HTF Car of the Week (1/24): 2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chuck C, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    2003 Toyota 4Runner SR5

    [​IMG]

    Just take a look at it...pretty big huh. Well you're right. The 4th generation Toyota 4Runner is bigger and heavier than ever. It's also more powerful!

    POWER PLANTS

    The new 4Runner is based on the Prado (foreign, 7/8 scale Land Cruiser) whereas past 4Runners were SUV versions of Tacomas*. The base engine is a 4.0L V6 rated at 245hp/283-lb-ft. This engine choice is coupled with part-time 4WD. The other engine option is the common-to-many-Toyotas 4.7L V8 at 235hp with an generous 320lb-ft of torque. 4WD works full time with the V8.

    [​IMG]

    TRIM

    The 4Runner is available in 3 trims. The basic SR5 with plastic body moldings and 16" wheels starts at $26,000. The SR5 Sport adds body refinements including a hood scoop and 17" alloys. This option will run you about $33,000. Finally, the Limited with all the goodies including heated seats tops out at $40,000.

    ALPHABET OF FEATURES

    -HAC (Hill-start assist control): applies brakes and manages torque during uphill strides
    -DAC (Downhill assist control): kicks in at speeds under 18mph and reduces speed to 2-4mph during demanding downhill driving.
    -VSC (Vehicle skid system): electronically controlled braking/stabilizing system.
    -X-REAS (X-relative absorber system): transfers power between diagonal shock absorbers. Toyota.com has a great Flash demo that explains X-REAS in more detail.

    Got all that? Lately, HTFCotWs have been weak, so enjoy this one. [​IMG]




    *From Car&Driver magazine
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Thanks for making these Chuck, another reason to be addicted to HTF. [​IMG] I like this look a lot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Seems like one of the more "sensible" heavy duty SUVs, not too big, definitely not too small and Toyota reliability.
     
  3. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    Edit: Image didn't work.
     
  4. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    The styling doesn't work for me. At all. They went to the Chevy Avalanche school of body cladding design.[​IMG]

    Scott- Your pictures could be captioned- "Two things urbanites will never do with theirs." They need a photo of eight pre-teens piling out for a Friday night movie.[​IMG]
     
  5. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Alright, how is a Toyota 4runner the HTF car of the week? Especially since it's bigger than the previous 4runners?

    Who's the moderator of these car of the week posts? [​IMG]

    Jay
     
  7. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    Scott, it's my pleasure making these threads.

    Jay, how bout HTF big ass SUV of the week? [​IMG]
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  9. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    I've liked the look of the past 4Runners but I don't like the new one. Like Todd said, that body cladding just doesn't do it for me. [​IMG]
     
  10. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

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    I really don't like the plastic body cladding. Our Escalade has it (though in a matching color) and it just looks cheap.

    This new 4Runner looks a lot more capable in terms of off-roadability than the previous version was.
     
  11. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I work for a Toyota dealer service dept and hate SUVs, but I love this new 4Runner. The cladding isn't that bad "in person". It also doesn't look much if any bigger than the last version.

    Ride and handling as well as NVH are a revelation. It's easy to tell that this is a "from the ground up" SUV rather than a converted truck chassis. None of the wallowy top-heavy oversoft feel of the last model, yet it handles potholes and small sharp bumps much better. Very secure feeling on fast curves.

    The thing feels very refined, smooth, quiet, and precise--confidence inspiring rather than vague and queasy.

    Pricing is close to the bigger Tundra-based Sequoia, but drive 'em both and the 4Runner comes across as expensively Euro-classy while the Sequoia feels American klutzy.

    This impression carries over into the interior design and materials. Again the 4Runner has a more integrated, precise, and quality look and feel--high-tech neo-European or Japanese chic, while the Sequoia, while it has all the bells and whistles, looks and feels like a Ford F-150 with large expanses of hard cheap plastics and toy-like switches.

    I'd consider the new 4Runner fully competitive with the new European SUVs with the added advantage of Toyota reliability and low maintenance costs.
     
  12. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    These look absolutely bizarre.
    [​IMG]

    Nice truck.
     
  13. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    The cheap plastic fender flares make it look like a Nissan Frontier Pickup only in SUV form, and the rear (my neighbor just got one so I know what it looks like) looks like a Ford Escape. The center controls in the picture above look like they're from an Aiwa mini system, which is fine if the target market is urban teenagers, but I doubt they've got the $40,000 for one of these. In other words, I like the looks of the old 4Runner much better.
     
  14. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    how bout one w/o the plastic cladding?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

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  16. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    correction...how bout one with body matched cladding? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    I just cant wait till we see the new Nissan Pathfinder thats due for a makeover soon.. I heard rumors they might have a third row seat in there, and hopefully, they could stick their V8 into the new pathfinder too..

    That'll give it crazy power (not that its current 240auto/250manual HP is not enough) [​IMG]
     
  18. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

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    It looks a lot like a big Toyota Highlander which IMO looks like a Dodge Caravan.
     
  19. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Their looks are quite Spiffy IMHO. The added power really helps as well since Toyotas were lacking in that as of recently.

    I like this SUV myself. [​IMG]
     
  20. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    I have always loved the Toyota 4-runner series but they have almost always been too expensive IMHO for what you are getting. Does anyone else think that 40K or even 33K for a mid-sized SUV is just too much?

    KyleS
     

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