Last post on Jul 06, 2013 at 3:20 AM
You are in the Toyota 4Runner
What is this discussion about?
Toyota 4Runner, SUV
#8854 of 11429 4Runner vs Car-based SUV's
Dec 06, 2003 (4:23 pm)
I've recently begun to shop for a new SUV. I currently drive a 1993 Camry and was actually shopping for a new Camry when I decided to take a look at a 4Runner at a nearby Toyota dealership. The 4Runner was impressive; however, I'm curious as to how this "truck based" SUV compares to models such as the Acura MDX, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Highlander. I haven't had the time (or the desire) to go to so many different dealerships. Has anyone else compared such models when shopping, and if so, how did the 4Runner compare?
#8855 of 11429 re: Changes for '05 by bmw323is
Dec 06, 2003 (4:26 pm)
Totally agree with you on dumping the 3 hole dash design.
This morning I made a comment to my friend who purchased my 2002 4Runner Sport Edition that I preferred the gauge package on his new truck (my old) vs. my 04's. Maybe with time I will accept this, what other choice do we have?
The former design is very easy to read. They should have taken / borrowed the Sequoia or Land Cruiser's display rather then try to create this sort of retro look. They both have the oil pressure and voltmeter gauges, why not on the Runner?
And the information display is even worse. You are right, fire that bozo and his boss. At night it looks o.k. but in bright sunlight it is difficult to read, not logically designed.
Again, they can not please everyone, maybe most folks do not notice or care.
Overall I would not give up or trade this truck for anything with one exception, its big brother, the Land Cruiser.
If they made the 4Runner close to perfect with all the upgrades that you and kjack100 recommend, then who would buy the GX470 or even the Land Cruiser? I have had my new Runner for 4 days and now am thinking of what improvements the 2008 should have? ......time to get a life and enjoy this outstanding truck!!!
#8856 of 11429 RE: 03/04 4Runner Display/guages
Dec 06, 2003 (4:45 pm)
I like the guages personally. I don't have any problem seeing them unless there is a lot of sunlight entering from the driver's window from the rear. I do agree that perhaps the lettering on the gauges might be improved it there was more contrast or if another "font" was used. Oil/volt meter gauges would be nice to have, but it looks like they have been phased out on more and more vehicles over the years.
The center information display would be nicer if there was more contrast (ie. more settings). I haven't had much problem with seeing this dispaly w/ or w/o sunglasses. I wouldn't fire the boss, but would send him back to the drawing board.
I do agree that with polarized sunglasses it can be impossible to see the NAV screen, although that is due to the lens design and not a fault of the screen.
The lit sterring wheel mounted controls are very dim. I wish that they could be adjusted, but I assume that Toyota intended them to be dim to reduce distraction while night driving.
I considered purchasing an LC, but figured that the 4Runner would be more than enough for my needs. Besides, the 4Runner is much more affordable and is more fuel efficient (but hardly anything to rave about).
#8857 of 11429 2003/04 Instruments cluster
Dec 06, 2003 (7:29 pm)
Absolutely agree with bmw323is. Instrument panel with guages has very poor visibility. I cought myself turning on position lights before anybody else on the road just to be able to see the instruments. There is no sufficient contrast between numbers and instruments background. On top of that gauges are recessed too deep for daylight to reach. To my opinion even in the night instrument cluster should have more lights on it, I keep my brightness potentiometer always on maximum.
Dec 06, 2003 (8:26 pm)
In on road situations the traction control will save you and not be a hindrance.
If you want to turn it off for deep snow or off roading then lock the center diff and turn it off.
#8859 of 11429 Question on NAV/3rd row seat...
Dec 06, 2003 (9:58 pm)
I want BOTH. I have hedged on going back to buy my 4runner for a bit now. Other SUVs in the 40K range offer both with no problem. I find it odd and frankly dumb that Toyota cant put NAV and 3rd row seats in the 4runner. Surely they can figure that out, cant they??? Im hoping the late 04's or 05's will give that option. So.........as long as my other car holds out, so will I..........
#8860 of 11429 05 options...........
Dec 06, 2003 (10:02 pm)
PLEASE offer NAV and 3rd row for Gods sake...........
#8861 of 11429 traction control
Dec 06, 2003 (11:41 pm)
I own an AWD, V8 Limited, and I've read my owner's manual several times over. When I was recently in the mountains of North Carolina during a snow storm, I knew to frequently LOCK my truck's center differential, since if you read the manual you'll learn that doing so DISABLES the "stability control system" with the AWD model, but whether it does so for the 4WD model is a bit more confusing (read on). At any rate, I was on treacherously icy and snowy mountain roads over the Thanksgiving holiday, and I never encountered any of the problems that gsj3 encountered, whether my center diff. was locked or unlocked (but it was frequently LOCKED!)
With regard to the manual, look first at page 138 and beyond (for the AWD model), or page 141 and beyond (for the 4WD model). Here, you'll note the following recurring message (quoted here from page 138):
"Use the center differential lock system if your wheels get stuck in a ditch, or when you are driving on a slippery or bumpy surface. When the center differential is locked, the vehicle stability control system is automatically turned off... because the function that controls engine performance [sic: traction stability?] interferes with the process of freeing your wheels...Use this [e.g., the center differential LOCKED mode] when you experience a loss of power [sic: traction?] such as wheel slipping, [that might occur while driving] in the center differential unlock mode..."
On the other hand, page 148 of the manual seems to contradict what's been quoted above, especially the yellow-highlighted cautionary note immediately below the heading "ACTIVE TRACTION CONTROL SYSTEM (4WD MODELS) which reads:
"Under certain conditions, full traction of the vehicle and power to the 4 wheels cannot be maintained, even though the traction control system is in operation. Do not drive the vehicle under any speed or maneuvering conditions which may cause the vehicle to lose traction control. In situations where the road surface is covered with ice or snow, your vehicle should be fitted with snow tires or tire chains. Always drive at an appropriate and cautious speed for the present road conditions."
And then, even more confusing is the bold-typed note on the same page 148 (again referring to "4WD models"), which says "Leave the [active traction control] system on during the ordinary driving so that it can operate when needed." Hmmm, this last statement would seem to indicate that the TRAC can in fact be turned off, but how? Even though it is not clearly stated, in my opinion the most likely "off switch" would be the center diff. lock/unlock switch!
Clearly, Toyota has not done a very good job of translating the owner's manual into english, and in fact I complained about this manual in one of my first posts here. This is why I've taken the risk of including my above [bracketed] re-interpretations of the poor translation of the manual, and which I suspect are probably good approximations.
Now, based on how poorly this manual is written and translated, several questions are obvious. First, might there in fact be some type of *difference* between the 4WD vs. AWD models with respect to the Active Traction
Control System (TRAC), which the manual may not have specified? (I'm currently rather suspicious of this possibility). Secondly, a literal interpretation of the poorly translated manual would seem to suggest that locking the center diff. disables ONLY the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), but not the Traction Control (TRAC). However, I wonder if perhaps when the center diff. is locked, that maybe, both VSC and TRAC are DISABLED? In other words, when the poorly translated manual refers to "the vehicle stability control 'SYSTEM'..." is it actually comprehensively and inclusively referring to both VSC and TRAC, or is it literally referring to ONLY the VSC? If the manual is actually referring to both VSC and TRAC, this would certainly explain why the manual recommends locking the center diff. when driving on very SLIPPERY surfaces, and it would also explain the previously mentioned comment on page 148 which says "Leave the [active traction control] system on during the ordinary driving so that it can operate when needed." Needless to say, I would love to hear the considered opinions of others who are actually driving and living this vehicle.
By the way, I personally have no complaints about either the styling or visibility of the Limited's instrument cluster, guages, dashboard, mid-console data readouts, etc. I can see everything just fine, and in fact, I absolutely love this vehicle's cockpit, but that's just my opinion.
Dec 07, 2003 (6:15 am)
---Locking the center diff (the switch on the dash) turns off the VSC.
---"VSC off" will light up in your instruments.
---Locking the diff/turning off the VSC is the same thing in the 4Runner. Locking the diff effectively is the "VSC OFF" switch.
It evenly splits the power 50/50 to the front and rear wheels.
---The system is the same in the part-time and full-time 4wd 4Runners.
---For loose traction conditions (taking one poster's deep snow/slow driving scenario) Locking the diff/turning off the VSC is the appropriate response for increased traction.
---In 99% of on road driving, leaving the system alone is the appropriate response for the safest driving.
---Locking the differential is mostly an off-road feature and owners need to understand it is not something you turn off and on on the road when there is a puddle or rain.
--- Locking the diff on road is worse in some conditions. The 4Runner will automatically find maximum traction (up to 70% power to the correct set of tires) instantly. The TORSEN center diff is the finest production limited slip diff available. Locking the diff (locking out the TORSEN) splits power 50/50 front/rear and if you happen to need 70/30 or 60/40, you have locked out that capability for the 4Runner to instantly react and change power delivery for maximum control.
--- Sand, deep snow, off roading situations-- these are appropriate areas to lock the diff/turn off VSC
---VSC, TRAC, DAC, HAC--- these are not features that make driving more fun. On the contrary, they often make things more boring because they increase safety and control.
Doing donuts in a parking lot might be fun. Toyota equipped the 4Runner to be safe.
No it's not a perfect system but the TORSEN diff and all the other features are the best on the market at the moment and I have enjoyed the use of some and hope never to use others.
I also like the interior. I think it looks and functions great. The only thing is that I wish they angled the clear plastic downward instead of upward (the clear plastic over the speed, tach, etc).
I will never blame a company for trying something different. Everyone complains about stuff looking the same but when something unique comes out, they have no patience for it and want the same old.
I applaud Toyota for going out and trying something new with the HVAC controls and other interior bits. Some work better than others but overall the interior is a 9 in my book.