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Toyota 4Runner - 2003



  • Is anyone having any luck getting some off the sticker price in the Dallas Ft. Worth area. I am interested in getting a Limited in the next few days. Thanks
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    My adventure was in Dallas, they said this weekend they doing some great deals on '03 runners but did not mention do to the tactics cant say id recommend them. Id just check out Saturday paper and see whats being offered around town ,

  • I'm in Fort Worth, and I've talked with a couple of dealers here who say they will deal...

    I don't know about Dallas.
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    I went to a dealership last evening on Long Island. They had a loaded Limited that I was able to take for a test drive. Since the car wasn't prepped correctly, I don't have much to offer. I also only drove the truck only two miles. The truck is a VAST improvement over the previous model. It looks MUCH better in person than the pictures I've seen posted on the net. The V8 pulls very well and is butter smooth. The truck is VERY car-like to those interested in that sort of thing (the masses I suppose). Build quality seems good but since the truck had boxes and remnants from the delivery process, it was hard to tell how solid the ride was. Brakes seemed to work very well with nice modulation. The switchgear seemed quite Lexus like (especially the turn signal). I sometimes act impulsively and almost bought it, but the trade in value on my '02 Liberty would have been too much to bear. I negotiated a selling price of $750 over dealer cost. Believe me folks, you can do better! Don't buy into the hype that this is a difficult vehicle to obtain. Anyone that pays close to list is just getting ripped off. Only negatives I see with the truck is that the cargo capacity is NOT as large as some of the competitors. My Liberty has only around 5 less cubic feet of cargo capacity but it's considerably smaller. BUT... I still LOVE the truck and will definitely consider it at a later time. Good luck to all. I'll keep following these posts to see the feedback.
  • I test drove an SR5 with a V-8. It was very nice and definitely an improvement vs. my 2000 4Runner.

    What I DO NOT like about the new 2003 model(s):

    1. The absolute most ugly cladding crap I've ever seen. On the SR5 I drove it was already starting to peel along the rear passenger door. The Toyota salesman was surprised by this discovery. Ugh!

    2. The white plastic strips on the door interior of the SR5 and sport model. I much prefer the interior style of my 2000 4Runner SR5.

    3. The dash "odometer", it's smaller, ugly, silver and lame orange backlit.

    4. The silver logo emblem on the steering wheel, it's too distracting.

    5. The "control buttons" on the steering wheel.

    6. Being stuck with only the option of a Limited with leather <<--- I prefer cloth. Love the dark charcoal of the Sport edition.

    7. The silver/granite toned dash around the stereo, space controls for the heater, etc.

    My wish list:

    1. A new 4Runner model to augment the current line called the "4Runner Custom", where for a premium of a few thousand dollars I could get the model built exactly as I want, any option and accessory combination.

    2. Chrome bumpers... it's a classic 4Runner look.

    Overall I like the improvements (X-Reas, downhill assist, etc), but if I could upgrade my 2000 4Runner with the V-8 and all the new performance enhancements I'd do it in a heartbeat because as far as styling goes the 2003 is a disappointing downgrade vs. my 2000 model.

    The Toyota 4Runner minisite is awesome!!! Check it out:

    Love Toyota quality... I've owned a 1991, 1995 and now a 2000 4Runner. In some ways, as far as styling goes, Toyota has said to previous, current and very dedicated owners... "the hell with you".

  • Hi,

    Could anyone tell me where to find accessories for the 4Runner 2003 such as grille, Tire rack with additional space and gaz tanks (sitting high on the bumper).
    Also What would be the best off road lights that I can find around $100-$200 for a pair.

    I am getting mine this week, Sport V8 and getting ready for some long (easy) off-road treking/camping in Maine/Canada.


  • Unfortunately, with the 4-Runner just hitting the showrooms a few weeks ago, the aftermaket manufacturers haven't had a lot of time to design alot of accessories for the new body yet. I don't know of anyone that currently has anything yet. However, there should be accessories available within the next month or so. Keep an eye out in some of the normal publications such as 4wheeler magazine, and other off-road publications. if I see anything, I'll keep you informed.
  • I don't mean to rub it in but I suggest you go have a look at the Color Selector section on 2003 4Runner section on the Canadian Toyota web site.

    They are still showing the colors on a SR5. For newbies it will give you a good idea of what the fuss is all about.

    The USA site now show the colors on a Limited. Also pretty much all of the litterature here in Canada is showing the Limited. Also I would say that both the web site and PDF look like they have been quickly put together. Maybe some last minute changes based upon feedback and board/forum monitoring.

    Think that they now realize the mess they have done.

    I just hope they'll put together an incentive program to buy back leases of people like me who had to buy something else because of their misfire ;-)

  • I was interested in the new model until I saw one. Maybe it will grow on me but I will have to wait and see.....
  • The only thing that will grow on you is beard....;-)

    Jokes aside the Limited as somewhat grown on me a bit, but just a bit. I like the black because it hides many of the oddities.

    The SR5 and Sport have not grown on me at all, its even worst now that I've seen them in person.

    Let's wait for 2004 to see what they will have done to address these cosmetic issues. But they cannot change things too much as it will leave 2003 buyers stranded.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Why would 03 buyers be stranded? If they buy an 03 it's obviously because they like it. So why would they worry what Toyota does after that?
    : )
  • It is pretty clear to me that the 2003 4Runner will be the [non-permissible content removed] child of a great family of trucks.

    Now it all depends how Toyota will react to this mess. If they make drastic changes in 2004 to address the issues the 2003 buyers that didn't really like the truck but bought it for its quality are likely to be stranded. Who will want of the 2003 4Runner Aztec edition? So people will have paid big $$$ to drive the worst edition of the 4Runner and resale value is likely to be down.

    Mackabee, Toyota could easily make a couple of changes that could make this truck beautiful. Remove the cladding, work the flares a bit and fix a line here and there, offer a color-key option and this truck will be a killer.

    But of course there are people who will buy this version and not care about what's next. There are some Aztec buyers out there, maybe some of them are ready to upgrade or their lease is due !!!!!
  • dust90dust90 Posts: 169
    To compare the new 4Runner to the Aztec is a JOKE! Granted, a lot of people don't like the cladding that is on the SR5 & Sport, but if you really hate it, color keyed(painted) replacement cladding will be available thru Toyota, TRD or aftermarket, just like it is for the Tundra fender flares. I bought the Limited, partially because of the non-painted cladding on the other models, and I have had tons of compliments on its looks. But after driving it for 8 days, I could care less what it looks like, because this is one sweet vehicle - it is a killer, as is! If you don't like the looks of the 03 4Runner, DON'T BUY IT - maybe you would like a Buick Rondevous!
  • I want to buy the Limited, but I hate the running boards. This is a quote from USA Today: "The running boards are absurd. The truck is low enough that hardly anyone would need them. All they do is force you to step over them, dragging pant leg, coat or long skirt over the filthy nuisances." This is exactly how I feel, plus I hate the way they look. Does anyone know if it is possible to rip them off without it looking like you ripped them off?
  • They should just unbolt from the frame.
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    I finally got to take the Limited 4Runner on an extended test drive. Contrary to some people on this forum, I happen to think the 4Runner is quite handsome in Limited form. I agree with the comments about the cladding on the SR5. Perhaps Toyota and Pontiac are getting a little too close? (KIDDING). The truck is HIGHLY refined and my only complaint was the highway handling (moose avoidance). Without X-REAS the truck is somewhat cumbersome at speeds over 70. You definitely start getting the disconnected feeling from the road. I doubt X-REAS would solve that problem but I bet it would definitely help. I told the dealer to call me when he gets one in with X-REAS. Otherwise, this midsize SUV had the competition cloberred.
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    I have to agree with USA Today and hpilot1 on the running boards. I bought a Limited last week. I like the looks (bought a Gray Limited) and like how it drives (not as good as the Highlander I traded, but great for a truck). The running boards, though, are a pain.

    I have a few minor complaints. One article I read talked about how well it tracks. I find the opposite--doesn't wander as bad as the Explorer I drive occasionally, but it seems a little worse than the Highlander, which seemed a little worse than the Subaru Forester I had prior to the Highlander. Not really bad, but could be better.

    I don't care for the steering wheel audio controls. The controls on my wife's Sienna are better. For one thing the Sienna has a mute button, which I find very useful--left off on the Runner. OTOH, the dash stereo controls are great. The Runner also lacks a "one wipe" feature on the wiper control (which the Highlander had, and which I used all the time). You lose the large storage bin in the right rear panel if you have the good stereo (subwoofer is there), so there is no space large enough for something like an air compressor. OTOH, the small storage bins/cupholders and center console are great. Finally, I don't like the rear shelf system. I'll probably take it off if I can. These are all relatively minor gripes.

    There is a long list of things I like about this truck! I even found I like the weird AC controls, which I thought I might dislike. They work great.

    I've only had it a few days, but I love this truck. I have never had a vehicle that had everything right, but the 4Runner comes as close as any I have had.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    good article, let us know when you figure the MPG your geting and what fuel your using,

  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Women complain about NOT having running boards, specially when wearing a dress or skirt. The reason should be obvious.
    : )
  • Seems like most of the postings are from people who have driven an '03 once or are quoting from printed material, not from actual owners. I purchased an '03 Limited and have just finished the break-in period (1000 miles). I paid $2000 under MSRP. I am getting about 17 mpg, but expect that to go up as things loosen up.

    I am a female driver and was looking for a solid, reliable vehicle, with the same accessories my loaded Suburban had, that can get me across unplowed backroads in the winter and pull our boat in the summer. I have no intention of climbing Mount Everest.

    We also considered:
    Pilot - lots of nice room inside, but no sunroof or heated seats, not as much power as 4-Runner, long waits to get one and no deal on the price.
    MDX - good power and all of the accessories, long wait, no deal on the price, nearest dealer is 90 miles away
    Pathfinder - small inside, cargo and passenger space is cramped, outdated body style, you drag your backside across the back wheel well getting in the backseat
    Envoy - lots of room, same back wheel well problem, questionable reliability, potential low resale because GM is flooding the market.

    What do I like after 1000 miles? Good solid acceleration, no rattles or squeaks. Contrary to many personal opinions I like the way the exterior looks; spoiler included. The multi-setting seat heaters are great and the vehicle is up to temp in the morning quickly. The large mirrors offer good visibility and the large sunroof lets in lots of light. The leather is soft and the cupholders are large enough and in the right places. The lit holders in the front are great at night. The dash is easy to read with the needles being lit even during the day which makes visibility easy when it is overcast outside. The much debated climate control knobs are easy to use and quite intuitive; dual climate control ends the debates about what is too cold or too hot. The power is great and the transmission smoother than any other vehicle I have driven. Cornering is solid, with little to no body roll - the best of all we tested. The ride is firm and quiet.
  • Much appreciated and very descriptive, practical. How would you rate "quiet" while driving, compared to your previous vehicles? Thanks in advance...
  • dust90dust90 Posts: 169
    I too purchased an 03 4Runner limited, in gray and love it. I got the X-REAS suspension & it handles like a sports car. I have had it to 100mph(briefly) & it feels as solid as a BMW at speed. I can echo what klc5610 had to say about the 4Runner, plus: The MDX really isn't made for towing(high gear ratio & no lower gear option). The MDX makes it power at high revs(typical Honda). The Trailblazer/Envoy also makes it power at the higher revs and they seem to be having some quality problems. Not as solid feeling as the 4Runner, also.

    As to the running boards, I thought that I would take them off of my 4Runner, but after I looked carefully at them, I found that they don't stick out very far(it is easy to step over them if you don't need the step), plus they are going to be a lot of protection from debris thrown up from front tires. Now I actually like the looks of them - the silver boards add a nice contrast to the Gray color, plus I love the lights in the running boards at night.

    One last thing - the 'Spoiler'. Call it what you want, but it is a wind deflector to help keep the rear glass clear & it works. I seldom use the rear wiper.
  • I would rate this the quietest of the vehicles I have driven in the past 10 years. Very little wind or road noise.

    I too do not have a problem with the running boards. They seem easy to step over and I too appreciate the lights especially in a dark parking lot.

    The Galactic Gray looks good with the gray accents. In certain light it looks gray and in bright sun it looks more blue. Not many other cars on the road with the same color which appeals to me.
  • tfuzztfuzz Posts: 93
    MPG on my Runner is 17.129 at 683 miles using 87 octane. That includes both city and highway driving, but not much stop and go. However, I have been varying the speed on the highway for the break-in period, so that probably shaves off a few tenths. This is about what I expected--about two MPG less than the Highlander I traded. I don't intend to use premium gas except maybe when towing in the mountains.

    I don't know how others can get out of the Runner without rubbing legs against the running boards and getting their clothes dirty. My wife and I can't, unless we jump. This is the first vehicle with running boards we have owned, so maybe we'll figure it out with practice! I do agree that the running boards may keep some dirt off the sides of the truck.

    No one has mentioned the hydrophilic glass. Does this really work? I drove about 60 miles in the rain Saturday but couldn't really tell. I thought maybe the water was shedding more than regular glass.
  • I just purchased a new 2003 Sport Edition. I traded in my 2000 SR5. And what a difference. Do I like the side molding, not really. But who cares when you have the rest of the package. I now have 180 miles on my car and already took it up to 95. With the X-REAS, you still have complete control of the car. I can't believe what a great job Toyota did on this car. Its a much better ride than my sisters RX300 and my brothers Suburban. I paid only 1000 below sticker as in LA things are always just a little more expensive. After having it for a week, I would have gladly paid more. I wish people would quit picking it apart. Again, if you don't like it, don't buy it. Buy a Ford and lose all your money within 2 years and probably the car as well when it falls apart. Give this car a break!
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    I am still waiting to test drive one with X-REAS. Has anyone driven both (with and without) and noticed a difference? I seems some posters who claim that X-REAS REALLY makes a difference and that's what I am hoping for. If so, I am going to wait until the end of the month and get one from dealer inventory. I nearly bought one last month but couldn't get what I wanted on my trade. As previously stated I drove one without X-REAS and the handling at 70 MPH plus was not as stable as I had hoped. BTW... the V8 is the most refined V8 I have EVER driven in a truck!
  • kim47kim47 Posts: 9
    I just bought a 4Runner Sport edition this past weekend, and I picked it specifically for the X-REAS suspension. I'll be honest, I did a test drive of the SR5 and then later, the Sport. But those were just quick, local drives and I couldn't tell if there was a whole lot of difference.

    However, on Sunday I took my first real drive and wanted to test the X-REAS so I headed over to Highway 1 (I live in the Bay Area so it's easy to get to nice, curvy roads!). Wow, does that suspension shine. The lack of body roll as I went around the curves on Hwy 1 was very, very impressive. In fact, you have to be careful; you are almost lulled into taking the curves too fast because the 4Runner handles so well. Yes, you can still tell you are driving a truck and not a sedan but the impressive cornering and smooth V8 make it a *very nice* ride.

    I've only had the car two and a half days and I'm still in the break-in period so I haven't done any high speed freeway driving (just short stretches at 60 mph) but I thought the handling was fine.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    In comparison to the X5 3.0.

  • Today I visited three dealerships here along the Front Range here in the Denver metro area in search of the opportunity to see more of the 2003 4Runner in colors that I have not yet seen in person.

    At Boulder Toyota they had a "Galactic Grey" 2003 Sport Edition. This is the color that I thought would potentially look the best with the grey cladding, but it too is unacceptable. The door interior also had this white plastic strip "styling" which was very cheap looking. I still can't stand the dash (odemeter, Tac, etc.) with the cheap and crappy looking silver. On my 2000 SR5 I can easily fine tune my speed to 48 MPH if I wish, but with the smaller face of the new one that it not possible.

    In Longmont the exact same dark blue SR5 that they took delivery of back on Oct 13th is still sitting there. It looks good with the cladding from about 300 yards because from that distance you really don't notice it as much. Along the passenger side door the cladding is already starting to peel.

    In Ft. Collins they had a Mica Green version with the grey cladding. It looks even more hideous in person that the one from the original spy photos. I'm sure the Red Mica must be equally pathetic.

    The only way I'll buy this model is a Limited with the Dark grey cloth interior of the Sport edition, Black roof rack and retro fit a 2000 4Runner dash (Speedometer, Tac, etc.) into the new model.

    As a former '91, '95 and current 2000 4Runner owner I realize that because of so many styling flaws of the new model that I may have to wait until 2006 or 2007 to get my own V-8 version.
  • I am looking at a 1990 4Runner with relatively low mileage (100,000 km or 60,000 miles). It is a v4 std. My question to experienced 4Runner owners (I have never had one and do not know a lot about them) is - is this vehicle worth considering or is it getting too old. It is in extremely good condition and is priced at $10k (cad). Is it likely worth the dollars?
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