Is the Toyota RAV4 Following the Toyota 4Runner Down the Wrong Path?


There is no doubt that Toyota has the magical recipe for its SUVs, especially with the RAV and 4Runner. However, the compact Toyota RAV4 seems pretty comfortable continuing its fifth generation after four years. The fifth-generation Toyota 4Runner seems pretty comfortable ambling through its fifth generation after 14 years. Is Toyota letting the RAV4 follow the 4Runner path? There are worse things for the Toyota RAV4 reliability.

Is Toyota RAV4 a reliable car?

This Toyota RAV4 reliability matches the Toyota 4Runner
2023 Toyota RAV4; 2023 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota; Amanda Cline, MotorBiscuit

Many agree that the Toyota RAV4 reliability is one of its best characteristics. U.S. News and J.D. Power gave the 2023 RAV4 a predicted reliability score of 81 out of 100, which is still considered pretty good. Compared to other Toyota SUVs, such as the 4Runner, it seems a little low. The 2023 Toyota 4Runner has a predicted reliability score of 87 out of 100 from the two publications. Neither SUV is known for being fast and modern, especially when considering some of the non-Toyota competition.

According to Toyota’s North American sales results for the first half of 2023, the RAV4 dominates. So far, in 2023, the RAV4 SUV has sold 187,0917 units, compared to 200,885 in 2022. The 4Runner has only sold 50,736 units, compared to 66,829 in 2022. Even without a recent redesign, the compact SUV seems more popular than ever. According to these sales numbers, the RAV4 is the best-selling vehicle in Toyota’s entire lineup. In fact, the RAV4 even dominates global sales charts.

While some consider a redesign a necessary component for excellent continued sales, the 4Runner, and the RAV4 seem to ignore that theory. The Toyota RAV4 might be following the 4Runner down a path, but it’s likely not the wrong one.

Why are used Toyota 4Runners so expensive?

2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary
The 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary | Amanda Cline, MotorBiscuit

When you consider the Toyota RAV4 reliability in relation to the Toyota 4Runner, this usually equates to better resale value. The RAV4 and Toyota 4Runner are expensive on the used market because people are willing to pay more for a reliable vehicle that will run for what seems like forever. Some SUVs don’t have such a reputation and are not known to last as long.

Those who purchase a RAV4 or 4Runner tend to know the SUV will last past 200,000 miles without too much effort. Even without a redesign, the 4Runner SUV has no problems getting sales. In June alone, shoppers selected the 4Runner 9,287 times and the RAV4 38,250 times. Beyond the Highlander, those are the two best-selling SUVs in Toyota’s lineup.

Even if the Toyota RAV4 follows the 4Runner down the path of a long wait between redesigns, it doesn’t seem to bother potential buyers. The RAV4 has an updated look and all of the newest tech throughout the cabin, and it comes with hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. A redesign doesn’t seem to be in the cards anytime soon, with the new Land Cruiser returning and a potential 4Runner update on the horizon.

The Toyota RAV4 following the 4Runner isn’t a bad thing

While the extended time between redesigns isn’t always ideal, it does not impact the Toyota RAV4 or 4Runner reliability. Both SUVs are some of the best sellers within each respective segment and don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Some automakers have shorter cycles between redesigns, which doesn’t produce better vehicles. It can lead to problems getting overlooked and swept under the rug in favor of a new design, which clearly has not been the case for the 4Runner.

If Toyota wasn’t seeing sales from the RAV4 or 4Runner, it might make more moves. However, what propels an expensive redesign if the SUVs sell without significant changes? It certainly isn’t a best seller nationally or globally. It doesn’t seem the RAV4 has anything to worry about, and the 4Runner isn’t a bad example to follow.


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