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Old 11-11-2019, 04:25 PM #1
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New T4R owner - impressions after 2 weeks

So I've have the 4 Runner for just over 2 weeks now - IMO enough time to get a good initial feel for it. This is my 4th Toyota 4x4, and my first 4 Runner. Prior to the 4 Runner, I've owned, in this order:

1) 1985 Toyota Regular Cap 4x4 pickup (22R 5-speed); 1990-2001
2) 2003 Tacoma Xtra Cab TRD (6cyl. 5-speed); 2003 - 2005
3) 1978 FJ40 Landcruiser (6cyl. 4-speed); 2004 - 2011

Given my history with Toyota 4x4s, I purchased my 4 Runner with much anticipation and high expectations. For the most part I'm very pleased with it, and am looking forward to many years of fun to come. Here are my impressions thus far.

1) It looks awesome. I mean, seriously awesome. Best looking Toyota 4x4 I've every owned by far. The black metallic with the pro grill, blacked out badging and wheels sitting on top of those Nitto meats its killer. I blacked out the front windows to match the back and it looks even better. People check it out all the time.
2) It rides great. Way better than either of my trucks and way better than my FJ40. I think Toyota struck a great balance here - I can comfortably take my family on a road trip without anyone complaining, and still have a capable offroad rig when I want it.
3) The stereo pumps.
4) Fit and finish is pretty good - best in any Toyota I've every had - and way better than any Big 3 auto I've been in recently sans the upper trim levels of the Grand Cherokee.
5) Ergonomics of the driver's seat and cockpit are good. I like the window controls on the window sill - this is where I keep my arm most of the time so this works great for me. Also reminds me of a Land Rover which is cool IMO. The seat is comfortable and the seat adjustments are well thought out.
6) Lack of full adjustability of the front passenger seat is disappointing.
7) XM radio interface is dumb. Best I can tell there's no way to get the preset channel list to display the station name rather than the number. So unless you memorize all of the numbers, you're left flipping around until you find the station you're looking for.
8) Navigation interface is even dumber. It won't let you type in or modify a destination address while moving. If my passenger wants to type something in there while I'm driving the system should let them. This sucks big time. It also is the lease intuitive navigation systems I've ever used. It's almost like Toyota engineers went out of their way to make it as big a pain in the ass to use as possible. Pure UI buffoonery! On the upside, the chick that says the directions sounds kindof sexy.
9) The bright white OEM "fog lights" are dumb. Couldn't be any more ineffective. I covered them with yellow Lamin-x - we'll see how they work next time it's foggy. Already thinking I should have gotten amber films instead of yellow. More to come on that.
10) The hood glare when the sun is positioned high in the sky and behind your direction of travel is brutal. I like the way the hood scoop looks, but what the hell Toyota? This is blinding! Thinking about wrapping the hood (or at least the scoop) in satin or flat black to combat this. I've see some threads on here showing hood wraps - wondering if anyone has just done the rear of the scoop.
11) At first I felt like the 4 Runner lacked adequate power, but I've adjusted my driving style and it seems ok now. Considering a pedal commander or similar but still undecided on this for now.
12) Gas mileage is better than expected. 22.5mpg on the first tank in mixed driving. Taking a road trip this coming weekend so will get a good feel for highway mileage then. So far this has exceeded my expectations.
13) Will be trying the offload features this weekend in the Virginia mountains. More to come on this.
14) The slide out rear cargo tray thing is dumb. I didn't want it but had to get it if I wanted a sunroof. Dumb dumb dumb. I want to put a good cargo liner in the back (i.e. WeatherTech or Husky) but can't find a way to get full protection with that dumb thing in there. Oh yea, did I say it was dumb? It's dumb.
15) Lack of real skid plates on an "Off Road" model is dumb. Will be my first upgrade.
16) Optional OEM crossbars are flimsy pieces of crap so I opted not to get them. Toyota should offer cross bars that are sturdy enough not to flex offload with a reasonable load like a Thule box on top. And the rack on the Pro is not for me - there needs to be a middle of the road here.
17) Best I can tell, the interior footwell LED lights can't be turned off while the headlights are on. This is annoying. I should be able to turn them off.

I'd be interested in hearing other's perspectives on any of the above. All in all I'm really happy with the 4 Runner so far.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:32 PM #2
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HA! I just posted this almost simultaneously.

What I miss...

I agree with your criticisms. It's a very solid vehicle and I'm pretty happy with it. But it ain't perfect.

Also - where are you getting serviced? I'm in Chapel Hill and don't feel too good about Mark Jacobson.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:41 PM #3
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HA! I just posted this almost simultaneously.

What I miss...

I agree with your criticisms. It's a very solid vehicle and I'm pretty happy with it. But it ain't perfect.

Also - where are you getting serviced? I'm in Chapel Hill and don't feel too good about Mark Jacobson.
Ha - yea just read yours. Funny that we both have similar impressions. As others stated on your post, I think you're going to be very very happy from a reliability standpoint. All of my Toyota's have been awesome in that sense.

I haven't had mine in for service yet, but will be taking it to the dealer where I purchased it at least initially - the first few services are free. I bought it at Leith Toyota in Raleigh. Haven't heard anything (good or bad) about Mark Jacobsen Toyota, so can't comment on that.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:45 PM #4
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Thanks for your post.

Iím trying to decide which Lamin-x inserts I should order for AG. Leaning towards amber although had yellow on my super white and really liked it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:53 PM #5
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Thanks for your post.

Iím trying to decide which Lamin-x inserts I should order for AG. Leaning towards amber although had yellow on my super white and really liked it.
Yea - I really like the way the yellow films look. They're awesome in contrast with the black. My impression after trying them (on a non-foggy night) is that the amber films may result in better visibility. Either way, I'm sure the yellow lights will work better then the OEM bright white.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:59 PM #6
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Ha - yea just read yours. Funny that we both have similar impressions. As others stated on your post, I think you're going to be very very happy from a reliability standpoint. All of my Toyota's have been awesome in that sense.

I haven't had mine in for service yet, but will be taking it to the dealer where I purchased it at least initially - the first few services are free. I bought it at Leith Toyota in Raleigh. Haven't heard anything (good or bad) about Mark Jacobsen Toyota, so can't comment on that.
MJ's commercials are creepy.

And it's kinda funny in a Jeep sort of way that I started thinking about shopping service departments right after I bought the Toyota. There's probably a bunch of forum members wondering why I care where the dealer is...I mean, that's just what you do with a Jeep.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:37 AM #7
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My only complaint/concern thus far is the clunky feeling and hesitation it seems to have sometimes in the transmission. It feels like it really jerks you around sometimes. Maybe its just mine and I need to mention this next time I take it in for service. 2018 TRD Offroad new
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:56 AM #8
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Originally Posted by Atomiklan View Post
My only complaint/concern thus far is the clunky feeling and hesitation it seems to have sometimes in the transmission. It feels like it really jerks you around sometimes. Maybe its just mine and I need to mention this next time I take it in for service. 2018 TRD Offroad new

check out my thread here...'18 SR5 4wd with intermittent driveline shudder

see if that's similar to what you're experiencing..I've been back to the dealer 2 times and they can't identify the problem.
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:27 AM #9
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15) Lack of real skid plates on an "Off Road" model is dumb. Will be my first upgrade.
they're pretty solid for anything short of rock crawling

watch some of Lifestyle Overland's videos on youtube, Kevin has been offroading all over north america and is still on the factory skids
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:45 AM #10
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I've destroyed the factory skids once. They're really tough. They're not tougher because of weight considerations.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:09 PM #11
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they're pretty solid for anything short of rock crawling

watch some of Lifestyle Overland's videos on youtube, Kevin has been offroading all over north america and is still on the factory skids
Good to know - I'll check it out for sure. Thanks for posting!
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:09 PM #12
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I've destroyed the factory skids once. They're really tough. They're not tougher because of weight considerations.
Thanks for the reply. Good to know.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:47 PM #13
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Iíve driven very high-mileage Toyotas for so long that my gripe list on my 2019 is short. First new vehicle in 31 years and thrilled with it. Iím happy to have what it came with. That said, I am trying to think of something to block the hood scoop glare. Someone pointed out that the curve on the scoop is the culprit. Seems to me that a flat black vinyl would reduce it but not eliminate it. So Iím trying to think of something maybe on the inside that I could just flip up to block only the scoop.

Whatever you do though, focus on the good things in your truck. Toyota never has made the perfect vehicle, but because of their reliability, I havenít bought any other brand since 1982.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:59 PM #14
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Iíve driven very high-mileage Toyotas for so long that my gripe list on my 2019 is short. First new vehicle in 31 years and thrilled with it. Iím happy to have what it came with. That said, I am trying to think of something to block the hood scoop glare. Someone pointed out that the curve on the scoop is the culprit. Seems to me that a flat black vinyl would reduce it but not eliminate it. So Iím trying to think of something maybe on the inside that I could just flip up to block only the scoop.

Whatever you do though, focus on the good things in your truck. Toyota never has made the perfect vehicle, but because of their reliability, I havenít bought any other brand since 1982.
Great perspective, thennen, and very true. I'm very happy with the 4 Runner and wouldn't trade it for anything else. I think things can always be better, and others' perspectives on the things I've noticed are valuable. Learning that others have beat the piss out of the factory skid plates, for example, makes me feel much better about taking my new rig off road without aftermarket skids. Also hoping that others chime in with info about how to make the XM radio list the channel names, how to make the navigation system allow addresses to be typed in while moving, and how to turn the footwell lights off... Really hoping those things are just operator error!
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:32 PM #15
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Great perspective, thennen, and very true. I'm very happy with the 4 Runner and wouldn't trade it for anything else. I think things can always be better, and others' perspectives on the things I've noticed are valuable. Learning that others have beat the piss out of the factory skid plates, for example, makes me feel much better about taking my new rig off road without aftermarket skids. Also hoping that others chime in with info about how to make the XM radio list the channel names, how to make the navigation system allow addresses to be typed in while moving, and how to turn the footwell lights off... Really hoping those things are just operator error!
I think youll need a mod to input addresses while in motion. Anytime back-up camera has an override that allows that.
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