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Toyota 4Runner



  • Aaron, I agree with Terrafirma, definitely get the 2003, there is a night and day difference from the 2002, far more than enough improvements to justify the minimal price difference and the incentives would probably negate most of that.
  • terrafirmaterrafirma Posts: 212
    I wouldn't call them improvements because it is an all-new truck. They share nothing with the 2002. They are cousins to the Lexus GX as they share platforms.

    But my feeling is that the difference is worth any additional money you would put up front. You will thank yourself later.
  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    I have read a few posts of people claiming the new Runner has 'this' or 'that' design flaw. What I would like to point out is that the Runner is not new. It is new to the North American market, but it is the same vehicle that has been sold in Australia and the Pacific Rim known as the Prado. A 7/8th version of the Land Cruiser. Actually, in Australia the Prado is categorized under the LC model offering. So, as much as we would like to think, the new Runner/Prado is not a new design or engineering undertaking.
  • hannerhanhannerhan Posts: 18
    I'm looking for a coil over, probably SAW or OME, but I'll have to wait and see who puts one out first. I think lift will end up being around 2.5 inches, and from what I hear, a quality lift like this doesn't hurt the hwy ride noticeably. It will be a little stiffer, but I don't mind that at all.
  • feralferal Posts: 23
    If you dont mind me asking, how much did it cost you to get your driver seat brackets made to lower the seat 2"?
  • feralferal Posts: 23
    Thank you all for your very helpful posts on how to lower the seat height. Your information is really helpful.

    In the Jan - Feb time frame i shall be FINALLY purchasing my new 4Runner so i have a some time to figure out the best and cheapest route to lower the seat height.

    Thanks again!
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    I belive the design is new, the Prado specs changed when the new 4Runner came out.
  • chortonchorton Posts: 149
    The prado frame is what the new 4runner is based on. The vehicle IS a new design. But to say it is FLAWED is a bit of an overstatement. I thing a design flaw would be when somthing does not fit. or work,for that matter. The wind noise you hear when the back windows are down is somthing you can expect out of ANY vehicle,car or suv. My parents had a nissan sentra when I was a kid that did the same thing. If you want a "perfect" suv buy a lexus,acura, or somthing "highline". The 4runner is in the market to compete with explorer,cherokee,durango,trailblazer and those type. Think about how much better it is than those.
  • terrafirmaterrafirma Posts: 212
    No one is disagreeing with you except maybe the guy who inexplicably returned a brand new 4Runner with a "design flaw" that every suv, minivan and some sedans including lexus,acura, ford,lincoln, chevy all have. To me, that is a non-issue.

    Toyota did a fantastic job with the 4Runner. It is so well engineered in every way. It is not an exaggeration to say it is both one of the best on-road and one of the best off-road suv's in the market today. To me, that's the perfect suv. There simply is no other vehicle in existence today that has the capabilities of the 4Runner. I have owned a GS300 and the interior is nearly the same quality. It is amazing. Lexus quality and ride, Land Rover off-road capability. All that for around $30,000. Amazing.
  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    Not much, if anything, to complain of on my end! It has been AN EXCELLENT VEHICLE.
  • rentschlrentschl Posts: 69
    OK, so after all the talk I'm still not totally clear on whether someone with a pre-may, '03 V8 4Runner (with the 5,000 lb. towing capacity) can somehow upgrade to the 7,300/7,000 lb. (2wd/4wd) towing capacity by buying a new hitch.

    If it's really possible, what it the Toyota part number?

  • feralferal Posts: 23
    I dont know the part number but i asked the toyota dealer about that and he said that there is an additional part they attach to the trailer hitch that hooks onto the chassy to add the extra strength needed to tow 7200 lbs.

    Up here in canada it is a $28 accessory, which would pretty much make it free in the states with the conversion! :)
  • feralferal Posts: 23
    Anybody know what "Light Control System" does?
  • I disagree about the wind noise issue. You could never convince me that this is 'common' in all SUVs and many other vehicles. I am not talking about a little bit if 'buffeting' or what ever you might call it, but the description from the person who got a refund from Toyota was that the vehicle was 'violently shaking', as if he had a couple of flat tires or something. That is not normal and certainly sounds extreme. And if it was not 'that bad' I am sure that there is no way that the dealer would have taken the vehicle back. They certainly would have taken it for a test drive to verify the complaint.
    'Lexus quality and ride' - what???? The 4Runner is an excellent vehicle, but I would certainly not elevate it to that level, especially after reading the last 5 or 10 pages of this thread.
  • rentschlrentschl Posts: 69
    Thanks for the information. $28 CDN sounds pretty reasonable.

    My frustration is that when I asked the lady at the parts counter at the dealer about it, she insisted that if it existed, she would know about it. She didn't know about it and therefore it doesn't exist.

    So without getting a part number or contacting another dealer, I'm stuck until the factory somehow updates the dealer I wnet to.

  • terrafirmaterrafirma Posts: 212
    If you have not felt the turbulence with rear windows down then you haven't ridden in a suv. Don't try to start something by misstating facts about the 4Runner.

    It rides better than a RX300 and I prefer the firmer XREAS to the RX330 so yeah, I consider it Lexus quality. The Limited is just about the same $ as the RX330 so it SHOULD BE AND IS of similar quality. Considering the 4Runner shares a platform with the new Lexus suv tells you something about the quality of the 4Runner.

    Every review has placed the 4Runner's on road quality on par with the best car based suv's on the market. Consumer Reports (as stated in an earlier post) prefers the 4Runner's ride over the 4 wheel independent Nissan Murano.
    So based on MY experience OWNING Lexus and Nissan vehicles among others, as well as actually OWNING a 4Runner YES it has superior ride and quality.
  • coranchercorancher Posts: 232
    I don't know if it really answers the questions posed here, but I think that many vehicles can be made to exhibit these big oscillations or buffeting.

    In 1980 I had an ordinary Toyota Celica with a glass tilt-up sunroof added. The glass could be removed, but I almost never did it. At certain speeds, and with the glass removed and both windows part way down, there was this tremendous 'whop-whop-whop' sound. It was bad enough to be disorienting and would quickly induce nausea. I can't say if it made the car shake violently, but the phenomenon shook me so much I wouldn't have noticed.

    I can't say for sure, but I suspect that SUVs like the 4Runner *can* be made to exhibit this behavior worse than other vehicles. Especially with a rear window that can be left open while driving, plus a sunroof, there are lots of wild resonance possibilities with this vehicle. Not a defect at all, in my opinion, but something to be a bit careful about.
  • terrafirmaterrafirma Posts: 212
    Very sensible post.
    To be honest, since it is so prevalent in many vehicles, I find this to be a non-issue and a bit silly to be talking about.
    For me, it's like telling someone that the radio is dangerous because you can damage your hearing if you turn it all the way up.

    Rode in my co-worker's Navigator today and it does the same thing with the rear windows down.
  • rogers12rogers12 Posts: 140
    My Honda Prelude never has these types of oscillations from the wind. Honda placed two vents near the base of the rear window. (I know, not possible with the 4Runner, but a fix none the less.) Air flows in the side windows and out the back vents. Same effect with the rear door glass open on the 4Runner. If you open the rear door window (not the windows on the passenger doors, but the hatch door window), no more oscillations.
  • I'm about to order an 04 4 Runner or Sequoia. I prefer the size (cargo area) of the Sequoia, but prefer the 4wd system of the V8 Runner. My only concern with the Runner is that it seems to rock side to side quite a bit (much more than the Seq.) on curves and turns - even with the XREAS suspension. Can anyone offer any input on the Runner more top heavy than the Seq?
  • feralferal Posts: 23
    My Apologies RentSchl... I was quoting the price of the 7000 lb "ball" not the hitch. My mistake, i am sorry.

    this is cut and pasted from the canadian web site 4runner accessories page:

    "Towing Hitch (6,000 & 7,200 lbs with weight distribution) $257"

    Sorry, its $257 canadian, but it is there. i recommend going to the dealer and telling them to open a browser, go to and select the 4runner accessories page. Then tell them to "Get it!" :)
    It doesnt say only the V8 model so it probably is ok on both models.
  • I have a 2001 Explorer that does not exhibit severe "oscillating" with the windows down. Yes, it is there, but does not shake the vehicle. I also owned a '97 Explorer for 4 years as well as a Chev Blazer and never had a problem which shook the vehicle when the rear windows were lowered.

    When I got home from work tonight I went over to the neighbors who has a fairly new 2003 Grand Cherokee Jeep. I told him I wanted to go for a drive and try out the "buffeting test" to see how his vehicle would react. With both rear windows down we drove up to 70mph. No question this was hard on the ears, and the slightest crack of a front window totally eliminated it. But there was absolutely no shaking or excess movement of the vehicle at all. Zilch. Zero. I would be curious to have a few 2003 4runner owners try a similar test and see what results they get. Maybe the owner who traded his vehicle had a unique situation. Don't all vehicles have "pass-through" air vents in the back to allow for some air equalization, vents that according to design and size might have an effect on the "buffeting" that seems to be common? I know the vents are designed for normal air flow, just wondering if manufacturers address this situation at all.

    As far as quality I was mainly referring to fit and finish, which as nice as the 4runner is, in my opinion it does not approach that of the Lexus. Just sitting in a 4runner you can detect a lot of cheapened dash and interior parts, and from reading posts about various squeaks and rattles it seems to be they are a step below Lexus country.
  • terrafirmaterrafirma Posts: 212
    You know I don't know how many different ways to say it.
    I own a 4Runner.
    I own a dog.
    Sometimes the dog even jumps into the back of the 4Runner for rides.
    I have even done this with the windows open.
    I have experienced wind turbulence with the rear windows open.
    It was not unsafe.
    As I don't like to be uncomfortable, I cracked another window.
    Since you have experienced wind turbulence first hand, you can now change your original statement that it doesn't exist.

    As for quality, are you talking about fit and finish or cheapened parts? Your post uses the terms interchangeably. Yes there are cheaper parts because the 4Runner has a lower starting price but the fit and finish are top notch. I would still say the overall quality of fit/finish and materials is as good as the RX300 and definetly much better than the IS.

    Sorry to break it to you but Lexus owners experience rattles and sqeaks too. I have not had any yet in the 4Runner.
  • stephend2stephend2 Posts: 21
    1011 tristar
    A few comments. I previously had a 2001 sequoia ltd. and now have a 2003 4 runner sport. They are very different animals. The sequoia was and is a very big vehicle for around town driving. I prefer small cars( my daily drive is an 03 golf tdi, my wife has the 4 runner weekdays. ) But once on the highway the sequoia was just great for a family of 4 and light towing. The 4 runner feels a bit squashed by comparison but is more nimble around town. The Sequoia had a 4 speed and at 65 mph would sometimes kick down to 2nd on a long highway hill and always felt it could use another liter of displacement. This might be coming in 04 or 05. The factory Dunlops on the Sequoia were terrible and I only realized how bad when I replaced at 38,000 kms with toyo all terrain . These were a bit noisier but totally changes the steering and handleing. This would be worth while to pay the upgrade when new to get somthing better such as michelin LTX m/s. The 4 runner sport or LTD has a slightly upgraded dunlop which I convinced myself would be good enough but is not. Here however , on the new 4 runner the size limits what you can get and the Michelin cross iterrain s not good enough in the rain for my needs.
    Having said all that the 4 Runner v8 and new 5 speed is the best and smoothest I have ever driven. If I was to do it again I would have gotten the LTD.
    To answer your question though both vehicles
    are a bit top heavy for fast cornering. The sequoia would lean a bit but never felt like I could roll it, especially with the good tires. The 4 runner has xres so doesn't lean but does feel like if I pushed it really hard I might be playing with fire. It an Ideal world you could have speed sensitive steering and adjustible hight and stiffness. Did someone say lexus?
    By the way you don't fly tri stars still do you?
    Not many left now.
    Cheers steve D
  • Steve - Thanks for your comments. I'm a bit puzzled - I drove two 4Runners, both with XREAS, and they both leaned a lot in curves and turns, and rocked left and right over the slightest bumps. They both felt that they would roll much easier than the Seq. Your Runner sounds like it feels totally different than the two that I drove. I wonder if the ones I drove had improper tire pressure, and if that could have caused the rocking and rolling?

    No, I don't fly 1011's - I wish I did...My color blindness kept me from flying. Oh well...the 1011 is just my favorite airliner.l

    Thanks, Matthew
  • terrafirmaterrafirma Posts: 212
    I have had the same experience with XREAS- it doesn't lean in corners. High speed cornering (like twisty canyon roads) it is especially nice.
    Maybe it is a little different with the V6 since it is a little lighter than a V8?
  • hpoohhpooh Posts: 13
    I have a 03 4x2 V6 Sport... and i think it doesn't lean as much as the Sequoia (based on test drive experiences)

    are you sure that you are hitting the same corner at the same speed when doing the evaluation?

    Anyways, i do not encourage hard cornering w/ SUVs. Get a Mini instead.
  • tim_hooligantim_hooligan Posts: 143
    So is this buffetting/shaking coming only with the windows down? I can honestly say mine does it with windows up or down (but it's the tires).

    4Runner vs. Lexus:
    First of all, I paid $15,000 less for the 4Runner than I would've for a GX470, so I can not expect the same quality interior. On the other hand, the fit and finish are TOP NOTCH. The materials are right on par. The ride is sooo smooth and quiet. That V8 engine is just so silky you don't even know it's there.

    Funny thing:
    I pulled up to a stoplight yesterday and a guy in a Jeep pulled up next to me. He asked how much the 4Runner is going for "nowadays". Told him all about it and got a "wow...that's a fine looking truck! where'd you buy it? I want one!"

    For those who want real problems, drive a Land Rover or VW. Wind buffetting will be a cakewalk.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    "For those who want real problems, drive a Land Rover or VW. Wind buffetting will be a cakewalk."

    Tell me about it. I'm hoping to scrape up the money to dump my 2000 GTI GLX and get a 4Runner. Yesterday the GTI cost another $1000 for a total of $1600 in repairs this month.
  • Check out They are a dealer in the midwest that sells toyota extended warranties. I know nothing about them, but you can get a quote from them on a warranty which you could at least use to compare to your quote. I believe any dealer can sell you an extended factory warranty that should be honored at any other dealer. The warranty purchase does not need to be at the same time as the car purchase. I actually purchased a Ford factory warranty on the internet from a dealer and saved about 30%.

    Are they worth it? They do provide you with some peace of mind. I purchased one for my 99 Jeep Grand Cherokee and was the best decision I've made (buying the Jeep was the worst decision). I will be buying a 2004 4runner, and will also be buying an extended warranty, since it's a newly redesigned model. No one knows what to expect from the redesign in 5 years. Also, I'm told toyota parts tend to be expensive. It's also good for resale if it is transferable.

    On the other hand, your 2002 model has been tried and tested, and reliability is outstanding. For me, It would depend on how long you plan to keep the car and the final price of the warranty. Good luck.
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