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2010 Toyota 4Runner redesign

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  • Cardinale Way Dealership in Lake Tahoe, CA.
  • I've owned the first 3 Generations of 4Runners dating back to 1986, and in fact am still driving the 3rd Gen, 2002 4Runner, which was the last year in that model. I skipped the 4th Gen as I wasn't too keen on the looks, and liked the 3 Gen too much. All have been superb vehicles, and I drive the wheels off them. My 2nd Gen 4Runner had 380,000 mi. on it when I sold it on Craig's List within hours after posting it. Still ran like a swiss watch.

    Last night, I was at my local Toyota Dealership (Mike Erdman Toyota) getting an oil change. They stay open till 7:00pm. Whille that work was going on, I went over to the lot and looked at the 2010 4Runners. The only had 2 in stock, A silver Limited and a black SR5 w/cloth seats. These new 4Runners are extremely nice and roomy, and after I got through drooling over them, the sales guy hit me up for a purchase. I'm thinking about it seriously, and the dude called again this morning.

    There's a few little peeves I thought Toyota should rethink: Get rid of the sliding cargo holder, put another light in the extreme rear top, add a locking gas lid like they had in ALL the other 4Runners, and put back the electric radio ant. BTW, for anyone wanting to do full time off-roading, my advice is to buy a used 4Runner for that purpose. No way in hell would I buy a new one and take it in the woods to get it all messed up.
  • I'll be interested in the same for the same reasons. I just picked up my new 2010 Salsa Red Trail Edition yesterday, after a series of Isuzu Troopers and a Rodeo. I am worried about all that stuff on the front end, and a good brush guard would be a big improvement. I'd like to minimize the "Arizona pinstriping."
    Thanks - Hikervince
  • And it drives poor in comparison with rear wheel drive. Just drive the two and compare. The Trail has the best drive because of the KDSS (less bump on the road and better corner handeling) plus rear wheel drive.

    Test drive all three trims before buying.
  • Bought 2010 4Runner SR5 4x2 yesterday. Sales literature, sales people, and owner's manual seem to be a bit slippery on defining the "automatic limited slip differential." Is it a legitimate posi-trac type rear differential, or is really just a marketing gimmick to hide that it is an open differential that wheel slippage is
    controlled by braking/engine management via the "traction control" feature? If so,
    the traction control and automatic limited slip differential are, in reality, one in the same.

    Any Toyota factory people out there that can answer?
  • Hi all, I thought this extended road test now underway of the 2010 4Runner might be of interest. The vehicle is a Canadian model which in addition to having a part time 4WD system also has a center differential so it can be operated in 4WD H on dry pavement (like the Limited here). See my question in the week 4 comments. http://communities.canada.com/driving/blogs/driving/archive/2010/01/21/week-4-20- 10-4runner.aspx
  • cliffordn - thanks for posting the driving blog of the 4Runner. It's a great read and only reinforces my opinion that the 4Runner is the right vehicle for my needs.

    I'm still confused about driving the SR5 in 4H on dry pavement. A week or so ago, I test drove the SR5 (as well as the Limited) and the salesman (a 4Runner owner himself) told me to go ahead and put it the SR5 into 4H while driving on dry pavement... the vehicle operated completely fine/normal even when turning street corners. The only time I experienced binding was when I did a U-turn. Other than that it was fine.

    Some on here say no-way, no-how to driving the SR5 in 4H on dry pavement - but it clearly can be done. Who's right? :confuse:

    Now, I'm back to being undecided about which 4Runner is best. I want (but don't necessarily have to have) the navigation and the X-REAS seems like a great thing... but that's where the Limited stops for me. The 20" wheels and tires seem lame... and perhaps more costly to swap out than getting an SR5.
  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    Once again, and last time I will emphasize it that you can NOT drive the part time 4WD system with rear differential (2010 4Runner SR5 and Trail edition US models) on a dry pavement (also verified it with TCS) ... Here is a very nice article that explains part/full time 4WD in full detail respectively:

    http://www.4x4abc.com/4WD101/def_turnpart.html
    http://www.4x4abc.com/4WD101/def_turnfull.html

    In conclusion, in the US, only the Limited has full-time 4WD. The 2010 4Runner Trail edition and the SR5 both have a part-time 4WD system that can not be used on dry pavement.
  • The salesman was wrong and the SR5 and Trail should not be operated on dry pavement in 4WD. Basically, on these models, when you engage the 4WD the front and real drive trains are locked in unison with each getting 50% of the power. Thus, you will get binding and damage with extended use on dry pavement.

    As far as which to get, I like the Trail since it has part time 4WD and the option of equipping with the KDSS suspension system. I want to be able to drive in 2 WD on pavement. The Trail also has a locking rear differential for better traction in muck or the situation otherwise demands. Thus, the Trail has the best drive train for dry pavement while also having the best for situations that demand traction. The downside is that you can't get leather or heated seats.
  • Agnosto... exactly what are your credentials? I called Toyota Customer Service today and spoke w/ two representatives. The representative said that you can drive a SR5 in 4H on dry pavement. Thankfully, they are shipping me a 2010 owner's manual, to help w/ my decision.

    Secondly, please check your attitude at the door... it doesn't really serve the greater good. My purpose, as I am sure is the case with most others, is to learn and make educated decisions about our (future) purchase.

    As I indicated in post #577... I had a salesman (himself a 4Runner owner) tell me to use 4H on dry pavement. And I shared my experience driving the vehicle in 4H on dry pavement. Knowing that I could get a Limited 4R - I doubt he would try to undersell me.
  • I'll just say that I have no personal experience and my belief is entirely based upon info on the web. I will saying that if you experienced binding while making a u-turn it seems to be consistent with the view that 4WD is not for dry pavement with the SR5 and Trail. Please let us all know what the owner's manual states. Thxs.
  • I have had my 97 SR5 with on demand 4Hi and 4Lo for 13 years. I have at times had to keep it in 4 Hi once making it onto better roads in messy NE snow/ice storms. This driving has not damaged the vehicle at all. The entire drivetrain remains as smooth as when new. I am expecting a new Limited late winter, but will keep this machine too.
  • My credentials before you question them. I've been driving 4x4's since 1976. If it is binding you are ruining the 4wd. I have the 2003 model with the AWD option. It never binds. But if I try the same thing in 4H with my 2009 Ram, or my former 1991 K1500, 1997 S-10 Blazer, 1986 Toyota SR5 PU, 1985 F-250, or my 1966 K10, it will bind. So get ahead and question all you'd like, but if you have to question someone's credentials over some idiot answering the phone who hasn't a clue and is reading out of a manual, then be prepared for failure.

    Better yet, just buy it and drive it in 4H, make lots of U-turns, then come back on here and complain about how your 4WD blew in 4H.
  • Yeah... the binding occurs when you push the vehicle to extremes by turning the steering wheel past its "tolerance threshold" (for lack of a more technical term). Like you (canddmeyer), I have owned a variety of 4x4's include an '03 F250, '95 Range Rover, '94 Mistu Montero and others.

    I'm simply trying to decide whether to purchase an SR5 or a Limited because my better half will be driving the vehicle during snow events here in Colorado-and that "set it and forget it" route for that driver. If I the only driver, it'd be a slam dunk, I'd get the SR5. Unfortunately, I can see my better half going through the Starbucks drive-thru... in 4H and freak out when the vehicle binds. I want to avoid that. I also plan to do a lot of off-road driving, so this dual purpose requires some thought. In my Range Rover or Montero... you could drive in 4H and pretty much forget about it (except for tight turns). Hence my questions about the 4 Runner.

    And thanks so much for the attitude... really helps!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    exactly what are your credentials?

    I am not sure what credentials would be suitable for providing links to sources but I think we'd enjoy the discussion more if all tried to be a bit more cordial. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • completely agree. I'm, like many others, simply trying to make an informed decision - its very disappointing that some people seem to think its alright to try and make others feel dumb, when ultimately there are several different viewponts. As I'm learning there are clearly different schools of thought - about 4WD systems. :)
  • After going through two transfer cases with my 2002 Explorer with full-time 4x4and 4x4 high/low, I decided to go back to the manual shift 4x4 system of the SR5. The limited had the same type of drive as the 2002 Explorer (probably better built), none-the-less similar and I wanted nothing to do with an all-time 4x4 system. I have an SR5 and the sales person at the time of purchase (mountain area dealership) told me that I need some give on the pavement to be in 4x4 high or low. This is consistant with my experience over the last 20 years of 4x4's. I know, for example, that chevy made full-time 4x4 system back in the day but they tore up the tires fast in pavement. We could probably do the same wear and tear to transfer case and tires over time on 4x4 high. Just my opinion. I took the wife out and introduced her to the manual shifter, did not take long before she was not put off by the slight gear noise and shift feedback.
  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    Has anyone had the dealership to program (I assume the ECU) to open the windows remotely by using the Limited Smart Key fob on the 2010 4Runner Limited as the manual states it can be done? If yes, did it cost anything?
  • murphydogmurphydog Posts: 491
    FX -

    FWIW - my wife drives an 01 Montero Sport, part time 4WD. She called me once when we had a pretty good snow storm in a panic as she was starting to slip. I told her to "move the lever" in my best calm voice. As soon as she did and the 4WD hooked up I could hear the stress leave her voice. She is good as gold now.

    That said we are renting a new 4runner from Dollar (downtown Seattle locations has 'em) next week - it is nearing retirement age for the Mitsu - if she likes the runner we would like get the limited... :shades:
  • Like many here, I've often engaged 4H when needed. It's always worked although it doesn't engage immediately as most electronic systems are slower to engage. Binding scares me, but there was almost always some slippage when I used it. And fxoffroad is correct that it'll do the job and be noisy in hard turns. I just wouldn't use it full-time unless there was at least the potential for some slippage.

    On that note, if Toyota had kept the AWD/4WD system that was in the 2003 thru 2009, there wouldn't be the binding in 4H unlocked. But the new for 2010 deletion of the unlocked on lower end models can cause binding. Still, I believe it is a great 4WD, but some of us who were looking forward to the 2010 after owning the previous gen sure are disappointed. This will probably put me in a Sequoia.

    The nicest thing about the 4H unlocked was the front end would hook up before you found yourself in danger. In fact early on many folks found themselves stuck, and for whatever reason the electronic 4WD wouldn't engage unless the vehicle was moving. So we left it in 4H unlocked all the time and never had the problem of getting stuck again.

    Hopefully the 2010 4H engages quicker than the last gen which took awhile, at least the early ones did. Still no outside heated mirrors available on the 2010 SR5, as well as no V8, no LED's. And the window switches....what's that about? For me the takeaways outweigh the improvements. But for those of you getting a 2010, enjoy it. The V6 is as good as ever, the transmission silky smooth, and the drivetrain won't break.

    One of these days I hope Toyota lets us build our vehicles so we can option them the way we'd like them, and hopefully a gear driven limited slip versus an electronic limited slip becomes available on all models.
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