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Toyota 4Runner



  • brian124brian124 Posts: 38
    Seanreid, I'm 6' tall and have a 01 SR5 w/o the sunroof. I have plenty of head room and have never even thought of it as an issue. I bought my Runner w/o the sunroof because it was the only one that had the color and options I wanted in my area. I must say, that I haven't missed the sunroof a bit. All of my other cars have had one. I guess it is just a matter of preference. Also, ask yourself how often you really use a sunroof, unless you smoke or have frequent problems with flatulence, probably not very often:) (or live in the south where it is warm more than 4 months out of the year)
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    I'm 6'4" and I also have a 01 SR5 without a sunroof. To be honest I have never owned a sunroof because of my height. I wrote a year ago saying the headroom was great. Now after a year of living with it, it is still good, but not exactly great. I have about 2" of headroom which would be missing if I had a sunroof. At a stop light I tend to peak down to see the light if I am the first in line. Getting in and out at 6'4" is a special art only to be learned over time. Unlike Cliffy's suggestion, I don't have to adjust the seat recliner, I can sit up normal. So if your tall, either recline the seat, skip the sunroof or get another SUV, like maybe the 03 4Runner which is coming out in ????? :)
  • seanreidseanreid Posts: 152
    Thanks brian124 and peter78. My trunk is tall enough that I have about 1.5" headroom in the 4runner w/o the sunroof. Initially I ruled out the 4runner because of this but as I researched and drove different vehicles, the 4runner kept looking better and better. Here's a list of what it offers that I don't think any other vehicle can match:

    1. Bulletproof reliability long term
    2. 19 - 20 mpg on the highway using regular gas
    3. A center differential (certain models/years)
    4. Towing capacity of 5000 lbs.
    5. A reasonably powerful engine
    6. A body on frame design with a good ground clearance for driving off road (which I do)
    7. A power rear window which, in combination with a sunroof, creates a quasi-convertible
    8. A small enough body to be maneuverable in tight quarters
    9. Seating for 4/5

    We've owned several Toyotas as well as a couple of GMC trucks, Subarus, etc. and the Toyotas have been the best built and most reliable. The natural competitor is the Nissan Pathfinder but the current generation has even less headroom than the 4runner (despite what the the headroom specs suggest). The older Pathfinders are underpowered. I fit in the Grand Cherokee (with sunroof) but its reliability track record isn't good. I do a lot of long distance driving on back roads so gas mileage really becomes an issue. So...crazy as it may sound...I think modifying a 4runner seat to fit me is my best route. I'm one of those people who open the sunroof all the time and I'd often be driving the runner with all windows down and the roof open. I almost bought a 1997 Land Cruiser but I don't think I can live with the gas mileage driving as much as I do. The 2003 4runner is very appealing but waiting until fall creates some logistical problems for the summer. I'll bet the new model has more headroom. Again, thanks for the feedback.

  • foghorn48foghorn48 Posts: 65
    Two concerns:
    1) First, since there is now a preview of this SUV on the Edmund's review page, what happened to the Lexus GX-470 townhall topic group? It had some interesting links to more pics and info. Specifically it confirmed that this is a copy of Toyota's Land Cruiser Prado sold in Japan.

    2) Someone please tell me there is still hope, that the new 4runner won't be based on this truck. IMHO, it's ugly, and poorly thought out (curb side opening tailgate, old school third row seats that don't hide when folded, etc...). I'm hanging my hat on the fact that in Japan, the current 4runner (called a "Hilux surfer" or something) and the GX-470 are sold side by side. Anyone know how long they have co-existed as stable mates? Maybe, just maybe, they're importing the Prado (as the GX-470) for the hi-end Lexus mark, and bringing an entirely new 4-runner to the rest of us. I hope so. Unless they signficantly alter the GX-470 for Toyota badging or bring in a completely different truck, I doubt I'll be able to give Toyota my money.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    It was "lost" for a while, but it's back:

    Lexus GX 470

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • foghorn48foghorn48 Posts: 65
    Wow, talk about quick service! Nice to have the link again, but I was incorrect. The posts I referring to are actually on this topic (posts #1406, #1407) from "hiluxsurf".

    To hiluxsurf:
    Can you can answer my question about how long the LC Prado and HiluxSurf have been sold side by side in Japan? If it's been a while, then Toyota must see a need for two similarly sized SUV's in Japan and may see the same need here. I will admit that styling of the LC Prado is slightly more palatable than the GX-470, but it is far from inspiring and probably still not enough to pry 30K out of my wallet.
  • md2002md2002 Posts: 142

    Sorry to hear about your boating accident. I have been out of action for a while. Recently I was at the dealer getting the wifes Solara servied and my sales rep told me they are heading to a ride and drive for the 03 4RUNNER soon. They didn't have an exact date or location yet, but it was soon. They indicated fall and such.

    Buzz, Cliffy has been posting here longer than me and then some. He has always provided accurate (based on information available at press time) to everyone, you as I can see have never substantiated anything you posted. I can do the same as you have. Someone high up said it will rain tomorrow. Guess that weather guy was wrong.
  • md2002md2002 Posts: 142
    To those who posted a ways back about the 4RUNNER seats hurting their backs due to poor lumbar adjustment. Well I am glad someone else has or had that problem besides me. I purchased a new '00 4Runner and about a month into it (wanted one for years) I found myself unable to drive it. The seat was too uncomfortable. I tried aftermarket seats, couldn't find one I liked. I almost (maybe should have) had the seat taken apart, the lumbar cushion removed, an inflatable lumbar put in that that would go flat when desired. But I had put $1k into the car for upgraded shocks, interior trim etc and did't need to spend more to get the same.

    My only option at the time. Sell it and buy back my old SUV. While it cost me money, time and pain it was the only option at the time. Knowing what I know now, and based on current lumbar set ups I will buy what I want, have the lumbar remmoved and a more adjustable one installed. I will not lose my long sought after dream.
  • I'm with you on the GX-470 being an ugly critter, and I sure hope the new 4Runner isn't going in that direction. I've been holding on to my 1995 4Runner (bought new) w/currently 248,000 mi. This vehicle hasn't really "given" me a reason to get a new one as its been a flawless SUV since the day I got it. But that said, miles are miles, and it's getting time for a new one. I've checked out the 2002's and they are really nice, but I miss the tailgate and would like a little more power under the hood. I may have to compromise, or move up to my dream SUV..the Land Cruiser if I can find more justification in spending the 50K+ on transportation.
  • md2002md2002 Posts: 142
    I hope they make the 4RUNNER more evolutionary, bigger, more updated, but not what the GX470 is going to be. The side opening rear door is too Mitsubishi for me.

    On the flip side I have been hoping for a nice TLC, maybe a 2000 or 2001 in the next 12-18 months. There are some good deals on pre-owned and just get a CPO and not a classified ad one.
  • rward99rward99 Posts: 185
    Not wanting to start up another round of discussions about what it does or doesn't look like, but the video of the 2003 that I saw (I work at Toyota) looked nothing like the GX470, although they will share things like a V-8 engine and downhill braking assist transmission.

    The '03 model I saw was definitely a 4Runner. It wouldn't be mistaken for anything else. The front resembled the Sequoia, especially around the hood and headlights, but the grill was all Runner.

    Sides looked the same, but the rear was smooth, kind of like a blazer. It didn't appear to open from the side like the GX470. Not sure if it is a split door (roll down window) or solid (like a Sienna). Tail lights were higher and thinner than the '02.

    Interior was completely changed; much sportier and more luxurious. There was a 3-circle instrument cluster like the Matrix has. I was told that the Runner will be wider, but I don't have any dimensions, options or cost information.

    Delivery dates are August for the dealerships and September for the general public.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Any shots of the 3rd row seats? Tell me they don't fold up to the side like the shots of the GX470 I saw. I hope they fold into the floor like the Explorer.
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    "rward99" says the new Runner will have "a 3-circle instrument cluster like the Matrix has". Here is a picture of the Matrix instruments, to give you a idea of what he/she is talking about.

  • My eyes light up everytime I spot one of those new Cruisers on the highway. As for the new 4Runner, I guess I'll just keep my ears to track on anything that leaks out of Toyota HQ. I'm also a bit leary of buying ANY first year production model, but that's just my opinion.

    As far as third row seats go on a mid-sized SUV, I'd probably take them out. The only thing that will fit back there are dwarves, munchkins, or small dogs. The seats eat up too much cargo space for my needs, even when folded up.

    Thanks for the tip on buying a used Cruiser. this may be the option I need. A guy at my local dealership recently told me about the Owner's wife returning her Cruiser in the next few months. I wonder if the vehicle was even titled...
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Does it still have live axle out back, or IRS?

  • md2002md2002 Posts: 142
    I know what you mean about TLC. I know of a doctor who TLC is off lease in January, very detailed and clean enough to each off of it. But I just don't know if the bank of me will fund that purchase. Building a new house this summer and planning to move in Sept/Oct. time frame. SO it will depend on the deal.

    The only thing I have going is my dealer owes me big time. I lost a bit when I had to get out of my 4RUNNER do to back problems and the bad (for me) seat design. They sold it in one day when I traded it back, and they KNOW they OWE me big time.

    So in six months it will either be a TLC (or Highlander) or in 12 months a TLC or 4RUNNER (or highlander).

    I agree about first year runs. Even with Toyota I am leary about it. More because they tweak a few extras the second year. Look at the highlander, the console is much nicer now.
  • I checked out the Highlander awhile back, and although a great vehicle in its class, it doesn't quite fit all the requirements I need. I now require towing capacity for a boat and a utility trailer from time to time. My experiences with the V-6 proved that my next vehicle purchase needs the larger V-8 to accomplish these things adequately. Continued towing also requires a truck-like frame. When I heard the new 2003 4Runner was moving up to a V-8, I said to myself "FINALLY, MORE HORSEPOWER!!". The V-6 is an extremely reliable and economical engine, but the lack of adequate horsepower limited the options on towing, etc. Now, the 4Runner will have a total package, and will probably sell around the mid-30K range. BUT, if this new rig takes on a bad case of the uglies, then I'm back to dreaming about Cruisers...which is where I may end up anyway.
  • mrwhipplemrwhipple Posts: 378
    I read somewhere (can't remember though) that the '03 will be 3'' wider & 2'' longer in size.
  • rward99rward99 Posts: 185
    The relationship between the Lexus GX470 and the new '03 4Runner is supposed to be similar to that of the RX300 and the Highlander: different bodies but sharing the same drive train, engine, etc. I've looked on the Internet for info on the GX470 and found these sites. This first one says "solid axle" in the specs:
    This one says "Independent front suspension, rear air suspension with self-leveling and standard Adaptive Variable Suspension damping.."

    If you compare the wheelbase of the '02 Runner with the GX470, there is a 4.5" (longer) difference; almost 5" longer in the body.

    It's been a while since I saw the video, but I don't think that it had a 3rd seat in it, although it's supposed to be an option. Sorry I couldn't be of more help on that one. It's one of my interests too. That and the V-8 are my reasons for waiting for the '03.

    Again, I don't have any detail information on the new model of 4Runner. I wish I could, but it was hard enough to get what I got. I don't work directly with production and it's hard for me to get details. They are very tight lipped about pre-production vehicles, and since it's made in Japan it's even harder.

    I certainly hope the price of the 4Runner is better than that of the GX470.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I saw, in person, the GX470 earlier this month at the NY Auto Show. It's impressive, but extremely pricey.

    I also assumed the new 4Runnner would be based on this vehicle (or is it vice-versa?). And... I assumed that an IRS would be a long shot, at best. But you never know...

  • jeffjeffjeffjeff Posts: 54
    Late Thursday night, I was shopping at 24hr grocery store and I happened to go down the magazine aisle, which is something I rarely do. I picked up a magazine by the name of "Trucking" and while glancing through it, I came across a picture of the 2003 4Runner. It was a spy shot that was taken. The truck had black coverings over it to conceal it's identity but you could see what the whole truck looked like. It looked like a cross between a Sequoia, the current Runner and the Highlander all in one. It had a Sequoia grill with the shape of the highlander as well and the body looked much bigger and wider than the current runner. The article talked about the Sequoias V8 engine that would most likely be in the new truck as well as the infamous third row seating speculation. Check out the magazine and see what you think. I'm in the market for a 4Runner and hope to have one by the fall. Would anyone happen to know the difference between the 2000, 2001 and 2002 4Runner Limiteds because I like these years of the truck the best. The rims on the 2001 and 2002 Limiteds are different from the rims on the 2000 Limiteds. The 2000's have the sharp 5 star designed rims and that's what I like. The 2001 and 02 Limiteds have a more rounded 5 star design. Exterior wise, they look very similar but there are some differences in the grille and rear I believe but I just can't pinpoint them. Can anyone help?
  • jynewfjynewf Posts: 26
    I've got a 2000 Limited. In addition to having different wheel designs, the front grill of the 1999, 2000 models have a single bar; the 2001 and 2002 have a double bar on the front grill. Other than that (and different paint color options) there aren't any other cosmetic differences between the two that I'm aware of.

    As for mechanical differences, the 2001 model 4runners were the first to get the TRACs system. Previous to that, the 99 and 2000 Limiteds got a "multimode" system that allowed you to select 2-wheel high; 4-wheel high (with the center diff open so that you can drive on dry pavement at any speed); 4-wheel high with center diff locked (i.e. part-time 4-wheel drive) and 4-wheel low with center diff locked. Prior to 99, the Limited simply had a part-time system.

    A locking rear diff was also available on the 99 and 2000 Limiteds, which was not offered once TRACS became standard on all 2001 4runners.
  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    There will be no 3rd row seat for 2003
  • foghorn48foghorn48 Posts: 65
    What's your source about no third row seating? You sound pretty certain of that. Do you have anymore info? Would like to hear any and all, thanks.
  • wally27wally27 Posts: 6
    First I want to thank all of you who post on Edmunds. This forum helped me get my '99 Grand Cherokee turned in under lemon law because of all the postings from people with the same ten issues I kept having. This forum also help me decide on a 4Runner because of the lack of customer compliants in the forum! However I must add the Grand Cherokee with V8 and QuadraDrive was a much better off road and on road vehicle than the 4Runner, sorry to say. The dealer liked all the money the service dept made off the auto as well!

    My point with this post is to find out if anyone is interested in a few 4Runner circuit mods. I have the $250 shop manuals and can, disable the daytime running lights (with a better method than disconnecting pin 2...), shut off the key reminder chime, and turn the power outlets on the dash to full time (not switched) so your cell phone charges full time.

    If there are any interested parties I'll post how I did those functions.

  • First thing out of my'll be sorryeeee...To compare ANY Jeep product to a Toyota is big mistake...but hey, it's your money. Have fun...
  • md2002md2002 Posts: 142
    I stopped into Barnes & Nobles today and found the Trucking Magazine mentioned a few posts back. They do in fact have a spy photo of the '03 4RUNNER. I have to agree it looks allot like Toyota dropped a Highlander and a Sequoia into a blender and poured it into a mold.

    It looks pretty good from what you see, but the not so good part is their comment that it may become a bare bones back to basics since the Highlander is there for the "leather seat crowd". If the 4RUNNER does become bigger, it should be sacrificed, I would buy it for the additional size.

    Then again a CPO TLC is in my cards too.
  • kullenbergkullenberg Posts: 283
    md2002: excuse my ignorance, but what does CPO signify?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Certified Pre-Owned.
  • akgakg Posts: 85
    Can somebody take a digital photo of the '03 4Runner in that Trucking magazine and post it? Thanks!!! Loved the Highlander/Sequoia smoothie comment!!!!
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