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    Thread: 4Runner or .......... ??? Help me TCL!

    1. Senior Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 01:52 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by johntesi View Post
      I love my 4Runner and have put 60k miles on it in just under 2 years, but I also lust after Crosstreks and Outbacks almost every day. The on-road manners and fuel economy leave a lot to be desired, but the 4Runner is the most solid and capable vehicle I've ever owned. Just depends on your actual priorities vs. daydream priorities.
      This sums up the 4Runner for me. Great vehicle which I have rented many times because I like them and like that they can go anywhere, but I feel the tuck handling and poor fuel economy (both things which I don't see as a fault but as something that comes with the turf) would wear on me hence recommending the Rav4 Hybrid.
      Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
      This forum is more and more of an embarrassment every day...

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    3. 10-07-2019 06:56 AM #27
      I had a Subaru Outback and sold it for a 4runner TRD Off Road with kdss. They are totally different vehicles as one drives like a car and one drives like a truck. The KDSS helps make turns flat but the nose still dives under braking. I have read that upgraded shocks will reduce nose dive and it is on my to do list. My wife is fine driving it but prefers to drive our bmw 3 series, (but prefers to ride in the 4runner).

      The 4runner will hold up to abuse much better than any unibody SUV but if your wife wants car like handling, I would probably check out the new Ford Explorer. Ford designs them to meet durability and performance standards for police departments and they are based on a rear wheel drive platform.

    4. Senior Member 6cylVWguy's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 07:17 AM #28
      Regarding the size issue, my wife is the same way. She has a Hyundai Tucson and we recently bought a grand cherokee. It rides much bigger than the tucson. It took her a couple of months before she was comfortable driving it at all--with me in the car or her alone. I think it's the commanding feel from behind the wheel that eventually won her over---and of course, the power on tap contributes to feel.

      However, for most (IMO), with experience comes confidence. Yesterday when my wife had a choice between driving the hyundai or the jeep, she took the jeep. Doesn't hurt that the jeep is much nicer than the hyundai, but she seems to be over the hump.

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    5. Member Lujess's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 07:44 AM #29
      I bought my wife a 4Runner Labor Day 2018 (2018 model year - Offf Road Premium). She already has about 34k miles on it. I am 6'5" with replacement knees and drive a Golf. She is 5'4" and drives a 4Runner. She loves it.

      Pretty much the same comments above - I love being able to just step into such a high vehicle. We have running boards, so wife has no problems entering/existing. I find it comfortable as a cruiser on weekend trips.

      That said, it absolutely feels and drives like a truck. Engine is adequate, but far from what I would call highly responsive (probably not a fair comparison vs. my DD Golf R). We do have KDSS and test drove with/without. I think KDSS helps on-road performance.

      If you are just doing occasional off-roading...maybe something less truck-like with better on-road manners?

      Wife is a part time, year round mountain guide - in the White Mountains (NH)...so lots of rough dirt road driving, parking on trail heads in wniter and returning 2-3 days later, etc. With all the rain this year, our 1/4 mile steep, dirt driveway has at times been it's own little offroad experience with all kinds of deep, 12" run-off ruts, etc.. Contractors working at our house with burly pick-ups were even complaining. 4Runner always exuded confidence.

      Also worth driving/shopping Limited vs. SR5/off road versions. Limited, although lots of chrome, has more creature comforts, dummy proof 4WD.

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    6. Member child_in_time's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 07:49 AM #30
      Why not Highlander...still Toyota, but bit more civilized than 4R.

    7. 10-07-2019 07:59 AM #31
      Yeah Id rent a 4 runner and look at leasing a Grand Cherokee and turn that in after 3 years before the Jeep repairs kick in.

      I have an Outback, I love the space, size, comfort and ability to throw my fishing kayak on top. Its been leas than reliable, needs oil every 1,000 miles, and the 2.5L + CVT are horrendous. Id def look at the 6 cylinder or New Turbo option.

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      10-07-2019 08:12 AM #32
      Use cases like yours are the reason that crossovers were invented. Light offroading, but want the handling of a car. Check out the usual suspects for the CUVs, Outbacks, Foresters, CR-Vs, Rav4s, CX-5s, etc. We have a similar lifestyle, and haven't been held up by our Nissan Rogue at all.

      I think that if you got a 4Runner for your wife to drive, you'd hear a bunch of complaining about the ride, handling and gas mileage.

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      10-07-2019 10:15 AM #33
      Had an Outback, was a fine car, pretty reliable but it's also boring, I did A/T tires and 1" lift, it was good but it was also boring, it was an appliance.

      Traded for a truck, I enjoy every minute of it, I've gone on multiple trails that I just couldn't do, yea parking is a pain in the city but I'm alright with it, I really wanted a Sequoia too but the costs just didn't make sense and I needed a bed to haul random stuff.

    10. Don't be me. Don't be a 'Rick' Cabin Pics's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 10:32 AM #34
      If you *think* you want a 4Runner, you want a 4Runner.

      Buy it, and it'll be the last vehicle you truly ever have to buy.
      Instagram - efrie004

    11. Member TooOldForThis's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 10:34 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by Cabin Pics View Post
      If you *think* you want a 4Runner, you want a 4Runner.

      Buy it, and it'll be the last vehicle you truly ever have to buy.
      Agree I've had 2nd, 3rd, and 5th generation they are really the best out there never had an issue with any of mine kept them well over 400k miles. My parents 3rd generation still looks and drives like new.

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      Just like that!

    12. Member
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      10-07-2019 10:47 AM #36
      Quote Originally Posted by Cabin Pics View Post
      If you *think* you want a 4Runner, you want a 4Runner.

      Buy it, and it'll be the last vehicle you truly ever have to buy.
      It sounds more like he wants his *wife* to have a 4Runner, and she doesn’t want it.

    13. Don't be me. Don't be a 'Rick' Cabin Pics's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 10:48 AM #37
      Quote Originally Posted by mrothwell View Post
      It sounds more like he wants his *wife* to have a 4Runner, and she doesn’t want it.
      When my wife doesn't want what I have to give her, I just keep trying.

      Eventually she tires and lets her guard down.
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    14. Member The_Real_Stack's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 10:49 AM #38
      Quote Originally Posted by Cabin Pics View Post
      If you *think* you want a 4Runner, you want a 4Runner.

      Buy it, and it'll be the last vehicle you truly ever have to buy.
      Where's your 4Runner??
      Quote Originally Posted by Volkl View Post
      My wife wanted a SUV with a manual transmission. I suggested a Wrangler, she said no way, too masculine

    15. Don't be me. Don't be a 'Rick' Cabin Pics's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 11:06 AM #39
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      Where's your 4Runner??
      My ex-4Runner is on my parents property, rotting.
      Instagram - efrie004

    16. Senior Member danny_16v's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 11:10 AM #40
      I think the 4Runner has it's faults, but it's faults are far outweighed by it's simplicity. People always reminisce about the simplicity and straight forward nature of older cars and how they wish they could buy xxxx car today new. Well the 4Runner is that. And I actually think it's fairly refined for what it is... I have a 2006 and the only thing I wish I had was a better infotainment, and I can do that, just haven't upgraded with aftermarket

      All in all, I really like have a 4Runner, I love the reliability, which I think offsets the 'bad' fuel efficiency. As mentioned before, for a vehicle this size, the engine which is 'bullet proof', it just comes with the territory.
      GLi : M3 : CX5
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    17. Member vwpiloto's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 12:02 PM #41
      Another notch in the 4Runner's belt is its community. So if you're the DIY type, it's a great resource, as well as ensuring that there are plenty of parts to chose from be it for basic replacements or upgrades.

    18. Member XClayX's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 12:58 PM #42
      Here's my take.

      If you ACTUALLY want to go over landing or off a fire road and real SUV/Truck is what you want. So 4Runner, Jeep, etc.

      If you want to go soft roading meaning there's an actual road you drive on. Pretty much any SUV will fit the bill. Forster, Crosstrex, Smaller jeeps etc Or the larger Highlanders, CX9's etc. My parents bought a highlander and the manual basically says only drive off road in an emergency.


      For 4Runner money you could buy a Gladiator. I bet if you buy a soft roader your going to be concerned with every scratch or ding on it. A Wrangler has metal bumpers and is meant to driver over what evers in its way confidence be damned.

    19. Member vwpiloto's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 01:11 PM #43
      Quote Originally Posted by XClayX View Post


      For 4Runner money you could buy a Gladiator. I bet if you buy a soft roader your going to be concerned with every scratch or ding on it. A Wrangler has metal bumpers and is meant to driver over what evers in its way confidence be damned.
      For daily use with moderate off roading, the 4Runner is arguably the better vehicle. Other than its driving characteristics being more truck like, its form factor, interior layout, etc are more like a traditional CUV. The benefit of the JL is that it has more driver aids and more modern features (e.g. LED lighting) than the 4Runner, although the 2020s are getting driver safety features as standard.

      But for someone (the OP's wife) who is already a bit apprehensive going to a 4Runner. the Wrangler is further in the direction of driving something that has even less car like characteristics.

      I think thus far the best alternative to the 4R is Grand Cherokee as Smooremin recommended. Personally, I don't think KDSS 4Runner drives poorly. It's ride comfort is pretty damn good, and it steers and handles just fine. I daily mine on a 110 miles round trip, and it's very comfortable. It's only drawback in daily driving is the wide turning radius when parking.

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      10-07-2019 02:04 PM #44
      Quote Originally Posted by Engineer90 View Post
      A little bit about us; we do everything outdoors. Hiking, backpacking, canoeing, photography, skiing, MTBing, etc.

      Since we have that type of lifestyle, my first thought was a 4Runner.
      we just picked up a '19 4Runner Off Road at the end of August. we're into the same kind of stuff you and your wife are, and we also tow a camper. also have big plans for doing extended off road exploration while camping/fishing in the coming years.

      that being said we insisted on either the 'runner or a used Pro4X xterra and after driving the 'runner it was a no brainer for us. however, for the vast majority of 4Runners i see around town that are sparkly clean and driving back and forth to work on highway tires, its way more expense than necessary and the likely the wrong tool for the job, objectively speaking. obviously people like what they like, and that's cool. but that said, these are legit trucks underneath - they're simple, rugged, drink fuel and drive like a burly animal compared to something like a crossover....although IMO for what they are, they drive really nicely. for better or worse, they are pretty unique in that way.

      they're wider and ride taller than you realize once you get up close. if your wife isn't good with blind spots or parking maneuvers, you're in for a bad time. i'd echo what others said - get yourself an outback with the H6 engine, or maybe a Pilot or Ridgeline. unless you intend to really get into some dicey terrain, at most an SR5 4Runner is all you'd probably need. at this point they are probably trying hard to move leftover 19's to make way for the updated 20's.
      @go_scott_go

    21. 10-07-2019 02:04 PM #45
      Quote Originally Posted by vwpiloto View Post
      .... I don't think KDSS 4Runner drives poorly. It's ride comfort is pretty damn good, and it steers and handles just fine. I daily mine on a 110 miles round trip, and it's very comfortable. It's only drawback in daily driving is the wide turning radius when parking.
      I’m surprised you consider the turn radius wide, I think it’s pretty good compared to other SUVs and trucks. Also, I agree with KDSS giving the ride a more controlled feel in turns but I have had a “panic stop” in the 4runner on the freeway when everyone slams the brakes and it got a bit squirrelly. You could feel the pronounced nose dive and the inertia made the back end come out to the side just a bit.

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      10-07-2019 02:23 PM #46
      Quote Originally Posted by XClayX View Post

      For 4Runner money you could buy a Gladiator. I bet if you buy a soft roader your going to be concerned with every scratch or ding on it. A Wrangler has metal bumpers and is meant to driver over what evers in its way confidence be damned.
      2020MY 4runner has a lot of safety equipment standards, where as Gladiator you have to go up trims to get them, also IFS vs solid axle, IFS just ride that much better on the road.

      Gladiator does look cool thou.

    23. Member vwpiloto's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 02:23 PM #47
      Quote Originally Posted by Porkchopexpress View Post
      I’m surprised you consider the turn radius wide, I think it’s pretty good compared to other SUVs and trucks. Also, I agree with KDSS giving the ride a more controlled feel in turns but I have had a “panic stop” in the 4runner on the freeway when everyone slams the brakes and it got a bit squirrelly. You could feel the pronounced nose dive and the inertia made the back end come out to the side just a bit.
      Relative to a CUV like the CX-9, thr turning radius feels wide. Also with the TRD wheels (offset changed by ~ .5" per wheel), it's made it worse, bit even stock it was wide and made for a less manueverable vehicle in tighter parking lots.

      As for squirrelly under braking, yes, by all means that's true. I'm hoping a set of 5100s or perhaps the Eibach kit will reduce that nose dive and give it overall some more stability.

      Overall, with vehicles like the 4Runner and Wrangler, if you don't take them off road enough times, go camping in harder to reach areas, or use them on less than ideal roads, it may be hard to appreciate them as much as others might.

    24. Senior Member danny_16v's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 02:48 PM #48
      I really don't have any driving dynamic complaints on my 4Runner. And mine is on 120k mile original XREAS with a 2.5/1.5 spacer lift and 265/70 Nitto Grappler G2 A/T's. It's not a sports car, but it handles fine

      Only negative mine has (my own fault) is that it wanders some above 80mph and is kind of shaken about if there's crosswinds, but this is due to my caster being off with the lift. If I replace upper control arms, this would be corrected.
      GLi : M3 : CX5
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    25. Member The_Real_Stack's Avatar
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      10-07-2019 02:57 PM #49
      Quote Originally Posted by vwpiloto View Post
      Overall, with vehicles like the 4Runner and Wrangler, if you don't take them off road enough times, go camping in harder to reach areas, or use them on less than ideal roads, it may be hard to appreciate them as much as others might.
      My $0.02; the 4Runner is an odd mix of very capable and Toyota boring. It's not terrible on highways, etc, like the Wrangler is, but it's good enough to be competent and bad enough to be meh. The Wrangler is almost laughably bad, to the point where it's entertaining in its novelty. Driving the Wrangler, you know you're driving the Wrangler, driving the 4Runner, it's like you are just driving any number of SUVs from 10-20 years ago. Also, with the Wrangler, you have the novelty of the removable top and doors, and again, it's just so different that it's fun.

      I love the idea of the 4Runner, to the point where I've been "I'm going to buy one" at least 3 times now. But everytime I actually drive it, it's just not special enough to be truly interesting, and the idea of "Well it's going to last forever" just doesn't excite me. Like the Taco, I'd love to have owned a 4Runner for the last 10 years and now have a funky old one I've put a zillion miles on, but the idea of buying one and driving it for the next 10 years has zero excitement for me.

      And yeah, I'm the guy who needs the capability it offers about 10 times a year.
      Quote Originally Posted by Volkl View Post
      My wife wanted a SUV with a manual transmission. I suggested a Wrangler, she said no way, too masculine

    26. 10-07-2019 04:40 PM #50
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      And yeah, I'm the guy who needs the capability it offers about 10 times a year.
      Probably 10 times more than most 4runner owners. I drive off-road maybe twice a year but the roads where I live, (Hawaii) are terrible so 4runners just last longer than unibody cars here.

      Not sure if it has been said yet, but the resale value of 4runners is stupid high. Especially the TRD Pro.

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