Owner Review: Dude, I Love My 2015 Toyota 4Runner

We have been asking you all to send us pictures of your recently purchased new vehicles. We want to know what your buying experience was like and whether or not you love (or hate) your new ride. Sometimes the best people to review cars are the owners themselves. You guys get to (and have to) live with these cars every day. As a result you learn very quickly what you like and dislike about these cars. If you want your car to be featured, send us an email at info@tflcar.com!

This review comes from new 4Runner owner, Kelsey T. She writes:

This June 2018 I decided to upgrade from my 2006 4Runner Sport 4×4 to a newer model and purchased a 2015 4Runner Trail Premium (Same car different name ad the TRD Offroad Premium these days).  
I hunted down the CO dealerships since I had moved to Louisville CO recently as well – and priced both new and recent used 4Runners looking for something with 4WD, rear locking diff & under 50,000 miles. 

Hunting for a deal

I’ve lived in Texas for the last 8 years and 4Runners, especially 4×4 models, aren’t the most common cars to find down there and many of the Toyota dealerships only have 1 or 2 on the lot… so I thought being here, I’d find both a plethora for vehicles and a good price.  Well, I learned that point 1 was true as there were dozens at every dealership in the Denver area, but that the steals of deals I was used to in the Texas market aren’t here.  I priced at several dealerships and the difference between new and 3-year old used was usually only 10%…. not the gap I was looking for.

I took to online shopping (Cargurus makes it almost too easy to shop nationwide) and ended up buying from a dealer in NY State were one had come back off of lease with 40K miles.  Had it shipped to CO and in the end saved 20% off a comparable new vehicle, after shipping, so was happy.

Not all perfect

But…. story doesn’t end there:  The day the vehicle transport arrived in Denver was also the day of the terrible June hail storms and since it was a used vehicle, well, it was already mine, even though it hadn’t been delivered.  A 1.5K deductible later, 13K in insurance repairs, and 2 months of repair time, it’s finally back in tip-top shape.

Time to Mod

So far I’ve done some basic upgrades:

  • 3″ Toytec lift installed by Toytec in Denver
  • Rock sliders
  • Skid Plates from RCI in Loveland CO
  • Baja Flat Utility Rack
  • BFG KO2s in 275s

No winch or bumper changeouts so far but who knows where I’ll go next.
I’ve hauled it out on some fun roads so far, taking it to Ouray and Silverton in September, over Imogene Pass, and north Routt county in August. 

Reasons for getting a newer vehicle:

  • Loved every bit of my 4th Gen 4Runner:  It’s sitting at 176K miles and runs like a champ.  Only major work I’ve done on this old one is the alternator and the evaporator (which I’m blaming on the horrible potholed Houston streets causing the crack).  It’s getting a second life in New Mexico as a snow plow vehicle for my parents who are upgrading from a long-body Wrangler plow vehicle.
  • Just ready for a change – I keep my cars for ~10 years and have always owned SUVs.  My first vehicle as a high school student was a 2000 Jeep Cherokee and that was replaced with my 4th gen 4runner in 2009.  Up here in CO, definitely want a 4wd vehicle that can handle rough winters.
  • Holds their value:  I bought my 06 4Runner for 20k (online again!) and it’s still work about 7k or more after I’ve head it for 9 years and 150k miles.  Why change what works well?

Why not go for “new new”? 

Well, I knew I would be upgrading some of the things to it, and the difference I saved over a new vehicle (~8K) covered the cost associated with all the upgrades I had planned.  Being a Toyota, I know this thing can go to 300K miles or more without major issues, so the 40K already on the ODO don’t mean too much to me. 

 Plus, I was raised on a philosophy of “never pay for someone else’s depreciation” from my father – who is the epitome of a “car guy”.  We always had at least 1 or more project cars at the house growing up as he’s into British sports cars, and we know those are basically always in some state of broken, so used vehicles don’t scare me.  
Not sure I ever see myself in anything but a true SUV, preferably a BOF, although…..  if money were of no consequence, I’d have a Land Cruiser, hands down.

Thanks again to Kelsey for sending us this owner review. We love to hear the real stories of new car owners. If you have your own purchasing story, and some photos of your new ride, send us a write-up! info@tflcar.com

We have also had the chance to drive the latest Toyota 4Runner, in some pretty harsh conditions, no less. Check out the video below to see what we thought: