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Toyota 4Runner Real World MPG



  • 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)?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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!

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    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 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.
  • 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 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 Posts: 10,059
    Wind resistance increases exponentially with speed ...

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

    tidester, host
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 Posts: 787
    Oh, ok. It's perfectly fine for that purpose
  • 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 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.
  • kipkkipk 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.

  • While the V6 would probably do the job, consider the V8 for towing. My average V6 mileage is down to 15.4 in mostly city driving and the vehicle is dependable. I attribute some of this to the Bridgestone Revo's. Michelins would probably offer better MPG. Just don't expect Pilot MPG if you get a 4Runner. Anyway, happy shopping!
  • lexuslxlexuslx Posts: 18
    I am needing to replace the tires on my 03 4Runner Ltd V8 4wd and am looking at all-terrain 265-70-17... The factory size is 265-65-17's. I'm wondering if the 70's are going to rub against the inner fender well or anything. Are yours working well? Thanks in advance!
  • The V-6 is fine for towing if you're not needing to tow that often. If you tow often, definitely opt for the V-8.

    As for gas mileage, my V-6 has been incredibly good. I average 19.22 MPG in my 2005 SR-5 4WD with 36,500 miles on it.

    So for me the V-6 was the way to go because I don't tow that often and when I do it's only 90 miles round trip. I wanted to get the best mileage I could while still having better towing capacity than, say, the Highlander.

    As a comparison, the '05 Highlander V6 AWD that I replaced with the 4Runner averaged 20.52 MPG. And it could only tow 3500 lbs.

    Hope that helps.

  • My average is down to 15.2 MPG in 70/30 city driving with the 2003 SR5 4X4 V6. I don't read of anyone doing worse, but with mostly city driving I can't complain. My last long highway trip was last May averaging 18.6 MPG and staying within 5mph of the speed limit. The Revo tires are killing the mileage and increasing the road noise, but that's the tradeoff going to those tires. Vehicle runs fine otherwise at 31,000 miles.
  • my 96 runner has 224,000, i'm getting about 12 mpg. where should i start? air filter? plugs? tune-up?

    v-6 sr5 4x4
  • I need to change the plugs in a 2003 4runner with a v8. There is a bar or pipe over the plugs and the wire connectors that needs to be removed before removing the plugs.
    Anyone know how to take this off and any suggestions on this procedure.
    Also, is it necessary to replace the plug wires or will replacing the plugs suffice?
    I have the sport model and I typically get 19-21 MPG's in 50/50 hwy/city driving, but I'm not lead foot and I coast a lot.
    Thanks in advance
  • hello all. i got my runner new in 03 and currently have 23050 miles on it. i use it mainly for trips or to carry cargo. on average i get 15.5 mpg on the computer but actual calculations is around 13.7 on average with mixed driving. when i do >85% freeway driving at a constant rate averaging 70-75mph the cpu avg says 18-19 mpg with actual closer to 15. i sometimes regret getting the supercharger [now] because of the 3+mpg loss and the fact that i have to use super unleaded gas because of the higher compression/forced induction. when i got it installed gas was a whopping 1.85 a gallon. anyone else with any mods?
  • My 04 V8 4WD doesn't have any mods on it, but the computer has always been inaccurate at giving the correct fuel mileage. As a general rule it actually gets about 2 mpg less than what the computer is reading for actual mpg. On a trip this weekend it was a little closer, it was only about 1.6 mpg less than what the computer read.
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    I get 16-17 city, 20-22 highway, unless I am really moving. 70-75 mph = about 19 mpg

    My best was driving KC to DC, back seats down & cargo area full of moving boxes, plus 3 bicycles on a hitch rack, driving 60-65 mph when I got 24 mpg. That was at about 50K mile point.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I have a 2003 v8 4WD Limited. I also find that the computer is a couple mpg optimistic.
This discussion has been closed.