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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    in a suite of vigorous disturbances
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    4Runner/Tacoma alternatives?

    Getting ready for a new vehicle, and wondering if I should try something new. I've been a Toyota fanboy for every car I've owned. (Tacoma->Tundra->Highlander)

    The highlander has been good to us, but want something bigger and more capable. It's pretty gutless.

    Some details:

    -We have a camper and a raft-trailer so tow often, but not everyday.

    -It will not be a "daily driver". My wife will use our CR-V for in-town schelpping and I'm a militant bike-commuter. So, we will use it for camping trips, skiing and road trips.

    -we have a small raft trailer and a pop-up camper. So, it needs to be able to tow, but I don't feel like V8 is a necessity, though it'd be nice

    -I'm not much of a jeeper, but I live in SW CO and with a decently-capable 4wd vehicle you can get into some pretty sweet places.

    -we have kids, dogs, and tons of toys.

    -if we go the Tacoma route, a camper shell will be necessary.

    Looking for less than 60,000 miles and $20,000-$25,000. Lower is good too.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Portland by way of Bozeman
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    Land Cruiser with the 4.7L V8. It checks all your boxes, save for the mileage. That drive train and the fit and finish is superior. They last forever. I sold mine with 260k for what I paid after four hard years of use.

    They go anywhere, too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Wasatch
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    6,256
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat Sig View Post
    Land Cruiser with the 4.7L V8. It checks all your boxes, save for the mileage. That drive train and the fit and finish is superior. They last forever. I sold mine with 260k for what I paid after four hard years of use.

    They go anywhere, too.
    Eco boost F150. It's a yacht, but it's not your grocery-getter. There are a shit ton of them out there to choose from. It'll tow quite well in the mountains with the turbo. It'll 4 wheel well enough. Cost of parts won't kill you. Gas mileage isn't that much worse than a Taco or 4R.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Fraggle Rock, CO
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    7,805
    Lightly used Xterra maybe? The 4L will tow lighter loads just fine and gets real decent gas milage. 6spd manual was available in the off road or pro4x trim for a while there.
    Brandine: Now Cletus, if I catch you with pig lipstick on your collar one more time you ain't gonna be allowed to sleep in the barn no more!
    Cletus: Duly noted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    12,750
    Get a Taco. Anything else will be a compromise.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    1,747
    The highlander has been good to us, but want something bigger and more capable.
    Is the Tacoma bigger than the Highlander?

    Sequoia would be bigger and more capable than the Highlander but I agree that a Landcruiser would be what you're looking for. Unless you want a truck. Then F-150 or Tundra.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Uber Alles California
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    3,933
    VW Toureg is the best car Ive ever owned. The V10 TDI is the shit

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    With a camper and a raft you want a Tundra probably with the 5.7 instead of the 4.6
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    slc
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    18,085
    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Tonics View Post
    The highlander has been good to us, but want something bigger
    If the Highlander isn't big enough, I'm not sure why you're considering anything smaller than a full-size crew cab truck (Tundra, F150, etc.) or a Sequoia-size SUV. Land Cruiser/4Runner/Tacoma/Xterra will all be much more capable 4-wheeling than the Highlander, but they don't get you extra space. Crew cab, long bed Tacoma maybe, but I don't see the point over a Tundra.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Tonics View Post
    I'm not much of a jeeper, but I live in SW CO and with a decently-capable 4wd vehicle you can get into some pretty sweet places.
    Probably doesn't need to be said, but real Hi/Low 4WD is mandatory. Beyond that, wheel/tire selection is more important than the make/model.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Tonics View Post
    Looking for less than 60,000 miles and $20,000-$25,000. Lower is good too.
    You'll probably be hard-pressed to find a relatively late model Tundra or Sequoia with those miles for that price. F150 is probably easily doable though. Odds are good that whatever you find, besides maybe a Land Cruiser, won't have tires you'll want to do any real 4-wheeling with. So factor that in when budgeting.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    With a camper and a raft you want a Tundra probably with the 5.7 instead of the 4.6
    My old ass Tacoma tows either of those no problem.

    However, I am making the same decision as the OP soon. Since you can get a Tundra for almost the same price as a Taco these days it is kinda tough. Don't know if I want a full size, and sure would like a manual which isn't available for Tundra. Taco is much more offroad capable than Tundra too.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    The Land Cruiser will be bigger than a 4Runner, but smaller than a Sequoia. It's also full-time 4wd and built much differently (read: better) than a Sequoia. And again, the 4.7L engine is a beast and tows really well. It's more than enough for a camper w/raft.

    Tundras and F-150s are nice. I loved my EcoBoost, but it's HUGE. Drives big, parks, bigger, turns big and while it could get you around on some high clearance back country roads, it's just damn big. The same with the Tundra. It just depends on how big of a vehicle you want to pilot around. That may not be much of an issue in SW CO.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    SF & the Ho
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    9,548

    4Runner/Tacoma alternatives?

    What's the mpg for a land yacht? they are called land guzzlers for a reason I suppose. Not that I would rule out cause they are bomber vehicles.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Portland by way of Bozeman
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcski View Post
    What's the mpg for a land yacht? they are called land guzzlers for a reason I suppose. Not that I would rule out cause they are bomber vehicles.
    Full-time 4wd will do that. OP said this isn't a daily driver, so MPG isn't as big of a concern.

    I owned a Land Cruiser and EcoBoost F-150 back to back. The EcoBoost MPG was only slightly better than the Land Cruiser. I far preferred the Land Cruiser in the snow and ice, even with weight in the back of the F-150.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    livin the dream
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    You could get a 4x4 Explorer or Tahoe/Yukon for $25k at under 60k mi. The Tahoe/Yukon is the perfect vehicle for road trips with a camper.
    Best Skier on the Mountain
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    Squaw Valley, USA

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    642
    gx470 has been treating me well last few years, bling version of a 4r/cruiser but pampered by soccer milfs and without the bro appeal and price tag attached, its a slick rig for the adventure type thats still mostly under the radar

    fyi you can access all dealer maint records on the toy/lex sites with vin # for free

  16. #16
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    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredgnar View Post
    My old ass Tacoma tows either of those no problem.

    However, I am making the same decision as the OP soon. Since you can get a Tundra for almost the same price as a Taco these days it is kinda tough. Don't know if I want a full size, and sure would like a manual which isn't available for Tundra. Taco is much more offroad capable than Tundra too.
    I been driving them^^ both, other people's trucks on forestry roads , just a camper or just a trailer or just me well sure but if you are carrying raft/camper/family/ dog on the highway in the mountains a bigger truck with a bigger engine ... is bigger

    the last Tundra I drove buddy had used to tow a 27 ft boat over Vancover island to Tofino, i don't think a taco is going to do that very well, in any case ... its about deciding what you need

    YMMV but I'm so over shifting
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    9,047
    Be prepared for a fly and drive if your looking for a land cruiser/lx with that low mileage.

    Our 99 land cruiser gets between 12 and 16 mpg. It's been great. Ours has rear lockers, 4lo, and center lockers. Off-roading on fs roads, pulling a heavy ut trailer in mud and a creek ford loaded with firewood. It's been great. A big aftermarket roof rack was a great purchase for us. I use it as a lumber rack and for camping. The 100-series land cruiser/lx is bigger than a 4Runner, highlander, and gx. It's smaller than a sequoia.

    Something to be aware of for the tlc/lx/gx. The adjustable height suspension is known to have a 10-yr life. Replacing with aftermarket or an older 100-series version suspension is the long term solution for the 100-series. My 100-series doesn't have it.

    The newer version Tahoe was highly recommended to me but outside our budget, which was much lower than yours.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    12,750
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    I been driving them^^ both, other people's trucks on forestry roads , just a camper or just a trailer or just me well sure but if you are carrying raft/camper/family/ dog on the highway in the mountains a bigger truck with a bigger engine ... is bigger

    the last Tundra I drove buddy had used to tow a 27 ft boat over Vancover island to Tofino, i don't think a taco is going to do that very well, in any case ... its about deciding what you need

    YMMV but I'm so over shifting
    He's not towing a boat, he is towing a small popup and a raft (which is mostly air, duh). I've towed more than that with no problem in a taco.
    Never owned a car that isn't a manual. Automatics are for grocery getters.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Portland by way of Bozeman
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    Quote Originally Posted by forty View Post
    gx470 has been treating me well last few years, bling version of a 4r/cruiser but pampered by soccer milfs and without the bro appeal and price tag attached, its a slick rig for the adventure type thats still mostly under the radar

    fyi you can access all dealer maint records on the toy/lex sites with vin # for free
    The GX is the tarted up 4Runner and is not a Land Cruiser, though they do share the same drive train. The LX470 is the Lexus Land Cruiser. Big difference.

    I didn't know that about the records and VIN. That's pretty cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Be prepared for a fly and drive if your looking for a land cruiser/lx with that low mileage.

    Our 99 land cruiser gets between 12 and 16 mpg. It's been great. Ours has rear lockers, 4lo, and center lockers. Off-roading on fs roads, pulling a heavy ut trailer in mud and a creek ford loaded with firewood. It's been great. A big aftermarket roof rack was a great purchase for us. I use it as a lumber rack and for camping. The 100-series land cruiser/lx is bigger than a 4Runner, highlander, and gx. It's smaller than a sequoia.

    Something to be aware of for the tlc/lx/gx. The adjustable height suspension is known to have a 10-yr life. Replacing with aftermarket or an older 100-series version suspension is the long term solution for the 100-series. My 100-series doesn't have it.
    My LC didn't have the air suspension, either. Your MPG numbers were about what I saw in mine.


    For the OP, It's important to note that the Sequoia is, more or less, an SUV'd Tundra; they share the same engine, frame, and selectable 4wd that's found in the Tundra. And yes, much bigger than the Land Cruiser. And, I don't know if it matters, the Land Cruiser is built in Japan and the Tundra and Sequoia are built in the US.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    9,047
    My understanding is that elsewhere in the world, the GX is a trim line of the "land cruiser prado", 150-series.

    I forgot to note, the third row of a gx and 4Runner are more crowded (ceiling) than the 100-series land cruiser.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Portland by way of Bozeman
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    My understanding is that elsewhere in the world, the GX is a trim line of the "land cruiser prado", 150-series.
    I think you might be right, though a quick look at the dimensions and interior of the GX and 4R shows that it's likely the same. Though because this is 'Merica, the 4R is just called that and not the Prado, like elsewhere in the world. The geeks over at IH8MUD could likely set us straight.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Watching over the valley
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    5,050
    Land cruiser. But I am biased. I love mine. Get a 100 series without the air suspension. They run forever, are luxurious, comfortable and can fit a lot of stuff. I've had multiple 4runners, and they are great, but I love the cruiser. And I like posting pics of my cruiser.

    sigless.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredgnar View Post
    He's not towing a boat, he is towing a small popup and a raft (which is mostly air, duh). I've towed more than that with no problem in a taco.
    Never owned a car that isn't a manual. Automatics are for grocery getters.
    Cummin equiped dodge or big chev every truck I get into nowdays has an auto with at least a 6spd and a little switch on the shifter so I can watch the led go up and down if I want

    It used to make a difference but nowdays manual or slush they all get the same milage

    my kid has an extremely Macho 04 chipped/ cummins turbo diesel/ crewcab/ 8ft box with a 6 speed that he shudders around town in and buddy hates driving it
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Midgaard
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    Loving my '10 sequoia but price doesn't align with your goals. Older sequoias are also great, just a little smaller.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    General Sherman's Favorite City
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickwm21 View Post
    You could get a 4x4 Explorer or Tahoe/Yukon for $25k at under 60k mi. The Tahoe/Yukon is the perfect vehicle for road trips with a camper.
    Yeah, I'm not so sure about that. Around me, where the Tahoe is the official minivan, they hold their value really well.

    I just did a quick cars.com search for Tahoes 50 miles around me for $25k and under. I got 75 results. Closest one to his price ceiling of $25k and desired mileage was a 65k mile example with one accident.

    Every other one in the price range clocked in around 95k-110k+ miles.
    I still call it The Jake.

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