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Where do people come up with magical 28+ mpg out of a V8 2 ton land yacht is beyond me. Sure on the flat plains of the midwest with granny like throttle input and only 55-60mph maybe you could eek out the mid 20's. No way in high [censored] will get that in the mountains of the Northeast. Anyone who believes such is delusional and needs to check their meds. New flash, no V8 crown vic will run 500,000 miles without significant work either to the engine or transmission/rear diff. at least one in it's life. People's love affair with them is boarding on insane at this point. Granted I love my TDI but the perfect car it is not. Personally for me, I'd be hard pressed between a 4runner or a Subaru Forester, old or new is up to you. The Forester has been available in manual with a non-turbo for ages. The new ones gained some space & refinement. Stick with 2005+ models unless you can verify the head gaskets were done already though. My Jetta needs new suspension stat but I'm holding out for a bit.
 
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Originally Posted By: Thermo1223
Where do people come up with magical 28+ mpg out of a V8 2 ton land yacht is beyond me.
If you haven't seen it yourself, it's probably hard to believe. I had a '97 Cadillac Seville, with the Northstar. It would consistently deliver 27-28 mpg on the road, and that's on I-81 in western Virginia and east Tennessee. The best I got with it was 30 mpg once going from the Blacksburg, VA, area to home in North Carolina. It can be done, but it takes a particularly frugal engine to do it. Some just seem less thirsty than others for some reason. I replaced that '97 with an '01, and I couldn't break 25 mpg with it no matter what I did. That particular one certainly wasn't as frugal in the economy department.
 

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I think tomorrow I will take my first test ride in a '99 4Runner, and see how I like it. I don't care for the fat lip (front bumper); but eh. I don't think that year has traction control / ESC, not sure if it's worth the extra to me or not. Probably not, since IIRC when that went standard the emissions went to CA across the board for Toyota (read: expensive catalysts). I'm a bit concerned as to what I'll be thinking: too slow? My TDi is 11 second plus 0-60 (hopefully it'll get faster after chipping); a 3.4L 4Runner is 9.4 or there-ish. I think my Camry is around 10 seconds. No, I'm not after a racing vehicle, but more power is always good power while towing, or loaded to the gills. My wife also wants me to measure the backseat, and make sure three car seats go across it.
 
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Originally Posted By: Thermo1223
Where do people come up with magical 28+ mpg out of a V8 2 ton land yacht is beyond me. Sure on the flat plains of the midwest with granny like throttle input and only 55-60mph maybe you could eek out the mid 20's. No way in high [censored] will get that in the mountains of the Northeast. Anyone who believes such is delusional and needs to check their meds.
Seen proof. The guy lives in Virginia, had a Grand Marquis, and logged every mile driven and every gallon of fuel...after getting sick of responses like this from people like you, he invited anyone who didn't believe him to ride with him. He doesn't average over 27MPG, he pays you $1000. He does, you pay him $1000. No takers. My first Caprice wagon--heavier and with a considerably larger & more powerful engine--would top 25MPG on a highway run at 70MPH. (My second had a towing package, deeper axle gears, and used more gas.)
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New flash, no V8 crown vic will run 500,000 miles without significant work either to the engine or transmission/rear diff. at least one in it's life.
Really? Well, yes, I suppose your speculation is worth much more than me WATCHING PANTHER CARS WIND UP 400,000+ MILES. (Highest mile car I personally drove was a Town Car with a bit more than 560,000.) Yes, you'll need a transmission around 200K...probably valve guide seals about the same time or a bit sooner on an older one. That's about it. I'm not sure I EVER saw a rear axle replaced for anything except collision damage.
 
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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Originally Posted By: Thermo1223
Where do people come up with magical 28+ mpg out of a V8 2 ton land yacht is beyond me.
If you haven't seen it yourself, it's probably hard to believe. I had a '97 Cadillac Seville, with the Northstar. It would consistently deliver 27-28 mpg on the road, and that's on I-81 in western Virginia and east Tennessee. The best I got with it was 30 mpg once going from the Blacksburg, VA, area to home in North Carolina. It can be done, but it takes a particularly frugal engine to do it. Some just seem less thirsty than others for some reason. I replaced that '97 with an '01, and I couldn't break 25 mpg with it no matter what I did. That particular one certainly wasn't as frugal in the economy department.
Was one an SLS and one an STS? If so...there's why. The STS had a deeper final drive (3.31 versus 3.71, IIRC).
 

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I should point out that I realize my 4Runner (if I did get one) would be more of a spare vehicle than a primary one--so slow is ok. Just don't want too slow, whatever that might be... One nice thought occurred to me: since this is basically a wagon on stilts, if I wanted to get out of my Jetta wagon then it's current cargo usage is basically covered. I could go back to a sedan if I so wished.
 
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. . . and none of the replacements mentioned hold its value the way a TDI does. Even broken, these cars have outstanding market endurance. The #1 problem with VWs are the dealers. I'd find a competent independent, and rediscover the joy of your TDI when all is going right with it. Then . . . see what extra car fills the remaining void.
 

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Originally Posted By: Thermo1223
Where do people come up with magical 28+ mpg out of a V8 2 ton land yacht is beyond me.
Probably from actually driving one and calculating the mileage. A 2.73 gear ratio is extremely high and will get good fuel economy. It's not like driving a 4.6 F-150 with 3.55 or 3.73 gears. My dad owns a hybrid that gets 50 MPG+, but when they were available Grand Marquis and Crown Vics were his favorite rentals because he could get decent fuel economy from a very large, comfy car. I remember my dad getting 28-29 MPG average with a Grand Marquis on one trip, per the car's display. He didn't believe it, so he did his own calculations and sure enough the car was getting 28 MPG. My dad isn't the type who goes 80 MPH down the highway tailgating everyone in front of him, but this was doing 65-70 MPH. Not bad for a land yacht, and it puts many FWD V6s to shame. As for the OP, when my BIL got tired of his Jetta and the whole VW thing, he got an Impreza. He's happy with the car, and it works well for VT winters.
 

01rangerxl

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Originally Posted By: supton
I think tomorrow I will take my first test ride in a '99 4Runner, and see how I like it. I don't care for the fat lip (front bumper); but eh. I don't think that year has traction control / ESC, not sure if it's worth the extra to me or not. Probably not, since IIRC when that went standard the emissions went to CA across the board for Toyota (read: expensive catalysts). I'm a bit concerned as to what I'll be thinking: too slow? My TDi is 11 second plus 0-60 (hopefully it'll get faster after chipping); a 3.4L 4Runner is 9.4 or there-ish. I think my Camry is around 10 seconds. No, I'm not after a racing vehicle, but more power is always good power while towing, or loaded to the gills. My wife also wants me to measure the backseat, and make sure three car seats go across it.
A '99 3.4 was rated for about 190 HP IIRC, and that generation of 4Runner isn't huge. It should have plenty of get up and go for a high center of gravity SUV, and the engine isn't likely to be the main limiting factor with towing (brakes probably would be the limiter). I routinely (multiple times a week) tow a trailer with my 150 HP Ranger. It has no problem pulling the trailer around, and can easily pull the trailer faster than what the trailer's tires are rated for. Weight is probably 2000-3000 lbs. (varies) on the trailer with 500+ lbs. in the bed of the truck. Probably pushing the GVWR at times, but the truck goes and stops just fine with no drama.
 
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Originally Posted By: Volvohead
. . . and none of the replacements mentioned hold its value the way a TDI does. Even broken, these cars have outstanding market endurance. The #1 problem with VWs are the dealers. I'd find a competent independent, and rediscover the joy of your TDI when all is going right with it. Then . . . see what extra car fills the remaining void.
I don't know about that. 4Runners hold value extremely well. Also saving on depreciation is worthless if the vehicle requires pricey repairs to keep on the road.
 
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Originally Posted By: Jarlaxle
Was one an SLS and one an STS? If so...there's why. The STS had a deeper final drive (3.31 versus 3.71, IIRC).
Yes. The SLS had a 3.11:1 final drive, and the STS was 3.71:1. But I agree with you that a blanket statement that no two-ton barge with a V8 can knock down 28 mpg is simply misinformed. Can EVERY two-ton barge with a V8 do it? Certainly not. But can SOME do it? Most certainly so.
 

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They do hold their value quite well (the 4Runners that is). So do VW's. Just the way it is. So far it's been a wash on my TDi: whatever fuel savings I've had have gone to repairs, as compared to a 30mpg vehicle. But when I bought it there were few station wagon, high mpg, long cruising range, leather, etc, vehicles. My needs have shifted since then (we use the Camry instead for trips) so I wouldn't buy it again. But it's still a nice ride. I took my 1,000lb camper out with the TDI, and it had no problems on the highway. Easily pulled it. Sure I knew it was there. 100hp is "good enough" -- except when I'm laying into it when it's unloaded. Actually, with wife, kids and luggage in the car (no towing) I have noticed it a bit slow on 8% grades--downshift to 4th and lay on it to maintain speed if I hit the hill at only 60. The main reason not to tow with the TDI at the moment is lack of low gearing, for starting on a hill, and mostly while backing up--I have to back it up my uphill driveway, and at the moment I'm lousy with backing up a trailer (it's easy with a utility trailer, but this camper has me beat). The 3rd gen 4Runner is known for mediocre brakes, but apparently the 1st gen Tacoma rotors, pads and calipers can be swapped in. If one has the 16" rims the larger rotors will just fit; otherwise the slight smaller ones will work. The Tacoma rotors are thicker, so they warp less (and might be larger diameter, forgot now).
 

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Try a used Santa Fe. 01-06 with the 3.5L V6. I'm not sure what the AWD system is like.... But I'd say if you want to go the used route, that would be a good CUV to look into.
 
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It is not a blanket statement... One guy can do it in Virginia...whoopie do So a new transmission & pulling the heads every 200k is nothing right? Any car will run to 500,000 miles if you maintain it but simply blanket stating it will go 500k easy is just that a blanket statement with no proof. Yes, NYC taxis can run forever but they are maintained in the strickest sense that any downtime cost them money. The average joe doesn't believe and will put off repairs. BTW before making my "blanket statement" I checked various fuel economy sites and the avg was 22-23 mpg with only 1 getting close to 25 regularly the rest were flukes. The best you can hope for is low 20's avg especially in the Northeast with winters & mountains. I had a Caprice Wagon as well with a 305 and the best it ever got was 21mpg. I had a higher rear end but even so maybe lower ratio would have improved that by maybe 10%. There also gets to the point of driving the car and staying with the flow of traffic. Maybe it's easy out in the mid west & south but in the cluttered areas in the northeast if you don't come to speed in a decent amount of time you WILL cause an accident and be held at fault for it too. It maybe the norm for one guy to get 28mpg but it's not the norm for the rest of the general population and as such you cannot bet the fact you will because their are too many variables to factor in. BOT: Well when towing with a manual you go lack one thing you'd get with an automatic. Torque multiplication especially off idle, my tdi pulls linerally because of the that although I do miss the rowing aspect. So going to an automatic alone with solve that issue for you in regards to gearing. I am surprised about the comment you have trouble with an 8% grade. I can easily maintain 70mph at even the steepest of hills here again loaded & unloaded. On that basis alone you'll like the 4 Runner better as you can more easily modulate the throttle on an incline without worry about slipping the clutch. Ya the brakes on a previous Tacoma I used to have seemed to have been oversized on purpose with regards to towing. Even the 2.7l had 4 piston calipers with very large front rotors. The swap wouldn't be a bad idea.
 

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I wonder... When I had the clutch redone at the begining of summer, we found about 5lb of acorns in the airbox. I wonder if I'm remembering hill climbing with that pre-filter... ! However, this particular 8% hill was on a 60mph zone.
 

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Blast it all--just came to a realization. 3rd gen 4Runner doesn't have a 3pt seatbelt in the center rear seat. That makes it problematic for 3 kids seats. [Wife pointed out last night that perhaps she could use a different vehicle on the days when she has to move three kids--our two plus a friend.]
 
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So a new transmission & pulling the heads every 200k is nothing right? Any car will run to 500,000 miles if you maintain it but simply blanket stating it will go 500k easy is just that a blanket statement with no proof. Yes, NYC taxis can run forever but they are maintained in the strickest sense that any downtime cost them money. The average joe doesn't believe and will put off repairs.
Yeah...I would have to say a trans at 200K really IS nothing major. It's a day job (two days, tops) for any trans shop. Valve guide seals are pretty easy...done in the car without pulling the heads, I vaguely recall it books as a 3 or 3.5 hour job for both sides. When wrecked, my friend's wife had 416,000 miles on her P71 Vic. Heads had never been off, even had the original A/C compressor, PS pump, and radiator. It turned 400K on a trip from New England to Las Vegas and back.
 

supton

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Originally Posted By: Thermo1223
I am surprised about the comment you have trouble with an 8% grade. I can easily maintain 70mph at even the steepest of hills here again loaded & unloaded. On that basis alone you'll like the 4 Runner better as you can more easily modulate the throttle on an incline without worry about slipping the clutch.
I keep a spreadsheet of vehicles, with various notes; one of the big things I take note of is hp and torque curves, and gearing. Best I can tell is the following, for breakaway torque (torque at 2k rpm convertor stall speed, times 1.8 convertor multiplication, times all gears, divided by tire radius): RAV4 I4: 2755ft-lb (the current 2.5L) RAV4 V6: 3610 ft-lb 4Runner 3.4L V6, 4.10:1 gear, P225/75R15 (non-31” tires): 3330 ft-lb Silverado, 3.23 non-towing gearing: 4.3L is 3240, 4.8L is 3645 and 5.3L is 4050 (torque taken at 1800rpm) Silverado, 3.42 towing gearing: 4.3L is 3431, 4.8L is 3859 and 5.3 is 4288 Silverado, 5.3L with 6spd Allison and 3.42’s: 5634 And my TDI, chipped or unchipped, won’t make a difference as I’m not going to dump the clutch at above 2k rpm, and the turbo isn’t doing much below 2k anyhow: At 1200rpm: 1839 ft-lb At 1500rpm: 2122 ft-lb At 2000rpm: 2504 ft-lb Once going the TDI is great, although it can suffer in the end from lack of hp (although a lower curb weight helps a lot with that). I’m in the process of getting it chipped (260ft-lb and 150hp? Something like that) so it will now pull its 1,500lb rating with ease. But I’ll still have issues with start/stop on a hill. That 1.8 gain factor in a convertor, plus its ability to shed heat, is a major factor. If only I had a creeper gear! From what I can tell, the following payload (low-drag pop-up camper, plus weight of driver and passengers and junk) applies, assuming 8% max grade: RAV4 I4: 2,500lb total RAV4 V6: 3,500lb total (only because at 60mph on anything over 8% will downshift to 2nd and spin at 5,600rpm) 3.4L 4Runner (4.1:1, 225/75R15, auto): 3,500lb 4.3L EC Silverado, 3.42’s: 2,500lb 4.8L EC Silverado, 3.42’s: 4,500lb 5.3L EC Silverado, 3.42’s, 4spd auto: 5,500lb All of these require near full throttle, in 2nd gear to do 8% hills at 60mph. Slower speeds required for steeper hills, or in high terrain. Only the V6 RAV4 might stay in 3rd on the less steep hills. My stock TDI, at 2,500lb payload would not pull 8% in 4th at 60, and 3rd won’t help. Once chipped it’ll pull 2,500lb with ease—but again be limited by the clutch at takeoff. [And my towing goals at the moment is about 460lb of people, assume 500lb stuff, and my small pop-up is 1,000lb dry—that gives me a 500lb fudge factor.]
 
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