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Discussion Starter #1
Here is some preliminary info I've got for the new redesigned 2003 4Runner that will be coming out in September of this year. The spy pic is from the June issue of TRUCKIN magazine.

http://community.webshots.com/photo/34361696/35728062aDWJdE

This 4Runner is said to be RADICALLY different from the current one. First COMPLETE REDESIGN in nearly 10 years - it will be substantially wider (current one is 68inches wide) - probably around 72-73 inches, slightly longer and also a slightly longer wheelbase. However, true to it's heritage, it will retain it's body-on-frame design, low-range, as well as good ground clearance, but the kicker is the suspension will be FAR MORE REFINED for a SMOOTHER ride using Toyota's vast experience "taming" this type of setup, learned from the LX 470 / Landcruiser applications. Aditionally all 4WD functions will be "push-button" type - electronically activated. Also, ALL MODELS will have a 5-speed automatic transmission

Engines offered will be:
4.0L V6 - 245bhp / 283lb.ft. (VVT-i)
4.7L V8 - 232bhp / 320lb.ft (this is based on the same engines found in the LX, GX, Sequoia etc.) V6 models will have part-time "multi-mode" 4WD which can be left active as a full-time system on dry pavement or a part-time system for better fuel economy. V8 models will have Permanent full-time setup as in LX 470 / Landcruiser etc. All models will wear 265/65-17 tires on 17-inch alloys

HIDS, Side curtain air bags, DVD Navigation etc. will be available options on the Limited models (Vehicle Skid Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist and 4-wheel Traction Control are already offered on current models and will continue)

..........Oh, and I almost forgot, it WILL NOT HAVE the 3rd row seat option.That's reserved for the GX 470 for now
 

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Discussion Starter #2

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245 horses - now the 4Runner is finally back in the game. The weak 183 hp on the current 4Runner was the main reason I didn't buy it. Lucky for me that made me look elsewhere which lead me to the MDX.
 

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Yup, I think so too......

A2MDXer said:
From the spy shot, the biggest change I notice is that they have lowered it substantially. This should give better handling and ride but will it also decrease ground clearance and off-road ability? Overall, probably a good compromise. Definitely something to consider.
........Although I generally wish for MORE when it comes to ground clearance (Highlander, RX, MDX are not quite adequate IMHO for worry-free off-roading - even in MEDIUM-DUTY conditions - probably O.K. for LIGHT DUTY applications), at the other extreme, I personally think the current 4-Runner is "ground clearance overkill".

Ground Clearance measurement can be very deceptive. Minimum running ground clearance is the TRUE measurement - the lowest hanging part underneath the vehicle, period. Most specs generally just say "ground clearance" which is the lowest part on the frame of the vehicle such as the muffler etc. Although the Min. figure for the current 4-Runner is 11 inches, the "entire floorpan" is probably 14-15 inches above the ground making for a VERY UNCOMFORTABLE and CRAMPED interior, since the overall height of the vehicle is the same as other SUVs (compare this with a Minimum figure of 7.1 inches for the MDX - SEE ACURA CANADA WEBSITE - and around the same for the RX 300. These vehicles have an overall floor that is 8 to 9 inches above the ground (I've physically gone underneath these and measured them with a tape measure)

Another aspect of ground clearance is the INEFFICIENT UNDERBODY DESIGN of older SUVs. A perfect example is the Mitsubishi Montero. The old model's floor was REALLY HIGH but had suspension and other components uselessly hanging down in harm's way, effectively reducing the MINIMUM RUNNING GROUND CLEARANCE to a paltry 8.3 inches. The new 2001 redesign "tucked" these components in more efficiently, actually increasing minimum ground clearance to 9.3 inches while lowering the overall vehicle floor almost 2 to 3 inches for lower and better center of gravity, ride and handling!!!!!!

IMHO, Nissan did one of the finest jobs on their Pathfinder/QX4 models when they "softened" the current model (suspension etc.), as well as lowered it (not too much) for sportier handling and a plusher ride, while still maintaining a REASONABLE amount of ground clearance and skid plates to safely venture off-road with a GOOD MARGIN OF SAFETY FOR THE UNDERBODY COMPONENTS for light to moderate off-road situations which most people don't exceed anyways........I think the 4Runner is probably and hopefully going this route. Looks like, even though the vehicle "sits" a lot lower than the current model the minimum clearance will be reduced to around 9 inches or so (just 2 inches less, due to a more efficient floor design), which is more than enough for most people, while overall floor will probably be around 11 inches above the ground (down from the 14 to 15 inches) - which is also plenty good for most, while SUBSTANTIALLY improving ride, handling and interior comfort!!!!
 

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Re: Yup, I think so too......

vicpai said:

IMHO, Nissan did one of the finest jobs on their Pathfinder/QX4 models when they "softened" the current model (suspension etc.), as well as lowered it (not too much) for sportier handling and a plusher ride, while still maintaining a REASONABLE amount of ground clearance and skid plates to safely venture off-road with a GOOD MARGIN OF SAFETY FOR THE UNDERBODY COMPONENTS for light to moderate off-road situations which most people don't exceed anyways


Nice to see this about the pathfinder which I just bought while waiting for my MDX to arrive for '03. I will say the pathfinder's ride is smooth except on the highway expansion joints and some large bumps. Also the interior space is a little smaller (tighter) for the driver and passenger. Especially the back seat legroom. I'm still debating whether to keep it or get the MDX when it arrives in '03.
 

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IMHO....

Looks like a Highlander on steroids! How many SUV's will Toyota make? I know, I know.....different purposes/market segments/etc.!;)
 

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don't u just luv technology. 4.0L v-6 with vvt-i gets 245 HP, but a 4.7L V-8 gets only 232 HP. the V-8 does have more torque but, considering the poor gas mileage, i would think the V-6 is the better choice.
 

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Blah...

Keep posting pics of the new Toyota/Lexus product, it helps to reinforce my attraction to the MDX's superior styling. I have a friend who's looking seriously at the Highlander but can't get over it's boring looks...
 

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1SICKLEX said:


Right. I think the MDX is the vehicle Car & Driver editors had mistake for a Mazda MPV. :2:
I also mistook the new ES300 for the Camry the other day...
 

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Re: Toyota SUVs

Toyota now sells 5 SUVs: RAV4, Highlander, 4Runner, Sequoia, and Land Cruiser. If you add the three Lexus sells then the company sells 8 SUVs!
 

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MDXtrous said:


I also mistook the new ES300 for the Camry the other day...
Oh come on... :rolleyes:

If you can't tell the difference between an ES300 and a Camry then you need glasses! They don't look a thing alike. For one thing the Camry is about a foot shorter. The rear ends are completely different as is the shape of the hood. I know you are probably kidding, but I've never understood the comparison on any ES300 since 1997. They aren't even close. I always just attributed that to "vehicle envy" much like people malign the MDX for being an "Odyssey" or a "Mazda". I would have expected better from you MDXtrous! :D
 

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bareyb said:


Oh come on... :rolleyes:

If you can't tell the difference between an ES300 and a Camry then you need glasses! They don't look a thing alike. For one thing the Camry is about a foot shorter. The rear ends are completely different as is the shape of the hood. I know you are probably kidding, but I've never understood the comparison on any ES300 since 1997. They aren't even close. I always just attributed that to "vehicle envy" much like people malign the MDX for being an "Odyssey" or a "Mazda". I would have expected better from you MDXtrous! :D
bareyb,

I DO wear glasses. But don't you think the ES300 and the Camry look almost identical in the front? Why do you say they aren't even close? They are built on the same platform...

I don't think I have vehicle envy, since I could go out and buy one if I wanted to, but it just doesn't do it for me even if it's dead quiet, plush leather, and a Mark Levinson sound system. I'd much rather go with a TL-S, since for me it's much more exciting. I'm not against Lexus, but I just don't like the ES300 and don't think the GX470 is the most exciting either, just personal taste.

If I had the need and the money to get a SC430 however, I'd do it in a heartbeat. By the way, it wasn't I that said the Lexus ES300 didn't have an inch of excitement, I think it was Car and Driver or Motor Trend...

By the way, didn't I post this to a different thread? This is REALLY taking things out of context.

I hope that just because I don't like the ES300, you won't think less of me;)
 

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MDXtrous said:


bareyb,

I DO wear glasses. But don't you think the ES300 and the Camry look almost identical in the front? Why do you say they aren't even close? They are built on the same platform...

No, they look completely different from the front. They are built on the same platform to the same extent that the MDX is built on the Odyssey platform. That term is very misleading and most people take that to mean that they have the exact same frame, suspension, etc. Not true. They don't even have the exact same engine. I just always find those comments to be used as a "put down" in order to disparage Japanese luxury cars (obviously not what you were doing, but you get the point) and so I guess I'm a little "front loaded" about such comments. The two really are much more different than they are similar.
 

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bareyb said:


No, they look completely different from the front. They are built on the same platform to the same extent that the MDX is built on the Odyssey platform.
I would respectfully disagree that they look completely different. I know it's subjective, but I think that most people would agree that they look similar, in shape, the teardrop headlights, not the same comparison between Odyssey and MDX. More like Honda Pilot/Acura MDX. .
 

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ES300, doesn't it look similar to the Camry? I think very much so.
 

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