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Toyota 4Runner



  • Thanks for the welcome. 1000 mile report: this truck sure will rock 'n roll when you put you boot in it! Feels like it's got a nitrous IV compared to my '96 V6. Still, I've discovered a small chink in my LTD's otherwise impressive armor...the black plastic "sleeves" that cover the moonroof slider mechanism (for a finished look) rattle when you shut the door. I thought I was hearing things...that's not a very "Toyota-ish" sound. We'll see if they come up with a fix to tighten them or something. BTW, I don't see how some of the guys here have headroom problems. I'm 6'2", don't sit like a lowrider, and I've got at least 2" of clearance under the moonroof. In fact, the driving position for me is "near 'bout perfect" (NC talk.)
  • intmed99, check my list of reviews at to see if you missed any. I'll redirect my page to yours since my page was intended for temporary use.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    I will check it out.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Here are some pics of my 4Runner: (if you haven't seen them already)


  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    My hitch went in with great difficulty the first time, but it got stuck and I couldn't get it out by hand--had to get a hammer and hit it pretty hard to force it out. Then I put some ball grease on the shaft. After 4 or 5 times tapping it in and out with a hammer (it got easier each time), it seems to fit OK now, and will install and uninstall without the hammer.

    I thought it was a little weird that the hole in the hitch for the ball shank was too big. Toyota provides a bushing, but I didn't discover that until I had already gone to a trailer shop and had them install the ball (and paid them for a bushing).
  • Isn't the new 4runner already out?

    I thought I saw one the other day. Looked pretty impressive but maybe not yet a Trailblazer/Explorer challenging package but close, overall I would give it a B+ on the exterior.
  • I am looking for a 2003 Sport 4Runner but don't need all the bells and whistles. Does anyone know if there are places out there that have these with only a few options? I don't need a sunroof, running boards, rear fin, double cargo, or spoiler or an upgraded stereo system. Looks like this is going to be a great vehicle, the horsepower really needed the upgrade!!
  • sovangsovang Posts: 56
    There is no way to get my hitch in, it appears to be warped. I took it in today and the dealer is ordering me a new one.

    BTW, I have an old hitch for my Xterra which fits on the 4runner perfectly except for the position of the hole.

    As for Cadman88's comments, I don't know about the trailblazer, but I rented a brand new Explorer with the v8 this summer for a two week vacation to yellow stone. The outside of both vehicles are a matter of preference, but as far as performance and quietness go, the toyota is much better.

  • bear64bear64 Posts: 17
    Does anyone understand why Toyota does not make the Limited available all of the colors offered in the SR5 and Sport versions? I am seriously considering replacing my '99 4Runner Limited with an '03 but cannot get excited about the colors offered. I like some of the colors offered in the SR5 and Sport versions, but really want to purchase a Limited.
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    Well, there's always Earl Schieb! ;-)

    Actually, I like my gray Runner, but it was not my first choice and I do agree with you that Toyota could use some additional interesting colors. OTOH, it's near impossible to get a Highlander or 4Runner with the exact equipment and color you want anyway, so more colors would just make it that much harder.
  • Does Toyota typically use a particular tire on a model or is it just random? I went to one dealer and all of the Limiteds had Michelin Cross Terrain tires while the SR5s and Sports had Dunlops or Bridgestones. Then I went to another dealer and none of the Limiteds had Michelins. Is this normal?
  • From what I've seen, the brand-name of the tire is pretty random. They all have the same warranty and average tread life, just different types of tread pattern. I know that I personally have a preference for some brands of tires over others, but for no reason other than just personal preference.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Is the hood scoop on the new 4Runner Sport functional, or just decorative?

  • The hood scoop on the 4Runner is just for appearance. If you open the hood, you'll see that it is sealed and the intake is in the front of the engine.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Between my vacation last week and this week's training seminar, I got behind.

    Let me address a few issues from the last few days.

    1. As to the SUV vs car discussion, there is one thing missing. The SUV isn't just for towing and off roading. The SUV fills a similar niche to a sports car in that it makes a statement about the owner. It says "I'm rugged and independent and like the best things in life." It can also indicate that your tastes are flashy or fun. If you are going to be making trips to Tahoe, so much the better.

    2. Tires are random. They always have been with Toyota but this year, there is the change of getting Michelins.

    3. The hitch thing is really odd. A 2" receiver should handle any 2" ball mount. I wonder which one was defective.

    4. Mtclimber: For the time being, it will be difficult to find one without the bells and whistles. We're taking whatever Toyota will send us and we have not seen a 4WD without a moonroof for a couple of years now.

    5. Toyotaken is correct about the hood scoop.

    (Comparisons to the Rendezvous notwithstanding...that ugly Buick makes the 4Runner look like an XK8, IMO.)

  • Cliffy and Toyotaken, please correct me if I'm mistaken...I've been told by more than one dealer that the tire selection is related to the factory the vehicle was assembled in. I've seen '03 Limiteds on various dealer's lots in New England - some had Bridgestones while others ran with Michelins. I've always had more longevity and a better street ride with Michelins, but others may disagree.
  • It boggles my mind why Toyota advertises all of these friggin options and then does not make them available......what are these people trying to achieve. I'm here in Southern California with COUNTLESS Toyota dealers and none of them have a 4-WHEEL DRIVE Limited (why does this company even bother making this vehicle in 2WD......isn't it supposed to be a friggin "REAL SUV" or whatever they call it....yeah, right).....Anyways, basically what I'm looking for is a LIMITED 4X4 with the JBL/NAVIGATION SYSTEM, SIDE-CURTAIN AIRBAGS, AIR SUSPENSION and POWER MOONROOF .......what's so difficult with this??....Can someone give me some suggestions why I cannot find a vehicle so equipped, and whether they'll ever have 4WDs here in Southern California?? THANKS, just had to vent!
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    The vehicle you're looking for is available. I've seen them here in PA. I haven't seen any 2WD. They wouldn't sell too many of them here, and this part of PA doesn't get that much snow. My guess is people in CA don't BUY 4WD but want to LOOK like they DRIVE a 4WD. In other words, don't blame the dealers for what sells in CA. Blame it on the Hollywood types.

    Try Northern CA or further north.

    Hope that didn't sound too harsh.
  • I'll try to make it short... We had an accident in my 2002 SR5 - rear ended by full size Ford van. Extensive damage to the back of the truck.
    On the impact the back of both driver and passenger seats reclined to about 30 degrees from the positions we would normally use. Now I can't affix the back of the seat in the most upright position. Looks like the first available upright position is now further back than even I used to drive (not to menssion my wife). The body shop did a decent job on restoring the rest of the truck, but they can't figure out this seats problem, claiming that nothing is broken in the seat mechanism. Otherwise, the seats look solid and stable.
    I'll really appreciate any ideas or/and info.
  • Same thing here on the Central Coast, all 2wd Limiteds. One dealer here did tell me they could get a vehicle from Northern CA (north of the bay area). The 2wd Limiteds I've seen at my 2 local dealers sold very quickly. If you select "Build Your Own" at and enter your So. CA. zipcode, you'll see that the Limited 4x4 isn't even available as an option. Big bummer.

    pschreck is right though, the majority of suv's here in CA never leave the "paved" road and have no reason for a 4x4. Even the mountain roads are very well plowed here. Toyota is simply targeting their vehicles to this locale accordingly. How many 4x4 Ford Expeditions do you see?

    Although I realize many here buy suv's for image, I really think most do so for the elevated driving position, ease of getting in and out without bending over, and practicality. The fact that suvs are traditionally truck-based is irrevelevent to most and unappreciated, which is why the car-based versions are growing so much in popularity here. These vehicles really have no business being labeled as SUVs any longer. They're SEVs (Sporty Elevated Vans) - which is fine.

    But like you, I want a 4x4 (or at least an AWD) and am frustrated I can't get one here. I had an '86 Trooper and '92 Montero (before everyone had suv's, but in '99 went to a van and a truck just to reject the herd mentality here. Now I'm ready to trade those 2 vehicles in for a single suv because that's what I really want. I'll still avoid the herd do some degree since my suv will sometimes have mud on it.
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    I understand your frustration. I was looking for the same vehicle as you, but without the NAV system and with DRL, in the middle of the country. I looked in KS, MO, CO, and OK. It was very difficult to find one. Few of the dealers listed the details of their new Runners on their website so you couldn't tell what equipment each truck had, or its color, without contacting the dealership. Some at least had the price listed, which helped, but not all did. The air suspension was the thing hard to find around here. I kept at it, though, and eventually found one just like I wanted, but with my second color choice.

    It was also interesting that some dealers near the one I eventually purchased from checked their computers and said there were no Limiteds like I wanted anywhere in the region. They claimed to be able to find a specific vehicle at another dealership. Apparently that system doesn't work, or maybe dealers with a difficult to find model keep it hidden from the other dealers.

    I understand that my requirements were somewhat limiting and not mainstream, and I was looking for a brand new model, so I expected some difficulty. However, I wish Toyota had a system to search inventory nationwide that listed equipment on each vehicle available and at which dealership(s) it could be found. I did run across such a system on a dealer's website back east somewhere, but only for the Southeast. I even considered driving back there, but they were loading their Limiteds with expensive add-ons like 18" wheels.

    By the way, I had pretty much the same experience when I bought both my Highlander and Sienna a few years ago. When a dealer 5 hours away called me to advise he had five Siennas come in equipped about like I wanted, I took off from work, grabbed my wife, and outran the highway patrol to get over there. Two were already gone by the time we got there. We started the paperwork on the one my wife wanted only to have it sell minutes before we signed, and we bought the 4th one, which didn't have the moonroof or electric door we wanted. I was about ready to duke it out with the guy that bought the one we wanted. It was obvious they saw us looking at the same car they were and quickly bought it before we could. I think I could have taken him, but his wife and kids looked pretty mean, so I let them keep it! ;-)
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    There is only one factory that these things are built in and tire selection is random.

    Every region orders the vehicles to meet precieved demand for that region's customers. Note the use of the word "precieved." The regional folks DO screw up from time to time. I used to live in SoCal and I know 4WD makes a difference. There are incredible off road opportunities and there are plenty of mountains with more snow that we will ever see on the East coast.

    Now, what can you do about this? Buy out of region. It is a hassle and will cost you either towing fees across the country or a flight and several days off to drive it home. Beyond that, it isn't too difficult. You'll have to e-mail several dealerships. Don't look for the one with the lowest price. Look for the one that seems to be the most straight forward with the responses. Remember, you have to trust the salesman enough to take time off work and fly across the country on a one-way ticket.

    The only other problem you may have is equipment issues. Here in the Central Atlantic Region, we do get a good number of 4WD Limiteds but VERY few with navigation and side air curtains. On the plus side, every one with nav also comes with the side bags and air suspension. You may have to be flexible with colors or equipment.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    here in the Bay Area, all the limiteds I have seen were 4WD, and half of them have had the NAV too...I remember noticing one with the special suspension, but I wasn't really looking for that.

    I would say if you are in L.A. just come up to San Francisco for the weekend, there will be plenty for you to choose from, and you can stop in Solvang and buy some fudge on the way home in your new truck! :-)

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

  • I'll look into that Nothern California (Bay area) option......and yes it would be a nice drive back in my new truck, and I'll probably stop in Solvang for the fudge ;-) ........Hopefully, they have a truck exactly the way I'm looking for (basically a Limited 4WD model with everything but the proverbial kitchen sink)......luckily, I'm more of a practical kinda guy....flexible on things like color, but definitely not flexible on the equipment/options. (NAVIGATION SYSTEM being the MOST IMPORTANT of the options)
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    we do have the capability to look in the computer and find any vehicle you want as long as it is being made. A common practice among dealers (Toyota and others) is to "punch" or report a car as "sold" while the vehicle is still sitting on the lot. Hence, when someone looks for that particular vehicle or something similar it will not show up on that dealers' inventory.
    ; )
  • mb0526mb0526 Posts: 11

    I just purchased a new 2003 Sport Edition 4Runner 4X4. I had a '97 4Runner for 4 years before I bought my wife a Mini-van. I had a couple of questions and observations....

    1. There is a strong exhaust smell with the back window down. Even when it is not down and I have the regular windows open I noticed the smell but not as bad. Worst part is that it smells like "Rotten Eggs". I thought that was an indication that the catalytic converters were bad??? Since it is brand new I do not understand what is wrong. Also I am extremely concerned that I can not operate the vehicle with the windows down.

    2. Does anyone have Michelins on their 4Runner? Mine came with Dunlops AT20's and just wondered if the Michelins might soften the ride, somewhat?

    3. Anyone have any issues with upper back aches when driving the Sport 4Runner with cloth seats? There does not seem to be much support, at all, toward the top of the seats. When I compare the upper portion of the 4Runners seats to the Mini-van or a Maxima there is a drastic difference. I have never had any back issues with any vehicle I have ever purchased, including the '97 4Runner, which is why I am a little concerned.

    Other than those 3 issues the 4Runner is awesome!! That finally got the power right....Even my wife made the comment that it seemed classier than my '97 4Runner. Anyway, please let me know what ya think.

    Thank you,
  • ainslbainslb Posts: 11
    Cliffy and all, thank you for your input. I probably did not convey my thoughts clearly. I was referring to a new car warranty for a used car since the mileage was not greater than 36,000. I guess the Toyota dealer's daughter went to a church very far from home, maybe even twice on Sundays. The dealer has had this vehicle on his lot for a few months, so I don't think he has the vehicle priced correctly. I would use this vehicle to pass down to three daughters over the next seven years and a warranty, if priced properly and from a Toyota dealer, would seem to be a benefit.
  • For '03 4-runner owners, please participate in this mileage survey.
    Please state the type of driving for which you measured your mileage and the results.
    For survey consistency, choose a category 1 and a category 2 condition.
    1. Hilly or flat.
    2. Stop-and-go or freeway.

    Thanks for your participation.

  • I have a 2002 4Runner Limited and I was wondering if any of you all have a 4Runner of this generation and if you have any type of grille guards, tail light guards, bug deflectors or rain/wind deflectors installed on your ride. Also do any of you have the nerf side steps instead of the traditional side steps that come on the Runner? I want to customize my new ride, but I want to put on it only the best equipment. What brands do you all reccommend? Smittybuilt, Jaos, Manik, are these good brands? I want to find something that will cut down on wind noise a bit at highway speeds around 60 or 70 mph. What type of product will do the trick for this, I know someone mentioned this before a while back. Please help me because I love my 4Runner and I want to give it the best.
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