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Toyota 4Runner



  • In the Western New York area where I work, sales have been a bit slow initially, but picking up a bit. Part of this I think is because we don't have the huge advertising budget larger metro areas have to do a good product launch. Discounting has been the norm, although it isn't alot. Hoping to see if Toyota makes some minor tweaks when they introduce the V6 version in December or January.
  • kim47kim47 Posts: 9
    Like the majority of posters on this forum I was (and still am) disappointed with the exterior of the new 4Runner. But I was stuck because I needed a new car (basically, I had just been hanging on long enough for the 4Runner introduction) and I couldn't wait another month or two. My Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo was a lot of fun and great off road but the last couple of years have been rather expensive in the repair department. (I didn't do any rock crawling or trails like the Rubicon; mostly 4WD roads that I wouldn't be comfortable tackling in a car-based SUV). So, it came down to choosing function over form. The new 4Runner has just about everything I could want, short of a sweet look.

    After a week of negotiating with dealers I picked up my new Sport edition this weekend. Couldn't find a Galactic Gray anywhere so I settled on the Titanium Metallic. And while I still think the exterior is unattractive, this whole situation does have a bright side! Had the new 4Runner been what I had hoped for (either an untouched or only subtly revamped 3rd gen exterior) I suspect it would be such a hot seller I never would've been able to pick one up for under MSRP. (I ended up getting mine for $2600 under MSRP.)

    So, after owning it for a about a day and a half I can honestly say I'm thrilled with my decision. Unbelievable driving experience. True, any new car will be a treat and it's possible that fact alone may color my perception. But I've driven my mom's '98 4Runner and the ride in the 2003 is so improved it's almost hard to believe. I got the Sport specifically for the X-REAS suspension. I live in the Bay Area so I headed over to Highway 1 yesterday just to test it out on the curves. What a fun drive. Cornering was terrific; the lack of body roll was awfully impressive. The V8 was smooth and quiet and downshifting with the 5-speed automatic was equally nice.

    (While I'm still sensitive about the looks I'm willing to share a few quick pics: ) And yes, I plan on taking this puppy off-road. Might as well put that cladding to good use!

    Anyway, I thought it only fair that I post something in the forum after lurking here for almost a year. Thanks to everyone who has so kindly shared their information.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You can't see the outside of your car unless you are driving by a bunch of plate glass windows, so enjoy the cockpit -- that's where you spend most of your time anyway. And congrats on the new ride!

    Steve, Host
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    I'm not sure what so many of the posters here are complaining about. The only thing I can see that is less that appealing is the silver roof rack and running boards. Even the cladding that has everybody so worked up isn't bad. Look at the SR5 Sequoia when it came out. The fender extentions were a shade different than the body color. Now that was ugly. At least on the 4Runner the cladding is the same color on all the different paint colors. I'd take one of these in a heartbeat if I could find a deal that my wife could live with.
  • kim47kim47 Posts: 9
    In my case, I had always loved the styling of the 4Runner, so that's why this new design was a disappointment to me. BUT, as Steve wisely pointed out, you can't see the exterior when you're busy having a blast actually driving the 4Runner. Looks can be a highly subjective topic so it's not surprising some some people hate the new styling and some people, ah, are okay with it.

    However, I bought a 4Runner Sport for the driving experience and the Toyota reliability; I don't know what other car (in my price range, that is!) would have met my needs as well as this one. Since I actually go off-road on occasion I have different considerations than a lot of other SUV buyers out there.
  • beagles3beagles3 Posts: 132
    Nice looking' s starting to grow on me...problem up here in the NW, no one that I have found is dealing on the Limiteds period. I am holding out for a black one with the rear air suspension and a dealer who is willing to negotiate if the in-stock vehicles are growing grass under the tires:)
  • Thanks for your pics Kim! Hwy 1 sure makes that cladding look better :-). Although I wish the looks made a better impression on me, I too will be making the plunge soon. Your comments about the 4Runner's handling on HWY1 certainly encourage me to make this decision.

    I currently have 2 vehicles to sell to raise cash for my new 4Runner - a 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder and a 2001 Ford F150 4wd Supercrew. I love the Spyder and like the truck, but want to consolidate to a single vehicle - a truck-like vehicle that handles well (e.g. on Hwy 1) enough to make parting w/ my Spyder less painful. My Ford truck is only my 2nd American car purchase ever. I've had 9 Toyotas - 3 pickups ('77, '84, '01), 2 MR2's ('88, '01), 2 Tercels ('81, '83), 1 Van ('99), 1 Corona ('72). Needless to say, I love Toyota dependability. I've never had trouble with any of them.

    To be honest, every time I buy a Toyota, I wish they looked better, but I buy them anyway. Even my Spyder's looks take a lot of getting used to -but it's so fun to drive.

    So, trading my silver mr2 for a silver 4 runner.

    MR2 pic:

    New 4Runner?:

  • beagles3beagles3 Posts: 132
    I love the 3' lift with the wheels....Soooo sharp....
  • aufan1aufan1 Posts: 21
    Does anyone have a pinpoint of the V6 release date yet? What about prices for the V6? Thanks.
  • If the V8 runs on regular fuel, why do they recommend premium fuel for it? Just curious.
  • There are a few reasons for them recomending premium fuel. First of all, there are quite a few engines that you DO NOT want to use premium fuel. The higher octane burns hotter, which can cause premature detonation and pinging. Also with the premature detonation and higher temps, if the engine cannot regulate itself (knock control sensors) you can do a pretty decent amount of damage to the engine.

    But the greater reason why, in my opinion anyway, is that it allows them to show the actual potential of the engine. Both on documented HP and Torque ratings as well as performance numbers.
  • I was told by a salesman that the premium fuel recommendation is on for the V6. The V8 uses regular. Anyone else heard that?
  • Both engines may be run on 87 octane, but both recomend using premium gas.
  • spfoteyspfotey Posts: 131
    any confirmed dates on that?
  • There are still no confirmed dates for the introduction of the V6 as of yet, but we don't have the production schedulle for December yet. Best guess from what I have heard is late December to early January. I'll keep you informed.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Toyota web site said November , guess they need to update a little.

    Been to 4 dallas dealers, all say regular fuel.

  • I have found your comments over last month very helpful in selecting my new 03 runner. Like most of you folks the cladding was a disappointment. However, I will say that the more runners I see [about 50 so far] the clading is looking better. I have decided on the Titanium Sport because I believe the clading is more complimentary. I will be waiting for the V6 before I buy. I have several out of the 10 dealers in Portland area that will deal between $500 and$1,000 over invoice.. This will be my third runner and have paid about the same discount on each. I still am not sure between V6 and V8. Maybe you could give your arguments for either???? A note of interest:: one Portland dealer has painted the cladding including bumpers on white SR5 $1700 add on. Frankly, I did not like the look. Would have been better I think to paint only the cladding. Keep up the good comments.
  • As an owner of all previous generations of the 4-Runner, I am very disappointed with the exterior styling of the 4th
    generation of the vehicle. I agree with the majority of the previous postings as to the revolting appearance of the
    grey plastic cladding on the SR5. The available color pallet here in Canada is limited to a number of shades of
    grey (silver), a gold, black, Pacific blue, Impulse Red and Imperial Jade (green). If you choose the Ltd, you can
    forget about red and green. I am not crazy about the look of the front end and grill or the squared off fender flares.
    As far as getting a good bang for the buck, I believe that if you get past the quirky exterior, the high content of this
    4th generation is very good value. The MSRP for the 2002 Ltd here in Canada was $50,830 CDN all inclusive,
    The MSRP for the 2003 Ltd. V6 is $49,810 all inclusive and the 2003 Ltd. V8 is $51,935 all inclusive. For the
    added features and power, these prices represent a real decrease in price.
    At some point in the next 3 years, I may be interested in replace my 1996 Ltd, but I will wait to see what will happen
    to the cladding and flares. Based on my experience with my 2002 Sequoia, it never pays to be in a rush when buying
    a new vehicle, the content always increases as the model years of that generation tick bye.

    PS the base SR5 V6 Starts at $44,870 CDN or $28,270 US
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Family Car came out with a 4Runner road test. It talked a little about "Cargo Area Backup Mirrors" and "Illuminated Cup Holders". Neat.

  • Thought I'd put together a page with all the links I'm aware of regarding the 2003 4Runner reviews, road tests, general information, etc.

    Please let me know if I'm missing any...

  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    "dawgpak" very good page of reviews. I remember Car and Driver or Road and Track having a review, but now I can't find it. Anyway here is a review from the TV program MotorWeek:

    Once again good web page, keep up the good work. By the way I also like the 4Runner pictures by "kim47" of his 4Runner by the beautiful ocean and redwood trees. The wonderful backgrounds help make the 4Runner look better.

  • aufan1aufan1 Posts: 21
    Wow, I was expecting a larger difference in the two engines. I had heard $500-$1000 or more... a bit suprising. (US $)

    How did you get the numbers?
  • kim47kim47 Posts: 9
    dawgpak - let me second the "good job" comment on your new 4Runner page. I also liked your "new" 4Runner mockup. Wish it was that easy to make changes to the real thing :-)

    peter78 - yup, I figured out that if I park my 4Runner in front of gorgeous locations then I don't really mind the cladding at all :-) And with that newfound knowledge I'm going to grab the camera again and head up to the Sierra Nevada this weekend to add to my 4Runner picture collection. As a bonus, I'll be able to try out my Sport in stormy weather.

    (FYI, since it's often impossible to tell from screen names, I'm female. Maybe that explains why I like all the other nice touches beyond the improved engine/suspension: the auxiliary storage boxes, adjustable cupholders, climate control, nice moonroof, adjustable seat belts, etc.)
  • Toyota Canada website: Go to "Price Your Toyota" That will give you all of your numbers.
  • Thanks peter78 for the additional reviews. I found the reviews you mentioned and added them to my links page.

    Road and Track:

    Car and Driver:

    And Ms. Kim, I added a link to your pictures too. Can't wait to see your Sierra shots. Looks like rain tomorrow and maybe through the weekend! Boy, we need it. I'm down near San Luis Obispo.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Since you're in the area, maybe you can get a shot of the 4Runner in the men's room at the Madonna Inn - the copper in there will surely take people's eyes off the cladding!

    Steve, Host
  • If Kim ever makes it all the way down hwy 1 to SLO, we'll see if we can her 4runner into that men's bathroom.

    Maybe we should start a new discussion category for "50 ways to divert your attention from the 4Runner cladding". I think the best idea so far is to just get inside and enjoy the drive :-).
  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    For anyone new on this board, you can refer back to posts and discussions with other on the pros/cons of the TRD supercharger. After much debate and helpful feedback from others, I decided the pros outweighed the cons and decided to give it a try with the TRD trans oil cooler and boost gauge, with no other mods. Unfortunately, dealers' parts dept's would not pass on their true costs to the new car sales dept's and it was a no-go for the price they wanted. Reason I'm posting is that I just received an e-mail with a great price on the 'charger - lowest I saw on the net. I am convinced that with my limited mechanic skills from my high school days tearing apart the old Ford Torino, I could have done myself. There are installation manuals available online. You get a one-year warranty unless you convince a dealer to install at which point you get the full Toyota factory warranty. So, for interested 3rd gen owners, this may help if you want the HP of a 4th Gen [again, there are issues to consider that were discussed fully in these prior E-mails with several others]. The E-mail:

    TRD has reduced the price on the 3.4 superchargers to $1932.50 delivered
    Email if you have any questions.
    Thank you

    [name omitted]
    [dealer omitted]
    Internet Dept.
    Houston, Texas 77373
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Another Board has prices of Superchargers for $1700 and one other price was slightly more. Heh, that is $200 savings. Some people are buying these DEALS, personally I will stay away.;f=13;t=014099

    And for people that need even more power, you can have a Supercharger for the new V8 4Runner for the bargain price of $4,800, plus installation. Go for it.

  • kjack100kjack100 Posts: 133
    There was a good article on the new Lexus GX470 in December's Car and Driver. Notes of interest for 2003 4Runner enthusiasts are that the GX470 is three inches higher than the 2003 4Runner. This was added to the design supposedly to allow for enough headroom for the third row seats.
    Also, to provide 'cathedralesque headroom is part of the Lexus luxury.' Please pass the barf bag.

    One last note was that the GX470 front seats are mounted higher than he 4Runner to 'provide a commanding view of the world around...the 4Runner is sportier he (the designer) says, so its driver should sit low.'

    Nice website dawgpak.
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