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Old 06-28-2020, 12:44 AM #1
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4runner Limited horrible onroad manners

Hello all,

I am new here and every time I am due for a new car I find myself eyeballing the 4runner and every time I test drive one I run away.

Why do I want a 4runner? Purpose, snow and fire roads combined with reliability. For that reason the Limited seems to be the best option. I like the full time 4wd system and I like the boxy/square looks of the front of the vehicle. However, it drives like a boat. I used to own a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder and that vehicle drove like it was on rails and could corner hard with very little body roll. The 4runner however scares me.

In the past I have upgraded sway-bars on cars to increase their handling and reduce body roll. A cheap yet extremely effective solution especially if hardcore off-roading and suspension travel is not your main concern. Current thickness/diameter on the limited is what, 1.22? Should be more like 1.6 if you ask me. Why cant I find a sway-bar upgrade for the 4runner? Does it not exist?

I did drive a TRD off-road with KDSS. That car handles soooo much better on road then any of the non KDSS models but I cant stand the look of that rounded nose. I understand the purpose but its just not my thing.

So, either find a sway bar solution for the Limited or swap the front bumper of the TRD off-road with that of a limited so it looks more appealing to me.

What are my options? If any?

Much appreciated.
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:11 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helixx View Post
Hello all,

I am new here and every time I am due for a new car I find myself eyeballing the 4runner and every time I test drive one I run away.

Why do I want a 4runner? Purpose, snow and fire roads combined with reliability. For that reason the Limited seems to be the best option. I like the full time 4wd system and I like the boxy/square looks of the front of the vehicle. However, it drives like a boat. I used to own a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder and that vehicle drove like it was on rails and could corner hard with very little body roll. The 4runner however scares me.

In the past I have upgraded sway-bars on cars to increase their handling and reduce body roll. A cheap yet extremely effective solution especially if hardcore off-roading and suspension travel is not your main concern. Current thickness/diameter on the limited is what, 1.22? Should be more like 1.6 if you ask me. Why cant I find a sway-bar upgrade for the 4runner? Does it not exist?

I did drive a TRD off-road with KDSS. That car handles soooo much better on road then any of the non KDSS models but I cant stand the look of that rounded nose. I understand the purpose but its just not my thing.

So, either find a sway bar solution for the Limited or swap the front bumper of the TRD off-road with that of a limited so it looks more appealing to me.

What are my options? If any?

Much appreciated.
I think you may be the first person I've run across who prefers how a Limited looks versus the non-Limited trims.

I don't think it's as simple as a bumper swap as the Limited has unique front and rear bumpers, plus I believe side trim pieces that tie in around the whole vehicle.

While it would not look significantly different than the Offroad Premium, have you thought about driving a TRD Pro? Personally I think they have the best ride and handle of any of the 4Runners stock.

Your other option would be to pull XREAS and the factory suspension out of the Limited and do a full upgrade to something aftermarket, but definitely on the expensive side.
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:36 AM #3
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Although this shows Limited transformed to Trail it might get you started

Swap 2015 Limited Front End Bumper Assembly to SR5/Trail
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:38 AM #4
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Your problem is it’s a 5,000lb, body on frame, high center of gravity SUV that comes from the factory with softer suspension for on road comfort. Trucks and real SUVs (which there’s not many of nowadays) will never handle like a car/crossover. KDSS is a significant improvement and the best you’re going to get without swapping coils and shocks. It will never handle or corner like a car. If anything your standard 4Runner owner is going to disconnect the sway bars, not get stiffer ones.
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:43 AM #5
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You should probably look at other vehicles. Donít spend a bunch of money trying to make a new 4Runner into something it isnít. Highlander was just remodeled.
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:42 AM #6
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I very much like how my Limited handles, particularly on curvy roads. Very planted (coming from oneone who used to have a two door bmw), much better than other trims.
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:45 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euser View Post
Your problem is itís a 5,000lb, body on frame, high center of gravity SUV that comes from the factory with softer suspension for on road comfort. Trucks and real SUVs (which thereís not many of nowadays) will never handle like a car/crossover. KDSS is a significant improvement and the best youíre going to get without swapping coils and shocks. It will never handle or corner like a car. If anything your standard 4Runner owner is going to disconnect the sway bars, not get stiffer ones.
This is your answer. You're buying a truck, not a car.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:31 AM #8
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Originally Posted by BaddaBing View Post
You should probably look at other vehicles. Donít spend a bunch of money trying to make a new 4Runner into something it isnít. Highlander was just remodeled.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:59 AM #9
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I am in a similar boat.
I never drove a 4runner before I bought one (std sr5).
I have always been used to driving aggressively.
The 4runner is teaching me to slow down or it is trying.
Just took it in the mountains for the first time.
Eye opening experience.
Marked 30mph turns that my full size truck can take at 40, not in the 4runner. Tires howling, front end pushing.
The positives outweigh the negatives.
I need to learn to slow down, since it is getting tougher to actually enjoy and have fun driving. Our roads are getting too crowded. Get past one slow poke Sunday driver, and another is just ahead.
So I think the 4runner has come along for me at the right time. Slow down, take a breath, we'll get to the destination sooner or later.
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:22 PM #10
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You are probably right. The 4runner might not be it for me, What blows my mind is that the (old body on frame) Pathfinder, Xterra, Titan, F150, Chevy Tahoe all are excellent driving road vehicles in addition to decent off-road performers however none offer the reliability of the 4runner. And no, I am not expecting it to corner like my BMW, but the 4runner, that is completely at the other side of the spectrum. All it would need is a heavier sway bar as an option and it would make it so much more acceptable and it is surprising that for a vehicle that has been unchanged for 10 years now no-one offers this.

Thank you all for your input, much appreciated.
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:29 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaddaBing View Post
You should probably look at other vehicles. Donít spend a bunch of money trying to make a new 4Runner into something it isnít. Highlander was just remodeled.

If only it had a decent AWD system like the Lexus IS and GS. As it stands, its nothing more than a marketing gimmick.

Reference: YouTube

I am sorry, but I cant see myself spending money on this. My Beemer X drive is 100x better than this.
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:01 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helixx View Post
You are probably right. The 4runner might not be it for me, What blows my mind is that the (old body on frame) Pathfinder, Xterra, Titan, F150, Chevy Tahoe all are excellent driving road vehicles in addition to decent off-road performers however none offer the reliability of the 4runner. And no, I am not expecting it to corner like my BMW, but the 4runner, that is completely at the other side of the spectrum. All it would need is a heavier sway bar as an option and it would make it so much more acceptable and it is surprising that for a vehicle that has been unchanged for 10 years now no-one offers this.

Thank you all for your input, much appreciated.
What you're not grasping is that there is an inherent and inescapable trade-off between roll stiffness and off-road capability. The 4Runner is marketed as being off-road capable in a niche way that none of the other vehicles you mention ever were. Thicker sway bars would destroy the suspension articulation that is an integral part of delivering on that marketing promise. It's like you're complaining that no one offers a kit to reduce the steering effort on a Toyota 86 to Cadillac levels.

The KDSS system represents a pretty good effort at having the best of both worlds -- decent roll stiffness on road, and decent articulation off-road. If you can overcome your antipathy towards its looks, a TRD-OR with KDSS might be your best bet of the 4Runner offerings. I spend a lot more time inside the vehicle driving it than outside looking at it, so the looks aren't so crucial to me.
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:17 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helixx View Post
You are probably right. The 4runner might not be it for me, What blows my mind is that the (old body on frame) Pathfinder, Xterra, Titan, F150, Chevy Tahoe all are excellent driving road vehicles in addition to decent off-road performers however none offer the reliability of the 4runner. And no, I am not expecting it to corner like my BMW, but the 4runner, that is completely at the other side of the spectrum. All it would need is a heavier sway bar as an option and it would make it so much more acceptable and it is surprising that for a vehicle that has been unchanged for 10 years now no-one offers this.

Thank you all for your input, much appreciated.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned it yet, well not actually since this is a 4Runner forum, I digress, but why not look at a Land Cruiser instead? If budget is a concern, used (read "just broken in") 200 Series Land Cruisers are around the same price as a new 4Runner Limited, and will feel much more planted on road while still giving you all the off road capability you could ever need without it being a dedicated rig.

If budget isn't a concern, I'm sure a Toyota dealer would be more than happy to make you a deal on a new one that's been sitting on their showroom floor for much too long in this uncertain economic climate. It's not unheard of to find unsold examples that are a model year old, or more, that the dealership has been paying taxes on all that time. You just have to find a dealership that actually stocks Land Cruisers...
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:33 PM #14
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Consider a Land Cruiser. The KDSS sits tighter and operates better allowing more articulation off road, but a more stable ride on road. I tried a KDSS 4Runner, and it just isn't the same. The articulation the LC allows stock is crazy. I bought a 16 LCa year ago with 30k miles and a 100k platinum warranty for $52k, which is in the realm of new TRD Pro 4R.

My wife had a 2012 Limited 4R and now a 20 Limited. I also like the Limited look better, but feel the xreas is really good on road.

Here are some RTI ramp scores for stock vehicles. As you can see, the 4R with KDSS is decent, but the LC is excellent. The KDSS gives the advantage of disconnecting when needed automatically vs the Jeep, which requires you to disconnect electronically.

RTI scores For reference:

'18 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon JLUR (bar off): 724
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon JLUR (bar off): 718
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon JKUR (last gen, bar off): 687
Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition: 661
'17 Toyota Land Cruiser: 647
'17 Lexus LX570: 645
Jeep Gladiator Rubicon (bar off): 607
'17 Ford Rapter Supercab: 603
Lexus LX570 Sport w/chin spoiler (AHC high): 588
'10 Toyota 4runner w/KDSS: 584
'17 Land Rover LR4: 560
Mercedes G63 AMG (last gen): 534
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon JLUR (bar on): 523
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon JKUR (last gen, bar off): 518
'17 Land Rover Discovery: 516
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro: 492
Chevy Colorado ZR2: 489
'14 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro: 484
'17 Land Rover LR4 (high mode): 457
Jeep Gladiator Mojave: 476
Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road: 468
Jeep Gladiator Rubicon (bar on): 449
'15 Ford F150: 420
'14 Ram Power Wagon: 412
Chevy Colorado Z71 (air dam removed): 410
'17 Land Rover Discovery (high mode): 377
'17 Nissan Armada: 362

Link to 4r and lc test:

Toyota 4Runner vs Toyota Land Cruiser vs Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Suspension Flex Test | Autoblog
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:26 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helixx View Post
If only it had a decent AWD system like the Lexus IS and GS. As it stands, its nothing more than a marketing gimmick.

Reference: YouTube

I am sorry, but I cant see myself spending money on this. My Beemer X drive is 100x better than this.
Your BMW is better on road, you mean. It won’t do off-road.
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