Find the depreciation rate of your Toyota 4Runner in the graph below.
All vehicles, regardless of their initial value, begin to depreciate from the moment of purchase. The Toyota 4Runner is no exception to this rule. The most depreciation occurs during the first year after the initial purchase. After the initial drop, the 4Runner will start to depreciate at a slower rate every year until it reaches the eight-year mark. Vehicles depreciate at different rates depending on their make and model. By knowing the Toyota 4Runner depreciation rate, you can determine its long-term value and total cost of ownership to decide if it’s a good vehicle to purchase.
Keep in mind that just because the vehicle costs the least to own in the sweet spot we have outlined here, you still may not want to own the vehicle during these depreciation sweet spot years. Although vehicles depreciate less as they get older, they have more repairs. Duh right? However, keep in mind that repairs don’t just cost you money, they cost you time. Reliability is the difference between being able to make it to your destination on time or missing an opportunity because the car broke down.
Check out our article on the best and worst years of the Toyota 4Runner to see our reliability ratings for all years of the 4Runner between 2001-2022. We also cover MPG, safety ratings, and a number of other factors. We pulled data from 4Runners registered in our app and surveyed owners to get you data-backed answers on just how good or bad each year of the 4Runner is.
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Toyota 4Runner Depreciation
|Model Years||Mileage||Amount Depreciated||Residual Value Percentage||Resale Value|
The chart above conveys the approximate depreciation for a Toyota 4Runner. It is based on Kelley Blue Book data since 2001, assuming a vehicle in standard trim, a generic color, such as black or white, and a mileage of 12,000 per year.
Keep in mind that the auto market was heavily affected in 2020 and beyond. Automakers selling new cars during the COVID pandemic raised prices which caused a spike in demand in the used car market as people tried to save money. Many automakers, however, did not drop prices after the pandemic, they kept them so they could make a larger profit.
This is why the most recent years of many vehicles have seemingly experienced less depreciation. Some, such as 2017, may have even appreciated due to the heightened levels of inflation created.
Factors That Impact the Toyota 4Runner Depreciation Rate
Toyota has a longstanding reputation for building high-quality vehicles. Its lineup includes a range of cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and electric vehicles. Collectively, Toyota vehicles consistently achieve top marks for reliability and value, and they’re known to last for many miles on the roads. An automaker’s reputation can play a role in the depreciation and resale value of its vehicles, which means the 4Runner may benefit from the Toyota brand. Besides reputation, here are other factors that can affect the resale value of your Toyota 4Runner.
The model year of your 4Runner can have a major impact on its depreciation and resale value. For vehicles, the model year refers to its generation and pricing, not necessarily its year of production. Most car manufacturers, including Toyota, refresh their vehicles every year with new styling, features, and safety technologies. For this reason, some model years may be better than others. In addition, an outgoing model year tends to depreciate quickly once a new generation arrives on dealerships’ lots.
A vehicle’s body type can affect how quickly it depreciates. Body type, also known as body style, refers to the size and classification of vehicles. Common body types include sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, sports cars, convertibles, sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), minivans, and pickup trucks. In North America, pickup trucks and SUVs tend to depreciate more slowly, since there’s a large demand for these vehicles. In contrast, small luxury cars usually depreciate the fastest.
The Toyota 4Runner is a midsize SUV that’s been in production for four decades. Vehicles in this class usually depreciate more slowly than cars and luxury vehicles. Future changes in the market could impact the 4Runner’s depreciation rate. For example, if the demand grows for sedans, hatchbacks, or other small cars, the Toyota 4Runner and other SUVs may start to depreciate more quickly.
Like age, a car’s mileage is a factor you’re probably familiar with when it comes to depreciation. Usually, the higher the mileage, the lower the value of a vehicle. That’s because high-mileage cars have a greater chance of needing extensive maintenance or advanced repairs.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average driver travels slightly over 1,000 miles each month. For this reason, we base our model on 12,000 miles of driving per year as the average. If you drive more than this average, your 4Runner may depreciate more quickly. On the other hand, if you drive fewer miles each year than the average, the SUV may retain its value better.
The condition of your 4Runner refers to how well it runs and how good it looks. A vehicle in good condition usually shows less wear and tear, and it’s less likely to need major repairs. If you follow Toyota’s recommended maintenance schedule, you can keep your 4Runner in good condition for many years. When you’re ready to sell it, you may get a better price for the vehicle.
At some point, however, it may become too costly to maintain the vehicle. For example, if your 4Runner needs a major repair that costs more than the vehicle’s total value, it’s probably not worth fixing. In this case, you might be better off using that money to buy a new vehicle, instead of continuing to maintain one that won’t be worth much when you’re ready to sell.
You may not place a high importance on the color of a vehicle, but it can affect its depreciation rate. A recent study from iSeeCars found that certain colors depreciate more slowly than others. In particular, colors such as yellow, orange, and green have the slowest depreciation rates. That could be because there are fewer cars available in those colors, creating a higher demand for them. Vehicles in colors such as gold, brown, and black have higher depreciation rates, possibly because they’re more common. For the best value, consider purchasing a 4Runner in a color that depreciates more slowly.
Other Costs of Toyota 4Runner Ownership
While it’s important to consider the depreciation rate when purchasing a new vehicle, there are other ownership costs to consider. Here are some other costs of owning a Toyota 4Runner.
Insurance is another major factor that can affect a 4Runner’s cost of ownership. How much you pay for insurance can depend on various factors, including the vehicle itself. In general, cars with good safety ratings cost less to insure, since insurance companies consider them to be a lower risk than other vehicles.
According to Insurance.com, it costs $1,942 per year to insure a 4Runner, on average. That’s more expensive than the average national cost of car insurance, which is $1,682 per year. Consider this expense as you determine the long-term value of a Toyota 4Runner.
Routine maintenance can keep a car running smoothly, which allows it to maintain its value. On average, the Toyota 4Runner costs $618 per year to maintain. That’s slightly less than the average maintenance cost for all vehicles, which is $694 per year.
Maintenance costs can vary by model year. Use our graph to compare the maintenance costs of all Toyota 4Runner model years. Note that some model years may cost more to maintain than others. In particular, these model years have known issues, including lower reliability and powertrain problems, that may cause them to depreciate faster:
The Best Model Year To Buy a Toyota 4Runner
Based on factors including price and reliability (but not depreciation), our choice for the best Toyota 4Runner model years to buy are the 2003-2004, 2007-2008, 2012-2015, 2017-2018, and 2020-2021, but check out our article on the best and worst years of the 4Runner to get the whole story.
When you factor in depreciation, we recommend purchasing a 2003 or 2004 Toyota 4Runner. These model years fall within the depreciation sweet spot, plus they were part of the 4Runner’s well-executed fourth generation.
Buying a Toyota 4Runner New vs. Used
|Years Since Purchased||Depreciated Value||With Inflation|
When purchasing a Toyota 4Runner, you can choose between a new or used version. It’s helpful to know the depreciation rate as you make your decision. After three years of ownership, a 2020 Toyota 4Runner has accumulated about $11,989 in depreciation. Adjusted for inflation, it’s worth about $31,590 today.
In comparison, a brand-new 4Runner will lose about $11,043 in depreciation over its first three years. Accounting for inflation, it will be worth $34,197 after that period. While the depreciation is similar to the 2020 model, you’re the one who loses that value when you purchase a new 4Runner. In contrast, by purchasing a used model, you allow the initial owner to take the greatest hit in depreciation, saving money on your purchase overall.
That’s why depreciation is an important factor to consider as you purchase a used car. Do your research to make sure you understand a vehicle’s depreciation rate before you purchase it. You can use various resources, such as Kelley Blue Book, to determine the value of a car. Don’t forget about other ownership costs, such as insurance and maintenance, as you evaluate the long-term value of a 4Runner.
The data presented in this article applies to a base trim Toyota 4Runner with standard options and equipment. If you purchase a higher trim or a model with special options, it may retain its value better and be worth more when you’re ready to sell it. Other factors, including the condition of the vehicle and how you choose to sell it, can also impact its resale value. In addition, some external factors, such as the COVID-era chip shortage, can affect a vehicle’s resale value.
Keep in mind, there are large economic factors at play here too and the sale of new cars has caused shifts in the used market too. There is a stark difference in the cost of vehicles due to car manufacturers seeking higher profit margins after COVID as detailed by CNN and posted by CBS channel 58:
“… (T)he auto industry saw sky-high profits even as sales plummeted. Domestic manufacturers of cars and car parts saw a profit of $32 billion through the third quarter of 2022 (the latest data available) — their largest profit since 2016. Car dealerships also reported record-breaking profits through Q3, according to auto-retail advisers Haig Partners.
That’s because pandemic-era pent-up consumer demand remained strong as supply shifted, allowing automakers to increase their prices and their profit margins. Cars and trucks were sold nearly as soon as they hit dealership lots, and the average price paid for a vehicle in December soared to a near-record high of $46,382, according to J.D. Power.
Data from the Labor Department’s November Consumer Price Index shows American consumers are paying about 20% more for cars than they were in 2019.
The trend could continue into next year — research website Edmunds expects new-car sales to hit 14.8 million in 2023, a marginal increase from last year but well below pre-pandemic levels.
The auto industry has entered a new era: Less choice, higher prices and larger profit margins. So far it seems to be working for them.”
This shift by car companies to create higher profit margins by taking advantage of the heavily-reported-on chip shortage panic of COVID has had rebounding effects upon the value of used cars.
Be aware that newer years (the latest 3-4 model years) may be inflated in price because of this and depending on how big this problem is for the model you are considering – it may even be inflating the price of the older model years.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vehicle Depreciation
In general, Toyota 4Runners hold their value well over time. The resale value of your 4Runner can depend on various factors, including its condition, age, and mileage. Besides those factors, how you sell your 4Runner can also affect how much you get for it.
For example, if you have a 2021 black Toyota 4Runner with standard equipment in good condition, you can get $36,540 if you sell it privately, according to Kelley Blue Book data. However, you’ll only get $33,721 for the same vehicle if you trade it in to a dealership.
Based on reliability and maintenance costs, the best years of a Toyota 4Runner to buy are 2003-2004, 2007-2008, 2012-2015, 2017-2018, and 2020-2021. These 4Runners have high-reliability scores, solid fuel efficiency, and good overall value. If you want to purchase a model with the lowest depreciation rate, get a 2003 or 2004 Toyota 4Runner.
If you’re purchasing a used 4Runner, we recommend avoiding these model years:
These model years have lower reliability scores, higher maintenance costs, and known issues that may result in advanced repairs. Even though the 2002, 2005, and 2006 model years fall within the depreciation sweet spot, we still recommend avoiding them for these reasons.
Across 21 years of FIXD data, the 4Runner averages 140,000 miles. Two model years have average odometer readings beyond 200,000 miles, including 215,000 in 2001. And four model years are at or beyond 190,000 miles.
When you couple that with 27% of owners expecting their 4Runner to hit at least 200,000 miles, it’s reasonable to say 165,000 miles is considered high mileage for a Toyota 4Runner. That may leave you as much as 50,000 miles to run up on the odometer. Keep in mind that the year of the 4Runner you buy may determine whether you can afford to drive it those extra miles.
Purchase a 2002-2006 Toyota 4Runner to avoid the highest rates of depreciation. We’ve found these model years to be the sweet spot for this SUV. For the best value, purchase a 2003 or 2004 Toyota 4Runner.
(2023.) The Secrets Behind Toyota’s Bullet-Proof Reliability. TopSpeed. Retrieved Oct. 12, 2023, from https://www.topspeed.com/the-secrets-behind-toyotas-bullet-proof-reliability/
(2022.) Consumer Reports: Toyota, Lexus Make the Most Reliable Cars; Mercedes the Least. Kelley Blue Book. Retrieved Oct. 12, 2023, from https://www.kbb.com/car-news/consumer-reports-toyota-lexus-make-the-most-reliable-cars-mercedes-the-least/
(2023.) 4Runner. Toyota Motor Sales. Retrieved Oct. 12, 2023, from https://www.toyota.com/4runner/
(2022.) Average Annual Miles Per Driver by Age Group. U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved Oct. 12, 2023, from https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar8.htm
(2023.) The Best and Worst Car Colors for Resale Value. iSeeCars.com. Retrieved Oct. 12, 2023, from https://www.iseecars.com/car-color-study
(2023.) Toyota 4Runner Insurance: Are Toyota 4Runners Expensive To Insure? Insurance.com. Retrieved Oct. 12, 2023, from https://www.insurance.com/vehicles/toyota-insurance/toyota-4runner-car-insurance
(2023.) Full Coverage Car Insurance Cost in 2023. Insurance.com. Retrieved Oct. 12, 2023, from https://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/coverage/full-coverage.html
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