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I got a wild hair up the arse and traded in my FJ for a 2011 4Runner Trail Edition. They gave me a very sweet deal on trade, so I took it. I had been eyeballing the 4runner since the new body style came out, and was totally diggin' it......I take delivery of the 4runner on Wednesday.

The goal is to make the 4runner more of an expedition rig, because I just wasn't using the FJ for what I built it to do.

Just want to thank the forum for all the advice and tons of great and invaluable info that helped me build my rig, as I will use it to mod up the 4runner. I already know I will get a BajaRack, and will get a mild suspension lift ASAP. I want to keep the tires stock size (for now anyway) for fuel costs.

I'm not leaving the forum, because the platforms are almost the same, and I plan on frequenting here as usual.

Again, thanks!
 

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congrats! love to see some pics when you get a chance, havent seen one at any of the local dealers. I love the FJ but sometimes wish I would have went with something with 4 true doors like the 4runner.
 

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I felt the same way when the new gen 4runner came out. I like it a lot. I just could not go through with it. I've already got too much into the FJ and I waited so long to get it after it first appeared as a concept. I ordered it back in early 06 as soon as they started taking orders. Good luck with it. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys... I'll get pics up as soon as possible.

Definitely gonna miss the FJ when the time comes to officially give her away.
 

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Good luck with your new rig :)
 

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Congrats on the new ride!
 

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Hope the new ride works for you. They are nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
First hiccup...

The dealer spoke too soon. No 4Runner TE in the color I want, silver, to be found.

They have black, and grey...I want silver. So I guess the wait begins.

Pissed me off.
 

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I test drove the 4Runner Trail this past weekend. I have been eyeballing them for awhile and was nearly sold on trading in my 2007 MT FJ. The test drive went pretty well, and the 4Runner Trail definitely has a lot of nice features. The external styling is nice as well, although I only think so for the Trail Edition. The Limited looks terrible in my opinion. The SR5 look okay, but just okay.

I thought the acceleration was decent and very smooth. I honestly could barely feel the transmission shifting. It was disconcerting at first, as I have always driven manuals. But I guess that is really how it should be for a well designed automatic. Overall, however, I think I still prefer the acceleration of my 2007 MT FJ because it is an MT and I have more control over the power. The seats in the 4Runner were very nice with power on both sides. The center stack was nice as well and the 15 speaker JBL system is very powerful. I obviously didn't get a chance to test all the handy 4WD modes (crawl control and others), but I am sure they are very handy. With the KDSS, the vehicle cornered with barely any body roll. Overall, there are a lot of positives about this vehicle.

Unfortunately, I do have to list the cons as there are quite a few. I think Toyota got this vehicle right, but not 100% right. I have listed the pros and cons I saw below.

Pros:

1) Gas mileage and power: Toyota has done great things with dual variable valve timing on the 1 GR-FE 4.0L engine. These improvements are in the new FJs as well though.

2) Room and storage: The front seats have plenty of room and the cargo area is large.

3) KDSS: You barely notice any body roll while cornering.

4) Fancy off-road crawl modes: I am sure they work great.

5) Great visibility: Compared with the FJ, it is like being inside a fish bowl.

6) Stereo: The 15 speaker JBL sound system with navigation is very loud and sounds pretty good (although not like adding after-market speakers).

7) Noise: The cabin is pretty quiet, especially when compared with the FJ.


Cons:

1) Rear passenger leg room: It is really bad. Honestly it is barely better than the FJ. That is not what I would expect from a longer SUV. They seem to have added all the length to the cargo area. A tall man could not sit back there.

2) Head room: The head room is bad, especially in the back. I am 6 ft. tall, and my head is right at the ceiling in the driver's seat when I adjust the seat to the desired height. In the back, I had to duck my head a bit to clear the lowered portion of the ceiling. Once I cleared it, I could raise my head fully but I will was very close to the ceiling. As a side note, the seating position is very high. The whole vehicle seems high, and is higher than the FJ. You are really looking down on the road. I guess Toyota raised the floor of the cabin. In my opinion, they should have just made the ceiling a little taller.

3) Blue tooth and USB connectivity on the Nav. system: I could not get it to recognize my droid phone. My fiancé’s 2011 Kia Sorento recognizes the same phone with no setup. This could have been just a bad head unit, but I suspect it is more likely a complicated setup. In addition, the USB input is in the glove compartment for some reason. I guess the idea is that while connected, you control the phone through the touch screen interface, so there is no reason to have the phone handy. I find this to be a clunky solution though. I think they over-thought this one.

4) Grill: Where is the cool TOYOTA name on the front like the FJ? Let's face it, that is part of what makes the FJ so cool. I hate that stupid Toyota symbol by comparison.

5) Interior styling: Overall, it is pretty bland. It is better than it looks in pictures on the internet, but compared with the FJ and other current vehicles, it isn't very good.

6) Ground clearance: This is a HUGE one. The KDSS version does not have anywhere near 9.6” of ground clearance as advertised. I measured. The skid plates over the KDSS hydraulics lower the ground clearance by at least an inch.

7) Tires: The tires are not true all-terrains, which is to be expected of Toyota these days. Back in the day when I bought my 2000 Tacoma TRD Off-Road, it came with true all terrains. I guess Toyota does this for gas mileage or noise during the test drive. I really don't know why they do it, but I know it is stupid.

8) Transmission: Sure it shifts smoothly, but where are the 6 speeds like everyone else these days?

9) Lack of a intelligent transfer case: Most SUVs come with a part time 4WD transfer case that has some sort of clutch that engages when it senses rear wheel spin. They call this full time 4WD, even though it is a misnomer. I have a MT FJ. That is real (permanent) full time 4WD. All that said, I would prefer this “on demand” full time 4WD over the regular part time transfer case on the 4Runner Trail.

10) Power window controls: They are positioned quite strangely right at the top of the door sill. This just seems like a bad idea for so many reasons.

11) Carpet interior: Come on Toyota! This is a TRAIL edition of the 4Runner. You aren’t offering leather, climate control, heated seats or other luxuries. People who would buy this SUV are not looking for a carpet interior. They want easy to clean rubber like the FJ.

12) Luxuries: Speaking of luxuries, it is a little annoying that Toyota simply doesn’t offer as options a lot of the niceties that are available on the Limited. I wouldn’t mind having heated seats, heated mirrors and especially dual zone climate control. Sure, they aren’t necessities. They are nice though.

13) Approach and departure angles: Not as good as the FJ, although not bad for it’s class.


To sum it up, I have pretty much decided to stay with my FJ until Toyota can offer something better. If they had put a turbo diesel in the Trail, I would buy it tomorrow. As it is, I just don’t think there is enough difference over the FJ to warrant buying a new vehicle and spending over 6K more for it. In addition, the Trail, while unique and well styled, just doesn’t have that “IT” factor the FJ has. There is something unique and exciting about the FJ. When I get in mine, I am always happy. I feel like nearly all the details in the vehicle were well thought out by a designer working with the engineers. The 4Runner Trail just doesn’t leave me with that impression. The impression it does leave me with is that it is a quality vehicle and very capable, but it just didn’t get the attention that the FJ did. Interestingly, I ordered both the FJ brochure book and the 4Runner brochure book for 2011. The FJ book is over 3 times as thick. That just seems to verify my suspicion that Toyota has not devoted a lot of energy to these 5th generation 4Runners. In addition, a quick comparison with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee shows just how outclassed the 4Runner is when it comes to everything but off-road prowess. Toyota really needs to do better for nearly 40K.

All that said, I may still change my mind and get one ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow...AlexandriaFJ... Believe me, I weighed the pros and cons. Perhaps I see things differently.

Here she is...2011 4Runner Trail Edition with KDSS and some Nav stuff

 

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Wow...AlexandriaFJ... Believe me, I weighed the pros and cons. Perhaps I see things differently.

Here she is...

I'm with you and I don't agree with all of those cons either. Perhaps AlexandriaFJ should also look at some good used 4th generation 4Runners. Just wish I hadn't dropped so many K on bumpers, suspension and stereo for the FJ in the last year.
 

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sandbox-

Did you read my whole review? I praise the 4Runner Trail in many ways. Believe me, you have a great vehicle there my friend. Of that there is no doubt. For me, however, the pros just weren't enough to win me over from my FJ yet. If I had kids or desperately needed extra cargo space, I am sure I would feel differently. I guess I just felt that for 40K, Toyota could have done a little more. In addition, I feel they tried to straddle the fence a little bit between a fully off-road oriented vehicle and a nicely finished interior. I feel like they should have just gone all the way off-road with the interior, as the people who buy this type of SUV want that. If they didn't, they would buy an SR5 4X4 or a crossover. The loss of 1" of ground clearance due to the KDSS combined with the carpeted floor and small back seat were what killed it for me. All that said, it is still an awesome vehicle.

I would actually like to hear your list of pros and cons if you can find the time to write them down. Perhaps it will change my point of view.

Wow...AlexandriaFJ... Believe me, I weighed the pros and cons. Perhaps I see things differently.

Here she is...

 

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If you're still looking for a silver TE I am pretty positive that my local dealership had one in stock when I got some warranty work done last saturday. If you already got one congrats! They are nice!
 
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