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Old 09-06-2020, 06:46 PM #1
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Newbie Question - KDSS

I have a complete newbie question about KDSS ....

I am in the process of buying a 2020 (possibly 2021 depending on inventory) 4Runner ORP .... This is going to be my daily driver (I work in the city) and will eventually be my full-time overland vehicle. I am looking at the various options and I realized I have no idea what KDSS is and whether it is worth the addition. Is this something I should make sure I have or ......?
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Old 09-06-2020, 06:58 PM #2
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2010 4Runner How-To: KDSS (Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System) | Toyota - YouTube

KDSS vs Non-KDSS?

KDSS Long term reliability?

KDSS or not? Why?

Who's had both? KDSS and Non KDSS.
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Old 09-06-2020, 07:14 PM #3
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Fact is, a lot of people on here think they have it and don't or have it and have no idea. I'd venture to say that 99 out of 100 4R drivers couldn't get behind the wheel and tell you if one had it or not.
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Old 09-06-2020, 07:58 PM #4
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Hey coffenut,

I was in the same boat on this decision not too long ago when I was hunting for a 4runner to purchase. It'd be my daily driver and probably spend about 90% on pavement. In addition, I'd be coming from a sporty 5spd honda accord coupe, and having read that the handling and overall ride with KDSS feels a bit stiffer, I was pretty much sold right there. Yeah, definitely will have to budget for future maintenance fees/leaks down the road but hey, that's the price you pay to play.

Bossman gave all the info I think you'll need to make this decision for yourself. One additional video that I found helpful in understanding how the system works is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLF6n3nMwww

In the end, I found a gorgeous 2016 Trail Premium w/KDSS in CO, had it shipped over to CA and boy do I love it.
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Old 09-06-2020, 08:57 PM #5
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So, hopefully you have your main question answered of what KDSS does. As far as reliability, my 2019 ORP is my 4th 4Runner and 8th Toyota.

1990: sold to a friend at 205,000 miles. Other than a ripped front axle boot, everything else was preventive maintenance or terminal parts. My buddy got rid of it with over 400,000 miles on the odometer and never mentioned any significant failures.

2000: sold at 152,000 only because the automobile market had crashed i bought a 2008 cheap. Only headache was a bad MAF which likely had been cleaned 1 time too many because I over-oiled the air filter.

2008: 174, 300 miles and i just replaced the front wheel hubs. A ripped boot at 140,000 and thatís it. I kept it after buying a 2019 because it's in such great shape that it's my tow and utility vehicle. If I had to jump in and drive cross country, I have as much confidence as I do my '19.

2019: garage queen at the moment. I've had her for 13 months and am just shy of 4,000 miles. A crime, I know...
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:01 AM #6
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This is a simplification, but KDSS is a sensor driven hydraulic sway bar system. As your truck starts to go into a turn, it uses hydraulic pistons to compensate for the roll of the vehicle.

I have a 2010 Trail Edition with KDSS and have driven a few rental 4Runners without it. I'd say if it's your daily driver KDSS is well worth the cost. It defiantly helps reduce the back and forth sway of the 4runner and provides stiffness when going into turns.

That said, if your looking for a more "planted" ride, upgrading the suspension will give you more bang for the buck. After 137k miles I just put on an Ironman Foam Cell suspension and it is night and day compared to stock.

Last edited by Bill Z; 09-07-2020 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:18 AM #7
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30k into my 4R trdorp kdss. She good. Handle like a champ.
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:34 AM #8
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I have two 4runners with kdss. Fits our needs. If you are planning a big lift skip it.
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Old 09-07-2020, 01:14 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grape Ape View Post
Fact is, a lot of people on here think they have it and don't or have it and have no idea. I'd venture to say that 99 out of 100 4R drivers couldn't get behind the wheel and tell you if one had it or not.
There is a very noticeable difference between handling with and without KDSS. KDSS vehicles are much tighter on road and have very little roll compared to 4Runners without it.

To OP, if its your daily driver and you're not trying to get crazy with lifting it, I’d recommend KDSS. I noticed the difference the first time I test drove 5th gens, and once I did more research it became a requirement for me. It handles the same as it did stock with the 2.5” lift on it now.
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Old 09-07-2020, 03:02 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Z View Post
This is a simplification, but KDSS is a sensor driven hydraulic sway bar system. As your truck starts to go into a turn, it uses hydraulic pistons to compensate for the roll of the vehicle.
This isn't true. KDSS isn't a dynamic system for normal driving, it's held solid and you just get the cornering benefit from having a big fat swaybar.

KDSS is only "active", as in the piston is allowed to articulate, below ~12mph. There is no dynamic adjustments that happen otherwise during driving.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:26 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
This isn't true. KDSS isn't a dynamic system for normal driving, it's held solid and you just get the cornering benefit from having a big fat swaybar.

KDSS is only "active", as in the piston is allowed to articulate, below ~12mph. There is no dynamic adjustments that happen otherwise during driving.
You're also only partially correct. While the system is either open/closed for stiffness, the system activates based upon more than just velocity. The system dynamically adjusts (on/off) based upon yaw, acceleration, and steering wheel inputs in addition to velocity.

I believe this diagram shows an LX570 and how and when the 12 mph interacts with steering and acceleration/yaw sensors to open or close the system. The 4Runner uses these sensors too with KDSS, but I've never found documentation on the software settings.
https://www.toyota-4runner.org/3119802-post246.html
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Old 09-07-2020, 04:12 PM #12
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Drive both and compare for yourself. To me, it was a night and day difference especially if 99% of your driving is on roads.
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:04 PM #13
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I have a 2020 4Runner Off Road Premium with KDSS. I wanted the option and I love it. KDSS is also available for Lexus GX460 and Toyota Land Cruiser ;both these vehicles are known for off-roading capability and reliability.

Because it is an additional system that is added to the 4Runner, people worry about its reliability and if you search the forums you will see that there are not many owners that have reported issues with KDSS So the system itself does not have systemic issues and it is pretty reliable.

Yes, if something goes wrong it does cost pretty penny to fix it ($3000 to $4000).

My personal opinion is if you plan to modify the vehicle and add high end suspension system like Icon Vehicle Dynamics or Kings system or fox racing to your suv then KDSS may not add much value.

If you look at TRD Pro, it does not have KDSS option. Simply because, Toyota knows that Fox suspensions takes care of off-road needs and KDSS is redundant.

Also, if you plan to lift the suspension and have KDSS option, it appears that the recommendation is max lift of 2” in the front and 1” in the rear.

Some people who drive Off-road premium without KDSS complain that the suv rides like a boat and want to modify the suspension. Whether it is psychological or it is fact, I cannot confirm.

Bottom line if you plan on upgrading suspension system do not buy with KDSS option. You will have to live with ride capability till you make the modification.

As for my plan, I may upgrade the suspension down the line but again may never do that. So for me KDSS works.


Good luck.

Last edited by 4Runner2020ORP; 09-07-2020 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:09 PM #14
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I test drove one with and without immediately after the other and noticed right away the one with KDSS naturally feels more planted and stable at all speeds.

Ended up purchasing one with and if I could go back I would have gone without.

Especially with the new desire for things that KDSS prevents.

Having driven 4Runner's with a lift without kdss it negates a good amount of body travel, heavily depending on what type of shock, and the nose dive was gone either way.

Unfortunately I've developed a seep on the front piston and I am under 20k miles.



TLDR, It's cool but not enough of a difference to get it imo
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Old 12-24-2020, 04:22 AM #15
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Like many others have already said, I too test drove 2019s with KDSS and without it. I ended up going with it. I switched over from a 2014 mustang, so I needed all the help I could get with handling. I was pretty surprised at how well my truck handles tight corners with KDSS!
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