4Runner & Gas Mileage (Ultimate Guide)

Toyota 4Runners are known for their unique off-road ability, spaciousness, and driving experience. 

But do 4Runners get good gas mileage? And how does their gas mileage compare to similar SUVs?

In this article, we’ll answer the most common questions regarding the 4Runner’s gas mileage. 

Are 4Runners Good On Gas?

Toyota 4Runners are well known for having average to poor gas mileage. Most versions of the 4Runner achieve only 16 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. For comparison, a Honda Civic gets up to 32 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. 

Even when compared with a fellow mid-size SUV such as the Honda Pilot (20 mpg city / 27 mpg motorway) the 4Runners fuel economy isn’t great.

Why Are 4Runners So Bad On Gas?

Simply put, 4Runner’s are so bad on gas because they are extremely heavy and shaped like a box. They therefore require much more power (and therefore fuel) than lighter and more aerodynamic cars.

Which 4Runner Has The Best Mpg?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the 2012 Toyota 4Runner 2WD has the best MPG at 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.

The 4WD 4Runner with the best mpg is also the 2012 model, getting 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. 

How Does The 4Runners Gas Mileage Compare To Its Competitors? 

Let’s see how the Toyota 4Runner stacks up against other mid-size SUVs.

Toyota 4Runner vs Toyota Tacoma Gas Mileage

Even with a more impressive cargo space and towing ability, the Tacoma’s fuel efficiency outclasses the 4Runner’s. Owners of Tacomas conserve more fuel than their 4Runner peers for city travels; 16-17 mpg and 18-19 mpg for the 4Runner and Tacoma, respectively. The Tacoma also comes out on top for motorway drive with a rating of 22-24 mpg, compared to the 4Runner’s 19-21 mpg.

Year4Runner MPGTacoma MPG
202116 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
19 city / 24 highway (2WD)
18 city / 22 highway (4WD)
202016 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
19 city / 24 highway (2WD)
18 city / 22 highway (4WD)
201917 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
19 city / 24 highway (2WD)
18 city / 22 highway (4WD)
201816 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
19 city / 24 highway (2WD)
18 city / 22 highway (4WD)
201717 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
19 city / 24 highway (2WD)
18 city / 23 highway (4WD)

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Toyota 4Runner vs Toyota Tundra Gas Mileage

Info on the EPA’s website shows that the Toyota Tundra’s mpg ratings got worse with time, going from 19 mpg to 17 mpg for highway travel. While inner city travel reduced went from 15 to 13 mpg. The 4Runner is almost as poor, but its fuel efficiency rating has been more consistent for the last five years. 4Runners have a city mileage of 16-17 mpg and a highway mileage of 19-21 mpg.

Year4Runner MPGTundra MPG
202116 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
13 city / 17 highway (2WD)
13 city / 17 highway (4WD)
202016 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
13 city / 17 highway (2WD)
13 city / 18 highway (4WD)
201917 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
15 city / 19 highway (2WD)
14 city / 18 highway (4WD)
201816 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
15 city / 19 highway (2WD)
14 city / 18 highway (4WD)
201717 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
15 city / 19 highway (2WD)
14 city / 18 highway (4WD)

Toyota 4Runner vs Toyota Sequoia Gas Mileage

According to the EPA, the 4Runner has better gas mileage than the Sequoia. Over the last 5 years, the 4Runner has achieved 16-17 mpg in the city, while the Sequoia only archives 13 mpg. The 4Runner also gets 19 – 21 mpg on the highway, while the Sequoia only gets 17 mpg.

Year4Runner MPGSequoia MPG
202116 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
13 city / 17 highway (2WD)
13 city / 17 highway (4WD)
202016 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
13 city / 17 highway (2WD)
13 city / 17 highway (4WD)
201917 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
13 city / 17 highway (2WD)
13 city / 17 highway (4WD)
201816 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
13 city / 17 highway (2WD)
13 city / 17 highway (4WD)
201717 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
13 city / 17 highway (2WD)
13 city / 17 highway (4WD)

Toyota 4Runner vs Ford Expedition Gas Mileage

Lately, the Expedition’s mileage has improved. The Expedition has had an mpg record of 15-17 within the city between 2017 and 2021. During the same period, the 4Runner varies between 16 and 17 mpg within the city. The Expedition’s highway fuel consumption rate ranges between 20-23 mph, while the 4Runner gets 19-21 mpg.

Year4Runner MPGExpedition MPG
202116 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
17 city / 23 highway (2WD)17 city / 22 highway (4WD)
202016 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
17 city / 23 highway (2WD)17 city / 22 highway (4WD)
201917 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
17 city / 23 highway (2WD)17 city / 22 highway (4WD)
201816 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
17 city / 24 highway (2WD)17 city / 22 highway (4WD)
201717 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
15 city / 21 highway (2WD)15 city / 20 highway (4WD)


Toyota 4Runner vs Chevrolet Traverse Gas Mileage

Data published on fueleconomy.gov shows that the Traverse and 4Runner have nearly similar fuel consumption rates within the city. The Traverse miles per gallon rating has fluctuated between 15 and 18 mpg for the last five years, while the 4Runner alternates between 16 and 17 mpg. On the motorway, the Traverse excels with ratings of 22-27 mpg while the 4Runner’s efficiency is poor at 19-21 mpg.

Year4Runner MPGTraverse MPG
202116 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
18 city / 27 highway (2WD)
17 city / 25 highway (4WD)
202016 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
18 city / 27 highway (2WD)
17 city / 25 highway (4WD)
201917 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
18 city / 27 highway (2WD)
17 city / 25 highway (4WD)
201816 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
18 city / 27 highway (2WD)
17 city / 25 highway (4WD)
201717 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
15 city / 22 highway (2WD)
15 city / 22 highway (4WD)

Toyota 4Runner vs Toyota Sienna Gas Mileage

Asides for its spaciousness, the Sienna is a wonderful traveling car because of its fuel economy. The mileage of the Sienna has steadily increased over the last half-decade, hitting between 18 and 36 for city journeys. In comparison, the 4Runner didn’t improve with 16-17 mpg ratings within the same period. The Sienna outshines the 4Runner in highway mpg ratings of 24 to 36 mpg, compared to the latter’s 19-21 mpg.

Year4Runner MPGSienna MPG
202116 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
36 city / 36 highway (2WD)
35 city / 36 highway (4WD)
202016 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
19 city / 26 highway (2WD)
18 city / 24 highway (4WD)
201917 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
19 city / 27 highway (2WD)
18 city / 24 highway (4WD)
201816 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
19 city / 27 highway (2WD)
18 city / 24 highway (4WD)
201717 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
19 city / 27 highway (2WD)
18 city / 24 highway (4WD)

Toyota 4Runner vs Chevrolet Suburban Gas Mileage

The large family size SUV, Chevrolet Suburban, is just as poor as the 4Runner in fuel efficiency. Driving a Suburban through the city can get you 14-16 mpg compared to the 4Runner’s 16-17 mpg. For highway journey, the Surburban’s scores an mpg rating of 19-23 mpg while the 4Runner achieves 19021 mpg.

Year4Runner MPGSuburban MPG
202116 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
15 city / 20 highway (2WD)
15 city / 19 highway (4WD)
202016 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
15 city / 22 highway (2WD)
14 city / 21 highway (4WD)
201917 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
15 city / 22 highway (2WD)
14 city / 21 highway (4WD)
201816 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
16 city / 23 highway (2WD)
15 city / 22 highway (4WD)
201717 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
16 city / 23 highway (2WD)
15 city / 22 highway (4WD)

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Toyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler Gas Mileage

Jeep Wranglers are reputable off-roaders but have nearly as poor fuel economy as the 4Runner. For a drive through the city, the 4Runner and Wrangler have similar fuel efficiency scores of 16-17 mpg for a drive through the city. Highway journeys are where the Wrangler beats the 4Runner slightly with 21-23 mpg ratings. Toyota 4Runner comes in close at 19-21 mpg.

Year4Runner MPGWrangler MPG
202116 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
17 city / 23 highway (4WD)
202016 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
17 city / 23 highway (4WD)
201917 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
17 city / 23 highway (4WD)
201816 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
16 city / 21 highway (4WD)
201717 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
16 city / 21 highway (4WD)

Toyota 4Runner vs Highlander Gas Mileage

The Highlander is reputed for its mobility and class-topping gas mileage despite its three-row capacity. The EPA reports that the Highlander mileage within cities varies between 19 and 21 mpg. The highway mileage is even more impressive, with a 26-28 mpg rating. In contrast, the 4Runner falls behind in the mpg ratings for both city (16-17 mpg) and highway (19-21 mpg).

Year4Runner MPGHighlander MPG
202116 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
20 city / 28 highway (2WD)
20 city / 27 highway (4WD)
202016 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
21 city / 29 highway (2WD)
20 city / 27 highway (4WD)
201917 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
20 city / 27 highway (2WD)
19 city / 26 highway (4WD)
201816 city / 19 highway (2WD)
16 city / 19 highway (4WD)
20 city / 27 highway (2WD)
19 city / 26 highway (4WD)
201717 city / 21 highway (2WD)
17 city / 20 highway (4WD)
20 city / 27 highway (2WD)
19 city / 26 highway (4WD)

How To Increase Mileage On A 4runner? 

You can improve your 4Runner’s fuel economy by changing how you drive and following the best practices listed below:

  1. Do not overload your vehicle and tow as little as possible. 4Runner owners often report better mileage when the car is lightweight.
  2. Do not idle your 4Runner truck. Some car gurus argue that drive-thrus are more expensive than parking and getting your food inside.
  3. Avoid driving at high speeds. Maintain speeds of 45 to 65 mph and use cruise control on the freeway for more consistent results. 
  4. Limit the use of terrain modifications to only when you need it. 
  5. Listen to the radio for high-traffic areas and possible gridlocks, and plan your trip accordingly.
  6. Visit the mechanic regularly for routine checks on spark plugs, air filters, brakes, and fuel injectors. Use a less viscous engine oil on your next oil change to get better mileage for everyday driving.
  7. Ensure that your tires are pumped to the recommended pressures. Underinflated tires worsen your 4Runner’s mileage by up to 10%.

How Big Is A 4Runner Gas Tank?

Every 4Runner model has a 23-gallon gas tank.

How Much Does It Cost To Fill Up A 4Runner?

The cost of filling up a 4Runner depends on the state, fuel rating, and even the gas station. As of writing, the AAA reports that the average price of a gallon of gas is $4.098. Therefore, filling up a 4Runners 23-gallon gas tank will cost you $95.

How Far Can A 4Runner Go On A Full Tank?

The Toyota 4Runner has a 23-gallon gas tank and achieves 16 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. Therefore, a 4Runner should be able to go 368 miles in the city and 437 mpg on the highway on a full tank of gas.

However, it’s important to note that most people will not get these numbers. Factors such as traffic, cargo, driving habits, terrain, and tire pressure will all impact the number of miles you can go on a full tank of gas.

How Far Can a 4Runner Go On Empty? 

Most 4Runner owners have reported doing an extra 30-50 miles on ‘empty.’ Most 4Runners have between 2 and 4 gallons of fuel left in the gas tank before the indicator light signals a warning. 

Fuel lights are usually pretty conservative as they were to make sure that the driver manages to get fuel before running out and damaging a fuel pump. 

You can increase the distance your 4Runner goes on empty by driving slowly, decreasing revs, and turning off your air conditioning. 

9 Reasons Your Toyota 4Runner MPG Is So Low

Even though 4Runners are not well known for their stellar gas mileage, some drivers find that their 4Runner is not getting the mpg that it should be.

Here are 9 reasons why your 4Runner is getting low 

  1. You’re driving too fast (stay under 65 mph for optimal mpg)
  2. You are carrying heavy cargo
  3. You live in a hot climate (air conditioners lower mpg)
  4. Your 4Runner needs an oil change (try using full synthetic)
  5. Your air filters need cleaning
  6. Low tire pressure (should be 38-39 psi)
  7. Over revving the engine (try to stay below 2k rpm)
  8. You regularly drive on rough terrain
  9. Your throttle body needs to be cleaned