1. Welcome to 4Runners.com!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all 4Runner discussion topics
    • Transfer over your build thread from a different forum to this one
    • Communicate privately with other 4Runner owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Rain and "full-time AWD"

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by sfoffroad, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. Mar 19, 2019 at 3:59 PM
    #1
    sfoffroad

    sfoffroad [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2019
    Member:
    #8856
    Messages:
    110
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2019 4Runner Limited
    I've wondered, since buying a Limited (which purchase was influenced by a notion that "full time AWD" was the epitome of "traction".), if whatever Toyota means by "full-time AWD" does actually mean better traction on, say, a wet highway. Living in an area without snow (except when I intentionally head for the hills in winter), I was mostly thinking "If I get the Limited, then, if I'm driving to work and it starts to pour, hey, I'm already in super-traction mode." But, I'm wondering if the Limited's version of AWD really adds that much to an ORP trim in 2WD and with all the Star Safety tech. I mean, I can't ever recall slipping and sliding in regular 2WD sedans I've owned. So, are there situations where those of you who have Off Roads or Off Road Premiums, where you think "this would be a lot easier if I have the Limited's full-time AWD right now"?
     
    troprobped17 likes this.
  2. Mar 19, 2019 at 4:34 PM
    #2
    HoBoDanny

    HoBoDanny Dude...

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2019
    Member:
    #8697
    Messages:
    976
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Daniel
    Kentucky
    Vehicle:
    2004 SR5 V6 4WD 4Runner
    RCI Skid Plate CBI Ditch Light Brackets Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10 265 70R17 113T Tires 1.25” Wheel Spacers TPMS Bypass Mod Hydrocarbon Filter Removed Merca decal 2” leveling kit front only Black headlights
    If you need AWD in the rain your driving too fast or not paying attention. My thoughts on the whole AWD and rain.
     
  3. Mar 19, 2019 at 4:57 PM
    #3
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Member:
    #7255
    Messages:
    1,400
    You'll have better traction in rain with the limited AWD than you would with a 4x4 running in rear wheel drive only (4x2 mode).

    That would be noticeable when starting from a stop, for example. Or accelerating in a turn. Practically speaking, it's not going to stop you from "sliding". But it will lessen the spinning of rear wheels on wet pavement.

    Will the difference be significant? Probably not in rain. On snow, the difference will be significant vs 4x2.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  4. Mar 19, 2019 at 8:16 PM
    #4
    troprobped17

    troprobped17 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2019
    Member:
    #8586
    Messages:
    87
    Gender:
    Male
    I have a 5th gen Limited. And I live in South Florida where it rains quite often. I have not really relied on the full time awd while driving in the rain. But, it’s always a great thing to have. My defensive driving skills are, as good as, it gets for driving here in Florida:). As for the necessity for AWD in rainy weather places like Florida, I must admit that it is. I have gotten stuck in parking lots, on grass, sand, heavy rain with high level of water. Each time that I needed to get out of those situations and get home safely, the AWD of my T4R is there for me.

    It’s worth the extra $1k-$2k more to get a 4x4/AWD SUV for places with extreme weather like Florida. Plus, it’s always that one time that you need it, but don’t have it, that it becomes a necessity. The traction that my truck has is superb. I do also believe that it has its advantages.

    Everyone has different needs. If one can afford an AWD/4x4 SUV, then, why not get one. But, if that is not within one’s means, then, get what one can afford.
     
  5. Mar 19, 2019 at 9:28 PM
    #5
    sfoffroad

    sfoffroad [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2019
    Member:
    #8856
    Messages:
    110
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2019 4Runner Limited
    So, you don't really have an opinion on this? :amen: But, seriously, I was trying to make it the broader question of whether anyone with an Off Road model has encountered a situation in which the Limited's AWD system would have been some advantage?
     
  6. Mar 19, 2019 at 11:11 PM
    #6
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Member:
    #7255
    Messages:
    1,400
    Another advantage to AWD (Limited) is its "always on". You can't (shouldn't) drive on dry pavement in 4x4 mode. So when it's scattered ice/slippery conditions on the road, AWD is nice to have. It's always there when it needs to be, whereas with 4wd (Off Road/SR5) you have to turn it on and off going from slippery to dry pavement.

    In stop and go traffic in city driving with scattered snow/ice, the Limited's AWD is much more convenient than a rear wheel drive T4R where you have to (should) take it in and out of 4wd when you hit dry pavement.

    That said, with a good set of tires, wet/rain has never been a problem for me in my 4x4 Tacomas and 4Runner. It's when it gets snowy/icy when the AWD would be nice to have. But as someone who's driven 4x4's my whole life, I'm used to just engaging 4wd whenever I need to.

    Now, if my mom or grandma was driving the vehicle, they'd have no idea when they should be using 4wd vs 2wd. And 4x2 can be outright dangerous on snow/ice in a rear wheel drive vehicle (if you don't know what you're doing like mom and grandma). In that case, AWD is hands down preferable (that's probably why the Limited exists).

    Are you losing anything by having an AWD Limited instead of an Off Road/SR5? Meh. Not really for most people. For 99% of T4R owners it'd probably be a more preferred choice (cost aside).

    If you know how to drive a 4x4 will you regret not having an AWD limited? Probably not.
     
    Snickel Fritz and nimby like this.
  7. Mar 19, 2019 at 11:22 PM
    #7
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Member:
    #6644
    Messages:
    2,477
    Have not encountered this situation once since owning mine for a few years now in all types of weather including snow. The traction control does pretty well in 2wd and in the deep snow I am in 4x4 anyway. Traction in the rain is more related to how good your tires are than anything. Also realizing you can't drive like it's still sunny out and you need to drive accordingly for the conditions presented.

    Last week I drove through a rain storm of biblical proportions for 2 hours straight. It was crazy rain! Most of the people on the road had their hazards going while still driving (idiots). I was hitting water that would have sent smaller vehicles hydroplaning at the speed I hit them, which was still below the speed limit. The 4 handled it all in stride in 2wd. I have BFG KO2's.
     
  8. Mar 20, 2019 at 4:07 AM
    #8
    HoBoDanny

    HoBoDanny Dude...

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2019
    Member:
    #8697
    Messages:
    976
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Daniel
    Kentucky
    Vehicle:
    2004 SR5 V6 4WD 4Runner
    RCI Skid Plate CBI Ditch Light Brackets Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10 265 70R17 113T Tires 1.25” Wheel Spacers TPMS Bypass Mod Hydrocarbon Filter Removed Merca decal 2” leveling kit front only Black headlights
    I do. I’ve had AWD Subaru’s and RWD trucks most of my life in the rain unless your driving like an idiot there is no difference. Now since the AWD system on the 4Runner is different from a Subaru and the 4Runner has a higher center of gravity I see it making even less of a difference. Now if you would like to broaden your question to say ice or snow then yes there will be a noticeable difference, but as it relates to your original question no. As I stated before in my opinion.
     
    DRobs, mrmike7189, jester243 and 2 others like this.
  9. Mar 20, 2019 at 5:52 AM
    #9
    billnourse

    billnourse New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Member:
    #4374
    Messages:
    231
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bill
    Bloomfield, NM
    Vehicle:
    2017 4Runner TRD Off Road Premium
    Toytec Ultimate lift, SSO Slimline bumper and 10,000# winch, emblem blackout, hood scoop wrap.
    I have a 4 Runner with part time 4WD. The wife has a Highlander with all wheel drive. In the rain I don't see any difference On snow, ice, mud, etc. the Highlander is always in 4wd, but does have a snow option switch that I think locks the front and rear. Not sure how that works. In my 4 Runner I just pull the lever and I am in 4 High. Push the lever and I'm in 2 High. I guess it is a little more of an effort for the 4 Runner, but nothing to worry about, and my on demand 4WD with locker, Crawl, ATrac, et. al. is definitely more capable off road.

    I think a lot of what works best depends on the the intended purpose.
     
  10. Mar 20, 2019 at 9:30 AM
    #10
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Member:
    #7255
    Messages:
    1,400
    Would you guys agree that if you don't off road and and never see snow, then AWD is all you'll ever need?
     
  11. Mar 20, 2019 at 10:08 AM
    #11
    sfoffroad

    sfoffroad [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2019
    Member:
    #8856
    Messages:
    110
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2019 4Runner Limited
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  12. Mar 20, 2019 at 10:31 AM
    #12
    DGP1961

    DGP1961 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2018
    Member:
    #7154
    Messages:
    872
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2018 SR5 Premium
    haha if you need AWD in rain slow down!!
     
    WallyT4R and HoBoDanny like this.
  13. Mar 20, 2019 at 11:36 AM
    #13
    sfoffroad

    sfoffroad [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2019
    Member:
    #8856
    Messages:
    110
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2019 4Runner Limited
    No, seriously, I agree, of course with that. I've driven many front and rear 2WD vehicles in various amounts of rain, without ever having had any problem--as millions of drivers are doing every day. I'm just wondering if AWD actually increases traction to any significant degree on wet highways and streets--not, if you need it in order not to lose control of your vehicle. Other than noticing the Limited accelerates up wet San Francisco hills with not a hint of momentary slippage, its "full time AWD" (as Toyota describes it) doesn't seem to be much of an advantage on wet pavement. I have driven AWD vehicles in Colorado and there the advantage was mostly being able to seamlessly go from wet to light/moderate snow. All of which makes me conclude that, while the Off Road 4Runners confer a real advantage off road, the Limited doesn't seem to be much of an advantage on or off road, by comparison? I Haven't had it long, so I am interested to see how far off road it will get me in, without shifting into 4H.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  14. May 14, 2020 at 7:28 AM
    #14
    luchin

    luchin New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Member:
    #1427
    Messages:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    The short answer is yes. AWD is better then front or rear wheel drive in adverse conditions. As mentioned, you will notice the biggest difference on slippery surfaces when leaving from a complete stop or accelerating out of corners. My car also engages the AWD system when braking hard but I’ve tuned the Haldex system to work that way. I’ve had all three drive types. Front, rear and AWD. I’ll never own a car without AWD again. We get a lot of rain on the West Coast in the winter months and a lot of standing water. In my driving conditions AWD is my preference.

    The biggest difference is going to be how you adjust your driving habits. I’ve seen people in Ottawa drive better in snow then most people here in Vancouver can drive in the rain.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
    Daytonaviolet likes this.
  15. May 14, 2020 at 11:12 AM
    #15
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Member:
    #7224
    Messages:
    579
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2018 Toyota 4 Runner Offroad
    None for me, I’d find a Limited model, well, limited in terms of what I like to do in back country areas and off road. I’m sure it would very similar for urban driving. I think I’d prefer a model called “unlimited”, haha.
     
    Daytonaviolet likes this.
  16. May 14, 2020 at 5:47 PM
    #16
    MI-FL off roader

    MI-FL off roader T4R Hobby/Addict

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2015
    Member:
    #878
    Messages:
    332
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brett
    Merritt Island, FL
    Vehicle:
    88' DLX - 03' SR5 Sport - 12' Limited
    Too many mods and too much money
    I completely agree that driving too fast in rain even with AWD is dangerous. I live in Florida and it rains so much, so fast, that even safe speeds can send you into a hydro plane drift when you hit a puddle thats several inches to almost a foot deep. And it might not even be raining at that moment. These storms can move through in a matter of minutes and dump an inch and a half in a very short amount of time. That can result in massive sections that aren't even puddles, its every lane of the interstate that has several inches of water standing. It might not be raining and the sun coming out but it was a full white out downpour 10 minutes earlier. Very hard to see puddles in changing light conditions too. Then there is what's known as Florida black ice. Several days with out rain and oil build up, then a very light rain that brings all the oil to the surface and it's as slick as grease on a Teflon pan. I have been damn glad for MTs and AWD in these conditions as it has saved my bacon several times.
     
  17. May 15, 2020 at 7:06 AM
    #17
    Toffees

    Toffees Stuff and things

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2019
    Member:
    #9616
    Messages:
    276
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Micah
    LA
    Vehicle:
    16 LE
    Good grief, what a tangential rant by OP.

    Worth understanding, when considering wet/slippery/muddy/snowy/dry traction are:

    RWD vs FWD vs AWD vs 4WD
    Sliding (loss of traction) vs hydroplaning
    Tire inflation, condition, tread pattern
    Driving speed
     
  18. May 15, 2020 at 7:25 AM
    #18
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Member:
    #1122
    Messages:
    951
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mark
    Eureka, Calif
    Vehicle:
    17 SR5 & 19 ORP
    Things with stuff, but nothing much
    There are not
     
  19. May 15, 2020 at 7:27 AM
    #19
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Member:
    #1122
    Messages:
    951
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mark
    Eureka, Calif
    Vehicle:
    17 SR5 & 19 ORP
    Things with stuff, but nothing much
    Is that your truck in your avatar?
     
  20. May 15, 2020 at 7:29 AM
    #20
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Member:
    #1122
    Messages:
    951
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mark
    Eureka, Calif
    Vehicle:
    17 SR5 & 19 ORP
    Things with stuff, but nothing much
    You could argue that AWD would be more than you would ever need, but sure, I'll agree to that.
     
    Toffees likes this.
  21. May 15, 2020 at 8:45 AM
    #21
    trlhiker

    trlhiker New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2019
    Member:
    #11913
    Messages:
    354
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    1992 4Runner SR5 V6 4X4
    AWD will not save your butt in the rain if your tires are not good. You can still hydroplane. My wife rolled her AWD CRV years ago in heavy rain. She hit a deep puddle at 45 mph. The tires had about 3/32 left and I was going to have them changed out. She was going too fast for conditions and had her cruise control on. She now knows better. Luckily she wasn't hurt but did miss a telephone pole for a few feet. I had a Prerunner and never had issues in the rain. Good tires will do more for you than AWD will in the wet.
     
    DRobs likes this.
  22. May 18, 2020 at 7:57 AM
    #22
    Joekader

    Joekader New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2019
    Member:
    #10017
    Messages:
    88
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Joe
    Tire choice has more of effect on the truck then anything else
    Years ago my daily driver was an 86 Porsche 944 turbo in winter I switched to dedicated snow tires and that car was awesome in all conditions up 3in of snow loved that fing machine lots of fun
    J
     
    DRobs and Oldtoyotaguy like this.
  23. May 18, 2020 at 10:51 AM
    #23
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Member:
    #7224
    Messages:
    579
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2018 Toyota 4 Runner Offroad
    Definitely agree, Joekader. Up here, two set of tires is mandatory if you want to be safe. They go on around the end of November and I take them off at the end of March. It still might snow or freeze outside of those time frames but the worst is over by then. 4 months of Blizzaks, haha. They really work well.
     
  24. May 18, 2020 at 12:10 PM
    #24
    erfer1

    erfer1 New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Member:
    #14364
    Messages:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Eric
    SW NM
    Vehicle:
    2019 Limited
    While I am new to the forum, I would state that the full time AWD on my limited is very noticeable driving on the dirt and gravel roads here in the desert and up in the national forest. There have been times that when driving in the Florida Mtns. here that I most likely would have switched to 4 Hi if not for the AWD. The one thing i would have liked is the crawl feature, especially when coming downhill on the BLM access roads to the antenna access points on the mountain tops.
     
  25. May 18, 2020 at 12:14 PM
    #25
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Member:
    #7224
    Messages:
    579
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2018 Toyota 4 Runner Offroad
    Hey erfer, wouldn’t the transmission select accomplish this?
     
  26. May 18, 2020 at 12:40 PM
    #26
    erfer1

    erfer1 New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Member:
    #14364
    Messages:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Eric
    SW NM
    Vehicle:
    2019 Limited
    It does somewhat, but downshifting to 2 is not ideal when I need to goose it a touch. A small inconvenience, but I always gotta find something to complain about. :)
     
  27. May 18, 2020 at 1:53 PM
    #27
    MI-FL off roader

    MI-FL off roader T4R Hobby/Addict

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2015
    Member:
    #878
    Messages:
    332
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brett
    Merritt Island, FL
    Vehicle:
    88' DLX - 03' SR5 Sport - 12' Limited
    Too many mods and too much money
    LMAO 3 posts and I already like this guy. Thats true with a lot of us. Me being #1. I just try not to spread the misery around. Welcome Sir!!
     
    erfer1 likes this.
  28. May 18, 2020 at 2:07 PM
    #28
    MI-FL off roader

    MI-FL off roader T4R Hobby/Addict

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2015
    Member:
    #878
    Messages:
    332
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brett
    Merritt Island, FL
    Vehicle:
    88' DLX - 03' SR5 Sport - 12' Limited
    Too many mods and too much money
    Side bar: @erfer1 Living in Florida I was curious about the Florida Mountains. So I did a little Maps search. My Parents have settled in AZ so I have been near that area driving out I-10 from here, but don't remember seeing any signs. This is a 360* view that popped up in the album associated with Maps. Kinda Cool!!
    Screenshot_2020-05-18 Google Maps.jpg
     
    erfer1 likes this.
  29. May 18, 2020 at 3:25 PM
    #29
    erfer1

    erfer1 New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Member:
    #14364
    Messages:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Eric
    SW NM
    Vehicle:
    2019 Limited
    The Florida's pop right up out of the high desert. Very wild, and the only place in North America with Ibex.
    FB_IMG_1568514492441.jpg
     
    SlvrSlug and MI-FL off roader like this.
  30. May 19, 2020 at 3:23 PM
    #30
    DRobs

    DRobs New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Member:
    #8335
    Messages:
    118
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dan
    Missouri
    Vehicle:
    2019 Toyota 4Runner OR - MGM
    265/70R17 Falken Wildpeak A/T3W, Eibach Pro Truck Lift, Warn VR10 Winch, Warn 100022 Winch Bumper, TRD Skid Plate, Cali Raised Light Bar, Shrockworks Sliders and Skids, LFD Ruggadized Cross Bars
    AWD is great for Soccer Moms.

    Driving in the Rain on Pavement in my RWD/4WD vehicles, I've never felt the need to switch on 4WD.
    I have pulled over and let the worst of the storm die down as my windshield wipers weren't keeping up.

    On lonely country roads in the rain at night, turning on my Light Bar (illegal) makes it feel like I'm driving through a brightly lit Walmart Parking Lot.

    4Runners are one of the few vehicles where you can get 2WD, AWD, or 4WD. Usually it's AWD or Front Wheel Drive. Given that choice I'd rather have the AWD. Given a choice between AWD and 4WD - I'll take 4WD.
     

Products Discussed in

To Top