Last post on Jul 06, 2013 at 3:20 AM
You are in the Toyota 4Runner
What is this discussion about?
Toyota 4Runner, SUV
#3314 of 11429 mjohnr99 – I'll try...
Oct 05, 2002 (10:09 pm)
Well, aesthetics are a hard thing to convince someone of if they just plain don't like how something looks, but I'll tell you my first-hand impressions.
As I've stated, I think the cladding looks pretty cool, but could be better if it was darker or matched each body color. It looks a lot better in person, and much more finished than the Avalanche or GC Laredo. And the notches look pretty cool in person too, giving it a really unique look. I think what is a bit conflicting about the rugged-looking cladding, is the cleanliness of the lines of the rest of the truck. Maybe if you put some nice, beefy BFG A-Ts or Mud-Terrains on, the cladding would look much cooler.
I want the cladding for off-roading and parking lot urban assaults, but I can understand why a lot of people would not want it or care for it's looks. So, I'm really surprised that Toyota didn't offer at least the Sport Edition in 2 forms; with or without the cladding. I wish they would have done that with the stupid silver package too, making it an optional appearance package, not standard fare. Idiots. I want the X-REAS, but on a truck in ALL-BLACK and with the better wheels!
Okay, I think I've driven that into the ground, but I decided to leave the GM camp because they have narrowed their customer base down to the soccer-mom crowd for their mid-size triplets, and they grouped things into packages that make it tough to get exactly what you want. So, I'm upset that the company I'm switching to seems to be embracing some of those characteristics. I don't think the new 'Runner is at all a soccer-mom SUV, unless she also enjoys a bit of off-roading in rough stuff from time to time, but I don't appreciate the package limitations.
However, I am happy to see you can get just about everything else that even the Limited has, save the suspension and leather seats. I bet we see some additions for 2004 that take care of some of these issues though.
Okay, as far as the spoiler, I think it looks MUCH better on than off, in person. Here's why. First of all, I'm a fan of spoilers, if they're done right. I think the spoiler helps the design of the 4Runner because it's very aerodynamic and has a really pronounced front end, but a very blunt back end. The 3 SR5s I saw without the spoiler (yes, I said without them) looked like something was missing, and caused the whole design to look a little off-balance. The new design is so full of nice curves, that the abrupt sharp angle of the flat liftgate kind of looks out of place. But the spoiler helps your eye move off of the end of the truck and create a more swooping feel to the over-all design.
That's just my take on it, and you may feel totally different, but I really like the spoiler. I also think it makes the awkward design of the Sequoia look better. I don't like the Sequoia much. It looks a little dumpy. The front end needs the treatment they gave the updated Tundra, and the back end needs a re-design.
I'm waiting for the V6, and probably a while after that for any re-calls, possible incentives, etc., and will have a REALLY hard time waiting to see what changes may happen for 2004, but this will definitely be my next SUV. The only thing that could possibly change my mind is if the re-designed Pathfinder or Rodeo look REALLY COOL for 2004. But neither one of those have the rocker height or ground clearance of the 4Runner, so they'd have to meet those needs too, which I don't think they will. Beside, the Rodeo will probably be another version of the GM triplets, like the god-awful Trooper replacement, the Ascender, or as I like to call it, the A$$-ender or Envoy clone.
I don't know if any of this helps at all, but maybe you'll just have to see for yourself when they hit your local dealerships soon. Personally, I'm having a real hard time driving my truck, knowing this new 4Runner is what it is. Also, and I wish I could have taken pictures, seeing the 2002 Limited and Sport sitting next to their replacements REALLY sold me on the new design. I love the 3rd gen's styling, and thought I would have a hard time deciding which design looks better in a side by side comparison. After about an hour's worth of staring, walking around, measuring, sitting inside, and staring again, the winner was very clearly the 2003, especially the Limited. What an awesome truck!
Oct 05, 2002 (10:52 pm)
jcat707, jumpin' geehosafats! That's great that you're actually paying what I've been hearing, but not believing from my Toyota guys! I may be on board with a black Limited with all the goodies I want for that price! I'm conflicted though, because I want the cladding for the reasons mentioned above, but I know I'm going to be in love with a black Limited. I loved the silver one I saw at the seminar, but kept thinking about what the price would probably be. I'm still concerned about the off-road advantages of the cladding, but jeez, for that price I'll take off the Limited's steps and put on rock rails!
Worldtraveler, sorry to freak you out about the color! You may like it just fine, I'm just not a very big fan of silver anyway. I do like pewter, but still, out here in Arizona, every other vehicle is either white, silver or pewter, so that could have something to do with it. It does look better in person than it did in those pictures though. Personally, I think the dark gray (whatever they're calling it) looks really cool with the cladding, so maybe that would work for you if you don't like the silver.
Cliffy, I'm with you on the functionality of the spoiler too. Dust is a big deal here in Arizona, so having a spoiler to help reduce build-up and rear window invasion would be really great on the trails. As I stated above, I also think it looks cool. However, I'm a "bunny-hugger," so the deer carcass on the rear would look horrid to me.
Intmed99, I totally agree with what you've been saying about the comparison to the Pathfinder! I don't understand what all the hoopla is about the current model anyway. It's very dull-looking with no personality or beefiness to it, and it's off-road prowess doesn't even come close to the 'Runner. The interior is boring and the front cabin feels cramped. My head is only inches from where the roof meets the windshield, and the back seat passengers enjoy the sunroof more than the front seat occupants because of it. It's a perfectly nice truck, but uninspiring. I wouldn't give up my truck for a Pathfinder, and I know how you feel about my truck! ;o)
Oct 05, 2002 (10:55 pm)
My local dealer still has a half dozen 3rd gens, half SR5 and half Limited, all 4WD, and all priced at $33.5K and above. If the prices are really true for the 4th gen V-8 Limited, how will they ever sell these '02s???
And how come everyone everywhere seems to have a dealer nearby that has some of the 4th gen "sitting in the back" or whatever, and we have none around here in San Francisco??
Oct 06, 2002 (3:54 am)
Thanks - terrific post - I think that was another impartial and fair assessment. The only thing I truly disagree with are the appeal of the notches - keep it clean like the Limited . . . but that's all personal anyway. I wanted to be able to walk up to the new '03 All-Black as well (any trim level, whatever it took), so looking for anything to help the rationalization process. I was doing just that, and rationalizing the ugly cladding as you have (ok, has a purpose . . .), and focusing on the least objectionable base SR5 until the 16" Wheel/Spoiler deal. Being a left coast/west coast/best coast native San Diegan stuck in this government town has me yearning for a quick jaunt to AZ if you guys got 'em without the spoiler at least. I wanted one, just not THAT one. From the side profile, I don't mind so much . . . it's visually from the rear which sets the fire in my eyes . . . looks just like the baseball brim on my bud's wife's minivan. But I AM encouraged by your well written description.
So much to rationalize here, I know I will end up waiting a few more years to get what I exactly want . . . then I won't mind paying the premium Toyota gets on these because it will be the best damn sport utility truck and appearance money can buy! But for now, probably sticking with my personal Plan B, send a one-less-sale message to Toyota design/marketing folks to work these issues out so I don't have to rationalize, and buy some more gaming stocks in the meantime.
But the 35.5K!?! could change everything, that's only $4,100 more than what I was on the verge of paying . . . that black Limited would be an easy sell! Like you, I'd rip off the silver running boards for rock rails and then I'd hacksaw off the silver racks and slap on my Thules, and grab a can of black spray paint and put an end to those skunk stripes that belie the BEAST inside! I'd do it for that price (but not for 40K) in a heartbeat! [We still couldn't get the X-REAS though . . . probably not until 2004 I'm guessing :<]
#3318 of 11429 Wow...that is some price!
Oct 06, 2002 (5:24 am)
I think the '02 Ltd 4x4 list for around $37-39K...so the new 4th gen is cheaper?? Interesting.
#3319 of 11429 Ok...has anyone else notice this...
Oct 06, 2002 (5:29 am)
I have read all reviews and information on the '03 4Runner. I have NOT seen one mentioning that the '03 4Runner's frame is stronger than the 3rd gen 4runner. Usually, when a new model comes out, the company ALWAYS says that the new model is 50% torsionally stiffer, etc. But not with this new 4Runner.
I have read that the '03 4runner has 9 crossmembers (vs. 8 for the 3rd gen). But that is a given because the '03 4runner is a lot longer. (BTW, 8 crossmembers for 3rd gen are pretty impressive for such a tiny SUV. According to Toyota manual, side rails and crossmembers are made of high-strength steel!)
In addition, i have read that the frame on '03 4runner is slightly thicker. Again, that is due to a bigger body and higher curb weight.
But, no mentioning of the '03 4runner frame being stronger than 3rd gen. Has Toyota reach the maximum stiffness for a body-on-frame design?? I have heard that the Land Cruiser has the stiffest body-on-frame around, bar none. Of course, the 3rd gen 4runner is well-known for it's structural integrity.
Just a thought.
Oct 06, 2002 (5:53 am)
The recent posts about the the 2003 Limited pricing have made me think twice.
Still the Limited pricing is expensive for me but I may attempt a run at it.
My only negative comment about this truck was the color of cladding/bumpers on sport and SR5, aside of some concerns with the overall look. But I think the Limited model could grow on me.
So this week I'll be trying my best to negotiate something with my dealer or else I'll have to go to the dark side.....
There is so much I can afford over the Pathfinder payment, I'll see if my dealer can live with that.
Next friday is the drop dead date.
Wish me luck !!!
#3321 of 11429 Pricing and head room
Oct 06, 2002 (8:25 am)
Unfortunately, I think the price of $35.5K is a bit optimistic. As Jcat said, he is essentially a friend of the management at his dealership and his price is something most people would not be able to get until supply catches up with demand.
I spoke to my girl friend last night (well... one of them) and she works at a dealership in Richmond VA. Her district rep was by last week with a Sport model. She and the rest of the dealership were VERY impressed. Her GM is over 6'5" and was able to comfortably sit in it, even with a moonroof. That is a big deal and confirms my thoughts that only looking at head room figures on paper does not tell the whole story. Seating position and shape have a huge role in this and the new generation seems to work well for tall people.
She asked the DM about pricing. Specifically, she asked him to confirm what was told to dealer owners at the dealer meeting last month. They had been told that a 4WD, V8 SR5 would come in under $30K. The DM laughed. That will probably be the base price, but prices with options will run them into the $33K range, while the Sport will be in the $34K and Limited in the $38K ranges.
One final comment. The dealer GM drove the new sport. He said it looked like a Chevy and drove like a BMW.
Oct 06, 2002 (8:26 am)
Deer season starts the first week of November but Sunday hunting is still forbidden in VA. Don't expect to see a single post from me that week.
#3323 of 11429 Cliffy and Host Steve
Oct 06, 2002 (8:32 am)
Can either of you give an authoritative estimate as to when pricing might show up on the Edmunds site?