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Toyota 4Runner



  • after researching several suv's I stayed with my 1st love and went with the galactic gray/sport. This forum was instrumental in my decision. If you buy go through the fleet manager. $500 over dealer invoice. Would never buy another way again.
  • Congrats fngfish!
  • beagles3beagles3 Posts: 132
    Do you have anew e-mail address? I saw at the beginning of this topic that you had an e-mail address that we could use in order for you to help find out a gear ratio on a specific rig? I tried the,but, got an error message?
  • cttoycttoy Posts: 5
    nippononly, thanks for responding. The squeal is not A/C related. I did forget to mention that the car needs to be warmed up (driven for about 9-10 miles before happening). It is also intermittent. Today it didn't happen at all (yet) but yesterday it happened just before I got to work (driven about 10 miles) and after 3 weeks of quiet. Toyota also ruled out hub seals. I do think it is the belt, but Toyota does not. Thanks again, and if anyone out there has experienced this please advise......
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    My correct e-mail address is in my profile. It changed when I moved from one dealership to another. The Edmund's folks don't let me post my e-mail outside of the profile because it looks too much like I am soliciting for business.
  • So I have started keeping track of miles driven and the amount of fuel I actually put in the vehicle based on people's recommendation for this system.

    My 2003 4runner has about 2000 miles on it and I have been tracking mpg for the last 1100 or so using the recommended method.

    For the last 1087 miles I have averaged 13.77 miles per gallon. I am not very happy with this figure especially compared to the other information I am seeing on this site. My computer shows an average of between 15.1 and 15.4 in contrast to the real numbers.
  • Thanks to all who responded to my question about how the Full-Time 4WD drives. After much deliberation, I've decided to go with the V6. I won't be towing anything and something just didn't feel right about driving around So Cal in full-time 4WD when I don't need to. The V6 has plenty of power, 2WD Optional, better gas mileage, and it's cheaper to insure.

    The most amazing thing is that a Fleet Manager here in So. Cal found exactly the truck I want. It will be here tomorrow. Galactic Gray Sport Edition 4WD V6! Simply finding a 4WD in So Cal is tough, but a V6 4WD is like a needle in a haystack. I'll be picking it up on Saturday...

    Thanks again!
  • Which dealer did you go to? You're right about the 4WD models, they're harder to find out here.
  • khaugkhaug Posts: 64
    Congratulations, Brestle. Sounds like a nice truck. If you're not an off-roader, I doubt you'll miss the 4WD in SoCal.

    Let us know how you like the V6. I think you may be the first V6 owner (well, potential owner, anyway)on this forum.

  • I am a three time 4Runner owner, 1991, 1995 and currently a 2000 SR5 4WD with all the options that were avaliable.

    I rented a 2003 Sport Edition 4Runner for the past two days and did a test drive from Boulder (5000ft +) up to Loveland via I-25, then to Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park (7000ft +, winding road), back south via Peak to Peak Hwy (ranges from 7500ft to 9500ft, winding road) to Nederland (8000ft+), then back east to Boulder (downhill winding road). I then drove my 2000 4Runner via the same route and repeated the route with the 2003 Sport Edition.

    My evaluation...

    Negatives in no specific order --->

    1) Wind Noise - I was quite shocked how much wind noise is produced by the new 2003 model. It was significantly more than my 2000 model. Might have been partially caused by the hood scoop.

    2) Road noise - The 2003 Sport edition I rented has fulltime 4WD. Maybe this is the reason that it was noiser on any road surface that I drove upon.

    3) Location and orientation of the driver side power window and lock controls - They are not ergonomic at all. In the 2000 my arm can remain on the arm rest to adjust the controls. In the 2003 you have to remove your arm reach down to
    make any adjustments on a "control Panel" that is tilted inward. You have to slightly twist your hand inward, much like throwing a screwball in baseball.

    4) The circular design of the Tac, speedometer, fuel gauge console - When driving in sunlight the center "circle" casts shadows on all three. In a
    number of situations I could see the bright orange "pointer", but could not see the numbers on the gauge. I found myself doing a double take
    trying to quickly determine what my speed was exactly. The odometer and Tac are also about 20% smaller than those of the 2000. The height of the
    center "circle" also slightly obscures the gauges to the left and right. The silver painted design is a distraction.

    5) Orange backlit gauges at night - Very irritating to me. I flat out hate orange.

    6) Cladding - The model I drove was black with the ugly grey cladding. As I was driving along you start hoping that no one around you is going to notice how pathetic looking it is.

    7) Ride quality - My 2000 model is equal to or better. I wasn't impressed by the 2003 on the highway at all, but I did have very high expectations.

    8) Silver roof rack / door handles - one word... ugly! on black with the crappy cladding.

    9) Center speaker on the dash - It seems to overwhelm the sound from the other speakers. The sound of my 6 speaker system of my 2000 is much better.

    10) Flat surface of the fender flares - Jeep Cherokee / Chevy Avalanche ugly!

    11) "White" Plastic strip on the door interior - ugly, cheap looking...

    Positives in no specific order --->

    1) Horse power - The V-8 is outstanding and the transmission is amazing. More times that I can count I was doing 20mph faster than I thought.

    2) Handling - Another outstanding quality... As I was driving back to Boulder from the dealership where I rented this 2003 model I went from
    I-25 northbound to Hwy 36 westbound (to Boulder). I didn't realize it going through this high speed exit ramp/turn, but I was doing 75 mph in a 55 mph zone and it felt like I was driving a sportscar. Same experience on the winding mountain roads during my test drives.

    In Summary, as a long time Toyota 4Runner owner I am extremely disappointed in this new generation of 4Runner. While it has many new technical advances and a powerful V-8, the stlying changes are a major step backward. As far as styling goes the 4Runner design team thought of the Jeep Cherokee, Nissan X-Terra, etc. owners... only problem... they forgot about their most loyal
    following... actual 4Runner owners. I could never imagine that I would use the words like hate, pathetic and ugly, etc. when speaking about a Toyota 4Runner... I will never buy this design for reasons 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 and 11 from above.

    I am more motivated than ever to take care of my 2000 4Runner...
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    The problem is that most people take 4Runners for a short drive. My 2002 4Runner is actually pretty quiet under normal CALM conditions, EXCEPT when there is wind gushing around, then it can get noisy. I think this is because it is a big block of steel on the highway. No matter what type of insulation you have, you can't get away from it's tall, boxy shape.

    When i test drove the '03 4Runner i noticed the same thing. The noise is, at best, a bit better. If you don't believe, wait for a windy day and take the '03 for a will surprise it did me with my '02 4Runner.
  • I saw a Green Sport V8 4X4 for the first time hidden in the back of a dealer lot (for some reason) and it looks really awesome. I have had two green cars already, but if that weren't the case, I would get the green in a second. It even makes the cladding look sharp!

    Also, I did see that combination of tan leather interior on a Silver Ltd V8 4X4. Very classy looking.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    So Toyota did listen to the voice of the people. Arriving in February or March, SR5 4Runners will be available with an optional color keyed cladding and bumpers. This was straight out of our district rep's mouth Tuesday at a meeting.
    : )
  • cttoycttoy Posts: 5
    couldn't agree with you more ajivoin......what were the 2003 designers thinking? The new style is nothing short of "grocery getter". I thought that was what the Highlander was for! The side looks like a Cherokee and the front looks like a Rav4. Forget about the ugly rear! Yeah, that was the look we wanted! I'm shocked the rear window still goes down. Even the inside feels just like a Cherokee. They have completly cast aside their loyal 4Runner owners. I have a 2000 and I wish I could purchase a 2002 and save it in a garage for a few years! It's all about how many kids (and their Big Gulps)that you can fit into your car instead of throwing a bike on the roof or heading up to the mountains. It just doesn't have that look or feel anymore.
  • I think every 2003 basher on this board owns a 3rd gen 4Runner. Face it, the 2003 is better in ALMOST every way than the 2002.
    The subjective looks I won't touch, I'm talking function here (but IMO the color matched 2003 looks great).
    As far as the interior, yes, it is different. But if you look at the new one and old one side by side, you will see that the materials are about the same - the 2003 quality is just as good as the 2002.
    The new engine and tranny is incredible - no one can argue with that.
    The ONLY functional problem I find with the 2003 compared with the older model is the lower ground clearance. Other than that I challenge anyone to show me any significant area, NON-SUBJECTIVE, where the 3rd gen is better than the 2003.

    I'll be compiling the list of 2003 advantages while I wait (and BTW, I don't own a 4Runner - yet).
  • Do you have any numbers for the option for the color keyed cladding and bumpers?
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Let's see how the 3rd generation 4Runner stacks up against the 4th generation, in areas that were important to me:

    1.) Payload, 3rd generation holds about 40% more. This is a huge difference for me.

    2.) Cargo Capacity, 3rd generation holds 6% more.

    3.) Ground clearance, 3rd generation holds the edge.

    4.) Towing, 3rd generation tows 5,000 pounds, which is tied to the V8 4th generation.

    Three wins and one tie. Back in 2001, if I wanted 4th generation specs and looks I would of bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Newer does not always mean better. I am surprised of the review of the wind and road noise of the 4th generation. But if you go strictly by numbers, 3rd generation wins.
  • I went to at least 5 different dealers with no luck. I logged onto Autobuytel, but the info in, and Toyota of Buena Park called back and they found me the V6 4X4. I couldn't believe how easy it was...especially since other dealers said things such as "4WD models are not coming out until mid-next year" and "V8 is the standard, you won't see V6s for awhile."
  • Thanks for the info.

    I noticed Carson Toyota had a couple of V6 4WD's.
  • I,too, experienced very noticeable wind noise at 60 mph and above on my one hwy road test, esp. as compared to my 2000 model. It seemed to come from the forward part of the roof in the general area of the sunroof.(The roof rack bars were situated well rearward). I sort of wrote it off as being a result of a generally windy day, with the idea of doing another hwy test in the future(which I haven't had the time to do).
    It is disappointing to hear of others noticing the same. This is definitely out of character with the general quietness of the vehicle. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

    Also tire noise was greater than I expected. I have found that tire noise varies noticeably depending on which brand or brand model is on a specific vehicle.(Michelins tend to hum or whine more than a Goodyear Wrangler for instance).
  • The manual refers to a particular placement for the 2 crossbars on the roof rack. There are notches to show where they should sit.

    The corssbars should sit centered over the notches on each side.

    It makes a big difference.

    Hope this helps.
  • I can't believe all the negatives I read about the 03 4 Runner. I have had a '95, '97 and now the 03 sports edition. I think the 03 is a much better truck with more power, rides like a dream, and many many more features. I live in the moutains and dive on very steep roads and also do a lot of highway driving. In my opinion the o3 is a much better truck. For those of you that don't like it, keep your 02's, 01's, 00's and so on. When you see the 03 just close your eyes.
  • gage3gage3 Posts: 4
    I just purchased an '03 Limited 4x4 V8... I drove it a few times and was very impressed.

    I always liked the 3rd Gen's and have driven a friends quite a bit. When I drove the '03 I was blown away, I thought it was a much better truck.

    I will admit, I did not like the new model when I first saw it. But, every time I went back a test drove or looked at it, I liked it more and more.
    I think some people who own 3rd gen's are upset because their 4 Runners have been made basically "outdated" as far as the market goes.

    I do agree that the body cladding is ugly...
    There are some things I'm not real keen on... But, no auto exsists that fit's the bill 100%.
  • - I gave you the ground clearance issue, so I won't address that.
    - I'll give you the payload issue as well, I hadn't thought of that. But if you really need payload, you shouldn't be looking at a midsized SUV IMO. Can you honestly say you would go over the limit more than once or twice?
    - As for cargo capacity, I read that Toyota changed the way they calculate that number for 2003, and it would have been more if they used the old way. Think about it: it's 4 inches wider and 4.5 inches longer. It will have at least as much cargo capacity.
    - Trailer capacity: obviously the problem is with the hitch, not the engine (on the 2003). Maybe the capacity is technically the same, but I would WAY rather be pulling a trailer through the mountains with that V8 purring and not the old 3.4 liter...

    Just my $.02
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    "hannerhan" When you posted "I challenge anyone to show me any significant area, NON-SUBJECTIVE, where the 3rd gen is better than the 2003." I was simply responding to your post.

    Your response to me was, payload is not a big deal, well with only 1100 pounds you can now carry 5 big guys and maybe a toothbrush. I carry camping equipment and a canoe all the time, along with 3 people, I need the 1,650 pound payload.

    To my knowledge, Toyota hasn't announced they have measured the cargo space differently. I know Cliffy has a post saying Toyota has measured differently and I immediately challenged him on that. I know this board also had posts on maybe ground clearance is now measured differently. It seems funny to me that people come up with explanations over the differences, other than it really is less.

    Towing is the same. Why would towing be the same with a V8 and the old 3.4 V6, don't you think they could of improved the numbers. Maybe Toyota is measuring that different too.

    Now as far as slamming the new 4Runner. I am sure it is just wonderful, with the more interior space and extra power. I am sure it will do well. It just now has a slightly different mission.
  • gage3gage3 Posts: 4
    I agree on the towing... When I was driving the auto, the sales guy and I were talking about this. he said exactly the same thing that peter78 was is saying.
    The only thing we could come up with is that while the v8 most likely can tow more weight, Toyota either doesn't want or doesn't think people who buy 4Runners need to be pulling more than 5k.
    That was our solution and seemed reasonable.
  • I posted about this issue on one of the 4Runner boards about a month ago. I was told specifically by one of the technical advisors for Toyota that the major reason that the towing capacity of the new generation 4Runner is limited to 5,000 lbs is the design of the receiver. At the time of that post, I explained that when designing the truck, they had not figured in the full-sized spare tire when they designed the rear bumper and integrated hitch. You will notice that all 4Runner have the receiver as standard equipment. You will also notice they include the drop hitch with it as well. In the past couple of weeks there have been a few posts about problems with standard hitches fitting into the receiver. They had to reduce the depth of the receiver once they realized they wanted to allow the full-sized spare still and the receiver is shallow in comparison to standard. They are planning on an optional upgraded tow receiver that will allow the vehicle to tow 6,500 lbs like the V8 Tundra and Sequoia, but the sales have been strong enough that it hasn't been necessary up to yet.

    At the time of the information that I was given, I was told that the drivetrain was actually tested towing 13,000 lbs, but the chassis and suspension are obviously not designed for those tolerences.

    So, at some time in the near future, there should be an upgrade to the towing ability of the 4Runner up to 6,500lbs. I do not know if it will be something that is only available for factory built units or if it will be a "bolt-on" option that you can have done at the dealer. As I get updates, I'll post them here.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Gros Morne? Looks like the Lomand campground.

    Steve, Host

  • khaugkhaug Posts: 64
    Hi all. I'd like to weigh in on this discussion, having just passed 1K miles on our '03 4WD Limited V8.

    We spent the past 5 years and 75K miles in a '98 Limited. It was a well-assembled and finished, robust, extremely reliable vehicle. As the miles rolled up, though, I came to realize that it had a cramped passenger compartment, was moderately noisy, was seriously short of torque for towing my 4,000# trailer, had marginal braking capacity, had a primitive 4WD system and a harsh ride. It was also woefully short of the amenities that were offered by its competition. I would not have bought another 3rd gen 4Runner, and I suspect that many share that opinion, as sales had fallen to less than 1/3 the level they reached at the peak of the model run.

    The 4th gen has addressed all of these shortcomings while preserving traditional Toyota and 4Runner virtues. The '03 is clearly superior in comfort, noise level, power, handling (at least with X-REAS) and "content". I agree with some of the aesthetic criticisms that have been posted, but to me, pretty is as pretty does, and the 4th gen 'Runners are pretty indeed in that context.

    It was icing on the cake for me to discover that if you adjust the price we paid in '98 for inflation, you end up almost to the dollar with what we paid for our '03. Which means that thirty-some improvements such as the V8 engine, 5 speed tranny, 4 wheel disc brakes, 17" wheels, auto climate control, etc., etc., all came free!

    You could not pay me enough to go back to the 3rd gen at this point. The '03's level of refinement is simply in a different league than the '98. If you disagree with this assessment, fine: Go buy a J**p GC or something. Me, I'm looking forward to the next 5 years.

    BTW, I, too, was told the towing capacity is strictly a hitch issue. The standard equipment hitch is a Class III, which limits capacity to 5K #. Interestingly, though, the factory-supplied drawbar is rated for Class IV loads, and is bored to accept a 1-1/8" ball shank. Toyota finally found me one that fits the receiver!


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