mmosbey Reader
Aug. 27, 2011 9:12 a.m.

It's time for us to look at replacing my wife's aging WJ Grand Cherokee. We started looking at the Xterra, but eventually ruled it out. She likes the 06-07 4Runner, particularly the Sport Edition in black, thanks to the mean looking hood scoop. It reminds her of the Tundra she was driving when we met. We have a line on a 4x4 v8 that we're hoping to look at today. The problem is that these trucks are just over our stated price range, though attainable if we choose.

A search on Autotrader of vehicles in our price range turned up an XC90 that seems to have looks my wife appreciates. It's catching her eye, and while I like Volvos, I'm not as confident in the reliability of an XC90 over the 4Runner. As a new truck with factory warranty, it'd probably be better suited to our mostly paved lifestyle, but used, I fear it will put one foot in the grave sooner. There's a BMW X3 I'm curious about, but my feelings there are similar.

I realize we're comparing a truck to a crossover, but for the day in, day out city driving, three-dog-hauling, what would fare better? We occasionally pull a U-Haul, enjoy outdoor activities, use a bike rack from time to time, and hope to buy a kayak or canoe soon. We're probably signing up for years five through twelve of these cars' lives, though my wife feels more like she'd want to keep the 4Runner longer.

Any insight on these two trucks?

corytate Reader
Aug. 27, 2011 9:44 a.m.

imo the 4runner is worth the little extra.
indestructible and awesome.
one of my favorite suv's ever probably.

corytate Reader
Aug. 27, 2011 9:44 a.m.

I haven't ever had a volvo though so idk about that one.

oldtin Dork
Aug. 27, 2011 10:08 a.m.

I have a 2007 4runner v8 from new. I've towed car trailers, utility trailers, road tripped and daily/dog hauler - 2 big dogs. Stone reliable. It's sort of a new generation vehicle - different class of quiet than I ever had. The stuff that's irritating - I don't need a motor to pull the rear lift gate closed, a roof rack cover piece blew off on the hwy, traction control (annoying in snow) and the liftgate is starting to rust under a piece of (plastic) chrome trim - probably scratched - don't think that's a regular thing. All that said, we shopped it pretty hard and at the time, nothing came close to it for capacity, towing ability, comfort and price. It's capable of handling some offroad duties, but all seasons suck at that and the ground clearance isn't great - but out of what you've mentioned - it's the most capable to leave pavement and significantly more cargo room than the volvo or wj.

pigeon Dork
Aug. 27, 2011 10:32 a.m.

Love my (wife's) 07 XC90 V8 - smooth, powerful, quiet, good ride, decent cargo capacity. The earlier T6 models are known for transmission problems and there's a known issue with the earlier V8s. The 3.2 models are generally considered to be fine but they can be slightly underpowered and don't get any better gas mileage than the V8. What year and motor is the one you're looking at?

Aug. 27, 2011 1:40 p.m.

I've had two toyotas - still regret selling the tacoma. ex-wife in on her second toy truck. my fab/welder guy put his wife in an old, old 4 runner and has never touched it.

We are a toyota/sube town. toyotas hold value and I would buy a used one anytime.

The volvo repair guy in town is rich.

irish44j Dork
Aug. 27, 2011 4:19 p.m.

08 black sportedition. My wife's DD (her commute is very short) and our vacaiton vehicle. Ours is the V6, which has plenty of get up and go. But me being of the male persuasion, I would have preferred a V8. Only thing I didn't like about hte V8 is that it's full-time 4WD, whereas the V6 runs in RWD mode....better mileage, less drivetrain wear and drag, etc.

Anyhow, we've had exactly zero problems with it in 3+ years. I love the quality of every component, it is unstoppable in pretty much any kind of off-road driving, good tow vehicle for lighter trailers, and super-super quiet at highway speeds.

There are only three things I can think of that I don't like about it: 1. Sport edition seats are pretty flat, and not very comfortable for long trips. At least to my ass that is used to sitting in more performance-leaning bucket seats. 2. Stock tires SUCK (Dunlop AT20) for everything except highway cruising. They have little to no grip in mud or snow and do not handle or ride particularly well. We have Bridgestone Dueller Revo 2's on it now, which is a huge step up in all of those categories. 3. Stock audio system really, really sucks. Even the JBL upgrade system is pretty mediocre. I finally replaced the one in ours with aftermarket, with a long road-trip coming up.

Other thoughts: it's not a huge truck inside. About the size of a typical wagon. Smaller than a Highlander inside. Back seat passegers may not like it much, it has a high floor so "knees up" seating in the back.

Overall, really like the vehicle. If it had a manual transmission I might drive it for my DD, lol. ALso, the XREAS suspension in the sport edition really does make a difference for street driving/handling compared to the non-XREAS.

And it's still the best-looking SUV ever made, in my opinion...

ours

Aug. 27, 2011 4:44 p.m.

My wife drives a '98 4Runner. It's been outstanding for us. A 150,000 some miles, it's needed very little work.

foxtrapper SuperDork
Aug. 27, 2011 5:54 p.m.

I've had Volvo's, I've had Toyota's. You've good reason to suspect the maintenance and repairs on the Volvo will be more extensive.

Not that Toyota's are perfect, they aren't, and there certainly have been problems in the 4Runner line. But overall, it is a far more reliable vehicle than a comparable Volvo will be.

mmosbey Reader
Aug. 27, 2011 8:59 p.m.

In reply to irish44j:

Your truck looks exactly like what the wife and I have managed to settle on as a goal: Black SportEdition V6 4x4, tubular running boards, black cloth interior, no burled wood dash, a factory hitch, and any factory stereo with an auxilary input.

Is your grille black?

I liked the V8 today, but it was far too rough for us to consider, much to my disappointment. In Louisiana, 4x4 4Runners are incredibly rare. We managed to find only two for sale within a hundred miles. Carfax said one(today's V8) is a transplant from North Dakota, and the other was in a wreck.

I had to laugh at the knees up comment. I'm 6'3", and the knees up position gets me in every seat except the driver's seat, where I have a height adjustment. It's my only complaint, and it's not too bad.

bigdaddylee82 New Reader
Aug. 28, 2011 9:26 a.m.

Sounds like you're pretty set on the 4runner, and I think I'd agree that it's a better choice over the XC90, and I'm a bit of a Volvo fanboy.

I spent the last 2 weeks back home in AR, and drove my parent's '05 XC90 AWD 2.5T a lot. It's comfy, roomy, has a lot of neat features, has pretty respectable get-up-and-go, great breaks, and looks sharp. However the best fuel mileage I could get was 20.4 mpg, I thought that was pretty low for a crossover, and I wasn't driving like a hooligan. Also the thing felt very unstable (floating) at free-way speeds, 70 mph+. It has right at 100K miles on it with a tune-up in the last 4 months, but may still need shocks. Otherwise a very nice car.

I'd own one, but if my other choice were a 4runner, and I could get comparable or better features within a couple thousand dollars over the XC90 I'd pick 4runner.

If you do go XC90, stay away from the T6, they tend to go through transmissions like most other cars go through tires.

  • Lee
irish44j Dork
Aug. 28, 2011 11:59 a.m.
mmosbey wrote: In reply to irish44j: Your truck looks exactly like what the wife and I have managed to settle on as a goal: Black SportEdition V6 4x4, tubular running boards, black cloth interior, no burled wood dash, a factory hitch, and any factory stereo with an auxilary input. Is your grille black? I liked the V8 today, but it was far too rough for us to consider, much to my disappointment. In Louisiana, 4x4 4Runners are incredibly rare. We managed to find only two for sale within a hundred miles. Carfax said one(today's V8) is a transplant from North Dakota, and the other was in a wreck. I had to laugh at the knees up comment. I'm 6'3", and the knees up position gets me in every seat except the driver's seat, where I have a height adjustment. It's my only complaint, and it's not too bad.

ours is an 08, so the only real cosmetic differences are the front fog lights and headlights and the more rounded wheel wells (not straight across like the 07 had).

Yeah, the grille is blacked out (by me) as is the chrome badging on the back hatch and the Toyota emblems. I don't much like chrome plasitc! Still have to do the side door badging though.

btw, the tubular running boards and rack are standard on the SportEdition. The SR5 and Limited have a different (apparently "less sporty") version!

mtn SuperDork
Aug. 28, 2011 2:34 p.m.

We went from a Volvo V70 to the 4Runner. Not exactly a direct comparison, but close enough: Volvo had a much nicer interior. 4Runner is a much better vehicle.

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