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Toyota 4Runner



  • tbcreativetbcreative Posts: 357
    JeffJeff, if I were you I'd wait for the '03. It's not going to look like the Montero. Whoever said that probably had the redesign confused with the Landcruiser Prado, which shares the current 4Runner platform, and in some pictures looks kind of like a Montero Sport, or an older Montero. Please scroll up to my posting #1663 if you want to see some spy shots of the new 4Runner. I think it's going to be really sharp. If you like how the new Lexus GX 470 looks, then you'll probably like the re-designed 4runner. There are so many things that are going to be better about the '03, such as new suspension with height adjustment and dampening, much better V6, and the new V8! Not to mention Toyota is supposed to offer more package deals to bring the cost down, making the price drop in order to compete better with Nissan's Xterra.

    Everyone has their own impression about power, and mine is that while they've made significant changes to the current 4Runner's transmission so it shifts better and uses the power more efficiently, it's still a dog by today's standards. You may perfectly happy with it and that's great, but you should maybe test drive some other SUVs before you plunk down your hard-earned cash, to give you and idea of what you may be missing when the new 4Runner comes out. My '98 Jimmy 4x4 has more guts than the 2002 4Runner, but you may want to drive a Pathfinder with it's 240 hp, or the Trailblazer with its awesome 270 horses. But I warn you, once you do, it'll be hard to go back. ;o)

    Anyway, I hope that helps, and I don't mean to knock your love for the current 4Runner, it's still a great truck. I certainly understand if it comes down to style, because I don't really like some of the changes manufacturers make to great looking vehicles. When Toyota introduced the Sport package to the 4Runner, I was ready to over-look it's short-comings, add a supercharger and trade the moment I saw one, until I found out about the redesign coming this fall.

    I don't know if you saw this link, but check out the article about the GX 470 that shares the platform on, and if that doesn't get your juices flowing, then definitely buy a 2002 now. -TB

  • tbcreativetbcreative Posts: 357
    Zorglub, check out the link in my above post at for details on the GX 470 suspension, which will be shared with the 4Runner. The only thing unclear is whether the height adjustable air suspension will be an option across the board, or only on the Limited. Check it out; it sounds awesome! -TB
  • calucykcalucyk Posts: 35
    Does Toyota have a credit card that can be used to earn "points" that go towards cash off the purchase of a new Toyota? I was thinking something similar to the GM card or the Ford credit card.
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    "jeffjeff", actually buying a 2002 may not be a bad idea, if you really like the model. If I was considering it I would expect a great deal, 34,000 for a 38,500 4Runner is a good deal not a great deal. I would do a little more searching. Consumer Reports in September 2001 said they got a 4Runner for about 20% off, and my 2001 in March of 2001 I figured it was 20% off, it took me 6 months to find it. Yes I know you don't have 6 months and 20% is way below invoice. I don't know what invoice is, but it isn't the price the dealer pays for the vehicle, that's for sure. My advice is to shop around and offer less, the worst the can say is no. I know you may not get that much off but it may say you a few thousand.

    Here is a site that has a one price only and it seems to be better than your deal, of course different parts of the country sell for different prices. Still my advice is that your in the drivers seat, shop around.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    << On a serious tow vehicle, IRS would be a mistake. >>

    I disagree. Both the new '03 IRS Expedition and the '02 IRS Explorer have better towing than previous solid axle versions. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, both lead (or are at the top) of their respective classes in towing.

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Sorry for not answering before, but the answer is no.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    And how have those IRS Fords been holding up after extensive towing? Sorry, but the "the other guys do it" argument doesn't change physics. There are three things that should be disqualifiers for serious tow vehicles. Those are unibody construction, front wheel drive and IRS. Yes, you can tow with all three of those conditions, but you can never expect it to do as well or last as long as a truck frame, rear wheel drive and a solid rear end.
  • beagles3beagles3 Posts: 132
    I own a 1999 SR5 with about 96,000. I have had 3 sets of tires since new, and I was just wondering if anyone has ever had wheel balancing problems when you have purchased new tires to replace the OEM?? Seems that it takes 3 to 4 times on a wheel balancer to get the highway vibration out?? I had trouble with Les Schwab brand tires and finally went back to the OEM Goodyear Wranglers (P26570R16).
  • jparentejparente Posts: 9
    Well I'm on my 2nd 4Runner (a 2002) and with 3,400 miles on the odometer the front brakes are pulsating & grabbing when I stop...just like on my 2000 4Runner. Before I had to have the rotors replaced but that was at 18K miles. Anyone else having issues with their brakes? I'm a bit frustrated about this. I did go ahead and get electric brakes put on my boat trailer to help but I haven't even towed with this vehicle yet. RATS!

    On the new 2003 4Runner, I seriously weighed waiting for this but when I returned my 2000 I needed a vehicle right away. There are some short comings to the current model but I see so many older early to mid 90's 4Runners on the road that you know they will last. Also, I'm sure 2003 pricing will be a big factor so there may be an incentive in waiting for initial demand to drop. Where I live the dealers don't budge much and I went out of state to get mine because of the deal ($400 over invoice). If you like the 2002 make it your goal to get the best possible deal and of course, enjoy either vehicle you choose. I'll probably be salivating when the 2003 hits the streets too. :o)
  • neb5neb5 Posts: 5
    jeffjeff- I too am in the market for a 4Runner, however my mind is set to wait for the '03 because of the promises of the new design. My thought for you is to do as much research possible before you commit your money. It sounds to me that that deal of yours seems rather steep but of course you may be going for the whole shi bang! Anyway since you are apparently a web surfer try checking out sites like who give expert advice on how to do the best shopping from the comfort of your home, office without the hassle of salesman who may not have your best interest of saving money in mind. Lots of wonderful information and I hope this helps.
  • zorglubzorglub Posts: 79
    Thanks guys. However, I'm not looking to buy an SUV for towing. It's mostly to take the family back and forth to Tahoe in style...

    With that in mind, the IRS is a must have in my book (99% of road, 1% max of light offroad) for the better ride.

    It's okay, I was just hoping for a possible alternative to the Honda Pilot.
  • tbcreativetbcreative Posts: 357
    Zorglub, I agree with your thoughts about IRS, in theory, but not in real world driving. I have driven just about every SUV out there, and while IRS is very nice, there are some live axle suspensions that have been tuned well enough that they actually ride better. Such is the case, in my opinion as well as that of several car magazines like Motor Trend, that the new suspension in the Envoy is more compliant and smooth than the new Explorer, although they preferred less body roll. Also much-praised is the Tahoe/Yukon for it's car-like ride. Now, my wife is very picky about having a smooth ride, I like a sporty feel without much body roll, and I want to have something that does well off-road, so I keep all that in mind when I'm testing SUVs.
    Anyway, it all comes down to test-driving and what you feel is the best for your needs, but from what I gather about the new 4Runner's suspension, based on the specs for the GX 470, I'd wait to drive one before I made my final decision. Other than the GX and spy shots, I haven't even seen one yet, and I'm 90% sold on it. -TB
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    Have you checked out the ML320 or MDX? They both have independant suspension all the way around.
  • tbcreativetbcreative Posts: 357
    Mrwhipple asks a good question. Both vehicles, although expensive, have industry-leading independent suspensions. The MDX is particularly nice. I don't know if either are an equal consideration, since they're both in the luxury level, while the Pilot is priced more like a Highlander. But if you want to know how the Pilot rides, the MDX platform is what it's based on.
    I'm curious as to what you're looking for in an SUV. The Honda Pilot sounds perfect for you, but what's your hesitation? Is it styling? If so, then why not wait until the new 4Runner comes out, and see how it looks and rides? Are you in a hurry to get a new SUV? What all have you considered/ruled out?
    I've spent a lot of time obsessing over all the SUVs on the market, and would like to help, if I can. -TB
  • cfeldmancfeldman Posts: 14
    Currently own a 2002 Forester. Good car but too small. Toyota dealer offered me 18k for the Forester. Will sell a 2002 4 Runner with sport package, sun roof, hood deflector, roof rack, rear heater to me for $29,000.00.
    Questions: Looking for comfortable ride, drive 25-30k miles a year. Other option is to buy the Subaru Outback Wagon(bigger than the Forester)the Subaru comes in at around 28k. Although it has All wheel Drive, it SEEMS that I would be getting more for my money with the 4 runner. The new 2003 4 runners I would guess would be more expensive and 29k is the max I can spend.
    Test drove the 4 runner and like the look and feel. 183 horse seems a bit light for a truck this heavy, but it felt fine when I drove it.
    So, anyone have any advice? I have 2 big dogs, carry stuff on the weekend(wood, house stuff etc.)
    Mainly drive highway for work. Thanks for your help.
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    If you don't need anything too large, the Freelander might be up your alley. I'ts also 4-wheel independant suspension, all-wheel drive and pretty good on mileage too. It's in the same price-range as the Pilot.
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    There is also the VW Touareg which I think is coming out this Fall. That also has 4 wheel independant suspension. Not sure what the price range is on it though. V6 & V8 option engines are to be realeased for it.
  • tbcreativetbcreative Posts: 357
    I'd wait for the new 4Runner. The pricing is supposed to stay the same, and even drop with some packages. Toyota is trying to make it more competitive with the Xterra. The Freelander is nice, but an over-priced Escape, and may be a bit too small, if you're looking for something bigger than your Forester.
  • cfeldmancfeldman Posts: 14
    Great feedback all.
    I have owned a Grand Cherokee, 2 explorers, Blazer, Subaru Outback, and now the Forester.
    Driving the Forester although fun does not give me the sitting up high, rough " manly feel" as crazy as that sounds. I like the feel of more Torque if you will,sitting up high,more cargo room, more room in the back for passengers.
    My dilema is forfeting the all wheel drive safety that the Forester offers.
    Do you think that a 2002 SR5 with sport package, sun roof, rear heater, roof rack,and hood deflector is a good deal:
    Selling the 4 runner to me for $29,000.00 giving me $18k for my Forester(paying tax on 29k-18k= $11,000 @7.75% = $852 in tax. plus an additional $1300 Toyota discount. Paying off $16,660 for the loan on the Forester, getting back $700.00 for the balance of my extended warranty that I bought with the Subaru. Total cost for the 4 Runner comes to around 25K when all is said and done.
    The 4 Runner 03 sounds like it will be great, when are they due out?? Maybe I should wait, sell my Forester privately (I already have 25k miles on it in 10 months though!!) and my thought is it might be better to just trade it in for the 18k and get the 4 runner.
    Any thoughts??
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128

    I remember a while ago I checked the numbers and the 4Runner was about the same as the Forester in terms of passenger and cargo room (actually, Subaru has more passenger room, less cargo room). Most of the 4Runner interior numbers were within 1 inch from the Forester's (and about half of them lower for the Toyota). It sounded to me like you need a larger vehicle. In this case, the current 4Runner might not be a good choice - but better compare these interior numbers yourself (use either Edmunds or Subaru Legacy/Outback would be a better choice, or wait for the 2003 4 Runner.
  • zorglubzorglub Posts: 79
    First of all, thanks to everybody for their opinion, this is one of the nicest board on Edmunds!

    Anyway, here is my reasoning on buying an SUV.
    - I don't need one/ can't afford one until late this year (probably Nov-Dec time frame)
    - I want an SUV for the high seating position, to not have to put on chains going to Tahoe, and for the room (useful when remodeling my house).
    - Wife definitely wants a 7 passenger vehicle (2 of us, one kid, one on the way, and grand parents/family once in a while). Basically, the third row would not be used much, but would come in very handy when needed.
    - I hate minivans (not rational, but heck, it's my money).
    - I want full independent suspensions, some type of AWD for the comfort/handling/safety in everyday conditions.
    - a automatic 5 speed is a nice bonus when driving up hill

    Based on those needs, the current crop of possible SUVs is:
    - Honda Pilot, so far on top of my list, but afraid of the potential in dealer gouging, especially in SF bay area.
    - ML 320 and Acura MDX, but getting out my price range
    - Ford Explorer, but so so reviews and bad reputation make me want to stay away from it.
    - VW Touareg, not a 7 passenger apparently, and I have a VW Golf, my first and my LAST VW.
    - Envoy XL: looks too big and weird, no IRS, reliability issues.
    - 4Runner 03: not sure about 3 row seats, no IRS

    Anyway, I think it's back to the Pilot, and maybe waiting out the rush on it.
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    Have you driven or considered the AWD highlander? They're fairly roomy & in the same price range.
  • zorglubzorglub Posts: 79
    The highlander is nice, but it does not have the 3rd row seat, otherwise, it'd definitely be a contender in my list.
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    Are you putting kids in the 3rd row. I don't think very many models are even close to being comfortable for adults unless you have an Excursion or similar cruise ship.

    How about a used Sequoia?
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    You can get a 2 year old used Discovery ll betwween 25k & 28k. They are roomy inside & ride very nice but they don't have independant suspension & a little heavy on gas consumption.

    I hear there may also be a full size Nissan SUV coming out possibly next year.
  • zorglubzorglub Posts: 79
    Toddlers will go in the 3rd row.

    Land Rover is not my cup of tea (reliability, comfort, etc.). The Sequoia would be more of a fall back SUV, as it is more of a truck and less of car (I know it's heresy to a lot of ppl...), and a bit higher on the price scale. However, it is something to keep in mind.

    Thanks for the suggestions. Did not mean to hog the board like that. Hopefully, it is useful to others too.
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    It's still amazing to me with all of the choices out there, it can still be a tough decision. I haven't decided on anything yet either.

    3rd row would be perfect for young ones.
  • beagles3beagles3 Posts: 132
    After contemplating the previous remarks, I will speak from my experiences. I searched high and low for an SUV back in 1995 and came up with the same remark every time "I don't want someone else's headache" therefore, I bought Toyota, specifically, a 1995 SR5 4WD. I traded that in for a 1999 Toyota 4-Runner (SR5), I have currently 96,000 trouble free miles. It's a shame to purchase a $30,000+ SUV and have reliability issues. I searched Consumer Reports/Edmunds/etc... and the point being, don't even consider the vehicles that have been having moderate reliability issues, ie: Jeep Grand Cherokee, Durango, Explorer....That's it in a nutshell...Listen to the folks out there who have had trannys replaced at 30,000, interior integrity problems, and the dealerships that are failing to help you, the customer. I'm sure Toyota has a few issues here and there,but, not the magnitude that these domestics due??
  • davisdogdavisdog Posts: 99
    I too am cross shopping the 4Runner and others to the Pilot in the Bay Area (where gouging is rampant)...although I have the same 3rd row requirement (for occasionally throwing the two young ones in back, house remodeling and Tahoe)...anyway I have found a couple dealers 2-3 hours from my house that are straight MSRP...shoot me an email if you want.
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    I would certainly have to agree with you. I've had 2 toyota 4WD vehicles with over 100k miles & no problems. One interesting thing though, I think the interior plastics are starting to get a little funky though. But most of the vehicles seem to be going that route.
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