Last post on Jul 06, 2013 at 3:20 AM
You are in the Toyota 4Runner
What is this discussion about?
Toyota 4Runner, SUV
#10995 of 11429 Opportunity Knocking?
Sep 19, 2005 (2:01 pm)
I own a 2003 4Runner LTD, and I don't have the 3rd-row seat, nor do I have any kids. That said, I too don't think you'll be happy with how little room there is back there with the 4Runner's 3rd-row seatbench, especially as your kids continue to grow. In addition, you may quickly grow tired of the restricted avenues of access you'll have to the 4Runner's 3rd-row seat. This means that every time you load or unload any kids from that 3rd-row seat, it may quickly prove to be be a tiresome and frustrating chore. Likewise, if you would ever have to QUICKLY remove kids from back in that 3rd-row seat during an emergency, you'll have your work cut out for you.
The new 4Runners are truly magnificent mid-sized SUVs, but in my opinion they simply don't have enough interior space to easily and safely accomodate two adults along with several growing kids and their friends, not to mention cargo, pets, mother-in-laws, etc. Rather, the 4Runner is perhaps better thought of as more of a "personal" SUV.
If you want to invest in the legendary reliability and engineering of a Toyota; and, if you have your heart set on an SUV rather than a minivan (very understandable), my suggestion would be to consider either the Sequoia (a truck-based SUV) or perhaps the Highlander (which is based on a stretched and modified car frame). However, neither of these SUVs will be quite as convenient and functional with kids as a Sienna minivan.
If you're lusting after the 2004 Land Cruiser demo, and you're fully prepared to pay the price of the demo, you might do better buying a new (or newer) Sequoia. If you decide to go for the Land Cruiser demo, I would walk away from the deal if it doesn't include a full "as new" factory warranty, as well as an option to buy Toyota's Platinum, 100,000 mile extended warranty. (I'm a believer in extended warranties if we plan to keep the vehicle for a long time.)
Good luck, and keep us posted!
Sep 20, 2005 (6:35 pm)
Thanks to everyone who offered their knowledge about the 4runner to me! I'm liking the truck more and more.
One thing I was curious about was on how the Limited models, the X-REAS (I think that's what it's called?) is optional. Everyone writes glowing reviews about it, saying how it improves the suspension vastly, helps with turning, body roll, etc. If it's so good, then why is it only an option on the Limited, and not standard as in the Sport edition?
Does anyone own a 4runner without the X-REAS? I have yet to test-drive a 4runner , I've only sat in one. Based on what I've read, it seems the X-REAS is a must for city driving, which is where I'll be doing most of my driving anyways. Any thoughts on this? Are there pros and cons to having the X-REAS?
Thanks in advance to anyone with any information.
#10997 of 11429 Re: X-REAS [burner7]
Sep 20, 2005 (7:34 pm)
I have an '05 Sport Edition with the X-REAS suspension. What it does is interlink the shock absorbers through a hydraulic line to the opposite corner. (Right front shock to left rear, etc.) The reservoir pumps fluid to the shock the needs it in order to keep the vehicle "more flat" through curves. Is this a must have? Not really! Does it make the SUV handle better and fun to drive? Yes! However, if you are not a "demanding driver" the base suspension in the "SR-5" is fine.
Good luck and let us know!
#10998 of 11429 Re: X-REAS [burner7]
Sep 21, 2005 (4:05 am)
I have the XREAS on my 03 Sport. I use my 4-Runner for a lot of hauling. My previous 3 4-Runners would lean heavily in the rear, especially for a heavy load. With the 03, I can put a heavy load in the rear, and the truck stays pretty much flat.
Sep 21, 2005 (1:43 pm)
I test drove the sports edition with the X-REAS and the limited without it 2 weeks ago. During normal city driving, I did not notice any difference in handling. When the road got bumpy, the X-REAS was a bit more of a stiff ride than the limited. On the highway was where the X-REAS out perform the limited. It kept the 4Runner flat during high speed lane changes, the limited had some body lean but not that bad at all. Frankly, after all the glowing reviews I have read, I was a bit disppointed. On the plus side, the X-REAS system does use higher quality shocks which should last longer than the standard shocks.
My advice is to test drive them both and make the call yourself.
#11000 of 11429 Some purchasing input, please...
Sep 21, 2005 (6:29 pm)
My wife and I are looking at an 2005 SR5 V6 4Runner which we will keep (knock on wood) for a minimum of 10 years.
We plan to put our kid (kids?) in the 3rd row only when we have a carful of adults, none of whom are game enough to fold themselves up in the back. If we had to have them in the back all of the time, I don't think we would go this route and would opt for the minivan instead.
V8 vs. V6. We might tow a small sailboat from time-to-time, probably not enough to merit the V8. Besides, aren't the V8 engines a fairly new thing? Seems like I just started seeing them this year...are we to believe (as the Toyota rep was trying to convince me) that the V6 doesn't provide enough power for towing or "serious" offroading?
(Side note: The dealer did not have any V6 4Runners on his lot. He also didn't have any Highlanders other than the 4x2 and was kind enough to let us know that they weren't real offroad vehicles anyway and we would be better off without the 4WD. I loved all this...if he hadn't had any 4x2s, I am sure the 4x4s would have been the only thing worth living for. )
We are living in Hawaii right now and one motivation for purchasing the Toyota now rather than waiting until we get back to the mainland in a year or two is that all the Toyotas here are actually manufactured in Japan. I have heard scuttlebutt that the Japanese made Toyotas are even better than the already excellent American made Toyotas. Does anyone have any comments on this notion?
Once we select a vehicle, I am basing my offer on the Consumer Reports New Car Buying kit information. I suspect that the prices here in Hawaii are higher than on the mainland, but don't know for sure. Anyone have any input? Obviously I want the best possible deal, so I need as much info as possible.
Gas was just under $4 / gallon here on Maui last week, thankfully a little lower this week. The Prius and other hybrids are practically jumping off the lots while the SUVs are moving a little slow...thinking this will probably help us get a better deal.
Nice forum, thanks in advance!
Sep 22, 2005 (5:10 am)
The third row is very small and hard to get into. Take your kid with you to the dealer and see if your kid can actually get into and out of the third row. See whether you can get your kid buckled in as well. How comfortable is it for them? Also look at the room behind the third row seat -- there's not much there.
As for the V8, the basic block has been around for quite a long time, much longer than the V6. They did just add variable valve timing to it, boosting the HP. Toyota has been doing variable valve timing for many years, so I would not worry the fact that it is new on the V8.
The V6 will get a bit better mileage than the V8.
As for towing, you MUST find out how heavy your sailboat and trailer are. What is "small" to you may be "large" to someone else. Find out the weight of sailboat and trailer and compare that with the rated towing capacity of the V6 and V8 4Runner. The V8's towing capacity is much higher, but if you don't need that much...
I thought I had read that the 2006 V6 4Runners don't come with a towing hitch, but I don't have direct knowledge. So check up on that. The V8 does come with a trailer hitch.
All 4Runners are made in Japan, including the ones sold in the mainland US.
As for "serious" offroading, first, are you likely to do any? Second, the V6 is fine for as serious offroading as you are likely to do with a stock 4Runner (ground clearance is not all that great). Sounds like the salesman was just trying to sell you what he had on the lot.
If you don't need to take it offroad and you won't be towing, then you might want to reconsider a minivan -- it will give you much more room and better mileage as well.
#11002 of 11429 Re: tnagle [nedzel]
Sep 22, 2005 (9:10 am)
If you're doing offroading, you'll be in low gear. The V6 will have way more power than you'd ever need in this situation. So that is part is definately not a benefit.
If you are going to keep it for ten years, then you may want the fuel savings you'll get with the V6, especially if gasoline keeps going up. It is only in the 10-15% range according to the EPA, but for me driving 15,000 miles a year, that is $300-450/year.
And it looks like Toyota is having trouble selling the V8s lately so they may not hold their resale value as well as the 6.
#11003 of 11429 Re: tnagle [nedzel]
Sep 22, 2005 (11:52 am)
Excellent feedback, thank you. Interesting about the V8 and about all 4Runners being made in Japan, I had no idea.
My mention of serious offroading was basically just a jibe at the salesman: he did indeed have a reason why we would not need or want every feature that he did not have in a vehicle on his lot.
We do light offroading: easy trails in Colorado and dirt roads that are just past what would turn back a sedan; I have no desire to get myself hung up in a mess in the back country somewhere...if it's that bad, we hike it.
Don't have the boat yet and won't until we are back on the mainland. We're talking Hobie Cat or some sort of small "trailer sailer".
The towing package is standard on the V8, optional on the V6, fyi.
Even though we only plan to use that 3rd row every once in a while, we'll take another look at the minivan. If we really need 4WD that bad, we could always use my 98 Tacoma TRD and fold the child up in the XtraCab...I fit, so will she.
Heck, all that said, last night my wife took a look at a loaded 2006 Camry XLE and *really* likes it. The 4Runner may end up waiting until my TRD dies or gets too ugly to drive to town, which could be many years, the way it is going (I already have a nice farm retirement planned for it).
Sep 22, 2005 (2:46 pm)
According to the Hobie web site, the 20' Hobie Cat is 420 lbs. Even with a trailer you'd be under 2000 lbs. You could probably tow that with a minivan. 4WD or AWD would be better for a slippery boat ramp, but there are AWD minivans. A 4Runner V6 can tow 5000 lbs -- you wouldn't even notice the Hobie behind you when towing.