little difference in this truck.

    Oh yeah, and the V-6 4WD manual has a curb weight of 3885 pounds. It is more than 10% lighter than the new model from '03 on, which is good for gas mileage.

    Like chiefjojo, 23 mpg is about the best I can hope for in an all-highway trip. However, it is very consistent under those circumstances, so it never drops much below 23 either.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Just measured 23.4mpg last night (on my 2002 4WD 4R auto) after driving back from the beach in NC. That's at about 60-70 mph on the highway and ~95% highway miles.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    approximately 600 miles round trip, with camping for 3 nights in the middle, so it was not all highway because there were a couple of days of short trips puttering around up there.

    Anyway, averaged only 22 mpg overall, not my best work! :-(

    (2000 V-6 4WD stick shift)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • fowvay1fowvay1 Posts: 2
    Ummmmm? How is this not exponential? The exponent is 2!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    x2 is quadratic. 2x is exponential.

    tidester, host
  • fowvay1fowvay1 Posts: 2
    I guess I misunderstood the original drag equation. Btw, exponential is e to the power of x, not 2. (e=2.71828183)

    But, back to the 4runners - I expected to see greater differences b/w newer 6 and 8 cyl. engines, esp. with full time four wheel drive...

    This is helpful - I'm thinking of getting one and will use it for occasional boat towing. Need to do much more research. Thx.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    Actually, exponential means any base bx unless you're a computer programmer in which case you only recognize one.

    tidester, host
  • Hi, seriously thinking about getting a new 4 runner v6. EPA estimates are 17/21 for the V6, but I have heard some people get a lot less. Any experiences here?
  • I really think you'll be please with the mpg on a newer 4R.
    My '06 gets about 19+mpg mixed city/highway and have gotten as high as 24.5 highway. Mind you that was doing 65mph for 400 some miles.
    They are great vehicles.........
  • I used to get up to 22mpg with my 2003 V6 4X4 SR5 4Runner in ideal conditions, but now I'm lucky to get 19mpg highway in any condition. I don't know if it's due to the gas they're putting out, or due to my tire brand, or a combination of both. Overall, average mpg since I bought the vehicle new is 17.5 mpg, but it has been dropping about a tenth every month or so for awhile.

    Regardless, I think you'd be happy with a 4Runner. My negatives are road noise, rough ride, wind buffeting, and the HVAC controls. The Sport models, the airbag suspension equipped Limited models, and any of the V8 models ride better IMO. For 2006, Toyota put thicker windshield glass, and rumor has it, thicker front row door glass in all the vehicles to help reduce road noise.

    BTW, I got my hands on a Tahoe and Yukon today while looking to replace my 4Runner. They sure don't seem any larger in the cargo area than my 4Runner, and they all come equipped with a useless third row that has permanent seat rails mounted above the floor surface whether you want a 3rd row or not.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    a 500-mile round trip to Yosemite, including some puttering around up there, averaged only 21.5 mpg. Not as good as I have done in the past. :-(

    But I was driving faster than I usually do in stretches - this thing can really gulp down the gas if I push it to 75 mph on the uphill portions. After that, all the downhill coasting in the world can't pull the average back up enough! :-P

    (2000 4x4 V-6 stick shift).

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    was actually BETTER than the last! 296 miles, 13.5 gallons, which is 22 mpg by my calulations. Which means I only spent $36 for gas. I was kinda shocked to get out for less than $40, but I also expected it to need more gas than it did.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    headed up to an OHV recreation area that is about an hour and a half away on the highway, and up 2000 feet, then messed around in 4WD for a couple of hours trying out a couple of trails and eventally getting off the trail entirely. A very fun day! :-)

    Anyway, point here is that the total mileage for the day was 262, and I put in 12.4 gallons of gas, which is still about 21 mpg, which I thought was pretty good given all the four-wheeling.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • 2006 V6 in city driving: internal calculator claims i get 19, using the "miles drivin/gallons pumped" method, i get 17.5
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I had been averaging 16.2 mpg with my 06 V8. Then I bought a Camry Hybrid. It got me interested in seeing what "careful" driving could actually do for me. I can easily average 17.5+ on my normal rural driving. That's about the limit at 70 mph on the interstate. However on many local trips I am able to keep the computer in the 19 to 20 mpg range just by not goosing it and trying to keep the rpm's at minimum.

    I have not verified it yet with my GPS but the Camry's odometer is off (low) by 1.5%. It's probable that the 4Runner may be as well and if so then the manual calculations on you FE may yield a lower result than actual (by about 0.3mpg on a 300 mile tank).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    this week. This time, the truck was parked most of the time, except for one trip to Glacier Point. Anyway, the only fill-up I needed to do yielded 23.96 mpg, which I am going to go ahead and call 24!!

    I was holding the speed to the limit and driving conservatively except when I needed to pass, and it seems to have paid off. That might be my best mpg to date. :-)

    (2000 V-6 4WD 5-speed)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • I drive conservatively with cruise on as much as possible and never over 65. My first three years I was getting 21mpg hwy and now get variations of 15 to 18 and I try never to vary to be consistent. I changed my tires recently to Goodyear Wranglers 265/70/17s and that could have changed it a bit but not that much. Thinking of adding a spacer to the throttle body and already have the the K/N filter. Any suggestions? Getting a diagnostic next week to see if there are any hidden problems.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I've got 50,000 miles on my 2003 V8 4WD. I've never gotten over 20 mpg. 19 mpg is tops.

    I'm currently running Michelin CrossTerrains. I have noticed that my mileage goes down ~1 mpg when I put on my snow tires in the winter.
  • As I wrote under Problems and Solutions, I told Bob that I had a diagnostic done yesterday for $155 and you know what? The dealer said I had clogged injectors and I agreed to have the injectors (included is the throttle body) cleaned. I still need to clean the MAS and verified with the Toyota Tech that "Steve's" technique in cleaning it is correct and the tech said yes and reminded me not to touch any of the components in the MAS. Only spray electrical contact spray on the MAS and gently blow out with computer compressed air from a can. As soon as the weather warms a little, I will do the MAS. Great forum-thanks Steve. Cork
  • For gas mileage problems on my 03 4R V8 40k miles, see #2058 under problems and solutions.
  • Hey gasguy, I have just about given up on the gas problem with my 03/4RV8. I blamed the new tires (and still could be the problem). I have written up my problems under "Problems and Solutions". My 05 Camry 2.4L gets 25 to 28 in town and 39 hwy but I don't drive over 65. The speedometer problem is due to the different size wheels you can install. My Toyota dealer told me you can buy 16' and 15" and the odometer is set for 16". I measure it by my GPS and it is about 1.5% slow. I will get a hybrid (never mind the cost you never recover from) in about two years hoping the bugs are worked out and batteries are better.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    I went over the Sierra to Carson City Nevada for the weekend, only had to fill up once, yesterday morning. After that I made a day trip of about 60 miles (higher into the desert), then came back today by going up the grade (about 2500 feet elevation) into Tahoe, then up the grade (about 1000 feet elevation) out of Tahoe before coming down.

    Anyway, total was 273 miles, 11.9 gallons, which is 23 mpg. Not too bad, especially considering the temperature was below freezing the whole time, sometimes 30 or more degrees below. First time I have ever been in temps cold enough to experience the power steering system unwilling to do its job because of the cold (I've seen it mentioned in the owner's manual, but never witnessed it firsthand).

    2000 V-6 4WD stick shift.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

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