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Toyota 4Runner - 2003

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  • I've been following many of the boards, including YotaTech and 4x4Wire. There are lengthy discussions about the sheetmetal and mechanical components. I think both will prove to be just fine. The rig will probably look better in person and it will be vastly improved mechanically, which is saying alot. But overall, I think Toyota interiors (aside from being well built) are among the most uninspiring. The third gen interior is downright archaic. Looking at the new Sequoia and even the RAV4, there is some hope, but I would really be impressed if the new Runner had a sleek, utilitarian interior that was a pleasure to climb into. This is the only thing I'm waiting to see, otherwise, I'd buy a V6 Sport right now.

    Any thoughts on what we might see in there?
  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    I have seen the interior in some pictures taken at a preride and drive for the 4Runner that was in San Fran about 3 weeks ago taken by a guy here at the dealership that was fortunate enough to be invited to the show.

    Myself and another salesperson will be at the national dealer meeting for Toyota in LA in a few days and we always get to see and climb around the upcoming vehicles and I predict the SCION, 2004 Sienna and doublecab Tundra will be on stage.

    Every other line in my information speaks about added security and no type of recording device of any type is allowed so I wouldn't think of taking a camera inside.

    If you guys have any specific questions I will ask the "product specialist" that is always standing by the vehicles, let me know and I will see what we can find out.
  • What did your fellow employee think of the 2003 4Runner from the predrive and drive in comparison to the 2002 4Runner? When will the V6 SR5 be available for sale and will we be able to buy the Limited with the new V6 engine? Thanks
  • "I have seen the interior in some pictures taken at a preride and drive for the 4Runner that was in San Fran about 3 weeks ago taken by a guy here at the dealership that was fortunate enough to be invited to the show."


    Thanks sbell4 for the response about the interior. You are lucky to be able to get a preview and anything that you can share with us excitable car buffs is greatly appreciated. Any chance you can post those pics of the interior? I am very curious about the following:


    1)The fabric on the seats. If you compare the interior of a Pathfinder or even Xterra to a 4Runner, the Runner's fabric is less attractive (don't know about durability).

    2)General look. Since we've seen the interior layout of the GX470 < http://www.edmunds.com/future/2003/lexus/gx470/4drsuv/photo_3.html>, I'm guessing that it will be a de-contented version, but with similar architecture. This is a good thing, IMO.

    3)Special features. Someone asked about airbags. Maybe optional nav system?

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,726
    What other '03 Toyota trucks/SUVs will the new 5-speed automatic come in?

    Also, will full-time (permanent or selectable) 4WD be available in more Toyota trucks/SUVs for '03?

    Bob
  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    falcon74 - What did your fellow employee think of the 2003 4Runner from the predrive and drive in comparison to the 2002 4Runner? When will the V6 SR5 be available for sale and will we be able to buy the Limited with the new V6 engine? Thanks

    He said that he loved it. They take them on the test tracks and these guys have more fun tearing up the track then paying close attention to detail of interior and such. He did say that the 4Runner will have two mirrors located in the back that will help you backing out of a parking spot if you are between two other SUV or trucks. The mirrors are deleted with the upgrade audio system. I don't know anything for certain about the engine.

    superleggera - I have seen the interior in some pictures taken at a preride and drive for the 4Runner that was in San Fran about 3 weeks ago taken by a guy here at the dealership that was fortunate enough to be invited to the show.

    We were disappointed by the pictures that he took. They look like they were taken from distance and it is hard to tell alot except the gauges are round and the heating and cooling gauges are large and round and it has a metallic dash. The cupholders are side by side and and are adjustable for the size cup you are using like in the Rav. Under the heating and air unit there is a large closable console and the auto up and down rear window control is on the right side of the steering wheel on the dash. This vehicle does have the JBL upgrade.

    rsholland - I have no idea

    The dealer meeting is for owners, dealer principles and GM and the product preview is really just for show and they do not go into any type of detail about specs and availablity. I know I am lucky to get to go to these things and I remember seeing the 2002 Camry and the Matrix up on stage a few years ago. The reason I go to the meeting is for good fun, entertainment and to see the new products before anyone else. I wil try to pay closer attention to detail and will share anything I learn with the board but I don't think we will learn anything that we do not already know.
  • and can it be revived?
  • I currently own a 1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Sport and love it! Well, to be quite honest I think I'm ready to move on to something with more substance. I would like to stick with the Toyota team since they have served me very well over the years. The new 4Runner is a great vehicle(according to the prereleased specs available online), but the styling is just plain ugly--at least in comparison to the new Lexus GX470. The GX is a beautiful SUV with all the amenities of the LX. I can't wait until Lexus releases some prices for me to compare.

    I wonder why Lexus didn't increase HP of the GX's V8 vs the '03 4Runner's V8??

    Oh and the Toyota campaign to promote the use of the new Toyota for off road use is a joke. First off, the use of a vehicle off road in the US is virtually nil these days. State regs and such have curbed the use of trucks, jeeps and SUV's on private and public land. States and certain environmental agencies have banned motor vehicle use in many parts of the country.

    Is Toyota promoting destruction of the natural land by encouraging people wihtout any 4 wheel drive knowhow to ride deep into the woods tearing apart trees, grass, etc?? Just think about it for a minute--how many new owners actually know how to drive a SUV in a REAL off-road situation?? Its a little more difficult that driving across the soccer field at the local high shcool I'll tell you that.

    Toyota should set up shop just like the boys at Jeep and their yearly Jeep Jamboree to educate new owners. BTW, Toyota should allow more space across the US for open land use of SUV's while they're at it too.
  • neb5neb5 Posts: 5
    http://www.thecarconnection.com has a good picture of the lastest review on the 2003 4Runner exterior and interior shot.
  • Just wondering if anyone knows when the 2003 4runner Motorweek episode is going to air in the Seattle area. Possibly on the Speedchannel? Anyhow, keep me posted.
  • Someone on the regular 4Runner board here on Edmunds posted a message that said the Motorweek episode will be broadcast in Seattle on Channel 12 (KTBC? KBTC?) at 2am on the morning of Monday, Sept. 30.
  • So I was thinking that it was good that Toyota was offering a powertrain that gave you alot of

    advantages on the '03 4Runner. If I remember correctly from what a Toyota dealer had posted there is:

       -2WD mode for good gas mileage.

       -Full-time 4WD mode (center differential NOT locked)

       -Off-road 4WD mode

      -Off-road 4WD low range mode


    Alot of modes covering all conditions.


    It sounded great. Then I found out that it's only available on the V6 as per the paragraph below

    from Edmund's review. The V8 ONLY comes with a full-time 4WD only.


    Does anyone have any ideas why they would do this?


    It makes it hard for the person "who want it all."


    Also why is the V6 more powerful than the V8 (245 HP vs. 235 HP)?


                              **********************************************************************************************

    Building on the 4Runner's reputation as a capable off-road machine, all 2003 4WD 4Runners

    get redesigned transfer cases and a new Torsen limited-slip center differential &#151; the first of

    its kind used in a midsize SUV. This differential can alter the bias of the available engine

    power between three different settings depending on which wheels have the most traction.

    Four-wheel-drive models with the V6 engine come equipped with a shift-on-the-fly multimode

    system that offers both two- and four-wheel drive, while all V8-equipped models feature a

    full-time four-wheel-drive system. Both systems use dash-mounted switches for activation and

    both offer a fully "locked" mode that locks the center differential for maximum traction in

    difficult terrain.

                              *********************************************************************************************

    Excerpted from:

    http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/roadtests/firstdrive/74756/article.html

  • So I was thinking that it was good that Toyota was offering a powertrain that gave you alot of

    advantages on the '03 4Runner. If I remember correctly from what a Toyota dealer had posted there is:

       -2WD mode for good gas mileage.

       -Full-time 4WD mode (center differential NOT locked)

       -Off-road 4WD mode

      -Off-road 4WD low range mode


    Alot of modes covering all conditions.


    It sounded great. Then I found out that it's only available on the V6 as per the paragraph below

    from Edmund's review. The V8 ONLY comes with a full-time 4WD only.


    Does anyone have any ideas why they would do this?


    It makes it hard for the person "who want it all."


    Also why is the V6 more powerful than the V8 (245 HP vs. 235 HP)?


                              **********************************************************************************************

    Building on the 4Runner's reputation as a capable off-road machine, all 2003 4WD 4Runners

    get redesigned transfer cases and a new Torsen limited-slip center differential &#151; the first of

    its kind used in a midsize SUV. This differential can alter the bias of the available engine

    power between three different settings depending on which wheels have the most traction.

    Four-wheel-drive models with the V6 engine come equipped with a shift-on-the-fly multimode

    system that offers both two- and four-wheel drive, while all V8-equipped models feature a

    full-time four-wheel-drive system. Both systems use dash-mounted switches for activation and

    both offer a fully "locked" mode that locks the center differential for maximum traction in

    difficult terrain.

                              *********************************************************************************************

    Excerpted from:

    http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/roadtests/firstdrive/74756/article.html

  • Every information you quoted is right. With a V8 Limited model, you only get FULL-TIME 4wd. Only the V6 model can be driven in 2WD.

    Why? Only God knows. Maybe with a V8, Toyota can just transplant the GX470/LX470 drivetrain over. Maybe the transfer case on the V6 (same ratio though) cannot handle the torque of the V8.

    The V6 has more HP because it is a more modern engine...a more high-reving engine (with VVT-i). More like a car engine (all-aluminum) with good displacement.

    The 4.7 L V8 is a classic truck engine. It is ultra-smooth. It is also iron-block. It produces tons of torque at low-mid RPMs, something that the V6 cannot touch. It is more of a torque-biased engine when compared to the V6.

    For me, i prefer the V8 because it is torquey (good for off-roading) and is proven. The V6 is too new.
  • Compared to other SUV's in it's class, the current generation ('02 and earlier 4Runner)had a unique and definitive style. Few folks disliked it. Excluding the Limited, the new ('03) 4Runner with it's gray plastic cladding would look more at home in a Pontiac car lot next to a Vibe. A mini Chevy Avalanche with a topper - flat top fender wells and all. Maybe there is some functionality in all that ugly. Sad because the rest of the Toyota fleet are visually appealing - an exception to some, sure. I hoped for something a bit easier on the eyes - different at least. Think I'll keep my '01 4Runner for the time being.
  • I went to the location where Toyota was conducting the seminar for sales reps and saw the new 4Runner first-hand! They even let me sit in it and play with all the new gadgets!

    First off, let me say this truck looks FANTASTIC in actuality. They had a silver Limited parked next to a 2002 silver Limited, a 2002 silver Sport Edition, a black Grand Cherokee Overland, a blue Trailblazer, and a red Exploder. The new 4Runner easily blows the others away, with looks, ergonomics., and functionality.

    The rest were 5 SR5s and 6 Sport Editions. They were made up of one green, one white, 5 silver, and 4 dark gray. The darker colors definitely look the best with the cladding, but I thought the white looked better than the silver for some reason. The silver speckles in the cladding make it look better than, say the Grand Cherokee Laredo or the Avalanche, and the Toyota rep told me that the paint is blended into the plastic to give it a more finished look, so it doesn't look like Rubbermaid, and it's chip and scratch resistant. He said they hadn't actually tested that, but he's heard nothing but positive feedback from people who have. I thought the cladding looked great, on the darker colors, but looked cheap on the silver. For some reason, that's just a bad combination.

    Now, here's the biggest relief for me. I always carry a tape measure in my truck, so I measured the rocker height and compared it to the 2002 Sport Edition 4x4, sitting right next to the 2003 Sport Edition 4x4. THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME!!! So my issue about ground clearance with the rockers is a non-issue. Granted this is a slightly longer truck, but as long as they didn't lower the rocker height like GM did on the mid-size triplets, I'm happy! 18.5" is only half an inch away from the height of a ZR-2 Blazer, which is the best stock rocker height of any mid-sized SUV, that I know of.

    The interior is great, with lots of nice feeling materials, and I like the new "dials" for the temperature controls. They seem very logical and easy to use. The GPS and stereo systems are phenomenal! The shelf is very cool, and the motor assist for the liftgate is really nice.

    In short, this WILL BE my next SUV.

    -TB
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Why didn't you crawl underneath to measure from ground to rear differential housing??!! Come on, man! :)

    Rocker is a non-issue because the frame will get hit on a rock BEFORE the body will!

    Looks like a really nice truck!
  • crawled underneath! I really wanted to confirm that measurement, but I didn't want to push my luck with their hospitality and allowing an outsider to take such a close look in the first place. ;o)

    I'm well aware of the frame getting hit first, but I really don't care too much about scratching my skid plates or chassis. I do care about gouging my rockers, though. My truck has lower ground clearance than the 4Runner, and the only damage my undercarriage has suffered on rough trails has been scratches and a small dimple in my muffler. But I have had to get a dent taken out of the rocker (due to my electronic shift malfunctioning and not allowing me to go into 4Lo and slipping on a rock, which is one of the many irritations that are causing me to not buy GM any more).

    I know that if I would have had a 4Runner, even if the 4Lo wasn't working, the rocker would have cleared it due to it's height. So, I'm much more concerned about protecting the rockers than my shields and frame.

    I know I could have added rock rails, but as I have stated in the 4Runner discussion thread, I think they look stupid on my truck unless you put a lift on it with bigger tires, and I didn't want the added expense, knowing I was going to wait for the new 4Runner.

    Maybe I'll go back tomorrow (the last day of the seminar), take a blanket, and crawl underneath with my tape measure! =o)
  • Is it still possible to pick up an '02 for cheap?

    I'm thinking like 26-29K for a fully loaded 2002 SR5 Sport??? Any thoughts?
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    I think you can get a fully-loaded SR5 Sport for around $30-31 OUT THE DOOR...however, selection is few and you have to haggle a lot!
  • ...when you go to the all wheel drive you eliminate driver error in the use of all that torgue!
  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    - read the main board; I have a lot of posts over the last 3 months about the pros and cons of '02 pricing, with actual numbers. Worth it to read through the few hundred posts - let us know what you decide to do?
  • bulychbulych Posts: 10
    according to my source it appears that the towing capacity of the new v6 is 5000#.my question is why has the towing capacity not increased when the hp has increased 34% and the torque by 30% over the old 4runners.could someone provide an explaination.i would like to purchase a v6 but the towing capacity is too low
  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    It is called Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. Just because a vehicle can tow 8,000 pounds doesn't mean that the brakes can stop that much weight!
  • Believe it or not, the only reason why the towing capacity is 5,000 pounds is because of the spare tire. They are supposed to design a new trailer hitch wich will be attach to the frame so the truck can tow more than 5,000 pounds. But for now, with the spare tire under the truck, they cannot. (Source: Toyota University)
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    My hitch for my '02 is attached to the frame. All hitches should attach to the frame! Spare tire should NOT affect anything.

    I don't understand that.
  • What a waste of all that 8 cyl torque to only be rated for 5k lb towing capacity? Hitch attachment sounds like tying a string to end of a heavy rope. In some ways the way this 4runner is being rolled out (8cyl with 4wd only buy only limited towing cap) it seems like the Sequoia is going to be a better value. Wonder where the Sport version pricing really comes in.
  • My Toyota guy called me today to let me know that they'll be getting their first 2003 4Runners in on Thursday, and that he'll call me "as soon as they hit the ground!" I can't wait to FINALLY get to test drive one!!!
This discussion has been closed.