Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota 4Runner



  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Will I buy a 4Runner and suddenly have the urge to travel the unbeaten path???


    tidester, host
  • I don't get these comments about how horrible the 4Runner's ride is. I think it rides very smooth and so do all my passengers. I must be on the right track if every review and road test agrees with my opinion.

    The only thing to see if the ride is ok is for you to test drive it as everyone says.

    And you won't look like a poser. As Big Red says, "It looks Guuud on you baby!"
    That's the thing about money, a woman's is just as good as a man's. Imagine that.
  • Saw many posts dedicted to rattling in the dash and how diagnosis would required disassembling the whole dash. First year design defect maybe? I can't say but that is scary.
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    The 4Runner ride is remarkably smooth, regardless of vehicle class, but especially for a midsized SUV. The optional X-REAS suspension improves the handling with little if any sacrifice to ride quality. The leather seats are also very comfortable. I hardly believe that the 4Runner's ride is harsh in any regard, for a truck.

    The optional JBL stereo upgrade is great overall. I am happy with the sound quality and bass reproduction. Of course, an aftermarket system is likely to be better since the much can be customized. The one gripe that I have about the upgraded JBL stereo is that if you have the NAV system no CD changer is available. An aftermarket one could always be added, but it would likely need to be a FM-Modulation type.
  • Hummer H2, but I am yet to see a woman driving one!
  • I have a 03 4Runner SR5 V8 4X4. Recently, I noticed that when travelling over 75mph, there is a high frequency whining noise from the engine, especially when going up minor inclines on the freeway. This was very mild initially, but seems to be increased a bit in volume recently. Has any one else experienced this problem ? Is it a defect with my vehicle or a general design flaw ? I find it hard to believe the latter is the case, since this engine is supposed to be in its 3rd or 4th year since it was originally introduced and something like this should have been fixed by Toyota by now.
  • Can VSC be turned off, like I thought, or is it permanently engaged, as Car&Driver claims?

    Thank you!
  • VSC is turned off when you lock the differential.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I 've had my V-8 Sport up o 75 (but not much more). I notice increased wind noise, but no engine whine. I have about 15K miles on mine. I run 87 Octane in my 4Runner, too.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    The JBL system is fine. It needs to be tuned for what you listen to. I have my base set at 4, mid range at 3, high at 4. I have it faded to the back at 3. I have surround sound "on". I listen to oldies rock.
    War's "Low Rider " used to be one of the best test songs for a stereo system. It sounds awesome on the JBL.
  • Have had it for all of 2 weeks now and am more impressed every time I drive it (when I can wrestle it from my wife). One of the quietest vehicles I've been in...comparable to a friends Escalade. Ride is on the firm side, but was much better than expected. Very comfortable and maneuverable. No problems yet...just seems like a tight, solid, well built vehicle.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Why would you want to turn off VSC?
  • jaredmsdjaredmsd Posts: 127
    So he can make cool car commercials with the 4runner doing huge sliding turns on dusty dry lakebeds of course! Everyone's doing it, no?

    On the serious side, I wanted mine turned off when I was offroading and I hit a big straight away with sand.. to keep speed up and to keep the car from thinking it was about to die with all the wheel spinning, I locked the diff and turned off vsc.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    The 4Runner's ride is remarkably good, for a truck. It's handling is remarkably good, for a truck. It's braking is good, for a truck.

    But it isn't a car, it's a solid-rear-axle truck and it feels like one.

    On turkey-day, we drove to our friend's house in my wife's car, a Mercedes C240. That was the first time I had driven my wife's car since getting my 4Runner in August. I immediately noticed serveral things. First, the ride is significantly better. The C240 doesn't have the side-to-side head toss that you get in the 4Runner over some bumps. The C240 also doesn't have the front-to-back pogoing. The C240's handling is remarkably better and it tracks the lane like it is on rails -- in comparison, the 4Runner wanders a bit. There was noticeably less wind noise in the C240. None of that is a surprise.

    The 4Runner is quite good for what it is -- a body-on-frame truck with a solid rear axle. But it will never handle or ride or brake as well as a good car.
  • I'm sorry but comparing the ride of a sedan to a 4300 lb SUV is not even close to comparable.

    You need to compare the 4Runner to a Pilot, Highlander, Pathfinder, etc.
  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    I have to say that the 4Runner ride and handling is very good. But yes, it still lets you know it's a truck. I don't have a problem with that, because I wanted a truck. Still, I've never found the ride jarring, harsh, or unappealing. I've driven it both to the store, and on a couple 2000 mile road trips, and I've never had cause to complain.

    Driving on some twisty mountain roads, (I have X-REAS), I'd say it was almost sporty....

    As for manueverability, it's really not much more difficult to park than my 1998 Audi A4. The turning radius is about the same. It performs just as well in downtown Denver as it does on the trails.
  • likalarlikalar Posts: 108
    And there you have it! I couldn't agree more! You, RichinRaleigh, terrafirma, nedzel, have nailed it!
    Okay, now what's for lunch? :-)
    P.S. I finally found a flaw: My center rear-view mirror has the standard manual dimming button to reduce glare at night. When I use this feature I have to readjust the mirror slightly to get the same rear view. Is this a recall item? Who can I sue to get this fixed? Will Toyota pay for a rental while I get therapy for me and the truck? What gives? Help!!!! :-)
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    terrafirma - I think it is critical to compare the ride of the 4Runner to a car when the buyer is a car driver. Most people are not prepared for the ride of a truck. Most new vehicles are gonna feel good. And it may be that the new vehicle will feel good for a long time, even forever. In fact, many people prefer the drive of a truck. But to say that the ride of a 4Runner is as smooth as the ride of even the average passenger car borders on the bizarre, unless, of course, you are a truck salesman trying to sell trucks to women.

    Trucks and cars drive differently. Why would anyone deny that?

    I like driving in the family's Explorer. I like the upright position of my body. I like the sight lines. I hate entering and exiting parking lots in it - the head throw, etc. Some people like that rugged feel. Maybe it makes them feel manly? Probagbly it just reminds them, subconsciously, that they are in a rugged vehicle with extra utility. It doesn't appeal to me, however (unless I am in a situation when I need that utility and ruggedness).
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    This actually reminds me of an episode of the Simpsons. Homer is looking at some ultra high line vehicle because he gets a free weekend spa treatment if he takes a test drive. He is wearing a bowler hat and monocle and asks the salesman in his fake snooty voice, "How does this car compare, say to a locomotive?"
  • kjack100kjack100 Posts: 133
    Yeah, but does it give off a sulpher smell? Paint the cladding on it and sue; the American way.

    Seriously, after coming out of a '98 into an '03, the changes in ride improvement and handling are huge. I personally would rather drive a 4Runner on the highway than a large majority of cars.
  • When did I say the 4Runner drives as smoothly as a car?
    I even said to compare the 4Runner to a sedan is wrong.
    People should test drive to see if they like the ride, like I said before too.

    There is no way I would say the 4Runner rides like a car because it's not a car. I actually don't like car comparisons because the auto companies start making the SUV's more carlike and kind of defeats the purpose of having an SUV in the first place.

    I DO think the 4Runner rides very smoothly and as good if not better than the competition.
  • bcmalibu:
    As terrafirma said, lock the differential, and VSC turns off.

    To those who will explore their Runner's envelope, be prepared for the sounds and reactions when off-roading with VSC. To give some background, I do an above avg. amount of off-roading, at least for someone in Los Angeles. In my second generation 4Runner, I found that I prefer 2WD for 30(+)mph dirt roads - turning is more relaxed and predictable.

    My first off-road foray with the wife's 4th gen 4Rnr revealed interesting results (yes, ladyofluxury, you won't be alone, there are other 4Rnrs where Momma is the primary driver). Next time, I would do things in reverse order, I would see what DAC and HAC sound/feel like, and then I would progress to VSC. But alas, that dang 4.7 liter engine just baited me before I could get to the slow stuff.

    Others have posted surprise/concern when their DAC/HAC/ABS electronics kicked in. Yes, those horrible sounds are actually the whole electronics pkg. doing their thing, just as designed. Well, VSC sounds quite similar, and I was unprepared for them to kick in midway into a fast left-hander in the dirt. The same turn in my '90 Rnr would result in the rear end stepping out ever so slightly. No, jaredmsd, nothing of truck commercial quality, but things are a bit loose. After the initial surprise when VSC intervened, I found the wife's 2003 Rnr to best suit my style of driving with the center diff locked (and by default, VSC off). I guess my ride (our '90 Rnr) will be reserved for when I pretend to be Petter Solberg's brother. Bottom line - drifting might be better suited to the V6 4WD Rnr, rather than the V8 4WD Rnr, at least for drivers like myself. I don't get out as much as I would like, (who does), so I am not as proficient (yet) at driving quick with all four wheels locked. The 2WD option on the V6 would give me back "That lovin' feelin'". Or maybe not...can VSC be turned off when the V6 is in 2WD? Anyone? Do I regret the V8?

    No, non, et NON! I am a boarderline torque freak, and besides, Momma loves her truck, and as I have learned, "Happy wife = happy life." It doesn't hurt that I absolutely love the rig, too.
  • I got used to the DAC sounds. They are actually comforting now! Descending STEEP terrain with and without DAC, you have much more control-predictible control. (My definition of steep is that you feel that you can step out of the front windshield. Not a steep dirt road, but a STEEP trail.)

    It can be boring because it descends with such surefooted ease instead of driving by the seat of your pants, sliding a bit, locking up the wheels a bit, etc.

    But the 4Runner is so good it makes all the usual tough stuff seem easy.

    I agree with others, in some off-road situations it is very good to have VSC turned off.
    I would have been in heaven and forever loved Toyota if they offered electonic front and rear lockers but such is life!
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    This discussion came out of ladyofluxury's request for information about the 4Runner. Her requirements for a vehicle could be filled by a station wagon, since she has no need for going off-road. Therefore, comparing the ride of a 4Runner to a sedan or station wagon is reasonable, particularly since that is where she is coming from.

    I haven't driven any of the car-based SUVs, like the Pilot or Highlander. Given that they have independent suspensions and no transfer case, I strongly suspect that they will ride and drive more like a car than a 4Runner.

    All vehicles are compromises. The 4Runner gives you pretty good off-road and towing capability at the expense of handling, fuel economy, and ride comfort. For someone like ladyofluxury, who does not need off-road or towing capability, it might make sense to consider both station wagons and car-based SUVs, because their compromises may be closer to her requirements.
  • I am referring to why this comment by adp1:
    "But to say that the ride of a 4Runner is as smooth as the ride of even the average passenger car borders on the bizarre, unless, of course, you are a truck salesman trying to sell trucks to women.

    Trucks and cars drive differently. Why would anyone deny that? "

    I never made any such comments.

    While I understand and appreciate your recap, Nedzel, I don't think my reasons outweigh anyone elses reasons for owning a certain vehicle. If someone wants to buy and enjoy the 4Runner, it is none of my business how they use it.
    I simply offer my opinions of the vehicle based on how I use it and hope it is of interest to potential and current owners.
  • I guess it doesn't make too much sense to talk about car-truck comparison. Everybody has different tastes and each car (and truck) has different ride. I guess what's important here is how many people would be surprised or complain when he/she trade in his/her car for 4Runner and found that 4Runner has truck-ish and uncomfortable ride.

    After more than 20 years of driving, I thought I was an experienced driver. When I testdrove a 4Runner, I was wondering what's meant by truck-like ride. I thought it was just a very comfortable car (oops, I mean truck) and I'm still thinking in this way after 1,000 miles with it. Sure it hops more when I drive over a big bump but is this it? Maybe I'm not experienced enough to tell the hint of truck-like ride within 4Runner after all, but if majority of drivers think in this way, who cares? I wonder how many owners of the new 4Runners are complaining about the ride....

    BTW, I live in Maryland and wonder if somebody knows great off-road trails and activities I should try. Obviously, I'm a novice in this kind of activity.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    For those who expect and demand the anesthetic and ultra-quiet ride of a big coupe or sedan, then that's probably what they should be driving. And for those who decidedly prefer the ride characteristics of SUVs that feature a split rear axle, then that would seem to narrow their choices as well.

    As for those who would negatively or disparagingly describe the new 4Runner's riding and handling characteristics as "truck-like", I would first respond by asking whether or not they've actually driven the vehicle. Secondly, it is my opinion that a given SUV would deserve being described as "truck-like" if it's ride/handling characteristics were (even during a short drive) clearly found to be unrefined, harsh, jarring, sloppy, noisy, and above all, FATIGUING. This is hardly how *I* would describe my new 4Runner. Instead, I would describe it as being tight, smooth, responsive, nimble, agile, powerful, inviting, refined, higly capable, and above all, an ANTEDOTE to fatigue and boredom. In short, I am (like many of you) simply in love with this magnificent vehicle, warts and all.
  • Can't agree more.
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    terra: sorry about the confusion - I didn't mean to say that you compared the 4Runner ride to a car, though it does look like that is what I meant since that comment was in the same paragraph as the comment I made that WAS directed to you.

    I'm not disagreeing with anything you guys are saying. I think the 4Runner is great. In all likelihood, Lady will buy it and love it. But if Lady is used to driving a small sedan or coupe (which she is), driving the 4Runner will be different. In many ways, much better.

    I agreeing that comparing a car to anm SUV is silly, but if a person IS actually in the market for either, then comparisons are useful. Heck, I don't even think folks should be comparing the Cayenne and the FX45, but people do it (and for good reason, I guess).

    I didn't mean to "disparage" the 4Runner with my remarks. Just meant to remind Lady that it IS a truck. I have only heard one person say it drives as well as his A4 (which is hard to believe, frankly, but I've not driven the A4). Most of you would confirm that it does not have the same type of ride as a car, right? Am I that off-base?
Sign In or Register to comment.