What is the sound of one piston slapping?
What is the sound of one piston slapping?

So tonight the wife agreed that we should at least try to test drive one vehicle on our list this evening and not try to do all of them tomorrow.

Illustration for article titled Camp Vehicle Search, Part the First
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We ended up driving a 2020 Toyota 4Runner Limited. My wife rather enjoyed the ride, so that was good, and there were several aspects of it that she liked including the overall look.

However, we both agreed that it lacked power - it didn’t accelerate well, for sure. It was fine, but we are used to sub-8 second 0-60 times now.

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I also verified that the length of the cargo area with the back seats down is only 68 inches. Removing a bottom cushion (taking out 2 bolts) would provide an additional 4 inches, for a total of 72 inches, but reducing seating capacity.

Before we left, the salesman found a 2020 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium recently delivered to the lot, so I was able to verify that it does have the keyless entry and push button start. But we didn’t get to drive it, because we were hungry and it was late. Maybe tomorrow, although it lacks the KDSS option, which I would want and would affect handling.

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I also measured the cargo area of a neighbor’s Jeep Grand Cherokee this afternoon to find that it has 71 or 72 inches (depending on where one measures) with the seats down . . . without flipping up or removing the bottom seat cushions. So it is on the list now, to my wife’s disappointment.

Key moment was that as we had dinner, my wife proclaimed that she didn’t want to prevent me from getting what I want, and that we should treat both cars (my GTI and whatever we replace her car with) as both my cars, and it would be my choice what to get, although with some input from her. That was quite cool of her.

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Yet, while I like the potential of the 4Runner, it is running up against the realities of how it is not well equipped for it’s cost, slowish and thirsty. But we could get to any campsite! Anywhere! (Not really, of course.)

To be continued.

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