Calling All Toyota Knowers: Help Buy a 4Runner

I have a hypothetical car purchase question for you Toyota Knowers. The prospective buyer is looking for a lower-mileage used 4Runner to own long term. It’ll be used as a daily driver and ski-mobile in winter and for hauling and camping (but not towing) in the summer. Some overland capability is necessary, and minor modifications are possible, but this is not going to be a serious off-road build. For all those reasons, it should be a V6 4wd with relatively low mileage.

Assuming all else is equal or close enough—price, one owner, rust free, reasonable maintenance records, desirable color—which of the following three options would you recommend?


1. 2009 Limited, with roughly 90,000 miles.

2. 2005 Sport with X-REAS and under 50,000 miles(!!).

3. 2010 Trail Ed. with roughly 110,000 miles.

I’m thinking the sweet spot here might be the 2009. Last year of the 4th gen and a Limited so it has all the creature comforts for daily driver usage, and pretty low mileage.

The 2010 Trail is appealing but 110,000 miles isn’t particularly low for a 2010. Plus, it’s the first year of the 5th gen—any known issues there? Also, all the Trail additions like KDSS and the cargo tray seem like they might just be more stuff to break.


The 2005 Sport is remarkable for its low mileage, but that’s so low it’s almost worrisome.

So, Toyota Knowers: what do you think?

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