Originally Posted by Gene
Rich, that is interesting comparing the 2004 to the 2021. I don’t know if the 2000 was the same size as the 2004. The 2021 is bigger and maybe because of styling looks a lot bigger. We also had a 2006 and that was styled more like a contemporary unibody SUV. We found that each one tended to age after 6 or 7 years and show it. We also found a slightly used (600 miles) 2013 FJ and got a great price and the dealer gave us a very good price on the 2006 (104,000 miles). At first the FJ was fine, but the visibility, poor rear seat access and other issues Toyota never solved made my wife tired of it. Then we bought a very clean 2017 Subaru in 2019.
2014 - Now 5th Gen (N280) Facelift
2010 - 2013 5th Gen (N280)
2006 - 2009 4th Gen (N210) Facelift
2003 - 2005 4th Gen (N210)
1999 - 2002 3rd Gen (N180) Facelift
1996 - 1998 3rd Gen (N180)
1992 - 1995 2nd Gen (N120/N130) Facelift
1990 - 1991 2nd Gen (N120/N130)
1984 - 1989 1st Gen (N60)
I have a 2004 which was bigger than the Gen 3 model but same size as the 2006 you had. The 2003 model had rust problems because of the way the frame was built by the frame manufacturer; no weep holes to let water out. I think it was confined to 2003. I haven't had any problems but I don't take mine out in the snow.
4Runners are trucks, body on frame. 4Runners, FJ Cruisers, GX470s and others are all built on the same line at the Tahara plant in Japan. I think it was a mistake for Toyota to stop using the 4.7L V8 in the 4Runner but keeping it in the GX470s; more money I guess. I like the rounded corner styling of the Gen 4, not the squared corners after that.
FJs have the V6 engine and frame of the 4Runner. I think they stopped selling them in the US, probably under another name in other countries. The 4Runner is the Hilux Surf in Japan and elsewhere. I have a catalog around here somewhere from the 2003 model I think.
FJ was a kind of niche vehicle, probably after some of the CJ Jeep market. I've ridden in a CJ and it's bone jarring rough. My 4Runner is stiff but not harsh; nice ride.
My wife is okay with our 4Runner with either the boat or AS attached. She's used to the '99 Sienna XLE that has a lot of Avalon parts in it; a very soft ride. They started the Sienna in Georgetown but the plan was to move it to Evansville, IN (mid MY 2003) when Sequoia and some Tundra models were built there. Since they knew they were building them elsewhere they used Avalon parts and some manual welding, or so the line people told me. My wife says when they pry it out of her cold dead hands. It's garage kept, no rust, 116K miles and still runs great, very quiet ride.