Toyota 4Runner 2WD vs 4WD

alohaboyalohaboy Member Posts: 16
I really like the new 4Runner, but am running into a pricing problem. I'd like to get leather, as I'm going to be having my first kid in May and don't really want to have to Scotch Guard everything. Unfortunately getting the V6 4x4 puts the price a little out of my range.
I plan on taking many road trips to the mountains, and like having the AWD of my Subaru, but don't plan on doing any true off-roading, rock crawling, etc. I'm wondering if the 4x4 will be overkill and if I could simply go with the 2WD.
Any input is much appreciated. Thanks.


  • illinoiscentraillinoiscentra Member Posts: 67
    LOL, wait a few weeks, maybe Toyota is going to have some incentives. Or at least wait until Wednesday when the CEO of Toyota is going to testify on Capitol Hill.

    Just some random thoughts/observations -
    - heterosexuals that manage to have one kid often have more.
    - my third child, seven years old, still gets my car dirty.
    - might want to think about a 529 plan instead of a 4x4 plan.
    - older guys at work say the more you save for college, the more out-of-pocket you will spend, in other words, your kid(s) will get less loans or grants.
    - my seven year old had a hard time climbing up into a 4Runner at the showroom.
    - until a kid is about six, they will fall asleep in the car. You want it as easy as possible to get the kid out of the car and into their crib without waking them up.
    - loafers are great if your wife doesn't want you walking in the house with your shoes but your arms are full of a sleeping kid.

    In my opinion, get a minivan, or possibly just consider keeping the Subaru.

    So far, I did not replace my 2002 Forester. Obviously I have been shopping. Also like the Pilot and the Outback.
  • alohaboyalohaboy Member Posts: 16
    Well, right now I've got an '06 Impreza Outback Sport which won't be nearly enough room for the three of us on road trips. I won't be getting a new car until the end of the year (c'mon incentives :P ) but I'm looking at the new 4Runner, Outback and Xterra.
    Thanks for the advice, both automotive and otherwise.
  • pjc1pjc1 Member Posts: 72
    just my two cents so take it for what it is worth...

    This is a truck...a truck built on a frame and capable of off road driving..not sure why they even make a 2wd to begin with but marketers are marketers.

    I have the 2010 limited and have two kids (teenagers now) It is a truck that I use for commuting and hunting/fishing...My wife has a van...the van is immensely more convenient than this truck esopecially with young children..we have had three vans over the can bend into a van and pickup a baby/child without throwing your back out...a truck would be more difficult.....

    It is not a comfortable truck is a truck built for off road and utility not for kids and comfort.

    If I were you...but I am not...I would not buy a truck that does not seem built for its intended purpose in 2wd format just to save money when a van seems more fit for driving kids around for the next 18 years...
  • alohaboyalohaboy Member Posts: 16
    Thanks for the advice. I am leaning towards the more practical Outback, I just keep coming back to the 4Runner because I know I'll get use out of it when we go hiking, camping and skiing.
    Besides, if I wait long enough, I might be able to find a FANTASTIC deal on a 4Runner or any Toyota for that matter. :blush:
  • pjc1pjc1 Member Posts: 72
    edited February 2010
    Happy to share my experience....

    And I suppose a fantastic deal is only fantastic if you get something that will suit your needs....
  • illinoiscentraillinoiscentra Member Posts: 67
    Sorry for the delay,

    I am considering the Outback too. Hesitant about the first year of a CVT, and the lack of folding mirrors. Bigger backseat then the 2002 Forester, that's for sure.

    My biggest problem is the closest Subaru dealer claimed my Forester needed new head gaskets. Just to make sure, I bought a compression gauge, then searched the internet how to actually do it. Wrong order - you need various lengths extensions on your sockets, maybe a swivel, and you need to remove something to get access on one side. I decided to just take it to a garage. They came back with all over 160 psi, and did not see any leaks.

    Honda Pilot is another one worth taking a look at. Just not sure how their AWD stacks up, something about its FWD above a certain speed, and a button to lock the center diff, but only below that speed. The stinky part about them is here in Illinois, you have to get leather seats and all this other [email protected] to get a (factory installed) backup camera. I was checking out this PEAK brand wireless backup camera but it seems I would have to drill a hole in sheet metal at some point, a no-no where there is salt spread on the road. It mounts on the license plate (on the gate on a Pilot) and needs to tap into the back up light (not on the gate).
  • alohaboyalohaboy Member Posts: 16
    It's funny that you mention the Pilot because I just spent the last 20 minutes researching it a little bit. My mom's '06 was pretty nice, but I like the look of the '10 much better. It looks much more rugged than the previous version and certainly tough enough for what I'd be doing.
    So now I'm looking at the Outback, Pilot, XTerra and 4Runner; decisions, decisions. I guess having more possibilities is good instead of getting stuck on one particular model like the last 2 times and being slightly disappointed when I couldn't get exactly what I wanted. I'd better be sure this time since I plan on keeping it for probably 8-10 years.
  • mikesmuranomikesmurano Member Posts: 118
    Hi "illinoiscentra",

    I previously owned a 1996 4Runner sold it in 2005 for a Nissan Murano (which had the first Japaneese CVT offered). A couple of thoughts:

    CVT's have proven to be problematic for all mfgrs. (especially Nissan). The concept is great but they are still riddled with design flaws; very expensive to maintain; and can only be serviced by dealers not third party compaines (AAMCO, etc.). :mad:

    I just got rid of my Murano for another 4Runner. I like 4WD but a 2WD 4Runner is just as fine.

    The reach into a 4Runner is no worse or better than a minivan (we have had two Chrysler mv's).

    With the market loaded with good used cars U may consider a model several years old.

    You can't go wrong Honda. I just bout a used '05 Acura for $11,000 that is in excellent shape and I love it. The cross over SUV's are trendy and expensive.

    A minivan will get way better gas mileage than a 4Runner. A 4WD will get way worse mileage than anything 2WD.

    Whatever you choose, don't buy any Nissan product. They will be next to testify before congress. They have death related problems with their vehicles also.

    Good luck.
  • alohaboyalohaboy Member Posts: 16
    Interesting, I hadn't heard that about Nissan. The biggest reason I'm steering away from the XTerra is the fact that it only has 5 more cubic feet of room than my current '06 Outback Sport, so it's hard to justify a new car for not much gain.
    I don't have a daily need for 4WD, but it's nice to have it just in case I need it on one of my mountain, desert or beach road trips.
    After pricing the Pilot, it may be a bit out of my range unless I can get a really good deal.
    I have no desire for a crossover, that's my wife. She wants a Venza for her next car.
    Thanks for all of the info.
  • illinoiscentraillinoiscentra Member Posts: 67
    You guys kill me.

    I was at the Nissan dealer checking out the Xterra Friday night, the new ones were outside and a 2008 was inside, so I checked that one out. And in my opinion, too tight in the back seat front to back.

    I want to go check out the Mitsubishi Outlander too.

    Personally, I would pick the Outback over a 2WD 4Runner. I can't see why I would want to put up with all the heft and $ of a SUV without AWD or 4WD to get me out of the snow. Might as well get a Fusion or an Avalon.

    Duly noted on the opinion of CVT. That Outlander has a CVT on the 4 cyl I think.

    My first vehicle was an F-150 short bed RWD, piece of cake getting that thing stuck in the snow, had to put four tubes of sand to get any traction out of it. Never got stuck in the snow, never got stranded because of car problems by the Forester.

    I still don't have a real clear idea on how the Pilot's AWD works other than its a tad better than than the CR-V or Highlander.

    Another opinion, watch out for the run flat tires on the AWD Sienna. Back in 2008 I was searching the internet and found all sorts of people complaining that they are only good for some 100 miles, then you have nothing - try explaining that to your wife on a Sunday night that the minivan you bought has tires you can't get fixed at any old gas station.

    The Venza has a full size spare INSIDE the car, like the 2002 Forester.

    The person that posts with the handle ''wwest" made a claim that the AWD system in the four cylinder Venza is better than that in the V6, didn't look into it myself.
  • pjc1pjc1 Member Posts: 72
    Right on with regard to the runflats on the sienna.....

    My wife has a 2007 sienna limited awd and after the inability to have repaired and the several day delay in getting a replacement for the one that could not be fixed we went to the old fashioned tubeless tire you fill with air and can have repaired or replaced in a day.

    What's more you needed ear plugs to ride in the van after the first few thousand miles as they were the loudest tires I have ever driven on....

    there is no and I suspect there will never be a deep market for the runflat technology as long as spares do not become extinct....
  • mikesmuranomikesmurano Member Posts: 118
    I agree "illinoiscentra" with much of what you say on your points.

    You also raise good points about tires. In addition, to those interested, remember, SUV's based on truck frames"in general" will have standard tire sizes. 4Runners, Explorers, Durangos, Tahoes, e.g.

    Crossover SUV's, like Murnaos, Rogues, CRV's, FX35's, etc. use oddball tire sizes that are designed specifically for that vehicle. These tires and sizes are VERY expensive.

    A set of tires for my Murano cost $700+. I can get a brand new set of 16" tires for my 4Runner for about $200 cheaper.

    Just another point to keep in mind. :shades:
  • ana13ana13 Member Posts: 1
    I am thinking about buying a 05 limited 2WD 4runner. Does anyone on this forum have experience driving the 2WD on snow? I live in the Pacific NW and go up to the mountains occasionally for skiing or out on the beach.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    edited July 2012
    I have owned 2 Jeeps, rwd/awd/4wd/4x4 modes, an '85 and a '92, the last I knew the '92 was still doing stellar duty on a ranch in the missouri breaks area of MT.

    In all the years of ownership, some of those living in the backwoods, 2 miles gravel/dirt road, I never had need for the 4X4, low gear range, mode. Whenever the 4wd mode was used I found it much easier going with rear tire chains added.

    Somewhat my fault. Most of the time the Jeep served as a daily driver with no need for winter specialty tires, so I always ran with nice and quiet, comfortably riding "summer only" tires. Still do.

    So my advice would be....go for it.

    For the past 10 years I have driven an '01 F/awd RX300 which has absolutely NO "awd" functionality other than the TC, braking, capability. Rear tire chains on a few times over the years.


    Skiing, beach, trips to Yakima, MT...

    PS: For wintertime adverse roadbed condition use, given a choice, I would always choose a RWD 4runner, or most any RWD vehicle, over ANY FWD or F/awd, with the sole exception of the Honda/Acura SH-AWD system.
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