January 2011 Archives

4runner SR5 4WD vs Highlander AWD

I'm stuck.  Sort of.  Looking for a new vehicle to replace the dying Camry (220K miles!).  We'd narrowed it down to the 5th Gen 4Runner (2010/2011), but with the revelation that the 2011 Highlander has the 50/50 3rd row and more knowledge of the 4Runner SR5's limited capabilities, suddenly its a contender.  Actually its coming out ahead at the moment.  

I like the idea of owning at least one real 4wd vehicle, but the reality is that the new 4runner SR5 sucks.  There is no central diff, and no rear locker!  Basically you can't do 4wd on hard surface, and its really a 2wd vehicle even with the 4wd engaged.  If you were in a situation with one front wheel spinning and one rear wheel spinning... you are stuck!  They gutted the best thing about the Gen4's offroad capabilities!   We could move up to the limited and get the central diff.  That gives full time 4wd, but still no locker.  Or move to the Trail, but no 3rd row... AND no central diff.  Insult to injury; both are way more than I want to spend bling-wise.  

Why is there no SR5 + rear locker + Torsen central diff?  I could have a full time 4wd, and actually have the ability to get unstuck a heck of a lot more often.

With the SR5's capabilities seeming to be crippled, the Highlander AWD is looking much more attractive.  Smoother ride, slightly more room, and a few grand cheaper.  If I could get a rear locker on it, I'd feel much more confident than without, but there are some pretty good off asphalt reports, particularly of driving it in the snow.  The new Highlander is damn ugly, but I don't care too much about that.  

If the SR5 4 runner were a little more capable, or the Highlander AWD a little less... it'd be no contest.  Alas.  



April 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30