Toyota 4Runner Real World MPG

steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
edited October 2014 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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Comments

  • jaesee75edmundjaesee75edmund Member Posts: 39
    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 Member Posts: 39
    I get 18 city and up to 23 highway (best case)--usually 21-22 highway... probably average of about 20mpg overall.
  • jaesee75edmundjaesee75edmund Member Posts: 39
    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.
  • jaesee75edmundjaesee75edmund Member Posts: 39
    18 city and 20 overall?!!! a 4400 lb truck?!! regardless if you have the 6 or the 8, you MUST tell me your secrets!
  • jaesee75edmundjaesee75edmund Member Posts: 39
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 10,059
    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 Member 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 AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • chiefjojochiefjojo Member Posts: 39
    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 AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • fowvay1fowvay1 Member Posts: 2
    Ummmmm? How is this not exponential? The exponent is 2!
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    x2 is quadratic. 2x is exponential.

    tidester, host
  • fowvay1fowvay1 Member 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 Member Posts: 10,059
    Actually, exponential means any base bx unless you're a computer programmer in which case you only recognize one.

    tidester, host
  • cheepyankeecheepyankee Member Posts: 4
    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?
  • bobgordonbobgordon Member Posts: 156
    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.........
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Member Posts: 410
    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 AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gostrosgostros Member Posts: 10
    2006 V6 in city driving: internal calculator claims i get 19, using the "miles drivin/gallons pumped" method, i get 17.5
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member 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 AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • jollygreen1jollygreen1 Member Posts: 42
    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 Member 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.
  • jollygreen1jollygreen1 Member Posts: 42
    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
  • jollygreen1jollygreen1 Member Posts: 42
    For gas mileage problems on my 03 4R V8 40k miles, see #2058 under problems and solutions.
  • jollygreen1jollygreen1 Member Posts: 42
    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 AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ejbackesejbackes Member Posts: 2
    I recently bought a '98 4R 3.4L V6 automatic. Right now I am getting only 16 MPG in suburban and urban driving. Haven't yet had it on the open road to test HWY. I feel like this is a bit low so I am taking steps to improve. Will be putting in new spark plugs as well as flushing and replacing all fluids. Also looking at the air filtration. I want to go with K&N but have one question. Has anyone experimented with the difference between just putting in the K&N filter vs. installing the K&N FIPK Air Intake kit? I looked at stock air intake system and it doesn't seem to be that small or constricted but I don't have experience with what improvements the K&N system would bring. Is it worth the extra money to go with the full intake system replacement ($200-$250) vs. just the air filter ($50)?
  • thebluewavethebluewave Member Posts: 11
    Only thing about the K&N performance systems is that they tend to let more dirt through, even though they claim this is not the case. If you really want the FIPK kit, look around for less expensive alternatives. You should still buy the K&N filter, but look at a different intake pipe. K&N overprices that kit becuase of who they are.
  • thebluewavethebluewave Member Posts: 11
    I have been driving about 65-35 highway-city in blistering cold MN/IA winter weather. In my last 5 tanks I have averaged (by my calculations) 18.4 mpg ('05 SR5 V6 4x4). I have used the 4wd in snowy or icy conditions liberally, that's what its for. I have also done some off-roading during this time. As for my habits:
    1. Warm up for 30 seconds, even in the coldest weather. I drive gently to warm up the vehicle.
    2. Keep 70 mph as max speed on highways. Trucks are not meant to go much faster. The aerodynamics are parachute-like.
    3. Use cruise control a lot and maintain steady speed when not using it.
    4. Don't lead foot it unless necessary or I feel like it.
  • chibearsluvchibearsluv Member Posts: 6
    I have an '04 4runner SR5 V-6 and was wondering if anyone had put an aftermarket intake system on their 4runner to improve MPG's and performance. If so what system would be best for the price and quality, I was looking into the 77 series K&N or AEM and Injen. Any inputs would be appreciated
  • blufz1blufz1 Member Posts: 2,045
    The aftermarket sys have been shown to allow additional larger particles into you engine. I would not use one. Just my .02.
  • darambodarambo Member Posts: 5
    Anyone getting higher MPG's with a K & N filter?

    An acquantance swears that replacing the exhaust system with larger pipes would not cost much and result in higher MPG's. What do you think? Anyone try this?

    I'm considering buying a V6 "07 because the back window rolls down to provide cross venting for my dogs and would sure like to get the mileage up to 20 combined!

    thanks...
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    My sister swore by hers until I asked to see the "before" numbers. She hadn't kept track of her mpg naturally and it was all seat of the pants guessing. Then I pointed out that if her old air filter was dirty, a clean OEM paper one would also likely bump her mpg up a notch.

    So she just sold the car. :P

    Check out the K&N Air Filters, bolt-on power? discussion - opinions are all over the map, but actual data seems scarce.
  • blufz1blufz1 Member Posts: 2,045
    I really think any alterations you make to a new car is a waste. These cars are controlled by computers. When I look for a used vehicle I first eliminate the ones with mods. Just my .02 good luck.
  • pmschneidaupmschneidau Member Posts: 6
    Wife and I have had our '06 4x4 V6 SR5 since April 28, 2006. We trade off driving it every week or so. I tend to get about 21-23 mpg mixed 50/50 city/hwy. My wife consistently gets 19-19.5mpg, also 50/50 mix. I have learned to coast up to red lights, stop signs, and freeway off ramps, which I think really adds up in the end. I watch my wife drive and the foot goes straight from the gas to the brake. She's not lead-footed, but she definitely is not in the habit of coasting. I've also found that about 55mph is a very efficient speed for the 4Runner. We did a day trip last summer up to the mountains around Boise. I gassed up that morning, then filled up just before my house and averaged 25.5mpg (about 5.5 hours of driving, mostly at 55mph). I had trouble believing that, at first, but I just did the same old calculation as always. BTW, I never use my computer to figure mpg. I learned on the first tank that it's WAY off (like 3-4 mpg over the true mpg).
  • blufz1blufz1 Member Posts: 2,045
    Wind resistance increases exponentially with speed so your slower is better mpg observation is correct. The problem is you can't safely go slow enough,assuming you have the time, to see what you could really get because you would get killed by going slower than the traffic flow.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Wind resistance increases exponentially with speed ...

    Actually, it increases quadratically but your conclusion is correct. :)

    tidester, host
  • darambodarambo Member Posts: 5
    thanks for the reply. I may just have to settle for sub-20 mpgs...

    Unless I can figure out how to drive like
    pmschneidau - very impressive! However, I drive on Texas roads - and cld get shot for going less that 70 on the freeways!
  • blufz1blufz1 Member Posts: 2,045
    Well, I thought it was by the square of the speed, but I wasn't sure that would be the way to state it. Of course being from the South,I've never heard that quad word before. :)
  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    Darambo: The 4Runner back window should not be down when driving, as specified in the manual. If the back window is down when driving, the station wagon effect will draw exhaust gases into the truck -- not good for you or your dogs.
  • darambodarambo Member Posts: 5
    Thank you for the reminder about driving without the back window down.

    I mainly want to use this feature for quick stops when I'll turn the engine off, and leave the windows down.
  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    Oh, ok. It's perfectly fine for that purpose
  • erichochmanerichochman Member Posts: 16
    i have heard countless time that the new 4runners should use premium fuel only. YET. the owners manual says 87 octane. i even called toyota myself and asked and they told me 2 times...87 octane is fine..not 91.

    im confused...any correct answers. thanks in advance
  • newdavidqnewdavidq Member Posts: 146
    Just filled up after using most of a free tank of gas that came with the truck and got 18.1 around town (one freeway trip of about 40 miles). Used the miles divided by gallons method. So far the computer is reading about 17.9 so it appears to be fairly accurate. Looking forward to a road trip to check hwy mileage. So far, so good. I'm still breaking in so am being conservative, no lead footing. 87 octane works fine.
    Dave
  • kipkkipk Member Posts: 1,576
    I'm considering trading my Pilot for something with more towing ability. 4Runner, Pathfinder, Explorer and Tahoe are first choices. So I've been looking and driving.

    I agree about the Tahoe. The cargo space floor is too high and those rails are intrusive.

    The 4 Runner seems the way to go, with its good tow weight numbers. Of course most of the time is spent NOT TOWING, so the real world MPG numbers are important.

    Kip
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