Toyota 5NR-FE: Everything You Need To Know

The NR series employs aluminum engine blocks and DOHC cylinder heads. It also uses multi-point or direct fuel injection and has four valves per cylinder. Dual VVT-i is standard on the 1NR, 2NR, 3NR, 4NR, 5NR, 6NR, and 7NR engines, while VVT-iW is standard on the 8NR engine, allowing it to operate in both the Otto and modified-Atkinson cycles to improve thermal efficiency.

The Toyota 5NR-FE has a slightly greater displacement than the 1NR-FE since this engine is based on the 2NR-VE version of the same family. However, the 2NR-FE engine has gone through five revisions over an eight-year development period, and the 5NR-FE adopted the VE version to its liking. 

The 5NR-FE engine is a part of the NR family of engines, as the name implies. Toyota’s NR engine family comprises a variety of compact inline four-cylinder engines ranging in capacity from 1.2 to 1.5 liters.

The 5NR-FE engines have 1.5 Liter displacement. 

What are Toyota 5NR-FE Engines? 

The Toyota 5NR-FE engine is an economic engine that can be found in the third-generation Toyota Vios. It produces between 107 HP and 140 lb-ft of torque depending on application needs, with its DOHC layout having two valves per cylinder for variable timing or dual VVT-i features. 

The Toyota 5NR-FE engine is an analog version of the 2NR-VE engine and available in the Chinese market since its arrival. It does have the same build and other features that can be seen in the 2NR-VE engine. 

That includes the incorporation of the exhaust manifold inside the cylinder head, which was a revolutionary invention used to reduce pollution starting from the 2NR base version. A dual VVT-i equipped variation was later created and originally used in the Toyota Avanza and numerous 1.5L models in the Asian market as well. 

Engine Specifications and Design: 

  • Production Run: 2014 – Present
  • Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
  • Cylinder Block Material: Aluminum
  • Configuration: Inline 4
  • Bore: 72.5 mm
  • Stroke: 90.6 mm
  • Valvetrain: DOHC four valves per cylinder
  • Displacement: 1.5 L (1496 cc)
  • Compression Ratio: 11.5
  • Weight: 190 lbs. (dry)
  • Maximum HP: 107 HP at 6,000 RPM
  • Maximum Torque: 140 lb-ft at 4,200 RPM

Engine Design: 

The 5NR-FE engine’s major purpose is to be shipped in Chinese markets as the same framework engine as the 2NR-VEs. They are of the same construction and have little to no differences. As a result, we can claim that this engine is a carbon copy of the 2NR-VE, which is also available in other markets. 

Toyota issued Chinese versions of these engines owing to production and shipping issues, according to Toyota. Most of these Asian versions are created in Asia. Thus plants in Western countries do not have to forego large sums of money in order to transport to Asia.

1. Cylinder Block

The Toyota 5NR-FE is a four-cylinder inline engine designed with efficiency and compactness in mind. Furthermore, the major goal is improving engine performance while lowering pollutants and fuel consumption. 

Again, as a thorough consideration, the cylinder block is designed for compact engines with high compression ratios. The aluminum “open deck” with thin cast-iron liners works as a single strong component, providing strength and power that will last until the engine is replaced. 

Because the wall thickness between these cylinders is only 7 mm, you won’t have to rebore your engine if something goes wrong; you’ll be ready to go right away. 

The crankshaft axis has been relocated by 8 mm relative to the cylinder axis lines, decreasing wear by lowering the lateral component of the piston’s force applied on the cylinder wall. The crankshaft is equipped with four balancing weights, shorter journals, and separate main bearing covers.

2. Cylinder Head 

The camshafts are kept in a separate housing on the cylinder head, which simplifies cylinder head design and manufacture. The valvetrain system includes hydraulic lash adjusters and roller rockers. Old-style adjustable tappets are still used in Asian markets. 

Toyota applies modern engineering to maximize its performance. The intake channel was streamlined, and airflow was optimized via computer modeling, allowing for smoother, less turbulent airflow.

Any surfaces were softened to lessen or remove any rough edges that may generate drag on engine running, and all sharp curves were turned into gently sloping ones. 

2NR-VE Restructured

The Toyota 5NR-FE engine, just like the 2NR-VE engine, is a smart, innovative, and efficient design with a novel piston structure to decrease friction. The smaller contact surface allows for greater gas sealing, which reduces pumping losses and NOx emissions compared to the previous model year’s version of this unit – all without sacrificing too much weight or space. 

With cool exhaust recirculation, you can feel good about driving your car on electricity rather than filthy gasoline injectors every day; it not only saves money but also improves our air quality.

To lessen the strain on your engine, pistons are anodized and coated with a PVD anti-wear compound. This makes it more efficient for you, which means you’ll get a greater gas economy with these pistons. 

Piston coatings are liberally applied during the manufacturing process to not only protect against corrosion but also to extend the life of the piston by preventing systematic wear caused primarily by compression rings rubbing against each other or ring gear teeth scuffing off a piece of metal.

Application of Toyota 5NR-FE Engine: 

  • Toyota Vios NCP150 R China Market Only

Problems Surrounding Toyota 5NR-FE Engines

Because of its durability and economy, the Toyota 5NR-FE engine has become independent on its own. However, like any other equipment, it has weaknesses that must be rectified in order to avoid problems later on. Let’s have a look at some of the more prevalent concerns of the Chinese analog of the 2NR-VE. 

These are just a few instances of what may go wrong with a four-cylinder engine. There aren’t necessarily more difficulties than normal, but they’re nevertheless worth addressing because many individuals aren’t aware of these possible risks yet or assume their car is in good working order. 

Some of the issues here can be seen at other NR engines since they share most of the issues. Among them are the following:

1. Excessive Soot Deposits

The following section outlines a problem with some autos. It has been discovered that they take longer than normal due not just to the increased time required for ignition but also to residue buildup within specific components such as pistons.

Excess soot deposits in the combustion chamber, valves, and valve seats can cause compression to be reduced, as this was the case across all NR engines. This causes the engine to take longer to start, resulting in the display of DTC P1604. 

The problem is recognized by TSB EG-00037T-TME as an excessive deposit of this type, which may cause a reduction or loss of power. 

2. Excessive Oil Consumption

The most well-known and common problem with NR engines, not only the 5NR-FE, is high oil consumption, which generally presents itself at less than 60,000 miles. According to Toyota’s usual explanation, the piston rings are trapped. 

Although cylinder block reboring is not required, the need to replace pistons and connecting rods at the same time prevents a low-cost engine renewal. 

In TSB EG-0095T-1112, oil usage was noted as a source of concern. Early in 2017, production changes were implemented, such as revised rings and pistons with connecting rods, as well as valve cover replacement for those with greasy valves or nozzles.

3. Clattering noise from the Timing Chain area

Another issue that you might need to magnify is the foreign noise in the timing chain are. Well, you may have heard the grinding or clanking sound of your timing chain, which can be an indicator that it needs to be replaced. This is detailed in TSB EG-00039T – Toyota’s technical service bulletin for this issue. 

There are two options available; either do nothing or just replace one part by installing a new tensioner arm on top of their already installed engine block without changing any other parts. 

4. Rattling or Knocking Noise During Operation

During engine operation, large deposits in the combustion chamber cause a rattling or banging noise. This problem is acknowledged and explained in TSB EG-0094T-0714, which describes some production adjustments introduced at the beginning of 2014 to fix it for good.

The engine’s performance can be dramatically improved with this part’s new, more customized variant. You’ll also want to get your hands on ECU firmware that has been reprogrammed for increased gas mileage and power output.


The Toyota 5NR-FE engine is a great choice for those looking to have some fun on their way through town. As it is made for such purposes. Generally, Chinese bound or any Asian bound vehicles are focused on city driving. 

The engine capacity is lower but still powerful and efficient VVTi drivetrain produces just as much power while using less gas than before.

Add in the great fuel economy, and you’ll never regret owning this dependable little gem of car gear. When all of these characteristics are combined into one little package, the new generation Toyota NR is unbeatable. 

With its fuel economy, this inexpensive and dependable engine will take you everywhere. It has no major flaws, making it an excellent alternative for anybody looking to save money on vehicle payments or just be able to travel around town effectively.

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