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Toyota 4Runner

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Comments

  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Expedition?! When is the Expedition EVER good at off-roading!!! I've looked very closely at the Expedition/Navigator (2003)...it is a joke! Low to the ground...only the very center has decent height. Hey, so, are you saying the Explorer is good at off-roading?? Oh wait, doesn't those two have AXLE THROUGH FRAME crap?? Oh yeah, that is really good for articulation! Geez!

    As for the new Montero, FourWheeler and Petersen's BOTH said the Montero had very limited wheel travel...it's Limited-slip diff was good though, according to reviews.

    Ok, Montero can do DECENT in off-roading...but it will never be as good as the 4Runner (3rd gen) nor the Discovery, and, especially NOT as good as the Land Cruiser.

    Solid FRONT axle is great! However, i must admit that there are on-road handling trade-off with it. Thus, the best combo in my opinion is still IFS and solid rear axle.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,658
    We'll just have to agree to disagree...

    I'll also mention the new VW Touareg, but it hasn't been tested yet, Stateside. All early indications are that it too will be a very good off-roader—with IFS/IRS.

    Bob
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Sorry if i come across agressive. However, with these new IFS/IRS vehicles with electronic gizmos to raise it and lower it, i just wonder how fragile these things are in off-roading. For example, going through mud or rocky terrain. Electronics...it will fail sooner or later in this terrain.

    My brother's LX470's electronic gas shocks occasionally will raise or lower the SUV on IT'S OWN! However, unlike RANGE ROVER and TOUAREG, if it does fail, the LX470 has a strong basic foundation...ground clearance will always be 9.8"...as in Land Cruiser. In the Range Rover or Touareg, you're screwed!

    I bet you the Touareg and Range Rover will do very well in a road test. However, if you were to use it over a longer period of time (and especially off-roading), you will get a different picture.
  • aufan1aufan1 Posts: 21
    Does anyone have a figure on what the V6 SR5 and Limited prices will be? Toyota website does not list them, but does say it will be available Nov 2002. Thanks,
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,658
    << I bet you the Touareg and Range Rover will do very well in a road test. However, if you were to use it over a longer period of time (and especially off-roading), you will get a different picture. >>

    Maybe, maybe not. The same has been said of virtually all new technology. There are always skeptics who will say this new will eventually fail. If that were true, we'd all still be driving Studebaker Conestoga Wagons.

    I don't think it's all doom and gloom. I do think IRS can work off road. I know I'm in a minority here, but I really believe it's true. It's really a matter of coming up with the right system, and if anybody can do it&#151;it's Toyota.

    Bob
  • Are you guys sure the 4runner has the same 4wd configuration as the landcruiser. V8 and 5spd auto full time 4wd? That is the only reason I ever liked LC...that and its tailgaite. I wish 4runner brought that flip down tailgaiteas well
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    Cliffy is right. It is more than worth a test drive. The 4Runner drives beautifully.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    The Range Rover technologies were never very reliable (even when under BMW control). It's electronic suspension was a common problem with Range Rovers.

    VW is also not known to make very reliable cars. The ONLY one that is decent (in terms of quality) is the Passat. All others have below average reliability. Now, they are venturing into a completely new territory with new technologies. At least Land Rover had the electronic suspension on the previous Rovers.
  • I also got a chance to sit in a Limited 4x4 today. Couldn't drive it because it was in the shop to fix the new JPL radio which was malfunctioning. It happens that I am on a business trip, so I had to go see it in Bethesda, rather than at home in San Francisco. Here's another opinion:

    Looks really good in person from the front end and three quarter views. The C-pillar and the wheel wells are really troublesome. This car will be bought for its many merits, and it looks handsome enough, but won't win any design awards. The interior is a huge improvement in every respect, IMO. Spacious, solid, high-tech. The beltline is a little high, and the pillars are wide, so the view out from the cabin is hindered.


    I still have to drive it. As Cliffy mentioned, that seems to be the main selling point. There was nothing in the looks or the setup that would prevent me from buying if it drives like everybody says.


    The Europeans get another flavor of the Runner/GX470. There it is called the Land Cruiser. Take a look:

    http://www.cardesignnews.com/autoshows/2002/paris/highlights/h14-toyota-landcrsr.html


    I think it looks pretty cool. Mostly I wonder why the American market won't support a 3-door SUV like the one shown in the pictures. I for one would like a shorter wheelbase, two-doors, and the more sporty look. Given the whole debate about third row seats, I guess I shouldn't even ask.

  • hengheng Posts: 411
    I seeing complaints (in other sources) about the Toyota's electronic gadgets making driving of their SUVs dangerous or at least unworthy. So I am curious about real seat experience in the new 4runner.

    Seems the Toyota safety gadgets are interfering with vehicle operation to the point of making it suicidal to drive the vehicle (in this one persons experience). A summary of the most serious one (Sequoia) I read is: with every imperfection in the road, the traction control or VSC would cut engine power and leave you in the path of getting clobbered by another vehicle. This happens going over train tracks, changing lanes, pulling into traffic at intersections or from driveways, etc.

    So I hope this has been rectified on the 4runner or else it is going to be a no-runner for me (especially since I would need to take mine off road). Guess I will wait until the 03's get some miles on them before deciding.

    BTW, a MDX owner gave a similar account of safety electronics resulting in no forward motion while trying to get up a gravel road.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    First, most people do NOT know how to disable VSC during off-roading. VSC is the thing that "cuts engine power," thus preventing you to go up a gravel hill. Sequoia can only disable VSC in LOW range in 1st gear i think. This is difficult and not many people remember to do this.

    In the 4Runner (3rd gen at least), you can EASILY disable VSC by LOCKING THE CENTER DIFF via pushing a button in 4-HI or 4-LOW.

    I have an '02 4Runner. I have taken off-road. MDX owners are just plain nuts if they think the MDX can keep up with the Sequoia. What is the true ground clearance of MDX anyway?? 5.0" i think! What a joke!

    With my '02 4Runner, I have never seen VSC kick in when driving on the road under stable conditions.

    All stability control system is a bit intrusive. Sequoia's system is just a bit harder to disable when off-roading. 4Runner is quite easy.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,658
    No argument here regarding Range Rover or VW in terms of reliability. I'm simply saying that new technology, in and of itself, is not bad. Maybe RR and VW can pull it off, maybe they can't. However, even if they can't, that doesn't mean some other company (Toyota?) can't.


    Most of these problems lie in the execution, not in the theory or concept. The fact of the matter is, the trend is towards IFS/IRS. Sooner or later, someone will get it right.


    The big bug-a-boos regarding IFS/IRS (historically) in terms of off-roading have been: strength (or lack-there-of) and articulation (vertical wheel travel). Let's talk about those:


    Strength: Well we all know about the IFS/IRS Hummer, with it's over 10,500 GVW. Did you know that Oshkosh*, the maker of severe-duty military and off-road vehicles offers vehicles that have fully independent suspensions? Granted these are purpose-built and very expensive vehicles. The point is: A) the military has confidence in IFS/IRS suspensions B) it can be done, and C) sooner or later the costs will come down so that that mere mortals will be able to afford good IFS/IRS equipped off-road vehicles. This has always happened in the past, I see no reason why it won't happen in the future. What it takes is new thinking to solving old problems.


    Articulation: Again, new thinking is needed here. Most of today's IFS/IRS setups are very closely based on on-road setups, not designed as off-road from the get go. I remember a couple of years ago Toyota showed an off-roader built by Rod Millen(?) that closely resembled the old style Land Cruiser. It had IFS/IRS, and it had gobs of wheel travel. It was a cover story for Four-Wheeler magazine. It was an awesome truck. Most off-road racers have IFS with huge amounts of wheel travel. If you can do it up front, it can be done in the rear too. However, the vehicle has to be designed from the get-go with this in mind. You can't just graft, or transplant a long-travel suspension onto an existing vehicle.


    I am absolutely convinced we will see very good IFS/IRS off-road vehicles that the average Joe can buy. It may take 5 years, or it may take 10 years, but it's coming... The public wants it (I'm talking about the 99% of the public who buys these things, not traditional hard-core off-roaders), and hard-fought *competition* will make sure superior setups are developed. We may not be there yet, but it's coming. Even if the VW Touareg turns out faulty, it will spur others on to develop better systems using the fundamental concepts that VW laid out. I think Toyota (or Honda) could build a superb Touareg&#151;if they wanted to, and if the market demanded it. Who knows, maybe the 2nd or 3rd generation Honda Pilot, as it evolves, will be that vehicle?


    * = http://www.oshkoshtruck.com/

    Check out the "Striker" (Airport section), and the "MTVR" (Defense section). These are rather "strong" vehicles (and with IFS/IRS), I would say...


    Bottom line for me: I see tremendous potential for IFS/IRS in off-roading, and nobody is going to convince me otherwise.


    Bob

  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Yes, Hummer has IFS and IRS. However, it is of LIMITED articulation.

    Next, IRS is ONLY good if you have VERY long control arms (with very long shocks) and the tinniest anti-roll bar (if any). Hummer matches these characteristics, but it still does not have good articulation.

    The Retro Land Cruiser you speak of is very nice. However, as you can see, the truck costs well over $100K! In addition, it has the characteristics i talked about above. I have not seen it in action to talk about it.

    Remember, most off-roading events (Dakkar,etc.) is mostly HIGH-SPEED desert running, where articulation is of second priority. What I am talking about is more mud-rock terrain at slow speed..."crawling".
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,658
    << Remember, most off-roading events (Dakkar,etc.) is mostly HIGH-SPEED desert running, where articulation is of second priority. What I am talking about is more mud-rock terrain at slow speed..."crawling". >>

    but most off-roaders aren't running the Rubicon, and a good (properly engineered) IRS can handle most of their needs. From what I've read, the VW Touareg (assuming it works as stated), would be able to handle any and all of my (and most people's) off-roading needs. In fact, it would greatly exceed any of my needs.

    But getting this discussion back to the 4Runner (and on-topic), even though this is Toyota's off-road, mid-size SUV, the reality is most will rarely if ever make it past a gravel road. That being the case, I see IRS (considering the audience it's targeted for) is perfectly acceptable.

    Mother Nature as inspiration?
    Granted this could be a bit of a stretch, but think for a moment of the "legs" of 4-legged animals; it's really their "suspension" system. One could say that animals that "hop" (rear legs that act in unison, much like a solid rear axle) like rabbits, are far less common than animals in which all 4 legs act "independently." Is Mother Nature telling us something here?

    Bob
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Nope, a solid axle does NOT only act in unison. If one side is up, the other side is way down! Remember, with a solid axle, the center is at the differential housing...like a seesaw.

    With IRS, there is only so much distance you can go...the length of control arms (& shocks) limit this.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Here is an actual off-roading test for the new 4Runner:


    http://www.pnw4runners.net/jon_03_4Runner_offroad_test/jon.htm


    Just scroll down to the PICS and MOVIES!

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,658
    Just picked up the Nov/Dec. issue of Truck Trend, in which they test the 4Runner. On page 36, there is a picture of a 4Runner, angled, with two front wheels up a hill&#151;and because of the vehicle's angle, one of the rear wheels is a good 2"-3" off the ground! So much for the superior articulation of the solid rear axle 4Runner...

    I tried the Truck Trend web site, but it has not yet been updated with this road test. I will say this, however: It didn't take much of a hill for this one rear wheel to become airborne.

    Would a IRS-equipped vehicle kept all 4 wheels on the ground under the same circumstances? Probably not, but it does show that the rear axle articulation of the new 4Runner not to be as great as intmed99 would have you believe.

    As to HUMMER's articulation, intmed99 could be right. However, at the end of the day, the HUMMER *will conquer* just about any off-road obstacle it encounters. Articulation is important, but it's not the only thing that's important in terms of off-road ability.

    Bob
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    As i have saying before, the '03 4Runner may have less articulation due to a thicker anti-roll bar. The 3rd gen 4Runner can articulate a lot on it's rear axle! Please see link below:

    http://www.gocrvclub.org/showthread.php?s=076b96a5b8f4cb5d020b5a8238d784f1&threadid=910

    Remember, from those pics, i was not even close to reaching the limit of the rear axle articulation on my 4Runner.

    When did i say the Hummer is not capable?? It is very capable because of it's enormous torque (at transfer case and wheel hubs) and it's traction control system. Of course, big wheels help!

    How is your IRS example superior to other solid axle SUV in terms of traction and power??? If everything is equal, then wheel articulation is very important. That is my point!

    The TLC has a Ramp Travel Index (RTI) on 20 degree ramp of 600. Land Rover Discovery is 700! Land Rover Freelander (all independent with long travel control arms) is around 350-400. Ford Explorer is around 300 (axle thru frame crap).

    You want to see the effect of anti-roll bar and suspension design:

    Toyota Sequoia has RTI of 350! That is a BIG difference as compared to TLC.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,658
    << As i have saying before, the '03 4Runner may have less articulation due to a thicker anti-roll bar. However, please refer to my previous post about my off-roading pics. The 3rd gen 4Runner can articulate a lot on it's rear axle! >>

    Perhaps, but we're talking about the 4th generation ('03) 4Runner, not the 3rd generation model, or at least I was.

    << When did i say the Hummer is not capable?? >>

    You're right, but by suggesting that the HUMMER's articulation is only so-so, you've implied (either intentionally or unintentionally) that it's off-roading ability is less than it could be&#151;if it had solid axles.

    << It is very capable because of it's enormous torque (at transfer case and wheel hubs) and it's traction control system. Of course, big wheels help! >>

    Absolutely, it's the *total off-road package* (not just articulation) that counts.

    << How is your IRS example superior to other solid axle SUV in terms of traction and power??? If everything is equal, then wheel articulation is very important. That is my point! >>

    I never said it was superior, only that it can be made to be very good. Yes, wheel articulation is very important assuming you can put all 4 wheels on the ground. Judging by that Truck Trend photo, a "stock" '03 4Runner can be made to lift one wheel off the ground pretty easily. I don't know about you, but I have no intention of disconnecting my sway bar when I go off road.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,658
    and I don't doubt what you're saying, but you should pick up the new issue of Truck Trend to see what I was referring to.

    Bob
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