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Toyota on the mend?

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    of the 4Runner came along just at the wrong time, turning it into an American-style SUV just a year or two before gas prices shot up and all the American SUVs' sales went in the toilet (relative to their own earlier numbers).

    I would like to see it go back to the days of some carpeting and a DOT-legal bench seat with belts tossed into the bed of a Tacoma. It was rugged, it wasn't expensive and it never pretended to be luxurious.

    Toyota should bet on the success of the '08 Highlander to rope in all the soccer moms, and turn the 4Runner into a niche model like the FJ, which we all know isn't going to survive more than one generation. I mean, REALLY!

    The Sequoia is all but done, and the only worry at Toyota Central is that they made it too big and with too-thirsty engines right when the segment is dying on the vine due to huge gas prices. Well, whatever folks, it's DONE. No point in crying now, or in reengineering it. Build it, see if you can grab some Tahoe and Suburban sales,and kill it after the next gen if it doesn't sell well enough. Toyota is good at that (killing off worthy models just because the sales dropped below some magic number, usually 50K per year).

    If they go into the next decade with the notion firmly planted that their BOF SUVs will sell to smaller crowds, and charge accordingly, I think it would be OK to have 3, including the niche Land Cruiser, with a 4Runner and Sequoia below it in price. I just don't know why they would continue the Land Cruiser when they have the next-gen Sequoia. The current LC isn't selling at all, we are talking 1000/year or less. For $5000 more you can just get the Lexus, and then why wouldn't you, in a price range that high to begin with?

    As for offroading, of which I used to do plenty, it has been my experience that there are plenty of Toyotas out there. The only SUVs you ever really see are Jeeps and Toyotas - the occasional Explorer driver gets out there at his peril. Mostly you see pick-ups, not SUVs at all, and among those you see a fair number of Toyotas, along with the domestic brands. The old Land Cruisers (up through the FJ82) are pretty popular to jack up and take off-trail, but no-one is going to do that with any of the later models, which came along around 1992 if memory serves. After the FJ82, it got too expensive and too frou-frou. Up through the '02, the 4Runner makes a good model to take out there relatively stock as well as a good chassis for lifting and other stuff.

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

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,664
    that is completely contrary to the history of the 4runner.
    it is an off road capable vehicle. towing is left for something else.
    ford is going down? Ha! Ha!
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    You can keep the Land Cruiser at the high end, as a Halo model. And have the FJ at the low end, to work against Wrangler.

    Then have Rav4, HL, and 4Runner be your compact, mid-size, and full-size players. They could all be unibody, and have the HPX share the next 4Runner redesign.

    Which means getting rid of the GX, and replacing it with HPX, not complimenting it.

    Lexus doens't need 4 SUVs. This becomes a problem with the emergence of a entry-level luxury SUV class. I don't think Lexus should enter until someone can generate 50k+ sales out of it.

    Toyota does need a sports car! :shades:

    DrFill
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Let me say, I'm not Toyota fan, however... I've offroaded a lot with my Isuzu Rodeo. I've been up and down the East Coast offroading, and the 4-Runners and Tacoma/Hi-lux/pre-tacoma pickups all were out there with us and all did very well along with the FJ on the trail. Heck we even had LCs out there with us. The full-sized Trucks like Sierras/KC/silverados/F150/Tahoe/Blazer were way way too big for the trails and the Jeeps were a bit over-rated.

    As a total non-toyota fan I'd look at their SUV lineup and do something along the lines of:

    Unibody Models
    Rav4 (Cute-ute)
    Highlander (mid-size ute)
    XYZ (Full-size ute)

    Non-Unibody Models/niche
    FJ 2 and 4 door (Small/midsize offroader)
    4-Runner (Collasal Towing monster to take on Suburban/Expedition/Armada use the Tundra underpinnings with 4-wheel indy suspension for a good ride)
    LC (Mid-size Offroader w/uber luxo)

    -Mike

    That's just me
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    5 is pushin' it, but maybe it's just me.

    Acadia is really a sissified Tahoe, longer, no towing, no V8, no frame.

    The 4Runner deserves a better fate than to be declawed. The HL should be like that.

    I think we agree the Sequioa is not appropriate at this time.

    DrFill
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Isn't the Acadia based off a stretched Equinox Platform, which is essentially a unibody mini-van frame?

    The Tahoe is based off the 1500 series light-truck chassis.

    Definitely agree, the 4-Runner should remain Framed with some offroad/manly attitude, and yeah the Sequoia has no ballz at all, it was a half hearted attempt at a fullsize SUV at best.

    -mike
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    drfill, isn't that exactly what I said earlier?

    Make 4Runner unibody along with RAV4 and HL as Toyota's CUVs and keep LC and FJ as the "real" SUVs.

    If Toyota decides to go with this route then a strip-down version of the LC would be benefitial for off-roading and towing duties.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,963
    I think it would be a mistake to put the off road eggs in the FJ basket. I have talked to FJ owners. They have the same complaints that will limit the sales below what the 4Runner is generating in a downhill slide. The suicide doors and horrible visibility are killers in the FJ for most buyers. They appeal to those that want something REALLY different looking.

    I am not much of a ToyLex fan but the 4Runner to me is something I would consider. It has a good history of REAL utility matched with good reliability.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,854
    While I really liked the styling, when I sat in it it was almost like looking out of a tunnel-coccoon like!!! In the worst cases, the lack of visibility can be down right fatal. By comparison it makes the 1994/96 Toyota Landcruiser look like the cock pit of an F16.

    ( extreme wide angle and almost unlimited viewing)
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I saw the traction issue between the two trucks in a magazine (I think it was Road & Track) recently and they noted how the Toyota wasn't able to put the power to the ground but the Silverado hooked up nicely with both tires providing traction, not just one. The locker rear-ends that are available are far superior than any limited slip because you get equal power distribution to both tires.
    The rear end on the Toyota was also noted by MotorWeek TV's weekly show along with the issue about the lack of frame cross members that the Tundra lacks compared to other full-sized trucks including the Tundra's main competitor, Nissan Titan.
  • punkr77punkr77 Posts: 183
    Yeah, my wife and I looked at the FJ to replace her car. It had by far the worst visability I've ever seen in a car. Lane changing was a very scary experience. Other than that, unless I really needed offroad capability (and 99% of SUV buyers don't) I'd go elsewhere in a heartbeat. I have a feeling there'll be quite a few good deals on FJs as people who bought based on the looks trade them back after trying to live with one for a while. The interior was pretty stripped and stark. If I was going the FJ's direction, I'd get a Wrangler instead. At least it'll let you go hardtop, soft stop, bikini top, or topless, all with one vehicle.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,963
    I think FJ ownership will be a love/hate relationship. It still is only selling a fraction of what the 4Runner sells in a slump. I think it is premature to change the 4Ruuner.

    Question is the Lexus GX just a fancy 4Runner?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Answer to your last question: yes, but it comes only with a V8 and 4-wheel drive. And it's a lot heavier than even the V8 4Runner.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,963
    Thank You,
    I may have to test drive one then.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Saw the new LC/LX56 at the NYIAS. Not bad but I can't even think of how much they are charging for it.

    Also compared the FJ to a Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited and the Wrangler wins in terms of offroad and on-road anyday and I dislike both Toyota and Jeep equally!

    Tundra was ho-hum, nothing special in it for me as a truck buyer. They do have a gimicky rear camera for hooking up your trailer, they are definitely catering to the "noob" towing person as most folks who tow regularly can get aligned fairly quickly w/o a camera.

    -mike
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,963
    If Toyota was on the ball they would have brought these models to the USA instead of that foo foo FJ toy. Toyota does build good vehicles. Just not for US consumers.

    image
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I dunno.......aren't those just Prado variants? Which is essentially what the current 4Runner and Tacoma are. So we already have 2 versions of those trucks, we just don't get the diesel engines they have, nor are our models quite as stripped as those (at least, not our 4Runner trims).

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

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,963
    I do not know. They don't look alike. The 4Runner is all foo foo and plastic instead of steel bumpers and chrome. The diesel option is what I would have to have.

    http://www.lc70.toyota.com.au/toyota/vehicle/Content/0,4664,4109_1612,00.html
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    they are. However, Toyota NA never seems to want the really stripped-down work versions of Toyota's trucks that other countries get.

    The Prado gets a good diesel, the one you linked. I would love to see a 50-state version come here for the Tundra and Tacoma. When will it happen? Rumors are on again, off again.

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

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    about Lexus goes over the magical $100,000 mark with the $104K LS600hL? Although I think this car is incredible which offers V12-like performance (760i) with a V8 hybrid. I am not sure about whether this is a good move by Toyota/Lexus or not.

    Pretty soon we'll see another Lexus join the "over-100-grand club" with the upcoming LF-A. Rumor has it that it will be priced somewhere around $160K. :surprise:
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    And with the extra power, AWD, and extra standard features, should be fine.

    The LF-A was beautiful in person (the IF-S, not so much, but is better looking than it is in pictures), and, from looks alone, looks like 160k to me.

    I want a stick in sumpin', doh! :mad:

    Lexus doesn't want to cement an image as a budget Mercedes, so going upmarket is the right move.

    For the Audis and Cadillacs of the world, maybe not, but Lexus has earned the right to ascend.

    DrFill
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    S600 sales there are each year? Not many, I can tell you. Granted, it costs about $35K more than the LS600HL, but the point is, there aren't many sales at this end of the market each year, and Lexus knows that. As long as they sell a few (and I am sure they will sell a few, as the new LS460 has been so popular), it will be fine. It is Lexus' halo model, and will serve that role most effectively even after the LF-A makes it to market. Trust me, the marketplace is going to view the LF-A as an oddball in the Lexus line-up - THAT is the one that is going to tank, I am afraid.

    What I wonder is if this will progress to its logical conclusion: will there eventually be an "L-tune" LS600, comparable to the S65 AMG? Can Toyota pull that off? Their sport credentials are threadbare from age and mothballed from lack of use...

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

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    will there eventually be an "L-tune" LS600, comparable to the S65 AMG?

    You meant the "F-tune" LS600h, right? ;)

    I personally hope Lexus won't go with that route. In the foreseeable future I would like to see only 3 -F cars and they are the IS-F, GS-F and LF-A. If Lexus can establish itself as a reputable manufacture in the factory tuner world then it makes more sense for the LS-F.

    The LF-A won't be as much of an oddball alongside with the other -F cars. I think as a halo car for Lexus it should do just fine.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Possibly, if the other -F cars are popular, the LF-A will serve as a halo for them specifically. It would be nice to see Lexus dealers establish a separate area of the showroom for the -F models, they will be so different from anything at Lexus ever before.

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

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    written by a buncha Ford lovers who have a reason to hope the Tundra fails.

    All that stuff is just water under the bridge. You think the GM and Ford rollouts of their first "major" trucks went like a Swiss Watch?

    Every new product launch has glitches, when billions of dollars are involved.
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Posts: 483
    I have to completely agree. Although I do prefer US trucks to the Japanese, the piece about the Tundra is "cherry picked" and massaged beyond belief. The Tundra will emerge as a serious challenger to Ford and GM and what is left of Dodge.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,963
    Every new product launch has glitches, when billions of dollars are involved.

    The Tundra is hardly new. It is in its 8th year here. It has not and will not be competition for GM & Ford truck sales. It is just too ugly. Makes a Dodge look decent. Like all things Toyota, it is overpriced and over-rated. And I have driven a 2004 Tundra V8 a quite a bit. It belongs to a friend who likes it. It is so noisy going down the Highway you cannot carry on a conversation. When he rides in my GMC he always comments on how quiet it is.
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Posts: 483
    Why would an old Tundra be compared to a new one with which it shares little? We would not compare an old Impala to a new one!
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary, I was born at night, but not LAST night ;

    Of course I know the Tundra is not "new"

    But *THIS TUNDRA* as a full-size competitor to the large Ford/Chevy/Dodge trucks IS ABSOLUTELY ALL NEW.

    The fact that Toyota is going full bore after a piece of this LUCRATIVE market is BRAND NEW.

    And this is not the 2004 Tundra. It's the ALL NEW Tundra.
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