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4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? #4714138
04/02/18 12:24 PM
04/02/18 12:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 462
Vermont
methusaleh Offline OP
methusaleh  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 462
Vermont
I've liked the 4Runner on paper and in theory for years. Owning one finally fits the needs I have so the wife and I went looking over the weekend.

Driving a brand new one, we couldn't get over how stiff the ride was. Vehicle had about 120 miles on it so I'm not sure if the "newness" was a factor. The suspension seemed unforgiving of even the slightest bump and was frankly so harsh that it was distracting. Wife agreed. I swear that when I was in the Army I drove some HMMWVs that were beaten on and their ride was superior to a brand new 4Runner.

Climbed into a Certified Pre-Owned 2016 with 20k miles next. The ride seemed only ever so slightly better.

I've owned several 80s and 90s era SUVs with body-on-frame construction and I swear I've never felt a ride as brutal as the 4Runner. I may be able to live with it, but to be honest I'm not even sure that I could.

I'm losing wife approval on this transaction if I can't convince her to try other 4Runners, and I'd love to own one, so I'm wondering what you folks think.

Last edited by methusaleh; 04/02/18 12:24 PM.
Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714144
04/02/18 12:28 PM
04/02/18 12:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,438
New England
Virtus_Probi Offline
Virtus_Probi  Offline
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,438
New England
A 4Runner enthusiast could probably give you some insight based upon experience, but that is a vehicle that is reputed to have serious, no foolin' offroad capabilities and it doesn't surprise me to hear that it doesn't have a great ride.


2014 Forester XT, 90000 miles
Last Change;
M1 5W30 d1G2
Tokyo Roki 15208AA170 filter
Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714145
04/02/18 12:34 PM
04/02/18 12:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,477
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,477
NJ
Buy a Highlander. They have a smoother ride.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714146
04/02/18 12:34 PM
04/02/18 12:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 6,521
New England
gathermewool Offline
gathermewool  Offline
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 6,521
New England
Itís pretty much as much of an old school truck as you can find these days. Itís not and likely never will be more refined.


'14 Forester XT FA20DIT (Cobb Stage 1)
Edge 0W-40 + FU filter (64,774 miles)
'15 Legacy FB25 (OEM Stage, uh, neg. 7?)
Edge 0W-20 + FU filter (40,803 miles)
Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714154
04/02/18 12:47 PM
04/02/18 12:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,217
The Canyons
02SE Offline
Happy Birthday 02SE  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,217
The Canyons
It's a body on frame SUV with a live rear axle, with a suspension designed for durability over rough terrain. They do come from the factory with softer riding P-rated tires (except for the TRD PRO edition), but the tires could also be overinflated, making for a rougher ride.

They never will ride like the Camry based Highlander. So if ride is the most important factor, the Highlander is probably a better choice for you.

Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714159
04/02/18 12:52 PM
04/02/18 12:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,683
Indiana
dlundblad Offline
dlundblad  Offline
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,683
Indiana
I think they are smooth. laugh


03 Jeep WJ 4.0 202k Castrol Edge 10w40 HM Fram XG16
02 Volvo S60 2.4T 186k M1 0w40 Mahle OX149D
97 Chevy Blazer 4.3 153k Synpower 5w30 Supertech ST3980 (Ecore)

Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: 02SE] #4714162
04/02/18 12:54 PM
04/02/18 12:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 12,990
Onondaga County
Miller88 Offline
Miller88  Offline
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 12,990
Onondaga County
Originally Posted By: 02SE
It's a body on frame SUV with a live rear axle, with a suspension designed for durability over rough terrain. They do come from the factory with softer riding P-rated tires (except for the TRD PRO edition), but the tires could also be overinflated, making for a rougher ride.

They never will ride like the Camry based Highlander. So if ride is the most important factor, the Highlander is probably a better choice for you.


Exactly this!
I wouldn't recommend Ford's solution to make it ride like a car shocked


18 Forester 2.5I 6M
00 Jeep Cherokee
01 Ford F-350 XL 4x4 5M
Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714164
04/02/18 12:55 PM
04/02/18 12:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,692
Jupiter, Florida
Cujet Offline
Cujet  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,692
Jupiter, Florida
I'm really not a 4runner fanboi. While I typically applaud Toyota for their world leading reliability, the cost/performance ratio is seriously skewed with them. They ride just like they did 25 years ago. The current model 4runner is largely a 15 year old design and it shows. It's not unusual for owners of the 4wd versions to get 15mpg in mixed driving.

I much prefer to drive a late model Ford Explorer AWD with the Turbo V6. Now that's fun.

Last edited by Cujet; 04/02/18 12:55 PM.

People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714183
04/02/18 01:18 PM
04/02/18 01:18 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,273
Nashville, TN via Memphis
john_pifer Offline
john_pifer  Offline
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,273
Nashville, TN via Memphis
I think OP is being a bit dramatic about the 4Runner's ride. Surely it's better than my 10-year-old Tacoma with original dampers!

If you're concerned about the ride, and you'll be driving 99% of the time on the road (as most do), buy some Michelin LTX M/S-2 (this is an excellent highway-biased tire for light trucks and SUVs) tires in the P-version (the LT version has extra plies that would make for a rougher ride) that are 1 size taller sidewall than stock, so that you can safely drop tire pressure a few lbs. from what's suggested by Toyota.

Actually the LTX M/S-2 is what I've been running for years on my Taco. I think they have an updated version now. Can't remember the name.

It's a 70,000 mile tire, also, and it actually does last 70,000 miles (at least, on my Tacoma they do).


16 WRX - PPPP
07 Tacoma V6 - M1 EP 5W-30, Fram Ultra, 10K OCIs, 198K
07 Yamaha R1 - Rotella T6 5W-40, Bosch 3300
07 Yamaha YZ-250, Klotz, Rotella

Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714211
04/02/18 01:41 PM
04/02/18 01:41 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,286
Outer Banks, NC
NormanBuntz Offline
NormanBuntz  Offline
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,286
Outer Banks, NC
I know what you mean about the ride. In 1993 I chose a new Jeep Grand Cherokee V-8 over a new Forerunner V-6 for that same reason. The ride was not much better than that of my '88 Land Cruiser.


2017 Honda Odyssey SE, 17K
2013 Honda Accord LX, 58K
2007 Honda Ridgeline RTS, 89K
2007 Infiniti M35, 107K
Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714214
04/02/18 01:44 PM
04/02/18 01:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 288
Bucks, PA
zfasts03 Online content
zfasts03  Online Content
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 288
Bucks, PA
Love my `18, but can understand why others would dislike the ride.

Not for everyone.


03 Corvette Z06
-Amsoil 5w-30 SS
07 Honda Accord 2.4L
-Amsoil 5w-20 SS
16 Suburban 5.3L
-M1 0w-20, XG10575
18 4Runner TRD Off Road
- Amsoil 0w-30 SS, TRD filter
Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714215
04/02/18 01:45 PM
04/02/18 01:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 462
Vermont
methusaleh Offline OP
methusaleh  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 462
Vermont
Thank you for all of the insight.

While the 4Runner would be used as a commuter probably half the time, I was looking at it due to its off road capabilities as well. The reputation is there, old design or not. I've only known a couple people who have owned 4Runners and they were all satisfied.

My wife will indeed likely end up with a Highlander when her MDX dies; personally I'm considering the 4Runner for my leisure time needs. Heck, I'd love and Land Cruiser to satisfy what we both want in a vehicle, but I can't justify the price and don't want to borrow much on my vehicle purchase.

Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: zfasts03] #4714223
04/02/18 01:58 PM
04/02/18 01:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 690
Virginia
cpayne5 Offline
cpayne5  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 690
Virginia
Originally Posted By: zfasts03
Love my `18, but can understand why others would dislike the ride.

Not for everyone.


Same here. We have two 4Runners (05 & 17). They both ride fine as far as we're concerned, but it's been a long time since I've ridden in anything truly plush like an S class or similar.

We love our 4Rs.

We test drove a Limited before buying our new SR5 and the salesman was raving over how much better of a ride it had compared to the other models. If I'm honest, I couldn't tell a difference. But, maybe the OP can. May be worth a test drive if you really want a 4R.

Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714233
04/02/18 02:07 PM
04/02/18 02:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,217
The Canyons
02SE Offline
Happy Birthday 02SE  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,217
The Canyons
I am a 4Runner fan. The oldest vehicle I own is a 21 year old 4Runner. I bought it new, and despite having long since been relegated to winter driver and off-road exploration vehicle status, it still looks and drives pretty much like it did when it was new. It rides a bit firmer than stock on it's oversized and heavier duty construction A/T tires, and aftermarket firmer damping shocks. To me it's not intolerable at all, although it may be to some people. I've considered a new one, but for the limited amount of use it would get, the old 4Runner is just fine.

My Sister has an '18 4Runner that rides smoother, but you can tell it's a body on frame SUV, and not a unibody car-based CUV.

The 4Runner is still built solely in Japan, which to most owners is a positive aspect.

Re: 4Runner Ride Quality/Experience - always so stiff? [Re: methusaleh] #4714238
04/02/18 02:17 PM
04/02/18 02:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 25
NY
Oey12 Offline
Oey12  Offline
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 25
NY
Honestly as a simple commuting vehicle the 4Runner isn't the best of choices. But with that said I have commuted many miles with with multiple generations of both the Tacomas and 4Runners. My current ride is a 2017 4Runner and the ride is okay but definitely not supple by any means. However I purchased the truck because it is reliable, tough as nails, can tow, and can offroad. In my opinion SUV's used to be built around these ideals now the are just large cars with factory lift kits. The 4Runner is the only SUV to stay true to the "SUV" roots in its mid size class. I do realize the auto market has changed drastically since the introduction of SUV's and the manufactures must cater to the largest segment of buyers who want a sedan ride in a truck to stay in business. The 4Runner is a very old school niche product and because of that I love it!! Here in New York state the cost of insuring and maintaining a commuter car is insane so I needed a jack of all trades master of none truck. I average 20 mpg's commuting (very conservative on the skinny pedal), I tow my trailer every other month for long periods, and I go offroad to go hunting and atving. As a owner I think toyota did a good job of designing the tuck to handle those scenarios even though the ride isn't the best on city streets. And the Tacoma is even worse especially the TRD models. If you don't tow or take your vehicle in the dirt then the competition offers much better riding vehicles (Explorer/Grand Cherokee/GM whatever). Like one of the posters said earlier I can understand how some would dislike the ride but I am also a Toyota truck Fanboy so I am willing to live with all the Toyota truck characteristics..

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