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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long time lurker here, wonderful site!

I understand this a Isuzu forum so the answers could be biased, but I am looking for honest comparison of the Isuzu to the Toyota. While in college I had a 1999 4Runner SR5, great truck. I went to college at WCU in the western NC mountains. I really used the truck to explore the fire and old logging roads that cross the mountains. The pros of the Toyota are many, but I have recently been hit with the Trooper bug.

What are the pros vs cons of a 1995+ Trooper and a 3rd gen 4Runner? I have a family now and the kids are of the age that we can take them and explore some of the same areas like before. Space is important, they are all still in car seats. Age 4 and the twins are 2. Three seats will be across the back seat.

Not looking to make this a true off road only rig, still going to be a DD. Maybe a small lift and larger tires, driving lights.
What are the opinions? Let me know!
 

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Have had a few 95+ Troopers and a 2000 4 Runner Limited.

Pros of the Troop to me would be that it is more basic (less to break) and larger internally though not to the point of being difficult to use for trail work. Could also list low resale value as a pro if you are on the buyers side of the equation.

Pros of the 4 Runner would be it is faster and gets better mileage as is about the same power with less weight. More like a Rodeo than a Trooper in this respect. Is also a Toyota so is easier to find parts and service. Resale is astronomical compared to a Trooper.

You are not going wrong either way. We would still have the 4 Runner but had too many vehicles at the time and it was the best candidate for being sold off.
 

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Both are fine vehicles. From an off-road standpoint, a couple of tidbits I have garnered - the Trooper has better rear axle travel (longer links), and tougher front CV axles. And, as noted above, more room inside.
 

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My wife has a 99 4runner-Limited and I just sold a '95 trooper-Limited that I "flipped" (for money; not upside down). She loves her 4runner because it has leather, wood dash, sunroof and all the pretty stuff. It runs really well and all repairs in the last few years have be affordable. The Isuzu was bought as a project and was easy for me to fix. My wife loved the heated seats and sunroof options on our trooper, BUT the isuzu sunroof seams awkwardly placed over the front seats; hers doesn't seem as awkward. Overall, I like the idea of heated seats, but I wouldn't let that be a deciding factor. As far as a general vehicle goes, I'd say the 4runner is a little more mainstream and can be nice (depending on the model); the trooper would be more truck like (again- depending on the model).
 

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If you find a late model Trooper LS your going to get heated seats, rear heat, leather, folding mirrors plus more all for half the price of a Toyata. Other than that they are really the same truck.
 

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Ever since I was a little boy, Isuzu's have always been in my family. I grew up in a Trooper i learned to drive standard, and got my license in one. So they hold a lot of emotional value to me. sorry, i just had to say it.

also, I'd pick the Trooper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have always had Toyotas, and I still have the 08 Sienna for the wife and kids. I feel like I am being pulled to the dark side....in a good kind of way. For the price difference, I cannot justify a 1998 4Runner with 200k at $6,500 vs a 2001 Trooper with 100k for $3,800.
 

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you could buy alot of goodies for that price difference and still have 100k less.
my opinion is biased......Trooper
 

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4runner! Way better vehicle. I had a 1999 Limited Supercharged Auto with a few mods... Push button AWD mode, Factory Rear Locker, Better IFS Flex, Coil Over Suspension, Tons more aftermarket options. Non-Interference Engine (one guy on the forums drove his to 170k on original t-belt). 3.4L is exceptional. I sold mine with 160k and never burned no oil or leaked, always ran quiet, perfectly reliable. I've seen multiple trucks with 3.4L motors with 360k + (no rebuilds). The transmission is bullet proof (not like the garbage in the trooper). The resale is nuts! You can sell them FAST as everyone wants them. Troopers cost less but sell for less and difficult to unload. I still wish I had my runner.



 

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littlegray said:
4runner! Way better vehicle. I had a 1999 Limited Supercharged Auto with a few mods... Push button AWD mode, Factory Rear Locker, Better IFS Flex, Coil Over Suspension, Tons more aftermarket options. Non-Interference Engine (one guy on the forums drove his to 170k on original t-belt). 3.4L is exceptional. I sold mine with 160k and never burned no oil or leaked, always ran quiet, perfectly reliable. I've seen multiple trucks with 3.4L motors with 360k + (no rebuilds). The transmission is bullet proof (not like the garbage in the trooper). The resale is nuts! You can sell them FAST as everyone wants them. Troopers cost less but sell for less and difficult to unload. I still wish I had my runner.
Trooper! Way better vehicle. 4Runners have crap for headroom, the rear suspension doesn't flex nearly as much as a Trooper, Troopers have lots more cargo volume, the 3.2L is powerful and reliable, a bulletproof gear-driven transfer case (not that electronic push-button garbage on the 4Runner), bulletproof MUA5 transmission, MUCH better value transportation for the purchase price. You can buy lots of aftermarket goodies (not to mention gasoline) with the money you save compared to a 4Runner.





See? I can play too... :twisted:
 
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littlegray said:
4runner! Way better vehicle. I had a 1999 Limited Supercharged Auto with a few mods... Push button AWD mode, Factory Rear Locker, Better IFS Flex, Coil Over Suspension, Tons more aftermarket options. Non-Interference Engine (one guy on the forums drove his to 170k on original t-belt). 3.4L is exceptional. I sold mine with 160k and never burned no oil or leaked, always ran quiet, perfectly reliable. I've seen multiple trucks with 3.4L motors with 360k + (no rebuilds). The transmission is bullet proof (not like the garbage in the trooper). The resale is nuts! You can sell them FAST as everyone wants them. Troopers cost less but sell for less and difficult to unload. I still wish I had my runner.

Ok...your arguments are decent but there are a few issues. First, a lot of troopers came with factory LSD but a rear locker can be added easily with the money you save buying a trooper. I would put the trooper's coils out back up against any other truck on the market. True there are a lot more aftermarket options for toyotas but everything you need for a trooper you can find pretty easily. The trooper engine is non interference also, I have 130k on my original tbelt with no problems. Mine doesn't burn or leak oil and many others don't either so both of those arguments are not valid. Mine has been perfectly reliable. Garbage transmission? Hardly, mine shifts perfectly fine and many others on here have the same good record so check your facts first before you post. Don't get me wrong, I love 4runners but the price doesn't even begin to justify buying one over a trooper IMO. Save your money for other things.

But as always, check the vehicle out very well before you buy it...any used vehicle could have tons of problems or be perfectly reliable. It's all up to the previous owner really. I think in the end you will be happy with either option.
 

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My comment is in regards to your seating situation. I have a 6 year old and twin 4 year olds...so I'm just two years ahead of you. I think you'll have a very difficult time getting three car seats in either of those vehicles at your kids ages. I was able to do two real 5 point car seats with a squished booster seat between in my 91 trooper...but very tight. No way I could get three 5 point car seats across. I ended up making my own one piece booster the length of the entire rear seat that works now...but you've got a couple years before you'll be able to get away with that. Obviously try with your seats before you purchase/decide.
 

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mguldan said:
I was able to do two real 5 point car seats with a squished booster seat between in my 91 trooper...but very tight. No way I could get three 5 point car seats across.
You may be right, but it is worth noting that a 2nd gen is significantly wider than a first gen...
 

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BigSwede said:
mguldan said:
I was able to do two real 5 point car seats with a squished booster seat between in my 91 trooper...but very tight. No way I could get three 5 point car seats across.
You may be right, but it is worth noting that a 2nd gen is significantly wider than a first gen...
Didn't realize they were so much wider...BigSwede brings up a good point. Just make sure you check.... Surely someone with a 2nd gen. can tell you what they've fit in the back.
 

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Some years of the Toyota V-6 like to blow head gaskets. I think late 90's or so.
 

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Just would like to add....while I don't have a trooper, I have a rodeo with the same engine as the trooper you're referring too, and I also have an 04 tacoma with the same engine you're referring too on the 4 runner.

Both the 3.2L Isuzu and the 3.4L toyota V6 engines are NON-interference, I've already come across this situation with both...difference is, the timing belt in the rodeo didn't fail, I only changed it due to maintenance precaution...the timing belt in my 3.4L toyota engine DID fail, at only 90k miles. Put a new belt on....good to go, no damage.

Both engine's turn about the same overall power, despite the fact the rodeo has 202k miles, and the Tacoma only has 112k, I do NOT feel any more or less power from the 3.4L tacoma engine then I do from the rodeo.

As for the transmission being more bulletproof in a Toyota.....that's still left to be seen. Both of my trucks are automatic, the rodeo has the 4L30 which, again, is the same transmission in all the 2nd gen troopers; the tacoma has the aisian warner transmission, same one as in the 4Runners.

Both of these transmissions use the same transmission ATF fluid, with the same driving style and the same drain/refill procedure.....I will say, the toyota's transmission fluid always comes out much darker after only 15k miles, then the rodeo's fluid does at 15k miles.

The life history difference of these 2 trucks....the rodeo, for over 80% of it's lifetime was the primary boat hauler, at 4,000lbs, including numerous mountain adventures in Colorado at 10-11,000ft for it's entire 14yrs of life....if the 4L30 auto tranny has such a weak point, I haven't found it....but again, I am the original owner of this truck and have taken exceptional care of it. This truck has been to over 38 different states being our expedition vehicle.

The life history of the toyota, bought it at 13k miles, has pulled the boat perhaps 4 times, has only been over the mountains 3 times, and has only been out of the state once.

It is important to note however, for whatever reason, the 4L30 in the Isuzu troopers of the 98+yrs have a slight more tendenancy of failure rate then the troopers of the 93-97yrs.....I don't know why, but it is noted highly in these forums to be a problem moreso then the earlier years.

As for parts availability....have to say the tacoma is very hard to find certain parts for versus the Isuzu....however, I think it's because everyone has availability for the 05 tacomas, almost like they forgot about the 04's.

One thing I have seen....the 3.4L engine gives a *tad* bit extra room in the engine bay to work on versus the 3.2L engine which seems crammed into the rodeo's engine compartment.....it's almost like they didn't give it enough room.
 

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Welcome to the site. This is an Isuzu site so the posts could be a bit bias. :D

I think the strongest points have been brought up. To me more cargo space would be a selling point since you'll be carting the family and gear around. The 4 runner seems closer in comparison to a Rodeo. A Trooper can be purchased pretty cheap now days so that would be another selling point for me. A cheaper base vehicle gives you more money for mods. Not sure anybody said towing capacity but folks have talked about towing their campers at high speed without problem.

Good luck in your choice.
 

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I think the Trooper is more in line with the LandCruiser. I think there have been notably more issues with the trooper as far as engine and transmission then the 4runner. Dont get me wrong I like the trooper alot and have been contemplating selling my first gen for a 97 model. The points brought up are valid on both sides with reliability, most the troopers that havent had much issues are 1 owners that were very well taken care of and if the trooper has been takin care of it will last a long time. The 4runner I think is a little more reliable weather you have gotten one well taken care of or not but then there is the price difference too. From what I have seen I dont think there is another SUV from stock that will flex like the Trooper, as well as its interior room again more so like a LandCruiser. Its a tuff decision as I have contemplated it aswell and still do.
 

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BigSwede said:
See? I can play too... :twisted:
You guys get fired up! That got the conversation going... I had a 1997 Rodeo and it was an excellent vehicle. I drove it to 130k and sold it to my neighbor who drove it another 30-40k before it got totaled. The engine had the annoying tick which improved with 0-30 Mobile 1 but never was completely eliminated. Isuzu is an incredible value. I'd also look at the Mitsubishi Montero. The Trooper is significantly larger than the 4runner (better for 3 car seats). Trooper has it's advantages: cost, size / space and fairly durable. The 3rd gen Toyota 4runner (97-02) as a whole will likely be more reliable and have greater resale but higher purchase. It all comes down to preference and budget. I do like the feel of the MUA5 transmission and enjoying my little truck. :)
 
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