3rd or 4th gen 4Runner? Best year?
OK, my brother has told me he really wants to buy our 4Runner before next winter hits. It is a '96 Limited with lots of highway miles, but in pretty good shape yet.
It is a long way off yet, but I'm one of those fellow who has to have things worked out in advance.
I can't seem to decide if I should get a somewhat newer and cleaner 3rd generation 4Runner, or if I should spring for a 4th gen.
Mostly it will be a DD for my wife; offroading prowess is secondary, but is definately a consideration as there are lots of hunters and campers in the family and it will get moderate off road use (but no severe punishment, so there's no need for lift kits or anything too extreme.)
She is decent with stick shift (as am I) but has complained about tension headaches from driving the manual in our car, and wants to probably get another auto in the 4Runner. She likes the bells and whistles, so probably another Limited or a Highlander if a 3rd gen. Probably Limited if its a 4th.
We live in Canada and there are huge price differnces on the newer trucks. The dealers up here are still asking silly amounts of money for used trucks and I refuse to pay that much, even if it is a Toyota! Of course, the newer the truck, the better the savings. If I get a 3rd generation from south of the border, it will only marginally be worth it, but I won't be much in the hole.
On the other hand, a newer truck may be the way to go. Problem is that I've never liked the '03-05 4Runners much, compared to the better looking and more powerful '06+ 4th gen 4Runners. I have a good job and can afford one if I really want it, but it will mean that I have to live with my Protege for at least another 3 years. (It has served us well, but I bought it mainly because it was cheap transportation when we were looking to reduce fixed costs and get into a better house sooner. I want to drive an Audi A4/S4 again, just as I used to......)
So do any of you have any words of wisdom? My wife is pretty happy with her truck and would be content with either 3rd or 4th gen; but I suspect the 4th gen would offer her more ease of entry and exit, as well as 3rd row seat if she wants to use it. Generally she likes newer things, as most of us do.
So what would you buy and why?
If you did buy a 3rd gen again, what year is the best? I'm kinda leaning towards the '99-00 as they had the newer styling, but had locker in '99 (not sure about '00.)
My '96 has a rear locker and it is awesome. Would love to keep that option, since add on air lockers seem to be pretty pricey.
Thanks in advance.