Test drove a 2003 Limited 4Runner Friday afternoon. The dealer had one Sport and three Limited's. Went with my friend Tom, a real Toyota expert. He has not bought anything but Toyota's since 1972. The result of Tom's influence, advise and having no problems in 30 years and hundreds of thousands of miles of driving, my wife and I now both drive Toyota's and probably will never buy any other brand.
Comparisons vs. my 2002 Sport Edition.
Exterior - Liked:
Overall look of Limited.
Illuminated running boards on Ltd. nice feature.
Front has very smooth lines, good look
The Limited in Titanium was the best looking and should be for $40,242.00.
Exterior - Did Not Like:
Cladding on the Sport.
The Sport's plastic is looking a little like the Avalanche, guess this appeals to some??
Roof rack, no cross supports?
Will not accept Sport's cladding, too much plastic
Interior - Liked:
Telescopic / tilt steering wheel.
More interior room
Front seats very comfortable
Rear cargo shelf very convenient.
Slightly lower, easier to get into. (wife will appreciate)
The gauge package, o.k. change
115 vac outlet
Dual climate control
Rear view auto dimming mirror with compass.
The pods or (Rotary Toggle Buttons)are not bad, ergonomically easy to use.
Variable heat control for seats, very good idea!
Interior - Did Not Like:
Rear seat seating other than width, no better than 3rd gen.
To give rear passenger room, front seats need to be moved too far forward.
Window switches should be placed higher.
Test Drive: Limited in Titanium Metallic (Heavy rain in South Jersey this afternoon)
V8 is only available at this time, outstanding power upgrade
5 speed auto is smooth
Power up/down back window nice
No power up/down on passenger window disappointment!!
Did not feel like a large vehicle (Sequoia)
Full time 4 Wheel Drive is great, you know you are in 4WD in 3rd gen.
Like the illuminated indicators on gauges, similar to Lexus.
Seats very comfortable.
Need a little longer than a 4 mile 10 minute test drive for final decision
I will wait for supply to exceed demand. Would like to see the Nav. System.
For the negligible difference in fuel economy, will most likely go with the V8.
My next vehicle: a 03 or 04 Limited in Titanium Metallic with Stone leather interior.
Tom's next vehicle: most likely a 03 or 04 4Runner, looks like his other choice, the Highlander (Camry AWD Wagon) will be put off for a few years.
If I did not have an 11 month old 02 Sport Edition, I would be price shopping very soon.
Overall very pleased with the upgrades. We drive in the mountains and the V8 with DAC (Downhill Assist Control) and HAC (Hill Start Assist Control) will be well worth the price. Now if I can get that $40,000. Ltd. for $35,500..at 0% interest..
Those garbage characters are a result of our software not liking Microsoft's SmartQuotes. You have 30 minutes to edit your post if you want to manually take them out, or you can turn off SmartQuotes and repaste. Or you can do nothing and we'll figure out what you meant .
In any event, thanks for the first-hand review!
<edit - you figured it out and fixed it while I was typing my post - thanks!).
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I find it interesting that most people's "impression" posts deal only with cosmetics. You guys have to drive this thing. I did yesterday and I still can't get over it. Its like driving Camrys and Solaras all your life and then getting into a BMW M3. No, I'm not saying that it drives like and M3 (although in some respects it does) but that is the kind of difference you will experience. It is a very un-Toyota like ride. Stability is unreal, as is power, handling, comfort and passing speed.
When I first looked at the Sport and SR5, I was a bit... well... under whelmed. Sure its nice. I like the gauges. The seats were comfortable but the adjustments are manual. Stereo is better than before but not the best I've ever heard. Everything was new but still felt like Toyota. Then I drove it. All skepticism ended about the value of it. I came back with a silly grin on my face.
go to toyota.com and "build your own" I don't see how a LTD 4WD IS 45K! I agree wholeheartedly with Cliffy. I was also underwhelmed with the appearance of the new runner until I drove it. I'm in love. This will be my first new vehicle in 12 years!