View Full Version : 3rd gen 4runner vs 1st gen Xterra

08-10-2011, 12:04 PM
As the topic says, I'm looking for a new project 4x4. Im curious if there are any xterra owners on here as the trucks seem to be a good bang for buck. I know lots of runner owners and they all seem to love them but the xterra is newer for basically the same price as a late 90s runner.

thanks guys

08-10-2011, 12:24 PM
I've been toying with the idea of these as well - trying to decide which might be better offroad. If I were you, I'd throw a WJ into the mix as well - as they offer more luxury over either choice, as well as a solid front axle.

08-10-2011, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by Kloubek
I've been toying with the idea of these as well - trying to decide which might be better offroad. If I were you, I'd throw a WJ into the mix as well - as they offer more luxury over either choice, as well as a solid front axle.


:D (not me, just some random pic)

I'd rock any of the three, but in my heart I say Nissan, in my brain I say Toyota or Jeep. Jeep would probably be the cheapest.

08-10-2011, 12:55 PM
Yah we have one of those jeeps here that came in on trade and is cheap. I have a discovery right now but it's too tall for downtown parkades so Im having to sell it for something lower and i want a reliable turn key truck.

08-10-2011, 01:09 PM
you should buy my LR3 :D doesnt have any problem to going into any parkades

08-10-2011, 04:59 PM
my buddy had a xterra for an off road rig, he ended up selling it because there is very limited aftermarket parts, underpowered unless it is the supercharged model and the 4wd is not very impressive.
As for the 4runner, it seems to be the most popular off road import. other then that i know i could get you into a awsome 2011 offroad trail package 4runner : )

08-10-2011, 07:00 PM
Aftermarket support for 3rd gen 4Runner is widely available. Not so much for Xterra. I looked at Xterra's before I bought my 4Runner, and the #1 factor was the Xterra has Torsion bar front springs. You can crank them up, but then it'll ride as if you had no suspension. You can replace the torsion bars, but that's $$$ or Solid axle conversion. If you decide on a 3rd gen, the Limited grade has a standard Rear diff lock only up to 2000.

My post isn't complete without a poser shot.

08-10-2011, 07:25 PM

08-10-2011, 11:02 PM
Should have bought my xterra Ryan!
As much as i loved my xterra, i couldnt stand how slow it was considering it was sc. Couldnt imagine driving a non sc one or even a 4 cyl. The big reason i got it was price. For the year/kms/trim/options it was perfect for me. And i sold it after a year for more than i paid!

Gas is okay, comparable to the 4runner but i had to run premium on mine.

Off roading was a blast in it, had more than enough power, decent ground clearance and plenty of grip imo. And all i had was some m/t on it.

If i were to do it again it'd be based on what i can find at the time. Its a toss up between the two for me.

08-11-2011, 06:58 AM
The only thing that I can add to this, is that the 3rd gen 4runners are thirsty. My wife has a Ltd. with the 3.4L engine, and she averages 13mpg city. Haven't done much highway, but the mileage isn't the best. As for comforts and accessories, the Ltd. is the version I would recommend. Locking rear diff, the Xfer case allows AWD for winter driving, tons of storage space, and it fits in any parkade. I enjoy driving her truck sometimes, it's a fun little rig to wheel around in, very nimble.

08-11-2011, 07:26 AM
1st gen xterra's aren't comparable. They are a REALLY dated platform from the 1980's pathfinder. The VG33 supercharged or not is sluggish and hates water due to its dinosaur ignition system. The front suspension is torsion bar which limits lifting options, where as the 3rd gen 4runner is coil over, so a spacer is used for an easy 2inches that doesnt destroy your back.

Also if you buy specific 4runners, they come with rear locking differentials and some even have part time AWD transfercases to save on fuel.

The 5VZ 4runner is better in almost every aspect.

08-11-2011, 08:29 AM
I'm selling my '06 limited in a few weeks if you are interested...

but on topic - go with the 3rd gen 4Runner for a project! Looks much nicer IMO than the Xterra and will be much more reliable. Plus we all know you're a Toyota fan :D