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Toyota 4Runner



  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    You do know that if the window lock is on, you can't open the rear with the remote right? That was the basis for a long series of discussions/complaints in the Sequoia topic last year.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Well, I just did something fun. In the back of our auxiliary lot, we have a drainage ditch. The lot and the ditch are unpaved. The ditch is about 8 feet deep and the sides are very steep. Well... a couple of salesmen wanted to see how the DAC and UAC worked. I was called to demonstrate.

    First the DAC. We read the manual and shifted into 4WD Low and put the transmission into low. I crept to the edge of the hole. It took a huge amount of will power to keep my foot off the brake. Its scared the heck out of me. The system took over and did exactly what it was supposed to do. It was a slow, controlled descent with the ABS clicking in. AWESOME!

    Next, I drove half way up the hill and stopped. With it in 4WD high, I took my foot off the brake but didn't hit the gas. As I started to roll backwards, I heard the VSC buzzer go off and the ABS engaged. It was not enough to stop me completely but was plenty to give me time to hit the gas. Again, very cool.

    After the first attempt, we tried it again. Same result going down, but this time I left it in the low gear range on the way back up. Again, I stopped. The angle was VERY steep and all we could see were clouds. I took my foot off the brake. Nothing. No movement at all. No ABS or anything. At idle, with the transfer case in low, there was enough torque from the V8 to hold our position. Wow.

    Oh yeah... don't tell the owners of our little training session.
  • I'm sorry to hear about the failure of the suspension on your 4Runner.

    I am trying to make a purchase decision on an '03 4Runner and was leaning toward the Sport model over the SR5 primarily because of the rave reviews of the X-REAS suspension. But, the reliability and maintainence was a concern to me because of the complexity of the system (hoses/fluid/gas chambers). Your experience is a real life example of the type of failure I was worried about.

    Apparently the failure was difficult to diagnose if it took 3 trips to the dealer to find it. Could you feel anything in the handling of the truck that indicated that a failure had occured? Were there any fluid leaks visible to give a clue that there was a problem ?

    Sorry about all the questions but I have found very little real data about this system.
    Thanks for any additional comments.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    One thing to consider is that the system is brand new to the industry much less to 4Runners. As they continue to make them and possibly aftermarket companies adopt the system, the cost of replacement and repairs should go down.

    The only reason that I say it this way is that I have a customer that just purchased an MR2 Spyder from me and was looking into snow tires for it. (imagine that for Buffalo, NY) Snow tires are available for the front wheels as they are the same size they have been since 2000. The rears are a new size as of this year, however, so there are no snows available for those wheels as of yet because the Spyder is the only vehicle on the road that uses that particular size wheel and tire.

    So my point is that for the first year or so, pricing may be a bit high compared to conventional alternatives, but as more of them are produced, the pricing should be less.

  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    I doubt there will ever be any aftermarket XREAS-type shocks. There is simply too much hardware to install on a truck. The crosslinking tubes/wires itself will be very difficult.

    The new Range Rover also has cross-linking shocks...but laterally linked over the same axle, instead of diagonally like in the 4Runner.

    There are no aftermarket cross-linking shocks that i know of.

    Cross-linking shocks are only good if the vehicle is designed for it.
  • Thanks to all of you guys that offered suggestions. Anyway, I live in califonia, so the
    frozen window is out. It is now 75 degrees here. Next, the beeping sound is not due to the doors being open. It beeps after I press the remote
    to open the window. Ken is right, the remote is sending a signal and the beep indicates that the car is receiving the signal. What I did next was to go back to the car, re-read the manual and tried using the key from the tailgate. It would not open either way clockwise or counterclockwise turn.

    Important ADVISE for those who may encounter the same problem, after re-reading the manual, there was a page that instructs on how to operate the window from the dashboard controller.
    The manual instructs user to re-set the back window opener by hitting the down arrow halfway
    and then hitting the up arrow. Surprise, the window now operates on a one touch mode where before i needed to depress the down/up buttons continously. I tried the remote and it now works
    I tried the key from the outside and it now works.
    I am so grateful to all of your suggestions. It has saved me a needless trip to the dealership.
  • tacovivatacoviva Posts: 116

    During the test drive I did notice a clunk in the front end which they promtly fixed. The system performed even without the fluid, but it did make noise (clunking). I'm upset at the dealer because I told them it sounded like the shock(s). They assured me that it was a loose piece of trim work and scheduled me to come in and let the trim shop fix it. Finally, they said that it was the shocks and ordered them. BTW, I am a reliability engineer for a large company and we see this type of thing in our products (or a vendors) from time to time. It's called infant mortality. Seems morbid but that's what it's called. Anyway, I expect to have problems, but it's HOW Toyota deals with them that bothers me. Some notes on X-REAS: It's fantastic system that was originally developed by Yamaha and used on the Supra. It is very reliable, but once in a while a bad seal can find it's way in to a production piece. I wouldn't worry too much about it's reliability. It is a highly effective and simple system. All SUVs will eventually carry a similar system to improve stability.
  • jbwhjbwh Posts: 8
    Most after market shops get the leather from Classic Soft Trim ( They have the pattern for the 2003 4Runner already. They will also sell you the complete leather set - you need patience & bull-nose-clip pliers to DIY. I've been looking at getting leather for my 2003 Sport Edition from them (since it wasn't avail from the factory - at least here in Canada). You get to choose your color combo & have sections "perforated" (not as sticky in the heat) and a logo stitched in if you want. Don't know if I'm brave enough to do it myself, but it would save ~$800 Canadian compared to the quote i got locally. Suppose to be a better quality of leather than factory too - I did see their work in a friend's Supra and it is certainly nicer (softer / looks more natural) than the factory stuff in my Supra.
  • Thanks for the responses on the leather. It does look as if the leather is of a better quality when added after-market. Also, I saw one with black leather that looked better than the grey or tan that Toyota offers. As to the airbag issue, I saw the "Side Air Bag" label stitched into the leather. Maybe they found a way to do it.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    That doesn't sound too bad a way to go. You could remove the passenger seat entirely and take it in the house and take your time working on it for days (your co-passengers would enjoy limousine seating in the meantime, lol). Ditto the rears if you did those. Then you'd be pretty expert at doing the drivers side.

    Be a good opportunity to add bun warmers too!

    And if worse came to worse, you could always drag the pieces down to the upholstery shop for fixing.

    Steve, Host
  • Don't know whether he had to pay for it himself or not; I certainly doubt it but I've never worked for a car dealership so I cannot speak from experience.

    I do know he's still working there ... he avoided me like the plague when I stopped in yesterday to thank the woman who helped get everything fixed.

    Now I just have to figure out which seven CDs to keep in the system. <g>

    Stay safe!
  • I really liked the design of the visors in the one SR5 Sport model I drove. They had a sliding extension on the free end which made them longer and allowed it to cover the side window very well. In addition, they had a secondary visor for the front to use when the main vison was moved to the side window. I found this to be very functional.

    Now I am seeing Sport and SR5 models on the lot that do not have the extension feature and may not have the secondary vison for the front.

    Does anyone know the story on these differences ?

  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    The sunvisors don't have an extension in them like most of the Toyota vehicles. They are doubled up, so when you have the main one over to one side, there is a smaller one to flip down in front of you. What they do is slide on the pivot so that the whole visor can move further along the side window if the sun is further back.

    Hope this helps.

  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    Looking for a V8 Limited. My first color choice is Pacific Blue, but so far the salesman I've been working with hasn't been able to find one in close enough proximity to make it economically worthwhile to get the vehicle here. Basically, I don't want to pay a premium for a specific color when it's all the same vehicle. He seemed to want to charge me more for that color, too, in addition to the transportation costs.

    How rare is the Pacific Blue? What are my best options for getting it in that color without incurring too much extra cost (more than a few hundred)? Or is my best option to get over that color and look for something else?
  • In the Sport model I drove and several other 4Runners on the lot here, the visors do actually have a recessed plastic extension that slides out to make the visor about 8 inches longer. This is in addition to the smaller secondary one like you described for the front only. You can see the extension by looking at the end visor.

    I really like the extension feature but it almost looks like a random selection process where some have it and others do not. Maybe they had to substitute a different visor due to supply problems in early production.

    Maybe the visors without the extension slide across as you described and accomplish the same thing. I consider the flexibility of the longer visor with the second front element to be a valuable safety feature.
    Thanks again for the input.
  • Anybody know:
    -If MSRPs on special order 03 4runner packages can be dealt? and/or are there any additional costs associated with this route? Expected duration of turn-around after placing an order?

    -Can JBL Synthesis be installed by the dealer "aftermarket". If so, are they charging high $.
    -Will the (AP) Appearance package be available on the Sport models?

    -What type of tires are being equipped on the LTD V6s/V8s
  • jaredmsdjaredmsd Posts: 127
    Well I would refer you to my earlier posts on my experiences with special ordering, but I don't even want to bother searching, so here goes.

    Special ordering (as in build ordering, not ordering from another dealership) can be dealt below MSRP. I personally did a build order on a 4runner from Carson Toyota in Carson, Ca. I was offered $1000 over invoice quote for the car, of which no other dealer would beat (it seems that this is the minimum from the roughly 10 dealers that would even DO a build order). Just so you know, I went through the internet managers at each of these dealers.
    There are no additional costs with going this route, unless you consider paying $1000 over invoice an additional cost (some dealers have offered me $500 over invoice for the stock on their lot). You WILL have to pay a down payment of $1000, which I was told is a requirement of Toyota to do build orders, but of course you'll get this back.
    As far as turnaround goes, you are looking at 4 to 5 months! I'm completely fine with 4 months, so I did it with no hesitation. I suppose they wait to make special build orders until after they already make the stock that goes to dealers (which I guess ends around April).
    The only issues you will have is finding a dealer that will do one for you (if you leave near Cali, then I gave you the best one), and deciding each individual option you want on the car (now that your are getting a special order, you aren't required to order in packages). Oh, and you have to order before April, or you will be waiting until an '04 gets built!

    As far as your other questions are concerned, I have no bloody clue, but I'm sure they will get answered soon.

  • My question may have been answered in previous discussions so please direct me to the discussion number if so. My friends are telling me that I should have bought the V8 instead of the V6 engine
    considering that 1)there is only an $800 difference in pricing, 2)mileage consumption is only a 2 gallon difference 3)V8 engines are better than v6 in terms of performance 3)resale value of v8 is much more. What do you guys think?
  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    I'm currently shopping for a V8 version. I haven't driven the V6 version, so I can't comment on my impression of the performace. The salesperson claimed the V8 was about 1.5 seconds faster in 0-60. I was awed by the low-end grunt of the V8 when I test drove it. That, along with the fact the V8 comes with a 5 speed instead of a 4 speed, plus the full time AWD, I didn't really consider the V6. The part-time system on the V6, from what I read in here, can probably be used as a full time one, but might save you some mileage if you leave it in 2WD. My personal tastes are to always have it in 4WD.

    The EPA estimates are 2MPG apart, yes, so not a huge difference. Resale value will obviously be better, but I don't know by how much.

    To me, the performance gain and better driveline components worth it for 2MPG and $800, but it may not be for everyone.

    I did talk to my salesman again today, and he said he may be able to divert one here that's Pacific Blue, I'm assuming at no extra charge - I e-mailed him to verify. The other option is to wait until all the dealers get their next allocation (maybe arrive in 6 weeks, but he'll know what he's getting pretty soon) and try and grab a Pacific Blue one then. Waiting a few weeks for the right color isn't a problem for me - paying more for it is.
  • read reviews and except when needed for towing
    editors are saying that the v8 is not necessary because the v6 delivers more than enough power.
    i have not tested the v8 and just bought the v6 after comparing it with my old 96 nissan pathfinder with 167 hp
  • vodgutvodgut Posts: 162
    I'd bet the editors are right when they say the V6 is plenty adequate. I'd imagine it's more than so. Unless you're towing, it's probably a matter of personal taste. Do you want somewhat better performance and a 5 speed auto in exchange for $800 and marginally lower mileage?

    The dealership I've been visiting had a V6 limited in Pacific Blue, but alas, I yearn for the V8.

    Anyone have 0-60 times for the V6? I'm curious.
  • jbhncjbhnc Posts: 16
    Also keep in mind the V8 has been around for a couple of years in other vehicles and has a good reputation.

    For me it was a no brainer, the V8 is really nice, makes it the best driving SUV IMHO. Although the v6 wasn't available when I got my runner, I did drive one when they came out and still prefer the V8.
  • V6 = 8.1sec
    V8 = 7.5 sec

    I don't remember the source, but am pretty sure these numbers are accurate. They are both very good times for a heavy SUV, but the torque of the V8 is going to make it feel more powerful.
  • The V8 was much cheaper than the V6 here due to the high demand for V6's - local dealers were offering $3500 off the V8's and no promotion on the V6's - pretty strange.
  • I've driven both, and the v6 is fine. Didn't notice a lot of difference, but the v8 does have more ooomph on the low end. I wish the v8 had the same 4wd system as the v6, since 2wd would do fine for 99.9% of my driving. Also, the v8 uses a timing belt, whereas the v6 has a timing chain. MPG is also better on v6. But I yearn for the v8.

    As for resale on each engine, it probably depends on the price of gasoline. If gas is $3.00 a gallon, the v6 might bring a premium over the v8. Although if gas is $3.00 a gallon, all 4Runners and other SUVs are gonna take a price hit.
  • brestlebrestle Posts: 22
    ...see my message: post number 4688.

    Everyone has different needs. I, unlike many, saw many V8s but waited until I could get my hands on a V6...
  • Don't own either (yet), but I took a "spirited" test drive in both back to back. Both accelerated impressively. I couldn't perceive a noticeable difference with my calibrated seat of the pants. What I could notice was the V-6 "seemed/sounded" like it was working just a little harder to get the job done, but if I hadn't just driven the V8, I don't think I would have ever noticed that. Short of frequent heavy towing, I don't think you could really go wrong either way. Toyota didn't make the engine options an obvious choice this time did they?

    What I didn't like was the way the traction control retarded the engine power when accelerating hard out of a tight corner. I still don't understand why the system is this intrusive. Any thoughts?

    On a separate note, unless I was stretching my budget to the breaking point, I wouldn't even consider non-XREAS equipped 4-runner. Even with the recently mentioned problems, it is just that impressive.
  • I have a question. I have been following my standard car buying procedure, as I had outlined in previous posts, and had gotten responses to my inquiries to the "Request a Quote" option on the Toyota web site from 6 of my local dealers. After talking to people about the dealerships and analyzing the quotes I have it narrowed down to two dealers.

    My problem is that one of the dealers is the dealer that I test drove the car at, in October, when they first came out. I had no further contact with that salesman since that time, and never expected that dealer to be in the running since it was a very small dealership. However, the internet sales manager gave me a good quote and people have recommended this dealer. I later found out that they have a separate internet sales organization that deals in volume. So my question is, should I go back to the original salesman and give him the opportunity to sell the car since he set up the test drive? If he can't match the internet price, do I buy it at that dealership through the internet sales department; or do I just say its not worth the problems that this might cause, and stop feeling guilty, and buy it from the other dealership? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • Don't worry about what your friends say about your choice of engines. (Nice friends...they'd probably say you should have married Betty right after you walked Suzie down the aisle.)

    The V6 and V8 are very close to each other in terms of performance. Each has its advantages and disadvantages over the other.

    I got the V8 myself, because I plan on using it for towing. If that weren't a factor for me, then I'd consider it a toss-up between the two engines.

    Don't lose any sleep over your decision. No matter what your "friends" say, you bought an awesome SUV!
  • skhoslaskhosla Posts: 22
    I am thinking of placing a special order for Ltd V6, primarily because I don't need all the options that they are coming with in N. California.

    1. I have been quoted a price of 500$ over invoice. Is it a good price? I have heard that some dealers might be offering incentives (0% APR or 1500 off invoice!?!?).

    2. I haven't driven one with XREAS yet, but have heard good things about it. I am opting for it because my primary concern is safety, and the previous 4runners have had below average rollover ratings. Does anyone what the crash ratings are for 2003 models? Does XREAS add more stability, thereby reducing chances of a rollover?

    3. The rear spoiler - is it there mostly for cosmetics or does it serve any other purpose besides that?

    4. Can anyone comment on the 6CD changer? Are the CD changes smooth and quick?

    5. I want to order one with DVD entertainment system. Does anyone have invoice and MSRP for that option? I know Toyota is not shipping with those now, but they are not shipping Ltd V6 either. So I am willing to wait till they start shipping V6, and hopefully by that time, they'll also be shipping with the DVD system. The dealer says it will be sometime around Oct.

    Thanks in advance,
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