Where Are 4Runners Made? Find All The Details

By Derrick •  Updated: 09/22/23 •  5 min read

The current 5th generation of the 4Runner is assembled primarily in the city of Tahara in Japan.

Some past generations have had partial assembly in another Japanese city, Hamura, but the primary assembly has always taken place in Tahara.

There are now six trims available for the 2022 4Runner, including 4Runner SR5 (the basic trim), TRD Off-Road, Limited 5-Passenger, Limited 7-Passenger, Nightshade 7-Passenger, and TRD Pro. All six of these trims are produced in the Tahara plant.

How Do I Know If My Toyota Is Built In Japan?

If you’re not sure whether your Toyota was built in Japan or not, it’s pretty easy to find out. The plant where your car was manufactured is usually stamped on a metal plate that’s located inside the driver’s side door jamb. Additionally, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) will also start with “JTE…” if your car was made in Japan.

This holds true with all Toyota models, not just the 4Runner. The VIN is used to uniquely identify every individual automobile on the planet, so it will be possible to know where your 4Runner was made.

Are All 4Runners Made In Japan?

Yes, all 4Runners are currently produced in Japan, this may change with the 6th Generation 4Runner, but no official word has been announced.

Benefits Of Japanese 4Runner Production

There are a number of benefits of the 4Runner being produced in Japan, the primary is quality and timeliness.

Toyota has a commitment to producing high-quality vehicles, which is why so many of their models are highly rated for customer satisfaction, quality, and low lifetime maintenance costs.

They really do strive for excellence and it shows in their production.

Additionally, the Tahara plant is home to the production of many of the premium Lexus SUVs such as the Lexus LX570 and Lexus GX460, so there is a large amount of expertise available at this location.

Japanese vs American Assembly

Japanese vs American assembly can be a tricky topic. Years ago if you asked me I would say both would be on par with one another. But Japanese assembly where pride is taken in quality and the overall attention to detail is evident, I would give the edge to Japanese assembly.

Japanese Production Models That Toyota Uses

Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that is taught to Japanese children at a young age and produces a manufacturing workforce that is highly disciplined with a deep desire for quality.

The Kaizen philosophy values continuous improvement as a means to achieve the goal of “perfection” as well as reducing waste and creating a sustainable future.

Kaizen is a core value at Toyota which is why you see them actively achieving world-class status with their production line.

Why Are Used Toyota 4Runners Still so Expensive?

Used Toyota 4Runners are still expensive because they are popular and in high demand. 4Runners are also known to hold their value more than comparable SUVs. This, combined with the solid reputation and quality, increases prices.

What Toyota Models Are Still Made In Japan?

The full list of Toyota models that are made in Japan and available for purchase in the US are:

Toyota Prius

Toyota 86

Toyota 4Runner

Also through 2021, the Toyota Land Cruiser (starting in 2022 the Toyota Land Cruiser will no longer be available for purchase within the United States).

Are There Any 4Runner Years To Avoid?

Like any vehicle, generally speaking, the first model year of a vehicle, or the first model year of a new generation of vehicle I would avoid. When vehicles are new or newly refreshed they inherently will have more problems than later models due to the nature of the manufacturing process.

The 4Runner is no different, thankfully, the 5th generation Toyota 4Runner has been around for over a decade, and there should be no major reliability issues with newer models.

Common Issues With 4Runners

  • One of the most common issues with 4Runners is it has had issues with corrosion, especially the frame and it’s important to pay attention to rust on your 4Runner.
  • Another issue that some drivers experience is problems with the SUV’s electrical system, such as windows not working or the sunroof not closing properly.
  • Some 4Runners also tend to have alignment issues, which can cause shaking and uneven tire wear.
  • Finally, water can often get into the interior of the vehicle due to weak seals around doors and windows, which can lead to mold and other mildew growth.

In Summary

The Toyota 4Runner is made in Japan for various reasons, including quality, timeliness, and expertise. Japanese assembly takes pride in creating high-quality vehicles that customers also rate highly. Additionally, the Tahara plant where the 4Runner is assembled is also home to the production of many other Lexus SUVs. The Kaizen philosophy, which values continuous improvement, is a core value at Toyota and drives its manufacturing process forward.


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