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Don't own a 4Runner - what years / powertrains would be best for me?

Discussion in 'General 4Runner Talk' started by RomaniGypsy, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. Nov 23, 2017 at 5:42 AM
    #1
    RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy [OP] New Member

    Joined:
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    Vehicle:
    2004 4Runner SR5 4WD, 2014 Prius v, 1972 Cadillac Calais
    Hello all...

    I just came upon the idea of a 4Runner two nights ago. My wife and I have been looking for an SUV to use as a second vehicle. She wanted a Chevy Trailblazer, but reviews on them have been more negative than positive. Our main car is a 2014 Toyota Prius v, and that thing has been amazing. We bought it new, it now has over 156,000 miles (yes, we drive a lot), and it has given us zero mechanical problems and only one physical problem which was mostly my fault. So, Toyota certainly warrants a look no matter what vehicle I seek.

    We've looked at the Highlander and decided that it wasn't big enough. Yesterday I looked at the 4Runner and Sequoia, and surprisingly enough to me at the time, decided that the 4Runner was better. (The seat belt anchors on the Sequoia would be uncomfortable for her, and I can walk under the tailgate of the 4Runner with room to spare... not so on the Sequoia.)

    The ones I looked at yesterday were 2004, 2006 and 2007 model years. So, I imagine that with our budget, we'll be looking at the generation from 2003-2009... unless the newer generation has that high tailgate that both she and I (6'3" and 6'2" respectively) can walk underneath without hitting our heads!

    We'd probably prefer the 4.0L 6-cylinder engine because it will return better gas mileage and it doesn't need periodic timing belt changes, but y'all can feel free to sell me on the 4.7L V8 if you think it's that great for our needs. I don't anticipate doing much if any off-roading, nor much towing. (Currently all I have is a flat utility trailer, which with full payload would barely exceed 2,000 pounds.)

    Are there any specific model years within that generation which I should avoid due to year-specific problems which aren't endemic to the generation? Are any specific model years within that generation "best"?
     
  2. Nov 23, 2017 at 7:15 AM
    #2
    Large

    Large New Member

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    That's a 4th gen, very reliable. Unfortunately all body on frame toyota vehicles have the same common issues, upper and lower ball joints are prone to failure so knowing this going in to it you should swap them out if it has 120k + miles. Also rust is an issue. Check the frame, surface rust isnt bad but if you can see through the frame, I would pass.
     
  3. Nov 23, 2017 at 8:41 AM
    #3
    RomaniGypsy

    RomaniGypsy [OP] New Member

    Joined:
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    Member:
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    Messages:
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    Vehicle:
    2004 4Runner SR5 4WD, 2014 Prius v, 1972 Cadillac Calais
    I might also consider 3rd generation... I haven't looked at any of them to get a feel for dimensions or whatever.
     
  4. Nov 25, 2017 at 6:14 AM
    #4
    Ace21

    Ace21 New Member

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    I am not a mechanic, so my technical knowledge is minimal. Please correct me if I get it wrong here... but I believe the 5th gen Limited and some 4th gens have the XREAS suspension, which I have been told is better for Daily Driving.
    When I was test-driving I noticed that the the vehicle felt less 'tipppy' in turns and less 'sloppy' on pavement in general with the XREAS suspension. That is the main reason I started looking for and eventually chose a Limited.

    I LOVE the 6' long cargo space and rear window that rolls down. I can fit several 2x10's inside the Runner (resting on dash) without rolling down rear window, and imagine I could carry a 2'16' if I needed to, or maybe a sheet of plywood and a couple doors (anyone tried)? The roof design and cargo racks are extremely utilitarian in design. This is a true work vehicle. You will thank yourself when you need it for anything.

    I also appreciated that the Limited came with the JBL/Nav system, which I plan to upgrade in the near future to a better receiver. The (9)? speakers including a 10" subwoofer sound okay now, and should sound really good with a new head unit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017

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