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Toyota 4Runner



  • Same thing here on the Central Coast, all 2wd Limiteds. One dealer here did tell me they could get a vehicle from Northern CA (north of the bay area). The 2wd Limiteds I've seen at my 2 local dealers sold very quickly. If you select "Build Your Own" at and enter your So. CA. zipcode, you'll see that the Limited 4x4 isn't even available as an option. Big bummer.

    pschreck is right though, the majority of suv's here in CA never leave the "paved" road and have no reason for a 4x4. Even the mountain roads are very well plowed here. Toyota is simply targeting their vehicles to this locale accordingly. How many 4x4 Ford Expeditions do you see?

    Although I realize many here buy suv's for image, I really think most do so for the elevated driving position, ease of getting in and out without bending over, and practicality. The fact that suvs are traditionally truck-based is irrevelevent to most and unappreciated, which is why the car-based versions are growing so much in popularity here. These vehicles really have no business being labeled as SUVs any longer. They're SEVs (Sporty Elevated Vans) - which is fine.

    But like you, I want a 4x4 (or at least an AWD) and am frustrated I can't get one here. I had an '86 Trooper and '92 Montero (before everyone had suv's, but in '99 went to a van and a truck just to reject the herd mentality here. Now I'm ready to trade those 2 vehicles in for a single suv because that's what I really want. I'll still avoid the herd do some degree since my suv will sometimes have mud on it.
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    I understand your frustration. I was looking for the same vehicle as you, but without the NAV system and with DRL, in the middle of the country. I looked in KS, MO, CO, and OK. It was very difficult to find one. Few of the dealers listed the details of their new Runners on their website so you couldn't tell what equipment each truck had, or its color, without contacting the dealership. Some at least had the price listed, which helped, but not all did. The air suspension was the thing hard to find around here. I kept at it, though, and eventually found one just like I wanted, but with my second color choice.

    It was also interesting that some dealers near the one I eventually purchased from checked their computers and said there were no Limiteds like I wanted anywhere in the region. They claimed to be able to find a specific vehicle at another dealership. Apparently that system doesn't work, or maybe dealers with a difficult to find model keep it hidden from the other dealers.

    I understand that my requirements were somewhat limiting and not mainstream, and I was looking for a brand new model, so I expected some difficulty. However, I wish Toyota had a system to search inventory nationwide that listed equipment on each vehicle available and at which dealership(s) it could be found. I did run across such a system on a dealer's website back east somewhere, but only for the Southeast. I even considered driving back there, but they were loading their Limiteds with expensive add-ons like 18" wheels.

    By the way, I had pretty much the same experience when I bought both my Highlander and Sienna a few years ago. When a dealer 5 hours away called me to advise he had five Siennas come in equipped about like I wanted, I took off from work, grabbed my wife, and outran the highway patrol to get over there. Two were already gone by the time we got there. We started the paperwork on the one my wife wanted only to have it sell minutes before we signed, and we bought the 4th one, which didn't have the moonroof or electric door we wanted. I was about ready to duke it out with the guy that bought the one we wanted. It was obvious they saw us looking at the same car they were and quickly bought it before we could. I think I could have taken him, but his wife and kids looked pretty mean, so I let them keep it! ;-)
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    There is only one factory that these things are built in and tire selection is random.

    Every region orders the vehicles to meet precieved demand for that region's customers. Note the use of the word "precieved." The regional folks DO screw up from time to time. I used to live in SoCal and I know 4WD makes a difference. There are incredible off road opportunities and there are plenty of mountains with more snow that we will ever see on the East coast.

    Now, what can you do about this? Buy out of region. It is a hassle and will cost you either towing fees across the country or a flight and several days off to drive it home. Beyond that, it isn't too difficult. You'll have to e-mail several dealerships. Don't look for the one with the lowest price. Look for the one that seems to be the most straight forward with the responses. Remember, you have to trust the salesman enough to take time off work and fly across the country on a one-way ticket.

    The only other problem you may have is equipment issues. Here in the Central Atlantic Region, we do get a good number of 4WD Limiteds but VERY few with navigation and side air curtains. On the plus side, every one with nav also comes with the side bags and air suspension. You may have to be flexible with colors or equipment.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    here in the Bay Area, all the limiteds I have seen were 4WD, and half of them have had the NAV too...I remember noticing one with the special suspension, but I wasn't really looking for that.

    I would say if you are in L.A. just come up to San Francisco for the weekend, there will be plenty for you to choose from, and you can stop in Solvang and buy some fudge on the way home in your new truck! :-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • I'll look into that Nothern California (Bay area) option......and yes it would be a nice drive back in my new truck, and I'll probably stop in Solvang for the fudge ;-) ........Hopefully, they have a truck exactly the way I'm looking for (basically a Limited 4WD model with everything but the proverbial kitchen sink)......luckily, I'm more of a practical kinda guy....flexible on things like color, but definitely not flexible on the equipment/options. (NAVIGATION SYSTEM being the MOST IMPORTANT of the options)
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    we do have the capability to look in the computer and find any vehicle you want as long as it is being made. A common practice among dealers (Toyota and others) is to "punch" or report a car as "sold" while the vehicle is still sitting on the lot. Hence, when someone looks for that particular vehicle or something similar it will not show up on that dealers' inventory.
    ; )
  • mb0526mb0526 Posts: 11

    I just purchased a new 2003 Sport Edition 4Runner 4X4. I had a '97 4Runner for 4 years before I bought my wife a Mini-van. I had a couple of questions and observations....

    1. There is a strong exhaust smell with the back window down. Even when it is not down and I have the regular windows open I noticed the smell but not as bad. Worst part is that it smells like "Rotten Eggs". I thought that was an indication that the catalytic converters were bad??? Since it is brand new I do not understand what is wrong. Also I am extremely concerned that I can not operate the vehicle with the windows down.

    2. Does anyone have Michelins on their 4Runner? Mine came with Dunlops AT20's and just wondered if the Michelins might soften the ride, somewhat?

    3. Anyone have any issues with upper back aches when driving the Sport 4Runner with cloth seats? There does not seem to be much support, at all, toward the top of the seats. When I compare the upper portion of the 4Runners seats to the Mini-van or a Maxima there is a drastic difference. I have never had any back issues with any vehicle I have ever purchased, including the '97 4Runner, which is why I am a little concerned.

    Other than those 3 issues the 4Runner is awesome!! That finally got the power right....Even my wife made the comment that it seemed classier than my '97 4Runner. Anyway, please let me know what ya think.

    Thank you,
  • ainslbainslb Posts: 11
    Cliffy and all, thank you for your input. I probably did not convey my thoughts clearly. I was referring to a new car warranty for a used car since the mileage was not greater than 36,000. I guess the Toyota dealer's daughter went to a church very far from home, maybe even twice on Sundays. The dealer has had this vehicle on his lot for a few months, so I don't think he has the vehicle priced correctly. I would use this vehicle to pass down to three daughters over the next seven years and a warranty, if priced properly and from a Toyota dealer, would seem to be a benefit.
  • For '03 4-runner owners, please participate in this mileage survey.
    Please state the type of driving for which you measured your mileage and the results.
    For survey consistency, choose a category 1 and a category 2 condition.
    1. Hilly or flat.
    2. Stop-and-go or freeway.

    Thanks for your participation.

  • I have a 2002 4Runner Limited and I was wondering if any of you all have a 4Runner of this generation and if you have any type of grille guards, tail light guards, bug deflectors or rain/wind deflectors installed on your ride. Also do any of you have the nerf side steps instead of the traditional side steps that come on the Runner? I want to customize my new ride, but I want to put on it only the best equipment. What brands do you all reccommend? Smittybuilt, Jaos, Manik, are these good brands? I want to find something that will cut down on wind noise a bit at highway speeds around 60 or 70 mph. What type of product will do the trick for this, I know someone mentioned this before a while back. Please help me because I love my 4Runner and I want to give it the best.
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    I thought it must be something like that. Clearly the other nearby dealers didn't know about the existence of the Limited Runner I bought. Perhaps that is also why many of the dealers don't list the details of the new Runners they have on their websites--they want to sell'em themselves and not have another dealer have access to them while they are in short supply.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Most of the products you listed will likely INCREASE wind noise (or even decrease mileage). All of them increase wind resistance.

    I have the bug/hood deflector. BUY FROM TOYOTA! I think that only Toyota bug deflector has rubber cushion to keep the deflector in place. It works i does protect the hood from scratches from stones.

    I also have sunroof deflector. It is very helpful at highway speed with the sunroof open. In city driving, it is not very helpful.

    The rear wind deflector is for LOOKS ONLY. It doesn't clear my rear cargo window at all. It looks nice though. :)
  • Perhaps this region isn't getting 4x4 4Runners since our Tech Company 401k's are now 201k's and we can therefore only afford 2Runners now instead of 4Runners.
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    On the third generation, the biggest advantage I see is when it rains. I remember driving a friends 4Runner in the rain. It did not have a rear wind deflector and I needed to use the rear wiper almost immediately. My 4Runner has a rear wind deflector and I hardly ever use my rear wiper.

    Another benefit on a rear wind deflector is that it helps me get off my kevlar canoe without scratching the back of the SUV. I am sure that is not what Toyota intended the rear wind defector to be used as. : )
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    actually, they don't have to look at the other dealers websites. There's a website for Lexus/Toyota dealers only called Dealer Daily that we use to access all the information we need on vehicles that are on order, on ground status, and on their way to the dealerships. This is very handy, but like I said some vehicles will not show up if they have already been reported as sold. For example, let's pretend you are my customer and want a 4wd Limited runner in Pacific Blue and I don't have one in stock. I would log-on to the Dealer Daily and input model number and color code, this would show me which dealers in my region have the vehicle. You would say: "Mack, xyz Toyota down the street has one just like I want but I rather buy from you." I would look at the list of Runners that came up on my screen and xyz Toyota has two showing but they are not in the Pacific Blue, which means they have reported the one they have on the lot as sold. Therefore it would not show up on my screen as being available to me for trade. I hope this clears things up a bit.
    : )
  • i wanted the air suspension option on an 03 limited but the toyota build your own site doesn't list it as an available option in my zone, i'm in eastern ma. can anyone tell me what might be the closest state to me that it would be available.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Try Pennsylvania or Delaware and South Jersey. They are available there. You are looking at $42,598.00 MSRP.
    : )
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    This includes the Nav system, air suspension,curtain airbags, JBL Synthesis 3-in-1 w/10 speaker stereo, moonroof, rear spoiler, drl's, alloy wheel locks, mats.
    : )
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    Thanks for the full explanation. I guess my point was really that, in my experience, the Dealer Daily doesn't work well for hard to find models (like a 4Runner Limited with air suspension, or a Highlander Limited back when they first came out). Prospective buyers might need to contact multiple dealers if they are looking for such a vehicle, because a single dealer might not be able to find it, even if one exists at the next dealership down the road. I also wonder if some dealers don't also "hide" vehicles by limiting the information they give about their stock on their websites--you have to call them to find out details (at least I did). This is not necessarily a criticism of the dealers--If I were a dealer, I probably wouldn't want another dealer selling my hard to find vehicle either--I'd rather sell it myself. ;-)

    However, as a buyer for a hard to find HL and now the Runner, I personally found it difficult to find my vehicles, and did so only by contacting many dealers. If I had depended on any one dealer to find my vehicle for me in either case, I'd probably still be waiting. It appears that others are experiencing the same situation. The vehicles exist, but they can be hard to find. Further, as I think you and/or Cliffy have pointed out, a buyer might need to look in several regions to find what they want.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Holy crap! Read it on!
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