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Old 03-23-2006, 10:45 PM #1
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Stiffest Competition

What do you guys think the 4Runner's stiffest competition is? XTerra, JGC, Trailblazer, Exploder, or what....on road and off?
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:25 PM #2
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None.

Xterra is cheaper and less refined than the 4R on road, capable off roader though. Nissan's materials look very cheap.

Jeep GC isn't as reliable, the Hemi should be faster though.

Exploder... if you even want to call that an SUV. The frame hangs below the body, it looks an ugly chick in a super short skirt.

Trailblazer might be ok, if GM will be around the next couple years to support the pile.

Just my 2 cents. IMO, to someone who knows nothing about SUVs, doesn't tow and keep it pavement 100% of the time, the Highlander might be the only competition to the 4R.
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:01 AM #3
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The stiffest competition is the Pilot. However, that is a Hon duhhhh
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:12 AM #4
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Haha... I guess i should have put up that nothing holds a candle to the 4Runner....but if wewanted to compare them...which might be a little competition...lol
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:55 AM #5
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I'd have to say the Pathfinder.
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:00 AM #6
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This.
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:05 AM #7
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The stiffest competition for Toyota 4runner is within Toyota itself:

Cheap end: Toyota FJ Cruiser

Expensive end: Lexus GX470

Toyota is just so dominant now that most their fierce competition is within itself. Think: Toyota Avalon vs. Lexus ES330.
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Old 03-24-2006, 06:44 AM #8
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Competition

Non-Toyota competition in the same relative price-range: Nissan Pathfinder, Jeep Grand Cherokee (and similar Commander) and new Hummer H3.

The Highlander and Pilot are cross-over SUVs that are really just raised-up AWD vehicles built on the Camry/Sienna and Accord/Odyssey frames respectively. They are even less capable off-road than the Envoy/Trailblazer and Explorer/Mountaineer twins.

The GX470 is a fancied-up cousin to the 4Runner - but don't say that too loud around the Lexus guys.
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Old 03-24-2006, 07:51 AM #9
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GX for SURE!

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Old 03-24-2006, 09:26 AM #10
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It depends if the buyer is an enthusiast, brand loyalist, or random.


Toyota probably considers the exploder, GC because of their market share (Toyota wants it). Pathfinder and Pilot because they're 'import' brands.
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Old 03-24-2006, 10:49 AM #11
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In my mind the biggest competitor was seating for 5 or else seating for more (6-8). Included was the full sized trucks (potential seating for 6).

However, once I settled on 5 (in comfort), I needed to satisfy the following:

good in-town manors
excellent highway ride
real off-road ability to "drive up" to the cottage (locking diff preferred)
space for "stuff"
towing capacity (~5000)
Performance: strong breaks, good-handling
safety: side air bags - front rear, rollover curtain, high safety ratings (IIHS, NHTSA), skid control
strong pref: some sort of "AWD" I was tired of part-time 4x4 & sand bags.


I was in the used market, and created an enormous spreadsheet with all sorts of trucks and suvs, specifications (That mattered to me) and pros&cons. It becomes clear that very very few vehicles can satisfy all my constraints.

Next, I excluded all the "unique" or extremely expensive vehicles:
Sequoia, MB G-500, Land Cruiser, Land Rovers.

That settled me down to:
xterra (the value leader, but not refined)
prev gen pathfinder (also cheap, but just couldn't compete)
JGC (not well liked by CR, personally I didn't connect with it)
Jeep commander (new only, not overwhelming as I didn't want the throwback cherokee look)

Ridgeline (zero ground cleanance, geez!)
Tundra, Titan, F-150 (problem is the open bed)

The competitors depend on what you want to do with it. I also considered any SUV w/ some ground clearance, then a "bush truck" to be left at the cottage...but I ruled this out.

For all on-road driving, I would think there are better choices.


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Old 03-24-2006, 12:54 PM #12
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Market Segment

The Pathfinder is really Nissan's "direct" competitor to the 4Runner, even though it now has IRS. When I test drove it (several times) I felt that that my 4Runner had a better on-road ride with less road noise and better steering response. The second row also seemed to have less leg room than the Runner - perhaps to accomodate the third row.

The FJ Cruiser's direct competitor is the X-Terra. I haven't driven the Cruiser but I actually like the X-Terra better than the Pathfinder (only slightly worse on-road with much better off-road capability). Personally, I also like the X-Terra's appearance and styling better than the FJ Cruiser. Not crazy about the suicide rear doors on the Cruiser or the retro-look in general.
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:06 PM #13
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In price - Pathfinder
On the road - Grand Cherokee, Prado, GX470
Off road - Discovery (not in production any more), LR3, GX470, Prado
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:13 PM #14
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Pathfinder for sure.
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:56 PM #15
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Re: Market Segment

Quote:
Originally posted by Gromulus
[B]The Pathfinder is really Nissan's "direct" competitor to the 4Runner, even though it now has IRS. When I test drove it (several times) I felt that that my 4Runner had a better on-road ride with less road noise and better steering response. The second row also seemed to have less leg room than the Runner - perhaps to accomodate the third row.
I was going to mention the IRS. The Pathfinder, Pilot, or Exploder weren't direct competition when I was shopping because of the IRS.

The only other vehicle I seriously considered wast the Tacoma.
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