Last post on Jul 06, 2013 at 3:20 AM
You are in the Toyota 4Runner
What is this discussion about?
Toyota 4Runner, SUV
Dec 08, 2003 (4:53 am)
"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?"
Well JB I was/am in your situation and like you I started out looking for Accord, Avalon, ES330 etc. But I have a dog and they just didn't provide the room we needed to travel with him. So then I started looking at the car-based SUV's since many suggested I would prefer the drive to this better, well here was my assessments about the one's I have tested.
Honda Pilot= very roomy, nice gadgets, quite sluggish to accelerate and kind of felt more like a big minivan than an SUV. Also most dealers were starting at MSRP on up due to so-called high demand and limited inventory.
Acura MDX= drove well, handled well, ample acceleration, but to me it had a very plain interior for the price and the exterior looked like a minivan.
RX330= I like the styling of this alot, however, you might've read in some of my posts that the sloping back took away cargo space and it also decreased visibility in the back window for me. You may not have this problem if you are taller however. Had alot of nice features but once again because of limited supply dealers seem very hesistant about going more than like $500 under MSRP.
I'm going to combine the following for space sake...lol
I have driven the Sequoia, Explorer, Navigator, Escalade, and just this weekend the 4Runner.
Of all of them I found the Sequoia and 4Runner to be equivalent, excellent handling, excellent acceleration, roomy, comfortable, solid feeling. However, driving around all day in the very large Sequioa seemed cumbersome to me not to mention it was just too large for my needs. So the 4Runner suited me just fine.
The rest of the vehicles I drove are not really worth discussing since I thought the 4Runner and Sequoia was the best. However, if you have questions about those you can just ask.
My personal assessment in moving from sedan to car-based SUV to truck-based SUV is that you WILL notice a longer braking distance, however, this is to be expected since you are increasing the weight of vehicle. Secondly, IMO in the SUV's you gain more visibility as far as seeing in front and behind you is concerned but you do have larger blind spots so you have to make sure to give the quick head check before switching lanes etc. Although, this should be done in any vehicle. And finally IMHO the car-based SUV's are practical, they will take you where you need to go but they are by no means exciting to drive OR exciting to look at (i.e. Highlander, Pilot). But if these things do not concern you then you may want to check them out, depending on your price range, I would consider Highlander, Pilot, Acura and RX330.
Hope I helped some!
#8876 of 11429 Question about Hill Start Assist
Dec 08, 2003 (7:00 am)
Does anyone have an idea about how this is supposed to work?? The first time I used my 4Runner to pull my boat out of the water, when I took my foot off of the brake, the vehicle just stayed put on the ramp - I was impressed. When I pulled the boat out for the winter, the Hill Start did not hold - 4Runner and boat started drifting back. Also, while visiting family in PA over Thanksgiving, I tried it on a very steep hill with no trailer at all (I live in a state with no major hills). The 4Runner immediately drifted back and started making a clanking sound. I took it to the dealer for normal service and had them look at it, and was told that this is normal. They stated that the system is designed to only hold for a second or two, and the clanking is a warning sign to get on the gas?!?! Maybe I'm going crazy, but I SWEAR the first time this summer (stated above) that I pulled my boat up a ramp, the entire rig (4Runner and boat) stayed put for 5-6 seconds with no brake on.
Is the dealer crazy or am I??
Dec 08, 2003 (8:37 am)
Maxwell, don't worry; we're all crazy. We have lots of steep hills, (S.F., CA) and I live on one. FWIW, here's what my new truck does: If I stop while heading up a steep hill, and take my foot off the brake, the truck rolls backwards a few inches. At that point, the Assist kick in, and a rapid ratcheting sound can be heard while the brakes are being pulsed to prevent the truck from picking up speed. When your truck and trailer on the ramp held steady, any chance your parking brake was partially engaged?
IMO, this hill hold is probably a neat feature, but with an auto tranny and two feet, I'll probably engage it just to show off for the neighbors. In fact, what's Toyota got in the works to save me from myself if I happen to need hill assist while heading DOWN a big hill? LOL! Maybe at the very least, it's a good indicater that the truck's computers are in working order.
#8878 of 11429 likalar
Dec 08, 2003 (9:13 am)
They have DAC Down hill Assist Control. It's selectable in 4WD lo range. It uses the brakes and low gearing to get you down big hills, presumedley off road.
#8879 of 11429 to nick4797 re rear ended
Dec 08, 2003 (9:29 am)
Sorry about that bumper tap, but SUVs are notorious for doing poorly in low impact crashes. Last month, the Insurance Institute of America did a test of 9 large SUVs to see how their bumpers fared in a 5 MPH bump. 8 of the 9 sustained major damage, with the 2004 4-Runner doing the absolute worst in the front barrier test and "second to worse" in the rear barrier test, earning it a POOR rating. Here is the website for the bumper test and the subsequent 40 MPH crash test in which the 4-Runner did attain a top score. http://www.hwysafety.org/
#8880 of 11429 Driving in deep snow
Dec 08, 2003 (9:37 am)
We've had snow on the ground since the end of Oct. here and lots of chance to drive in it.
This year I bought a horse trailer and have been towing that too. Last week I drove into the field to fetch the trailer and the snow was higher than the bottom of the truck. I left it in high range ( low range is worse in the snow) and locked the center diff. I was probably plowing about 3 in of snow with the bottom of
the truck and it wasn't too bad. That is to say we pretty much went through without too much spinning of the wheels. I drove around a bit because that is what guys with toys and felt reasonably confident I could go any where in the field without getting stuck. A couple of times I would stop and let the truck settle and the unlock the center dif and the truck would spin and then lurch forward repeating this until it would just just be stuck. I would be out in an instant once the diff would be locked.
I decided against trying to pull out the trailer as if I got stuck I'd be blocking the path for others.
Around here(Calgary) we get some warm periods and soon will have some melt.
With the center diff locked there is some loss of steering control and would not recommend it on highway or secondary roads. In fact I don't ever use mine (2nd winter on 03 sport V8) unless I'm stuck or anticipate being stuck. The regular system (AWD)works so well there is no call to use it.
I found that with the Diff locked and the VSC off both the skid control and the traction control systems were disabled.
I find that the systems on this 4 runner work a little differently from the ones on my previous 01 Sequoia. On the Sequoia the VSC cut in right away. As soon as the front plowed or the back end came loose the warning light was flashing and beeping and the truck immediately was brought back in line ,sometimes with quite a jerk. On the 4 runner , it allows me to get just a little loose,that is to go into just a bit of a slide before cutting in. I really like this as I can have just a bit of fun but can't get into trouble.
Note: for deep snow the standard Dunlops don't cut it after the first 2/32 of tread is gone.
I use 4x4 Alpins and find them a good compromise. Good on dry/wet , excellent on ice / snow and more than sufficient in deep snow. (there are better if it's just deep snow)
Anyone thinking buying one of these would be wise to have the dealer take these Dunlops off from the start and pay the extra to have something good put on .
Anyways that my 2 cents.
#8881 of 11429 Side/rear visibility and head check
Dec 08, 2003 (10:11 am)
ladyofluxury brought up an important point about visibility, especially for someone driving an SUV for the first time.
Visibility in the 4Runner is ok, though it isn't as good as the Honda Pilot. The Honda folks really seem to understand visibility, though they don't seem to care about real off-road and towing.
From years of driving trucks and pickups I learned to use my side mirrors a lot, especially since they were the only way to see to the side/rear of the vehicle, and there was typically no inside rearview mirror. The way that many people adjust their mirrors is to have the side of the vehicle visible in the mirrors, and in my opinion that's not the best way to do it. It results in substantial blind spots, and wastes part of the mirror coverage.
I hope I'm allowed to post a link here, to a site that describes an alternate procedure that works well. http://cartalk.cars.com/Columns/mirrors.html
It takes some getting used to, but it's probably the way that outside mirrors were intended to be used in the first place, and in many vehicles it eliminates blind spots entirely.
#8882 of 11429 4Runner Fender Bender
Dec 08, 2003 (2:10 pm)
Thanks for the response, after my post I read on the internet about it's low test scores in low speed fender benders. Geeze, I haven't even taken the thing off road yet and I already cracked it! I imagine those who regularly go offroad have dings, dents, cracks and god knows what else. I love my 4Runner but come on, let's make these bumpers a little more durable. A $6,000 cavalier has better bumpers!
#8883 of 11429 First taste of VSC
Dec 08, 2003 (4:38 pm)
We got several inches of snow in Maine this weekend. I was driving on a paved road with about one inch of snow when my right side tire slipped off the edge of the pavement and sent me sideways at 45 mph. The VSC kicked in immediately and straightened the vehicle out. That is one safety feature I thought I would never use and thought it was a waste of money. I guess you could say my opinion has changed on the matter! Love this vehicle more and more.
#8884 of 11429 4Runner fender bender
Dec 08, 2003 (4:41 pm)
There is actually a repair that can be done without replacing the bumper cover. Our local dealer here has a guy that does fiberglass repair, and can make it look new. Call around, I bet you can get that fixed inexpensively.