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Toyota 4Runner



  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    Lady: Seems to me that you'd be much better off in a Volvo XC90 or a Cadillac SRX Don't laugh. Drive the base models. Yes, you'll pay more, but you'll be happier. The truckie ride of the 4Runner can get old, though it's way better than it used to be.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    For what it's worth, I've received from my various passengers a number of glowing complements concerning the interior comfort and smooth riding characteristics of my V8, AWD 4Runner Ltd. My girlfriend is particularly fond of this vehicle, even after riding in it for nearly 1000 miles over the Thanksgiving holiday, with her two young boys (ages 6 and 8) in the back seat. The boys were quite comfy during this long trip, and the vehicle's 110 volt AC outlet allowed them to more easily enjoy DVD movies on a laptop that we set up in the back seat.

    While I can certainly understand your interest in the V6, 2WD version of the Limited, I would urge you to take your time. Before you make your final decision, you ought to consider test driving the V8/5-speed version for a couple of days. I've previously lived for a year in the Virginia Tidewater area, and during that time I can recall plenty of snow and icy road conditions, especially in the late winter and early spring. I'm originally from NE Ohio (the Lake Erie snow belt) and I found that one winter in Virginia to be far from "mild". After all, we're talking about Virginia here, and not a Gulf Coast state. And as you know, at certain other times of the year Virginia certainly sees its share of torrential rains, including hurricanes. Therefore, I would urge you to carefully consider the added versatility, capabilities, and safety afforded by a high quality all-wheel-drive (AWD) SUV.

    If you've not previously and extensively driven an SUV, there a few things you should never forget. First, even the best of these vehicles will have a higher center-of-gravity than a car, and probably the most common reason for roll-over accidents is a driver's lack of familiarity, "retraining", and EXPERIENCE with safely handling these vehicles. For example, those of us who grew up driving CARS may instinctively try to steer out of the way of a sudden obstacle in our path by abruptly and sharply steering or jerking the wheel. This maneuver may save one's butt in a low-slung car, but in an SUV it may have catastrophic results. You must learn how to drive these vehicles defensively, safely, and non-aggressively, and this often involves being willing to quickly learn a completely NEW set of driving skills that are unique to SUVs. Also, compared with cars, SUVs are not only more top-heavy, but the more massive models are also quite HEAVY in general. Thus, even if a given SUV has an outstanding brake system and other safety features, it is still a helluva lot of mass moving down the road, and therefore it will take a much LONGER time to slow down or stop than a car would require. Those who would tailgait or drive carelessly with a massive SUV are especially inviting disaster! With these vehicles, one must be constantly and ever more aware of what's always unfolding on the road AHEAD, as well as what's going on behind and around the vehicle from moment to moment. In other words, defensive driving skills are often especially crucial when driving an SUV, and you will need to pay even more "quick" attention to side mirrors and SPOT mirrors, while always checking and re-checking blind spots, even with spot mirrors installed.

    It is also wise to keep in mind that while many of the abilities of a high quality SUV can be quite thrilling and impressive (especially during more hazardous conditions) these same attributes can also inspire over-confidence and many of the pitfalls there in. As for the new 4Runner, this vehicle weighs in at nearly 4500 lbs. (depending on options and configurations) and in my opinion this amount of mass requires more than adequate engine power and tractional abilities in order to better "get out of the way of itself" in a pinch. This is only one reason why I personally feel that the V8/5-speed version is preferrable, but this is just my opinion. If you're going to spend this much money for a 4Runner, why not buy a bit more options than you think you will need, since those options may come in handy sooner than you might anticipate? On the other hand, if you "under-specify" the vehicle, you'll be truly stuck and out of luck if you later realize you made some big errors. "Buy in haste, repent at leisure..."
  • likalarlikalar Posts: 108
    Both of your choices are great vehicles. Now, I know you're married (and so am I) so the following doesn't matter 2 cents worth, but here I go anyway: A woman driving that Lexus is rather predictable (in Northern CA, they ALWAYS seem to have a woman at the wheel). However, a woman driving the 4Runner is kind of cooler, sexier even, IMO. :-)
    P.S...Of course that's not why you're buying this truck. -Just having a little fun, that's all. Good luck.
  • I agree with Larry.
    The cool factor of a woman behind the wheel of a 4Runner is definitely there while the woman behind the wheel of a RX is expected.

    There is no cool factor in a Honda Pilot! :)
  • kjack100kjack100 Posts: 133
    Thank goodness for new blood on here. :--)

    Get a white with taupe interior V-8 4x4 Limited with Nav and x-reas for less than the price of an RX330. You will love your wheels. Pilot = minivan. End of story.
  • "If you have money to consider RX330, why don't you consider V8? With the price difference, you can buy V8 in the limited trim."

    There isn't any reason why I wouldn't consider the V8, my intentions are to test drive the V6 and the V8 to compare the difference in ride quality in each. Since I do not forsee myself towing anything I figured the V6 should be sufficient for my needs. However, once I drive both I will let you all know what I thought of each.
  • "BTW, the V6 reliability problem appears to be from a TSB/recall related to defective fuel pulsation dampers from the first 6 months of production. The V6 is a brand new (and more complicated) engine mated to a proven automatic transmission. The V8 is a proven engine mated to a brand new (and more complicated) transmission."

    Thanks for the info on this, I had heard of some problems in both the V6 and the V8 and never heard mention of the source or if it was rectified. Also thank you for your input on the V6/V8 difference, and just for clarification am i correct in saying that the 4WD/AWD differs between the V6 and the V8? In the V8 doesn't the vehicle stay in AWD mode at all times? Maybe I need to go to the 4WD/AWD message board to see what folks are saying about that b/c I know that I would want mainly 2WD mode IF I do get the 4WD model.
  • "Lady: Seems to me that you'd be much better off in a Volvo XC90 or a Cadillac SRX Don't laugh"

    I'm not laughing, I actually was seriously considering the Cadillac SRX, however I've known too many people who paid premium price for a Cadillac, only to get much less than premium reliability in return. And the XC90 is just an ugly vehicle to me :-) No offense! After all my research if I go with car based it has to be RX330, the Pilot WAS in the running before I got to test drive it and seriously thought about paying over $30K for such a plain, minivan looking vehicle, so as for right now it's still 4Runner vs. RX330
  • "While I can certainly understand your interest in the V6, 2WD version of the Limited, I would urge you to take your time. Before you make your final decision, you ought to consider test driving the V8/5-speed version for a couple of days. I've previously lived for a year in the Virginia Tidewater area, and during that time I can recall plenty of snow and icy road conditions, especially in the late winter and early spring"

    I am carefully considering ALL my options. I have been in "research" mode since 2002 and now going into 2004. I am not one to buy a new vehicle every 2 years (as you may be able to tell from the fact that I'm still driving my 94 Accord that I bought brand new), and so it's extremely important to me that I make a decision I can live with for many years to come. Hence the reason why I've automatically discluded certain models for their proven tracks of unreliability.

    As for VA weather, I've been living in VA Beach for only 7 months now and this is my first winter here. We had a good amount of rain during the spring/summer but the rain was 10 times worse in Florida where I previously lived for 11 years. Many of my co-workers, friends etc. who are native to this area has told me that they MIGHT get snow maybe for a day or two during the season and during these days work/schools/bases are shut down because this area is not equipped for snow since they don't receive it often. So from their experiences I decided I MAY NOT need a 4WD/AWD, however only time will tell these things and I certainly have not exclusively ruled out the 4WD/AWD option. I do know however this is the farthest north we will live and I would hate to pay extra for something that I may never use or use only one or two days a year. But I thank you for offering your experience/opinion and if I do go with the 4Runner I will consider ALL my options.

    As for driving an SUV, I learned to drive on my father's old Bronco and I don't think anything could be worse than I am well aware of the difference in driving an SUV over a sedan and trust me I am not the one to try and zip around a steep corner going 85. Actually, I am not even a left hand lane driver lol j/k But seriously, thank you for your comments, I read all of them and take them all into consideration.
  • I never really thought of the "cool factor" in owning a 4Runner lol However, I have noticed that ALL the RX's I've seen were driven by women, and all but one 2003-04 4Runner driven by men. Surprisingly thought the Pilots I've seen seem to have a very good mix of men/women drivers, I wonder why that is?

    Anyway, I will test drive and let you all know what I finally decide. I'm very picky though so it may take quite a few test drives to make a final decision.

    P.S. Why no DVD player in the 4Runner? Anyone had this installed aftermarket?
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    The NC Outer Banks are not far from the VA tidewater area. They have authorized beach access points on the Outer banks. You will need a true 4WD vehicle like the 4Runner to take advantage of some legitimate off road experiences. Just a thought.
      BTW ask your friends at work how much snow they got last year. It set a 143 year record in Baltimore for 1 day's snow fall. I believe the whole East Coast had similar records.
  • aroutharouth Posts: 45
    Hey, since your spending so much time researching this you might be interested in the offset crash test. It just came out yesterday and the 4runner got a perfect rating in everything.

    I think you should get a 4runner.I had a 1997 F-150 and loved it, and seriously considered the 2004 F-150 and several other cars. The 4runner to me seemed to me to be one of the best vehicles out there. I'm a researcher too (spent 10 months researching actually), and this vehicle seems like a winner. It looks good, drives good, gets excellant ratings, is extremely safe, and is just plain cool!

    I got a 2004 4WD V8 4Runner Sport on order and it should arrive in February.

    Oh and another thing if your going to buy soon I would recomend doing it on December 31. This is according to my friend who used to sell cars. Car dealer's quotas are due at the end of the month, and December is a slow month for car sales so you should be able to get invoice or even a little below.

    just my two cents...:)
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    Interesting, I had done research on the 4Rrunner for about 2 months. I knew what MSRP and invoice were. Last New Years Eve, I went into my Toyota dealer and asked about a Titanium V-8 Sport on their lot. After a short test drive, I asked what kind of deal I could get. The salesman said "I am going to give you a non negotiable price that is the lowest I can take for it." He then quoted me invoice plus about $250. He gave me more on my trade than I expected. It was $4K more than I owed on it. (I had just got. new transmission put in it and did not trust its reliability). It was such a great deal I took it. I had really only intended to test drive it. I could not turn that deal down.
      I have to admit your friend was right in his advice about when to buy a vehicle. I really do like the 4runner. I have almost 15K miles on it.
  • Thanks for the link, it was quite informative. I did not know 4Runner was rated that high for safety. Can't find any rollover resistance stats though. And thanks for the end of the month advice, I have also hear that the last week of the month is the best time to buy. If I can get over my indecisiveness before 2003 ends, I will let you all know!
  • True about the record snow, but also if that was a common occurence it wouldn't be a "record". Also, the whole time there was any snow on the ground here they did cancel work/schools. However, I didn't know that bit about the Outer Banks, it isn't too far from here and that definitely interests me. I just can't see myself paying $1K+ upfront, plus whatever extra it may cost to fix or maintain for something I may never use.
  • When your 4Runner get's delivered, do you plan on taking it down to the Outer Banks? When and if you do, let me know how that goes!
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I got it last New Years Day and have almost 15K miles on it. A little over 2 weeks in the sand on the Outer Banks. I still have some sand in my carpet.
  • cttoycttoy Posts: 5
    Hello there drivers.....I have a question. I just had my 2000 4Runner repaired at a local mechanic. (I've had it w/ Toyota Service). He repaired a TP switch which was malfunctioning. When I touched the gas it took a second for the car to get moving. The day I picked it up I noticed the CD player makes a noise like it is trying to read a CD when I press the gas or if I brake. Doesn't matter if CD is in or out on or off.........drives me nuts. I tried cleaning it several times. I do not want a bill at Toyota and my mechanic is confused about it. Anyone have a suggestion? I appreciate advice on this one.
  • ladyofluxury, I think you are correct about the 4WD drivetrains in the V6 and V8 models. If you get the 4WD version of the V6 you could keep it in 4WD mode all the time if you wanted, and that would be the equivalent of the V8. Both the V6 and V8 have low-gear selections (just another position for the knob) for their 4WD modes. The V6 has a 3rd position which is for 2WD.

    In all these vehicles the 4WD modes use a center differential, which allows them to be driven in 4WD on all kinds of surfaces, full time. This full-time 4WD is often referred to as AWD, though the term is not completely standardized.

    From what you've said, I think you'll be fine with a 2WD vehicle unless you decide to have adventures in sand or significant off-road. All 4Runners have traction and stability control. With 2WD you'll save some weight and I suspect the vehicle will drive just a little bit better. I switch back and forth between 4WD and 2WD and think the driving is better in 2WD, even with the extra weight of the 4WD components. I'm not the only one who has written with this opinion, but some do disagree.

    Speaking of driving, these vehicles do just fine in terms of cornering, twisty entrance/exit ramps, lane changing, etc. I get very little body lean, and I don't have the X-REAS shock system. The ride is smooth and quiet, and genuinely sporty for an SUV. The main difference from car-based SUVs will probably be felt on rough roads, where the suspensions are tuned differently. The real question is whether you will like the firmer ride, and the only way to know is to drive different vehicles over the bad stuff. Let us know what you think.
  • Ford wasn't on my list to shop. Co-worker just came in a few hours late... Apperantly her 2002 Expedition engine light came on this morning, and died on her soon after... Hmmm this coming from a vehicle bought brand new less than a year ago...
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