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Toyota 4Runner



  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    Congratulations on your purchase!
  • ajdajd Posts: 6
    I'm in the process of selecting an SUV (4Runner SR5 vs. Ford Explorer). Although I am leaning towards the 4Runner I really can't decide what is my best option between purchasing vs. leasing. In the Toyota, I know I am getting a better value, however with the Car Show coming soon here in New York I'm wondering if I can get a better deal from the vendor from the car show. Has anyone had a good/bad experience is buying from a dealer at the car shows? Does anyone think it would be advantageous to go to see if they offer me anything? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Another thing, why does the Highlander have a fold away 3rd row seat while the 4 Runner does not? I think Toyota dropped the ball on this one, or will they correct that in 2005. Once again, any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks !
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    Just wondering what most people are getting out of their V6 Runners.
  • You hear, Toyota?
  • dpalaudpalau Posts: 20
    How do I know if my black 2004 SR5 has a clearcoat or not? I saw one post a while back stating that white, red, and black do not have the clearcoat over the paint.

    The reason why I am asking is that I am thinking about going the Zaino route and don't know necessary know which product to get. Maybe Zaino would know?
  • goltgogoltgo Posts: 54
    ajd -

    There are others on this board who will be better able to address this issue, I believe the reason the fold-away third row seat can fit in a Highlander but not the 4Runner is due to the different suspensions on the two vehicles. The 4Runner has a solid rear axle, which I believe is stronger and allows for greater articulation, both helpful qualities when off-roading. The increased travel of the rear axle means the floor of the rear cargo area cannot be dropped any lower, so the third row cannot fold away into the floor. The only way to fold it away would be to raise the "floor" of that area, an area that is already pretty tight, especially when one compares the 4Runner to its Lexus equivalent which boasts a couple of inches more height/headroom.

    The Highlander has an independent rear suspension with no solid axle. This provides for less articulation and a smoother ride on-road but less capability off-road. Since there is less movement below the cargo area, a fold-away third row seat can be more easily accommodated.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    " I saw one post a while back stating that white, red, and black do not have the clearcoat over the paint..."

    FWIW, some time ago I discussed this same claim with Sal Zaino, and he felt very certain that all of these newer vehicles are clearcoated, and have been for years. But a Toyota dealer's body shop would likely have a definitive answer. My white '03 4Runner Limited sure looks and polishes up like it has a clearcoat.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    In deciding between leasing or buying, you have to weigh a great many factors, such as how long you plan to drive the vehicle, how many miles per year you expect to drive it, and whether you plan to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease. Of course, leasing the vehicle will often lower your monthly payments depending on the length and other terms of the lease (such as the maximum allowed yearly mileage), but leases may represent false economy in the long run, and they often have rather hidden "fine-print" costs as well. The longer the lease, the lower the payment. But at the same time, the more allowed miles you ask for, the higher the cost will be. [Some dealerships will try to schmooze you by telling you something like "Nah, don't worry about the miles-- if you buy the vehicle at the end of the lease (or buy or lease something even more expensive from us) we'll ignore those additional miles-- forget about it!!)" Just try to get them to put that in writing and have it signed by the lease manager-- good luck.]

    Once you sign the lease, you're generally STUCK with the vehicle (as well as all of the financial obligations of the lease) for the duration of the lease, like it or not. Therefore, if you happen to suffer some sort of unforeseen financial setback (such as losing your job or becoming medically stricken and unable to work for a considerable period of time) that lease doesn't magically go away-- you still owe! On the other hand, when you BUY the vehicle, you can sell it at any time, so long as the bank gets what's owed. (Higher-end Toyota vehicles typically suffer much less depreciation than American vehicles. Trust me, I know. Can you say "2002 Ford Explorer LEMON?" I can, but that's another story!)

    As previously mentioned, leases typically specify a maximum number of miles/year that you can put on the vehicle, and if you exceed this amount, you may be charged a *per-mile* premium for any additional miles (as well as any damages found on the vehicle) at the END of the lease, especially if you don't plan to buy the vehicle when it comes off of the lease. In addition, leasing may make it more difficult to add customizing aftermarket accessories to the vehicle, since you don't actually own the vehicle.

    In my opinion, if leasing is the only way someone can financially squeek by in order to drive a certain vehicle, this suggests they may be at great risk for getting in over their head.

    What I dislike most about leases is that at the end of the lease you really have nothing to show for all of the money you've spent on the lease. At the end of the lease, you may owe nothing more, but you also don't OWN any portion of that vehicle. Instead, you've paid a handsome amount of money to drive the vehicle, and you will likely have born much of the cost of the vehicle's DEPRECIATION on behalf the lessor, who will either re-lease or sell the vehicle, once they charge you for any overmileage, damage, etc. Again, at the end of the lease, unless you opt to buy the vehicle, you OWN no part of it, but the lessor does. And even if you decide to buy the vehicle once the lease is up, it's unlikely that you would end up paying less than if you'd just bought the vehicle at the outset. Dealers love leasing vehicles because they make so much money from leasing, but that's just my opinion.

    There are situations where leasing might make good financial sense (such as with certain businesses or corporations, or as a short term plan towards getting back on one's financial feet), but for the average Joe with a steady job, leasing a vehicle may well be akin to throwing money out the window in the long run. And there in lies the seductiveness of leasing-- seemingly lower monthly payments, but at what cost?
  • ajdajd Posts: 6
    Thanks for the feedback, it is greatly appreciated. I'm going to wait till the auto show here in New York and see what Toyota is offering at the show. I will keep the board posted on my finding and the route I'll choose to take. Thanks and good luck !!!
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    White, black and some red vehicles do not have metallic paints, however they do have a clear coat finish. And Zaino works very well on my (non metallic) jet black car.
  • clseibclseib Posts: 8
    I'm lookin at '01 & '02 4Runners on ebay and many of them show 265/70-16 tires but the VIN label in the door says 225/75-15. Does this necessarily mean these vehicles where shipped from the factory with the 225/75-15 wheel/tire combo and later swapped out for the larger 265/70-16's? Or do all VIN labels say 225/75-15 since these where standard? The reason for my concern is that if it came from the factory with the smaller tires, the gearing may be wrong for the larger tires since diffs with smaller gear ratios were supplied for 4runners with 225/75-15 combo than for the 265/70-16 combo. Any info on this would be much appreciated. Thanks!
  • djod49djod49 Posts: 12
      Just read your post. I've got a 99 SR5 V6 w/manual transmission that was a build order.I've got the 225/75r 15's and that's the only # on the data plate. BTW, I recently replaced the Firestones that came with the vehicle with Michelin Cross Terrains, and had to special order them from Sears. The small tires seem to be pretty rare. Hope this helps
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 410
    Averaging 18.3 driving a 2003 SR5 4X4. Some V8 posters claim better. Average is Hwy, City, & off-road combined.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Has 265/70/16 tires...and it says so on the door jam.
  • kjack100kjack100 Posts: 133
    On the '96 to '02 generation, 225/75/15 tires and 15" rims were original equipment on the SR5. The 265/70/16 tire and 16" rims were original equipment on the Limited. On the road, I see quite a few third generation SR5's with 16" rims. The 4Runner ebay auctions you are seeing might be due to a dealer installed option of a 16" rim on that SR5 or SR5 owners who swapped out their 15's for 16's somewhere down the line.

    kheinz, I want to buy your used cars! :--) Sounds like you keep them better than new. I am going to give this new Meguiar's tech wax a try. Thanks for the info.
  • sivisivi Posts: 20
    when they put a diesel in the 4runner, like vw , then i will buy . 80% of 4runners sold worldwide are diesels. most burn cleaner than gas. you get 30% more effiency,without a crazy hybrid.
  • sivisivi Posts: 20
    if you want a 3rd seat buy a vehicle that has one. i am satisfied with second row seat which i a almost never use!
  • clseibclseib Posts: 8
    Thanks for the posts. Is there anyone out there with a '96-'02 SR5 who knows they have factory installed 16" rims (and 4.1 differential that goes with them) that can verify that the vin label in the door says 265/70-16? I have looked at a lot of SR5s that have 16" rims and they all say 225/75-15 on the vin label. Seems odd if every one of them came from factory with 15" rims and were switched out by dealer or previous owner. Could it be that all SR5s have 225/75-15 on vin label even if they came with 265/70-16 and 4.1 diff? What I'm really looking for is an easy way to tell for sure if they have the 4.1 diffs or not without jacking it up.
  • erisareperisarep Posts: 16
    clseib, I purchased a 2000 SR5 new in 2000 with the 16 inch wheels and tires and the differential gearing you are speaking of. It came with a few other goodies and was called special option package 4 in the Dallas area. It was factory equipped and it showed on the sticker as factory (not port) installed. Loved the truck up to the day I wrecked it...
  • erisareperisarep Posts: 16
    P.S. the door jam sticker showing tire inflation information did address the 16 inch tires. I cannot remember if it also listed information for the 15 inch tires.
  • sivisivi Posts: 20
    i realize i won't use 3rd seat. what about wasted storage space where third seat is stored?
  • my2centsmy2cents Posts: 20
    Just to let all the owners of "black #202" 4runners know, the paint is not a clearcoat finish. There is alot of confusion out there over this topic. It is the only non-clearcoat finish. Some thought that the white and red were also not clearcoat. This is not true. If you search the web for automotive paints you will notice that #202 is not clearcoat while the others are. Hope this helps clear up the confusion.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    Since reading your above message #9680, I've done repeated web searches as you suggested, and I can't find ANY such claims or information about the black color not being clearcoated. Sometime next week, I plan to speak with my dealer's body shop about this question, but in the meantime I would appreciate your posting links to ANY on-line information clearly backing and supporting your claim that black 2003 and 2004 4Runners are not FACTORY clearcoated.

    Also, it would seem to me that if one can buy Toyota paints (including Toyota paint "#202") these containers of paint would not come "clearcoated", since a clearcoating is (as I understand it) something applied over top of the paint, and not something mixed into the paint. Please clarify. Thanks!
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    Regarding whether 2003-2004 Black 4Runners have a clearcoat finish or not, according to, black 4Runners are indeed clearcoated:

        Black, Clearcoat
        Dorado Gold, Pearlcoat
        Imperial Jade, Mica
        Impulse Red, Pearlcoat
        Natural White, Clearcoat
        Pacific Blue, Metallic
        Stratoshpere, Mica
        Titanium, Metallic

    I hope this clears things a bit.
  • spikespike Posts: 3
    Have any of you installed the TRD catback exhaust system on your V8 4Runner? Any feedback? I would be interested in knowing if there was any noticeable change in performance. Also, is it significantly louder? I don't mind a little extra noise, but I don't want to wake up the neighbors when I go to work in the morning.

    Any info would be appreciated.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    You may want to check in the Toyota 4Runner Accessories discussion too.

    Steve, Host
  • This is the color of my 2004 4Runner. Do I gather from this thread that my color has a "mica" coat on top. This is totally unfamiliar territory to me. Are there any special waxes I should be aware of if this is true?
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    Uh oh, did I create a new ball of worms? LOL

    "Stratosphere Mica" is indeed a color with clearcoat. You should be safe using any commercially available wax for automobiles. I've been using Meguiar's products personally with very nice results on my Titanium Silver 4Runner.
  • kheintz1kheintz1 Posts: 213
    Spike: I've not had the "catback" exhaust installed on my '03, V8 4Runner Limited, since I've already paid enough money for my vehicle. In addition, from what I've read so far from members of this board who've had the catback exhaust installed, the increase in engine performance has reportedly been rather slight. On the other hand, this modification provides a cool-looking set of dual, stainless steel exhaust pipes and tips; and the resulting exhaust "tones" reportedly sound a bit more "throaty" and impressive. However, the exhaust tones of my V8's unmodified exhaust already have a very pleasing V8 "warble", so I'm not looking to spend more at this point. Your opinions may differ, and that's fine. (I have, however, ordered the $55.00 stainless steel exhaust tip for my vehicle, since I feel it looks sharp.)

    Also, it may be very difficult to recoup any significant portion of the cost of such pricey
    add-ons when the vehicle is eventually sold or traded in. At that time, dealers and savvy used car buyers alike will refer to the vehicle's Blue Book value, which won't include or reflect the cost (including labor) for accessories such as a catback exhaust, turbocharger, aftermarket audio systems, etc. In that situation, your only hope would be to either find someone crazy enough to pay you much more than Blue Book value; or, you could simply eat the cost and chalk it up to the price you're willing to pay to indulge yourself, and there's nothing wrong with that if you can afford it.

    md4runnerman: I'm a huge fan of Zaino's car polish system, and if you're willing to put a bit more time and thought into keeping your vehicle's finish and interior in pristine condition, I urge you to visit Zaino's web site to learn more about these superb products.
  • my2centsmy2cents Posts: 20
    Maybe the confusion does continue...including at my end. I came across a few sites indicating that black #202 for toyota 4runners was a not clearcoat. One such site was "" which listed colors for the 4runner. All indicated clearcoat but the black. Go figure. I'll keep on searching.
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