All About Toyota 4Runner ECO Mode

The Toyota 4Runner’s ECO mode helps to reduce fuel consumption. Learn more here.
Written by Tiffany Leung
Reviewed by Brittni Brinn
The Toyota 4Runner doesn’t have an active ECO mode you can turn on or off. Rather, it has an ECO indicator light that illuminates to let the driver know that the vehicle is being driven efficiently.
All Toyota 4Runner vehicles come equipped with ECO mode—but it may be different from what you imagine. Rather than being able to turn this mode on and off, it comes as an ECO indicator light. This will help you adjust your driving to reduce emissions, wear and tear important systems, and fuel consumption. 
Learn more about how the ECO indicator light works with this guide from
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What is Toyota 4Runner ECO mode?

Toyota 4Runner’s ECO “mode” is just an indicator light that comes standard on all Toyota 4Runner models which helps drivers operate their cars more efficiently and by extension save on gas!
Rather than actively regulating your acceleration and electrical systems to save on gas consumption, the indicator light will illuminate based on how you drive:
  • The ECO light turns on when you apply the right amount of pressure to your gas pedal and indicates that you’re driving efficiently.
  • The ECO light turns off when you apply too much pressure to the gas pedal and accelerate aggressively. 
In other words, the 4Runner monitors your acceleration and “trains” you to be more mindful while you drive to stay in the zone of eco-friendly acceleration and achieve better fuel economy.
As you adjust the way you accelerate to maintain eco-friendly driving, you can reap multiple benefits. Not only will you reduce fuel consumption, but gentler acceleration will also help reduce the wear and tear on your engine and extend the life of your Toyota 4 Runner.
Driving less aggressively will also reduce your risk of accidents so that you can avoid expensive repairs and increased insurance premiums.
Key Takeaway The ECO indicator system lets you know when you're driving with eco-friendly acceleration. However, it does not actively change the 4Runner’s performance and systems to promote better fuel economy. 

Does Toyota 4Runner ECO mode save fuel?

Toyota 4Runner aims to help drivers reduce fuel consumption by prompting them to drive less aggressively. However, your actual fuel savings will greatly depend on how consistently you drive within the “eco-friendly zone”. 
This will also depend on which driving mode you choose, which will consume different levels of fuel. You can track the miles you’ve driven and the average fuel consumption on the current tank of gas from the instrument cluster.

Does Toyota 4Runner ECO mode charge the battery?

No, since the Toyota 4Runner ECO “mode” has no mechanical or performance impact, and is only an indicator light, it does not charge the battery.

What’s the difference between Toyota 4Runner H2 and ECO mode?

H2 mode is Toyota 4Runner’s name for its two-wheel-drive high mode and is best used for driving on regular dry roads—everyday driving if you will. It’s considered the most fuel-efficient mode compared to the H4F, H4L, and L4 modes used for better traction and extra torque on rugged terrain. 
The ECO indicator light works in conjunction with each driving mode to help you hit the eco-friendly sweet spot. However, it will not operate if crawl control is turned on. 

How to turn Toyota 4Runner ECO mode on and off

Many drivers can agree that the ECO light can be distracting. Thankfully, it can be turned off using the meter control switches! Just follow these simple steps:
  • On the setting screen, use the arrows to choose the ECO indicator
  • Press the “dot” button to toggle the indicator on or off
If the above instructions don’t work, try the following:
  • Locate the display button on the steering wheel
  • Press the button to cycle through the options until the ECO light is selected
  • Hold down the display button to toggle the light on or off

Is Toyota 4Runner ECO mode worth it?

Whether Toyota 4Runner’s ECO indicator light is worth following depends on your driving priorities.
If you want to minimize your fuel consumption, following the prompts from the ECO indicator light would be a good idea to stay in the eco-driving zone—especially if your 4Runner sports a V8 engine (model years 2003 to 2009). A more powerful engine requires more gas to get it going, so keeping a lighter foot on the pedal can help improve fuel economy. The same goes for Toyota 4Runners with more involved driving modes, such as the H4F, H4L, and L4. 
While the ECO indicator can help you save on gas, eco-friendly driving also means you won’t be pushing your 4Runner or feeling the thrills of rapid acceleration. 

How to save on Toyota 4Runner insurance

Toyota 4Runner’s ECO mode may be passive, but it can help save you some gas money. If you want to save more on auto expenses, like
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