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Toyota 4Runner - 2003



  • dust90dust90 Posts: 169
    I think you would get better results on another posting. This one is dedicated to the 2003 4Runner.
  • Does anyone know the height from the ground to the lowest lift gate entry point (load floor height) of the 2003 4X4 4Runner? I am trying to compare the 4Runner's height to the Ford Explorer. Ford lists this dimension in their brochure.

    I sent this question to Toyota Cares a week ago and I still have no response. Thanks in advance for the help.
  • Since nobody responded yet...I measured 25" on my 03'. As long as I'm writing this all I can say about this vehicle is "WOW". I drove home to CT from Nashua Toyota (NH)last weekend and am thrilled with the improvements over our '96 Limited. Two places to get the best deals in New England are Hartford (CT)Toyota and Nashua Toyota. Great people at both places, excellent inventory...just depends on where you want to shop. Regarding pricing, I still can't believe why people are paying close to MSRP anywhere. There are plenty of high volume dealers that want to move these.
  • deloiddeloid Posts: 18
    I think I'm going to take the plunge & get the 2003 4runner. Idaho's inventory seems pretty low. Any recommendations in the Western states for dealerships with decent inventories and willing to make deals?

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The Limited I drove yesterday in Bellevue had been brought in from a Canadian dealership.
  • Has anyone with an '03 tried out the Uphill Start Assist feature?

    I tried it today on my '03 Limited V8. Here's what I did:
    - Drove onto a steep hill in 4H, shift lever set to "D"
    - Stopped the car completely
    - Let go of the brake pedal

    Reading the manual, that looks like the Uphill assist is supposed to hold the car for 5 seconds at that point. Here's what happened to me:

    - The car started slowly rolling backwards immediately
    - The "slip indicator light" started flashing
    - A beeper started going off repeatedly
    - A loud chatter started under the dash for 1/2 of a second and stopped. (I assume this is the 'brake actuator' in action)
    - The car continued rolling backwards the entire time (maybe slowed a little during the 'chatter') until I stopped it again with the brake.

    I tried this 4 times with the same 4 results. It doesn't seem to be that great of a 'feature', if that's the 'normal' way for it to work - but maybe my system isn't working right.

    Has anyone else tried this out, and had better results than me? BTW, I first tried it on a less steep hill, and because of the torque of the V8, I actually started slowly rolling forward... I had to go find a steeper hill to really test it. Thanks for any info...
  • leodogs:

    Thanks for responding with the Load Floor Height of your 2003 4RUnner. I am assuming you have a 4WD model. If not, please let me know.
  • Texas dealership says that all 4Runner Limiteds that are being shipped have moonroof packaged with the side air bags. Can't get side air bags without a moonroof. Is this true of other areas of the country? I'm finding lots of overpriced add-ons too. Any advice on finding a Texas dealer with good prices?
  • kbmkbm Posts: 5
    I own an X5 3.0 and an Acura MDX. I test drove a Sport 4x4 w/XREAS and here are my observations:

    Handling is considerably better than the MDX but still not up to par with the X5. However, I have never driven any truck or SUV that matches the X5 in pure handling performance.

    Headroom (with sunroof) is noticeably less than the MDX or X5. It's not bad, but if you are used to either of these vehicles you will definitely notice the difference.

    Acceleration is better than either the X5 3.0 or the MDX.

    Cargo space: much better than the X5 but not even close to the MDX.

    All in all, I am still leaning toward purchasing one to replace the X5 when my lease ends. It is a much better overall value and a fun to drive vehicle.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If you can live with an SUV that is predominantly FWD then check this one out.
  • I've read up on the vehicles you mentioned, and I always find it interesting to get other peoples' perspectives. Currently, I'm driving an 01' Highlander which I enjoy, but always looking to the future. The X5 certainly is nice and I've driven both the 3.0 and the 4.4 - tons of fun. I also drove the Limited Runner 03', and found it to be quite fun as well. Now, the heavy off roader probably don't consider the "fun factor", but for me its important. I think overall, you are correct, the new Runner is a better value than the X5, and more practical as well.
  • deloiddeloid Posts: 18
    Here in Idaho the (limited) inventory is low so I understand why no one will sell below MSRP. Where are you lucky souls getting these deals $2000-2500 below msrp ???
    I'm a tough consumer but you can't bargain with a dealer that has only one or two cars on the lot (I wouldn't budge either if I were a dealer).

  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    deloid, I bought my '03 Limited in Kansas City. It wasn't $2,000 off MSRP, but it was approaching it--maybe $1700 or $1800, depending on what my trade was really worth. At first they said they would only come down "about" $500. I really wanted $2,000 off, but didn't think I could get it. Another Kansas City dealer and one in Wichita seemed willing to go a little lower, but neither could come up with a Runner with the equipment I wanted, and I didn't discuss my trade-in with them, so their verbal offers weren't exactly firm. A third Kansas City dealer, where I bought my Sienna, didn't want to deal at all on a Limited. I also had an Internet offer in Pueblo (no trade) for about $1600 off. I talked by email, phone or in person to a number of other dealers in MO, KS, OK and CO who apparently would not come off MSRP much, so I did not deal with them. I got the impression from some that discounts on SR5 and Sport models might be easier to come by.

    Anyway, I ended up pretty happy with my deal, but others apparently have done better. At least none of the dealers I talked to wanted a premium! Good luck with your search. You'd think prices will drop some as more vehicles come in.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    CarMax/Toyota dealer here in Laurel MD. They're selling well below MSRP. Around $2K IIRC? They had an excellent selection too. There's also Fitzgerald's Toyota in Gathersburg, MD selling under MSRP too.

  • I had read somewhere that an 18" wheel package was available on the 03' 4Runner, but I did not see any info on the Toyota website related to this. Does anyone know anything?
  • SR5 has 16" wheels. Sport and Limited get 17". Haven't seen any option for 18" wheels.
  • There was a post from someone earlier about a local dealership that had 18" wheels avail. This was a DEALER option. Not something that is available from Toyota. They may be from the same manufacturers as the factory wheels, but are still aftermarket wheels as 18" wheels are not available from Toyota.
  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    is a Southeast Toyota port installed option. I have sold a couple with this upgrade. It looks really good. The code is WL40 and you can see a picture of it on the vehicle online in the inventory at or any other SET dealer.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the 18" rims from the '03 Land Cruiser would look really good on there.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    The HAC hill assist control is only meant to hold the vehicle from the time you release the brake pedal and go to the gas pedal.
  • deloiddeloid Posts: 18
    Does the 3003 show the outside temperature somewhere?? I know it can come with the mirror/compass but it'll drive me nuts not to know the outdoor temps as well.

  • Yes, it's in the central console in the dash.
  • jbwhjbwh Posts: 8
    In contrast to kbm's comments about the headroom (not trying to start a fight, just different experience); I have found the headroom in my new 2003 Sport Edition to be much better than either the X5 or MDX. I am 6'-6" tall, and fitting into a vehicle is my first test before i'll even bother to take it for a test drive. Most vehicles don't pass this test for me, and the MDX and X5 both had my head bent over just to sit in them with the seat adjusted for max available height. In the 'runner my hair rubs the roof (like all other vehicles except for the full-size Sequoia/Suburban style) but I can sit upright. The only way I could fit in the MDX with my neck straight was with the seat tilted so far back I couldn't reach the wheel. Having the SR5 Sport instead of the Limited does give me an additional ~1" of headroom because the manual seat adjusts lower than the power seat, but even the limited I drove had more headroom than the other two.
    My two cents.
  • i had exactly the same experience. not really worth using in my opinion. i actually try to get on the accelerator as quickly as possible going uphill to avoid having that kick in. it makes an alarming noise and even seems to interfere with the acceleration if it is activated.
  • deloiddeloid Posts: 18
    I'll send them feedback. I actually think their design is great. I was a previous Jeep GC owner and as I read these messages I wonder if most of the dislikes come from previous 4 runner owners who miss the familiar look? That would be natural and expected. Hey! .....Who moved my cheese?

  • sovangsovang Posts: 56
    OK, I tried it on my SR5 this weekend. I went up a steep hill to check out some cabins, I stopped the truck by using the brake then moved my foot from the brake pedal, the truck started to roll backward, I then heard a loud noise and the truck stopped. The problem was I forgot to time how long it would hold the truck in position, but it seems to work.

  • jbwhjbwh Posts: 8
    I too will send my positive feedback to Toyota. When I heard that there would be a fourth generation of the 4Runner with a V8, I was really hoping they would break the mold and change everything. They did and I bought one. If it had just been another tweak of the second generation (like the third gen was) I would have been disappointed and kept my 1990. (Most non-Toyota people can't tell the difference between a second and third generation 4Runner without it being pointed out to them).

    I live in the land of gravel being used on the roads for traction in winter, and inconsiderate jerks who swing their doors into the vehicle parked next to them, so I like the plastic cladding. I like the new dash & gauges & controls - a refreshing change from the bland. (And my wife can't see the speedometer from the passenger seat so she can't tell how fast we're going...)

    It is a great new machine.

  • Things are unfolding as many people thought... to some extent.

    1-Disgruntled existing 4Runner owner who want to upgrade
    2-Excited new customers moving over from other brands (mainly JGC who was their prime target according to some Toyota folks I've talked to)

    I imagine that it might feel the same way when your favorite musician or poet turns out commercial with crowd-pleasing pop songs that make the charts between Michael Bolton and Britney Spears......

    To many of us, Toyota had a great product with the 3rd gen that only needed more power and an updated interior. That was simple.

    They just bent to market pressure and created an urban toy that would sell well to the general market.

    "Oh my gosh.. a speed bump... let's put this thing in 4WD if we want to make sure we can cross this thing and the next poodle of water... Hang on"

  • sovangsovang Posts: 56
    You folks make it sound like you can't take this new 4runner off-road. I certainly hope you are wrong about that. I traded in my Xterra for the new 4Runner with the intent of continuing to go off-road. Also, I really don't mind the plastic, it seems to protect the vehicle pretty well.

    I do have one problem. I can't clear the garage door when I open the hatch. Is there any way to prevent the hatch from extending all the way?

  • ndahi12ndahi12 Posts: 235
    Those of you who HATE the body clading on the SR5 are in for a surprise. While driving on the freeway in SoCal (22 west @ Garden Grove) I saw a 4Runner SR5 with BODY COLORED clading. It did not have any lic plates. I was floored to see it. I think the car belonged to Toyota of Garden Grove. It was light blue in color and looked very sharp. It did not have the rear hatch spoiler. At first I thought it was a Limited, then I looked at the front left fender/door (I do not remember which) and I saw SR5. I think this is worth looking into. I am pretty sure that it was an SR5.
This discussion has been closed.