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Toyota 4Runner



  • All the previous posters are right-even if you don't like or need 4WD, it makes perfect sense to still by an SUV over a minivan if that's the style you like. Value wise, the mini-van is better, but if its not your style , then a SUV is worth the $$$. There's way more to an auto than functionality - is the Land Cruiser really functionally $30k better than the 4 runner?

    Corancher, your posts are informative. Thx. Although I think your 6000-7000k for a straight comparison is a bit high unless you are including financing (0% Ford vs ~4% Toyota). The invoice on both models is about 24k, and I know Ford will deal but I don't think 6-7k below invoice.
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    I drive a 2WD 4Runner. I use it for camping trips, towing and carrying a lot of stuff when I need to. It may seem strange for people to buy a 2WD, but really it is more common than you think. I just looked at Atlanta's largest dealer and they had 72 2WD 4Runners and 7 4WD 4Runners or roughly 10% of the 4Runners are 4WD.

    It seems to me that most people that buy 4Runners in the South come to belive the that 2WD is a solid vehicle and can make sense.

    Sometimes reading a forum, people tend to think all 4Runners are 4WD. Now in states like Maine or Michigan probably 90% of 4Runners are 4WD.
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    Well Kings_in_7, I had the same difficulty believing the differences could be this big. I'm not including financing, just 4Runner prices (that can be achieved with significant negotiation but aren't advertised here) compared with Explorer prices that are published in the paper by multiple dealers on multiple different units. I'm ignoring all the college graduate and lease loyalty stuff, so the prices should be real. I suspect that the dealers are probably getting some incentives from the factory, along with discounting from their MSRP and of course the factory-to-customer rebate of $3k now. If you put enough $1000+ discounts together, you'll eventually be into real money!

    It would be interesting to check the ads in Denver, where I know they are (were) advertising prices on both 4Runners and Explorers.

    Now I don't mean to imply that these vehicles are really comparable. Quality and drivetrain sophistication are just two big difference. But it would explain why I see so many latest-generation Explorers driving around and so few 2003 4Runners.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Some people buy 4WD with no intention of driving off road thinking that the resale will be higher, and it'll sell a bit quicker.

    So if you're in the market for a new or used 2WD, tell the seller that you really want a 4WD but might consider the 2WD if you get a big price break.

    Steve, Host
  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    On my end of our block, there's one new generation Explorer and one new 4Runner (mine). There's probably an almost equal mix of a couple of the previous generation of each, too.

    I believe overall the Explorer outsells the 4Runner by about 4 to 1 or 5 to 1 (or am I mistaken?), however, around here (Denver) 4Runners seem much more common with respect to Explorers than maybe elsewhere. There's also an awfully high per-capita Subaru concentration here, too. One of the reasons I wanted the 4Runner over, say, the Explorer is that it wasn't the same vehicle everyone else was driving, though that does appear to be somewhat less of a distinction around here. The other advantages mentioned were also important (sophisticated driveline, reliability, etc.)

    mrshenry2002, are you sure you coveted the 4Runner in the late 70's? The 4Runner wasn't introduced until 1984....see:
  • I saw the SR5 Appearance Package listed as color-matched cladding. Is that true, is it still the plastic but just matched, or is it painted metal? For the Limited, I'm pretty sure its full body metal with paint...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I meant all SUVs in general. Insurance usually costs more (because of their "rugged" abilities and therefore statistical likelihood of getting into more and bigger claims).

    Gas definitely costs more - that point is driven home by the 4th gen Runner, which only gets mid to high teens combined vs mid 20s for the latest Sienna, as an example.

    Maintenance often costs more - consider the difference in cost between a set of tires in the passenger sizes a minivan requires, vs a set of the enormous tires the Runner and other SUVs use.

    I do understand what people mean about buying a more rugged vehicle though: if you buy a truck it will be tougher and last longer through road abuse and things like that.

    As far as 2WD/4WD mix, Toyota has pledged to put a lot more 2Runners out there this time than it did with previous generations, which I think is because they are aiming much more for the "soccer parent" crowd with the 4th gen (no intent to malign anyone there, no offense intended).

    2nd and 3rd gens ran pretty heavily to 4WDs, with (I would guess from my own observations) at least a 75% mix of 4WDs. For the 4th gen, Toyota intends to only produce 45% 4WD.

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

  • oneptbukoneptbuk Posts: 4
    Maybe 6-7k is a little high, but in Seattle, I've been shopping both and though I'm not sure about the base models, on the Ltds there is about a 4-6k difference. This past weekend Ford had all their Explorer Ltds (and Expeditions) at $7900 off MSRP on one lot, which left the price at 32k before I even said a word. Toyota on the other hand is fairly firm on the Ltds here, and $36,500 to $37,000 is about all you might get in a normal situation.

    As you said Corancher, it does add to the decision making process when you can get a fully loaded Ltd Explore for the same price as a Sport 4R without upgraded audio, leather, etc....

    With that being said, I'm still looking.....
  • Thanks Vodgut for that bit of history on the 4 runner. I could have sworn I was still in high school when I 1st noticed them ! Oh well, I guess I'll blame it on a touch of senility :).
  • oneptbukoneptbuk Posts: 4
    Maybe 6-7k is a little high, but in Seattle, I've been shopping both and though I'm not sure about the base models, on the Ltds there is about a 4-6k difference. This past weekend Ford had all their Explorer Ltds (and Expeditions) at $7900 off MSRP on one lot, which left the price at 32k before I even said a word. Toyota on the other hand is fairly firm on the Ltds here, and $36,500 to $37,000 is about all you might get in a normal situation.

    As you said Corancher, it does add to the decision making process when you can get a fully loaded Ltd Explore for the same price as a Sport 4R without upgraded audio, leather, etc....

    With that being said, I'm still looking.....
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Now we are calling 2 wheel drive 2Runners or soccer parent vehicles. Oh well, they can't get any respect. As far as selling more 2WD now, I remember buying my 2001 in Atlanta and the mix of 90% 2WD vs. 10% 4WD was about right. I have not seen a dramatic shift in the market.

    My impression is the 4Runner market is still the same. I would also expect the people up in Maine would still buy mostly 4WD. As far as the forth generation being a wimpmobile or selling higher in 2WD version, I think it still is mighty capable and I would suspect the ratio of 2WD vs. 4WD to be about the same.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    In Denver, I don't think you can find a 2WD 4Runner - would have to be a special order, and you would never sell it (at least not locally).
  • onlyagirlonlyagirl Posts: 45
    "poor 2wd" lol .... It's all a matter of preference, isn't it?...and I guess I first mentioned that I am not a soccer mom...didn't mean anything by it.. :) just I know from my brother that you need lots of room to haul kids to and fro..( he buys Suburbans)...and that is probably tougher than any off road adventure..nor do I believe a 2WD SUV is a "sissy"'s great they are available for those of us who know from the beginning 4WD is not needed... Probably I should just get a car that gets really good gas milage as I won't need this type of vehicle for off road or taking kids around......but I am in the mood for a SUV...and can't really justify it.....4wd or 2wd...:) BUT, I'm gonna get one anyway... if I can decide which one......Like mrshenry I remember when I first wanted was a white/tan ( or flesh-color) Explorer ....maybe '89 or '90..... always wanted one...but for some reason the Explorer isn't on my "short" list......
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    There are some advandagtes to 2WD. You have a greater load limited, your not carrying around 200 pounds worth of extra equipment, better mileage, your not carrying around 200 pounds worth of extra equipment, less up keep and/or repair and of course it is cheaper for 2WD.

    Most people feel the 4Runner has to be 4WD and that is good for a lot of people. I would agree with "bmw323is" if you live in Denver get a 4WD. There are advandagtes to 4WD and I am sure both types of 4Runner owners enjoy their vehicle. I know I enjoy mine.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I think the air needs to be cleared a bit on the whole cladding issue.

    From what I can tell, ALL current generation 4runners have cladding: SR5's, SR5's with the Appearance package, Sports, and LTD's.

    There are two types of cladding available from the factory: Original SR5's and Sports had the unpainted (gray) plastic cladding with the notches. SR5's with the Appearance package and LTD's have the smooth, color matched plastic cladding. All of the cladding (wheel arches) are plastic. Consequently, all of the cladding is subject to scratching when off-roading (or dealing with grocery carts et. al.). The difference is that the color matched cladding will show the scratches more than the unpainted cladding.

    As far as whether or not the Appearance Package is now standard on SR5's may be more a regional thing. I was getting the oil changed on my Celica earlier this week and wandered the showroom while waiting. The SR5 they had on the showroom floor had the AP but it was not listed as on option on the spec sheet. I did find it listed under the "standard equipment" list tho. So, as far as the Gulfstates region, it appears as tho the AP is now standard on the SR5's.

    Cliffy, if any of this is wrong, please set me straight.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    2Runners are "wimpmobiles" or "sissy vehicles"? I am sorry if anyone inferred that from my remarks. The Runner is a very capable vehicle either way. I was just curious to understand the reason people would pay the penalties of a more expensive and unwieldy vehicle like this if they did not need the 4WD, but the idea of it being more able to cope with daily road abuse (the roads are SO BAD in the U.S.) makes sense to me.

    By the way, folks, if you go to your local dealer and see mostly 2WDs, this could quite easily be because the 4WDs are flying off the lots, while the 2WDs just pile up. I do not know this to be the case, but I do remember that 2WDs from the 3rd gen would sit around dealer lots for quite a while as well.

    What I do know is that Toyota, in its original press release for the 4th gen Runner, stated the mix of 2 and 4 wheelers would be 55/45.

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

  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Car and Driver has a article that says the appearance package is now standard on the SR5. So I guess it is not a regional thing. _id=6614&page_number=1
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    [This post got lost in the nightly database update late yesterday, so I'm resubmitting]
    Kings_in_7, I don't know what the color matched cladding (and overfenders, etc.) are actually made of. The shape of the painted stuff is different than the gray plastic. It's rounder and doesn't have the facets over the wheel arches. I knocked on the painted version material with my knuckle briefly at a dealer lot and couldn't be sure.

    As I think about it more, I don't care too much. I have the instinct to prefer metal, but why? I've got both metal and plastic painted pieces on my old Toyota now, and they still look the same after years and years. Actually, plastic would probably be better in the real world of parking lot dings, etc. I'll bet the actual cladding (the big pieces on the doors, not the overfenders) is plastic. And of course the bumper pieces are, though one poster has said they scratch easily.

    The 2WD vs. 4WD issue is interesting. I'll bet the proportions stay about where they are (including regional variations) despite Toyota's wishes. Nonetheless I suspect they have a point in terms of practical use, especially with their enhanced systems. If you're not doing anything significant off-road and not too much on really slick roads and you aren't towing, 2WD makes a lot of sense. With the traction control and stability control, 2WD should do a very good job for a lot of people. Then you get the benefits of a simpler, cheaper system with better mileage.

    But I'd probably never buy a 2WD 4Runner. Go figure. Well, actually there's no need to figure. I'd say that onlyagirl has got many of us (and herself, I guess) pretty well pegged.
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    "nippononly" I guess I was put off by the term 2Runners. You are right about buying a 2WD 4Runner has penalties such as weight or being more expensive. I wanted more space and the ability to carry more camping equipment so I guess a mini-van would be a cheaper choice. I just couldn't see myself in a mini-van going through the back woods with my canoe on top and all my camping gear. I guess it is a image thing. land-041707.jpg
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    Did that trailing holder fit in the toyota receiver ?
  • jaredmsdjaredmsd Posts: 127
    "but I am in the mood for a SUV...and can't really justify it.....4wd or 2wd...:) BUT, I'm gonna get one anyway"

    Well said! Who says everything has to be justified or for a reason? I feel if you want a SUV or sports car or whatever and you want to spend the money, then more power to you. At least you'll be happy! And who knows, once you get behind the wheel, you might suddenly become more adventuresome and start heading off-road/camping/exploring/etc.

    On the other hand, if you wanted to buy a hummer h2 and commute to work everyday, that's stupid in any case, happiness only gets you so far!

  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    mrshenry2002 - you probably coveted the LandCruiser. Those have been around since 1953. See: d_cruiser_history.html

    Yeah, when shopping for my 4Runner around here in Denver, the dealer said they never get any 2WD's here. I imagine it's that way with a lot of vehicles. Guess I can see why in other regions 2WD may be the cheaper, more practical choice.
  • kings_in_7kings_in_7 Posts: 10
    That closes the issue on the cladding. I don't feel quite as bad now because mine is unpainted, but matches the Galactic Grey very well.

    Ironically (and quite unfortunately,) someone hit my car last week in the right rear and I was expecting the worst. She took out the lower rear reflector and scratched the cladding pretty badly. But I took it into the dealer and had the reflector replaced and the cladding smoothed for $200 total. Her car was thrashed on the front and door panel, which were metal. So I think the cladding on my rig went in, and then popped back out with only scratches. For all my complaining, I think it saved me a much bigger repair bill. Oh well, maybe your're right about that corancher...
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    Do you have any problems with altitude in your 4 Runner ?
     I drove a rental DC minivan up to Pike's Peak. Even floored, it was coughing, sputtering and doing about 10 mph max near the top. It was fine on the way down. They checked the brakes with IR and made me stop about 1/2 way down.
      We had a business meeting in CO Springs about 1 1/2 years ago. One of my business associates from Bloomington, IN, got a job in CO Springs, and moved his family out there not too long afterwards. He fell in love with CO on his first trip.
  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    No problems with altitude so far. The highest trip I've taken in the 4Runner was on US 36 between Boulder and Estes Park, that maxes out at a little over 9000 feet, I think.

    Pike's Peak is 14,110 feet, so it's a little different. I've never actually driven that, only been up there on the cog wheel railway. I'll have to check into it and maybe do that this summer sometime. When Trail Ridge in Rocky Mountain National Park opens up for the summer (probably in a month or so, after they plow through the 20 feet of snow) I'll probably take it up there, too. That maxes out at about 12,300 feet or so.

    I imagine with multivalve engines, they're going to breathe a bit better at altitude, and I'm betting that the DC minivan was a 2-valve/cylinder design.

    I grew up here (since I was 2 and a half...). While I might consider moving at some point, the list of places I'd be willing to go instead of here is pretty short.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    We've had this conversation before, but I always enjoy seeing your Newfoundland pic. And to remind you, I spent an entire month exploring the island with a canoe on top of my minivan. The horrors, LOL.

    4Runner sales are way up in Canada, btw: link

    Steve, Host
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Of course you can go Camping with a mini-van but did you look cool when doing it. : )


    As far as the hitch packer on the back of the 4Runner, yes it fit perfectly on the back. The bar did not hit the spare tire and the hitch packer is basically a 20" by 60" platform to carry stuff. When I took the ferry to Newfoundland it did not count as a trailer, so no extra cost. I got mine at Northern and is not the best of quality.
  • rentschlrentschl Posts: 69
    I had my '03 V8 through Eisenhouer tunnel here in CO (about 10,900 ft.) and on the fairly steep climb up (East and West-bound) I had plenty of power. Going up the East side I was doing between 85 and 90 mph and still had good accelleration.

    What a pleasure to drive!

  • chesterzchesterz Posts: 11
    I picked up my new 4 Runner Limited V-8 AWD last week. I am loving every day with it. I live in Santa Fe, NM and we are at 7,000 ft. I pass through the Sangre de Christo range on my way to work. I have not noticed the altitude has affected the vehicle in any way. Will be taking it to Las Vegas next, so I should get a true feel for mileage on the highway.
  • javie109javie109 Posts: 5
    I wonder if your driver seat is also creaking? I had mine brought to the shop twice already but it is still doing it although it is much less than it used to. The service tech told me it will just go away. Does your Limited has X-REAS and air suspension? I wonder if you are not feeling any thuds (like from springs) down there randomly especially after you stop or when you release the brake pedal to move forward? It also happens to mine occasionally after I start the engine. I could not get a straight answer from the service department. Sorry to bother you, I just read that you have one similar to mine.

    Thanks in advance!
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