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Toyota 4Runner



  • kjack100kjack100 Posts: 133
    Yeah, but does it give off a sulpher smell? Paint the cladding on it and sue; the American way.

    Seriously, after coming out of a '98 into an '03, the changes in ride improvement and handling are huge. I personally would rather drive a 4Runner on the highway than a large majority of cars.
  • When did I say the 4Runner drives as smoothly as a car?
    I even said to compare the 4Runner to a sedan is wrong.
    People should test drive to see if they like the ride, like I said before too.

    There is no way I would say the 4Runner rides like a car because it's not a car. I actually don't like car comparisons because the auto companies start making the SUV's more carlike and kind of defeats the purpose of having an SUV in the first place.

    I DO think the 4Runner rides very smoothly and as good if not better than the competition.
  • bcmalibu:
    As terrafirma said, lock the differential, and VSC turns off.

    To those who will explore their Runner's envelope, be prepared for the sounds and reactions when off-roading with VSC. To give some background, I do an above avg. amount of off-roading, at least for someone in Los Angeles. In my second generation 4Runner, I found that I prefer 2WD for 30(+)mph dirt roads - turning is more relaxed and predictable.

    My first off-road foray with the wife's 4th gen 4Rnr revealed interesting results (yes, ladyofluxury, you won't be alone, there are other 4Rnrs where Momma is the primary driver). Next time, I would do things in reverse order, I would see what DAC and HAC sound/feel like, and then I would progress to VSC. But alas, that dang 4.7 liter engine just baited me before I could get to the slow stuff.

    Others have posted surprise/concern when their DAC/HAC/ABS electronics kicked in. Yes, those horrible sounds are actually the whole electronics pkg. doing their thing, just as designed. Well, VSC sounds quite similar, and I was unprepared for them to kick in midway into a fast left-hander in the dirt. The same turn in my '90 Rnr would result in the rear end stepping out ever so slightly. No, jaredmsd, nothing of truck commercial quality, but things are a bit loose. After the initial surprise when VSC intervened, I found the wife's 2003 Rnr to best suit my style of driving with the center diff locked (and by default, VSC off). I guess my ride (our '90 Rnr) will be reserved for when I pretend to be Petter Solberg's brother. Bottom line - drifting might be better suited to the V6 4WD Rnr, rather than the V8 4WD Rnr, at least for drivers like myself. I don't get out as much as I would like, (who does), so I am not as proficient (yet) at driving quick with all four wheels locked. The 2WD option on the V6 would give me back "That lovin' feelin'". Or maybe not...can VSC be turned off when the V6 is in 2WD? Anyone? Do I regret the V8?

    No, non, et NON! I am a boarderline torque freak, and besides, Momma loves her truck, and as I have learned, "Happy wife = happy life." It doesn't hurt that I absolutely love the rig, too.
  • I got used to the DAC sounds. They are actually comforting now! Descending STEEP terrain with and without DAC, you have much more control-predictible control. (My definition of steep is that you feel that you can step out of the front windshield. Not a steep dirt road, but a STEEP trail.)

    It can be boring because it descends with such surefooted ease instead of driving by the seat of your pants, sliding a bit, locking up the wheels a bit, etc.

    But the 4Runner is so good it makes all the usual tough stuff seem easy.

    I agree with others, in some off-road situations it is very good to have VSC turned off.
    I would have been in heaven and forever loved Toyota if they offered electonic front and rear lockers but such is life!
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    This discussion came out of ladyofluxury's request for information about the 4Runner. Her requirements for a vehicle could be filled by a station wagon, since she has no need for going off-road. Therefore, comparing the ride of a 4Runner to a sedan or station wagon is reasonable, particularly since that is where she is coming from.

    I haven't driven any of the car-based SUVs, like the Pilot or Highlander. Given that they have independent suspensions and no transfer case, I strongly suspect that they will ride and drive more like a car than a 4Runner.

    All vehicles are compromises. The 4Runner gives you pretty good off-road and towing capability at the expense of handling, fuel economy, and ride comfort. For someone like ladyofluxury, who does not need off-road or towing capability, it might make sense to consider both station wagons and car-based SUVs, because their compromises may be closer to her requirements.
  • I am referring to why this comment by adp1:
    "But to say that the ride of a 4Runner is as smooth as the ride of even the average passenger car borders on the bizarre, unless, of course, you are a truck salesman trying to sell trucks to women.

    Trucks and cars drive differently. Why would anyone deny that? "

    I never made any such comments.

    While I understand and appreciate your recap, Nedzel, I don't think my reasons outweigh anyone elses reasons for owning a certain vehicle. If someone wants to buy and enjoy the 4Runner, it is none of my business how they use it.
    I simply offer my opinions of the vehicle based on how I use it and hope it is of interest to potential and current owners.
  • I guess it doesn't make too much sense to talk about car-truck comparison. Everybody has different tastes and each car (and truck) has different ride. I guess what's important here is how many people would be surprised or complain when he/she trade in his/her car for 4Runner and found that 4Runner has truck-ish and uncomfortable ride.

    After more than 20 years of driving, I thought I was an experienced driver. When I testdrove a 4Runner, I was wondering what's meant by truck-like ride. I thought it was just a very comfortable car (oops, I mean truck) and I'm still thinking in this way after 1,000 miles with it. Sure it hops more when I drive over a big bump but is this it? Maybe I'm not experienced enough to tell the hint of truck-like ride within 4Runner after all, but if majority of drivers think in this way, who cares? I wonder how many owners of the new 4Runners are complaining about the ride....

    BTW, I live in Maryland and wonder if somebody knows great off-road trails and activities I should try. Obviously, I'm a novice in this kind of activity.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    For those who expect and demand the anesthetic and ultra-quiet ride of a big coupe or sedan, then that's probably what they should be driving. And for those who decidedly prefer the ride characteristics of SUVs that feature a split rear axle, then that would seem to narrow their choices as well.

    As for those who would negatively or disparagingly describe the new 4Runner's riding and handling characteristics as "truck-like", I would first respond by asking whether or not they've actually driven the vehicle. Secondly, it is my opinion that a given SUV would deserve being described as "truck-like" if it's ride/handling characteristics were (even during a short drive) clearly found to be unrefined, harsh, jarring, sloppy, noisy, and above all, FATIGUING. This is hardly how *I* would describe my new 4Runner. Instead, I would describe it as being tight, smooth, responsive, nimble, agile, powerful, inviting, refined, higly capable, and above all, an ANTEDOTE to fatigue and boredom. In short, I am (like many of you) simply in love with this magnificent vehicle, warts and all.
  • Can't agree more.
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    terra: sorry about the confusion - I didn't mean to say that you compared the 4Runner ride to a car, though it does look like that is what I meant since that comment was in the same paragraph as the comment I made that WAS directed to you.

    I'm not disagreeing with anything you guys are saying. I think the 4Runner is great. In all likelihood, Lady will buy it and love it. But if Lady is used to driving a small sedan or coupe (which she is), driving the 4Runner will be different. In many ways, much better.

    I agreeing that comparing a car to anm SUV is silly, but if a person IS actually in the market for either, then comparisons are useful. Heck, I don't even think folks should be comparing the Cayenne and the FX45, but people do it (and for good reason, I guess).

    I didn't mean to "disparage" the 4Runner with my remarks. Just meant to remind Lady that it IS a truck. I have only heard one person say it drives as well as his A4 (which is hard to believe, frankly, but I've not driven the A4). Most of you would confirm that it does not have the same type of ride as a car, right? Am I that off-base?
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    Nah, you aren't off base. :)

    I guess the first question a potential customer should ask themselves is do they want a car or an SUV. Then think about the potential uses that will most likely be encounted. For most people, a mid sized sedan fits the bill nicely.

    Hmm, you wouldn't compare an FX45 with a Cayenne? They are similar in many ways (other than price). I suppose that the Cayenne would be better off road in some ways, but considering it's price, I doubt it will ever see the well worn off road trails.

    I have test driven many midsized SUVs and I consider the 4Runner with X-REAS the best riding/performing mid-sized SUV out there. Not only that, the seats are supremely comfortable (far more comfortable than the C classs Mercedes).Of course, a Corolla would out corner and kill the 4Runner in the slalom, but now we aren't comparing apples and oranges :) I was also reasonably impressed when parallel parking. The 4Runner is my first SUV puchase. Initially, I didn't expect to do much parallel parking, but one day, I had to. The turning radius is better than on some cars, but this is only a greater advantage in lower speed maneuvers (ie. parallel parking,off road driving).
  • Ah the confusion of the internet. adp3, thanks for clearing that up.

    No, the characteristics of a live rear axle and 1500lbs extra will definitely not give the same ride as a independent suspension A4. I still say it's silly to compare the two. People compare their Honda Civic to a Porsche 911- I think that's silly too. Just be honest to what the vehicle is.

    But, Toyota did a really excellent job with the on road ride of the 4Runner. If all trucks rode like the 4Runner, we would have never moved to 4 wheel independent suspensions!

    I feel the on road ride is "luxurious". Not in a pampered grey poupon way but in a sporty, solid comfortable way.
    It's just really nice to sit behind the wheel, tap the steering wheel radio control to my fav CD, and enjoy! It's great in the city and great in the mountains.
    The 4Runner isn't trendy, it isn't flash in the pan. It is really solid quality built on a chassis that could easily survive jungles, deserts and the mall, very thoughtfully designed and high technology engineering BUT still very simple and reliable.
    I dunno, I'm with kheintz1, I just love this car!
  • Looooooooving you is easy, cause you're beautiful

    Busting trails with you, is all I wanna doooooo.......
  • jaredmsdjaredmsd Posts: 127
    I don't know about you, but I can't bring myself to call the 4runner's ride to be 'truck-like'

    Try driving a mid-80's Bronco, then a mid 90's Blazer, a silverado, f-150, and then tell me the 4runners ride is 'truck-like'.

    It isn't a mercedes or a volvo, but damn, it isn't a true truck until you can feel like you've already rolled over in a turn when all your 4 tires are still on the ground!

    Personally I'd take the stiff ride over the floaty boat ride any day. Every city has at least one road/highway that has a series of whoop-di-woos that'll induce vomitting in any boat-like ride! Highway 80 in Sacramento, and highway 52 in san diego if you are ever in the area :).
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    Hehheh, I agree. Maybe we should call the 4Runner's ride "truck-esque" instead? LOL
  • Like I said, the 4Runner has one of the best rides of any midsize suv.

    If they are interested in buying a 4Runner, they can read my opinion on it. I don't care what they end up using it for. If they don't need the off road capability, they might need to tow. If they don't want a minivan or car then what?

    People interested in buying a 4Runner, imo, don't wany someone telling them to go buy something else. They want to know the characteristics of the 4Runner.

    Personally, I don't think there are tradeoffs. Poorer handling and rougher ride? The 4Runner is smooth and handles great.

    All I can say is for people considering the 4Runner to go test drive the vehicle and judge for yourself.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    Fer crying out loud, terrafirma, chill out dude. I agree that the 4Runner has a good ride, for an SUV. I bought one after all. I drive it every day.

    For people who don't tow and don't drive off road, they may want to consider something else. It's not out of line to suggest alternatives that might better meet their needs.

    Handles great? For an SUV, sure. Compared to most SUVs, the 4Runner handles better. Compared to some of the soft-roader SUVs, the 4Runner probably doesn't not match the handling of a Cayenne or the Infiniti FX35/45. Compared to a sport sedan, it doesn't come close. It can't. It weighs 30% more, its center of gravity is a lot higher, its solid rear axle causes it to step out on bumpy corners, it's tires give up too soon, and it doesn't have the turn-in.

    That doesn't mean it is a bad SUV, nor is that a criticism of you or your choice of vehicle. After all, I bought the exact same vehicle.

    But the 4Runner is a traditional body-on-frame, solid-rear-axle SUV with all the advantages and disadvantages that implies.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    I've just taken time to review all of the numerous comments and opinions that have been posted at this forum over the past week or so, and I would like to offer some further thoughts.

    First, there are certain "armchair" respondants who seem to be quite vocal and opinionated about the advantages and disadvantages of the new 4Runner, yet based on their member profiles they don't seem to either own or regularly drive a 4Runner. The possible motivations of such individuals are curious to ponder, and I'll just leave it that.

    Secondly, there seem to be several related arguments being put forth by some, who claim that unless one plans to take either a 4WD or AWD 4Runner (or other SUV) "off-road", that the added expense and capabilities of such a vehicle is largely unnecessary, overpriced, and even foolish. Numerous (perjorative?) comments have been made about whether such a vehicle would ever be needed if the toughest duty it would see only involved being driven to and from an unplowed parking lot of a local mall after a light snowfall. In my opinion, those who would put forth such arguments may (at best) not understand, appreciate, and accept the multitude of evidence-based reasons as to why a well-designed 4WD/AWD system (be it found in a car, a truck, or an SUV) tends to be inherently more stable and safe than a vehicle with only a single drive wheel. For those who would like more education in this regard (and who also possess the required attention span) I would recommend reading and carefully studying the following links: with special note of this subsection:

    Once you understand the information and instructional animations provided by this excellent on-line tutorial (as well as exploring the related educational links provided), the only questions remaining should be whether one's needs and wants would be best met by buying either a 4wd/awd CAR, vs. a 4wd/awd SUV or PICKUP.

    Thirdly, it is a fact that a vehicle's stability and safety (regardless of the road or surface conditions) is closely tied to the ability of its wheels [especially its POWERED wheel(s)] to maintain positive traction, even on DRY pavement. No traction, no CONTROL-- when this happens, start praying, and if you squeak by, then maybe you'll start thinking more about
    4WD/AWD, be it in a car or truck. Also, the better AWD/4WD vehicles have brakes and other safety features that are integrated with the drivetrain data, making them safer than ever, unless the driver does something really unwise.
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    Here in Canada, I have yet to see an 04 4Runner, that comes standard with the tire pressure monitoring system. Does anyone have any knowledge how it works? On Nissan, wireless transmitters ($250 Cdn. each) are mounted on the factory rims. If a tire pressure drops below a certain value, a warning light illuminates. They do not use rubber tire valves, but metal units that can get damaged by scuffing the curb. Should you use winter steel rims, the lamps will flash until you either tape over the instrument panel, or remove the bulb.

  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    when I said I wouldn't compare the FX35/45 with the Cayenne it was only because of the price difference, that's all. I do understand why someone would compare the two.

    I agree with kheintz about the AWD/4WD thing, though I haven't put my money where my mouth is yet. Looking at the XC90 (becaue I don't need the offroad ability and my wife is gonna drive it every day and that's the vehicle she likes)

    as many have said, keep the wife happy - especially when it ain't that hard to do. Hell, this is the first time I've ever seen her excited about a car, so I might as well go with it.

    what is weird about kheintz's post is that is my second howstuffworks reference TODAY, and I can't think of the last time anyone mentioned that site to me

    As to kheintz questioning motivations, I just think it is silly for folks to completely overlook cars and jump to SUVs when a car would do the trick for them. Lady of Lux's expressd needs seemed to be met with a car. Heck, maybe even an SRX. I think people who don't know HOW to drive an SUV shouldn't be driving them. You guys just take it for granted that other folks know what you do about operating their vehicle. But folks don't. Most folks are clueless. They didn't have buttons to push to engage or disengage anything. They turned the key and off they went. Turn on DSC? Turn it off?

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