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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by scanny View Post
    . All 4Runners have locking center differential with low range. It drives like a truck though and lower models are part time 4x4.
    scanny, not to get nick picky, but part time 4x4 means no center diff.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by stremf View Post
    scanny, not to get nick picky, but part time 4x4 means no center diff.
    Your're right, I stand corrected. To be precise 5th generation 4Runners Trail edition and SR5 are part-time and have lockable transfer case and Limited model is full time 4x4 and have lockable differential. And I think you can buy 2wd 4Runners in US, but I definetely wouldn't recommend it.

  3. #53
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    Post a pic of this if you have one

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by scanny View Post
    Pilot is "AWD drive" - front wheel drive with rear wheels connected when electonics detects slippage. Rear wheels can be turned on with a button, but only on low speeds and it will turn back off when overheating. So I'd say Pilot has worst offroad capability from those 3. But it has tons of space and it quite nice it you're stay on roads.
    so good luck with your shopping : )
    Not exactly. The wheels are all driven all the time. I have the pickup version of the Pilot but the mechanics are the same.

    The button on the dash is a electronic lock; just like having a locking diff in an old jeep. If you're really bogged down or going for a slippery incline you can put it on and all wheels drive vs. having the one spin and the other not drive.

    Also since the rear suspension is independent you get a better ride over a solid rear.

    Over a more pure 4wd you loose ground clearance. So if you plan to crawl up rocks to get to the trail you'll have a problem. But if it's just a bad road you're fine. I've taken mine up and down decommission logging roads at speeds that would have the family barfing out the windows and swearing never to get in again if they'd been along.

    If either model fits your particular needs they are phenomenal performers. Snow, ice, slippery mud, gravel, anything goes.




    Big long explanation.

    Ridgeline Owners Club | Variable Torque Management VTM-4 Explanation

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    The button on the dash is a electronic lock; just like having a locking diff in an old jeep. If you're really bogged down or going for a slippery incline you can put it on and all wheels drive vs. having the one spin and the other not drive.


    Big long explanation.

    Ridgeline Owners Club | Variable Torque Management VTM-4 Explanation
    Correct me if I'm wrong. But from that link, that's not what it's saying at all. VTM lock button does NOT work like a locking differential. It is more like an LSD system with traction control that brakes the slipping wheel to force the power to go to the other wheel. All it really says is max torque gets sent to the rear wheels (whatever that % is) and levels off until 18mph. I'm sure it's useful, but its not the same or as strong as a locking diff. This is why vehicles like an FJ Cruiser has the ATRAC system as well as a rear locker.

    And for whatever its worth, test of AWD systems.

    Subaru AWD Uphill Comparison Test - YouTube

  6. #56
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    When VTM-4 is off you have one front wheel and both back wheels pushing independently if conditions require.

    When VTM-4 is engaged both back axles are locked. 

    Re the video the CRV doesn't have the same system as the Pilot and Ridge so I wouldn't use that as a how it works explanation. I will say I do like Subaru, I love the hill lock and I'd have a WRX to hoon around in a heartbeat but it's not a practical choice for me.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    When VTM-4 is engaged both back axles are locked.
    No, the rear is not locked! Nowhere does it say anything about the rear diff being locked. The diagram shows no signs of a locker. All it's doing is sending power to the rear driveshaft. Slipping wheel causes brakes to stop the slip and send power to the non-slipping wheel. It's still an open differential - not "locked." Please see link below on how a locker works.

    The Locking Differential Explained

  8. #58
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    I'm not explaining it very well methinks.

    I've driven offroad vehicles with a locking differential. The electronics in these 2 vehicles duplicate that feel when you are to push up a slippery or steep section.

    the only way to effectively get the thing stuck is to high center it.

  9. #59
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    Hm. I could have sworn that it was a limited slip system. Seems like it is "ALMOST" a locker. Some Ridgeline owners are confused themselves:

    Is the Honda VTM-4 a real "locker" - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums

    Too bad Honda didn't put a low range transfer case in these.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by stremf View Post
    Hm. I could have sworn that it was a limited slip system. Seems like it is pretty much a locker. I stand corrected. Apologies, Danke. Some Ridgeline owners are confused themselves:

    Is the Honda VTM-4 a real "locker" - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums

    Too bad Honda didn't put a low range transfer case in these.
    Seeing how the Ridgeline is based on the Odyssey/MDX/Pilot and none of them have an LR xfer case, the Ridgeline won't.

  11. #61
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    It doesn't have the ground clearance so a super low range wouldn't be much good unless you started a new sport of driving up super steep but smooth roads.

    In any case it's a great "get yourself & your gear into the middle of nowhere and have a good time vehicle". If when you get into the middle of nowhere you want to drive up and over the rocks and trails instead of riding on them then it's not what you need.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by stremf View Post
    Hm. I could have sworn that it was a limited slip system. Seems like it is "ALMOST" a locker. Some Ridgeline owners are confused themselves:

    Is the Honda VTM-4 a real "locker" - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums

    Too bad Honda didn't put a low range transfer case in these.
    It's clearly an electronically-controlled LSD. Not a true locker, but still good enough to get it through some pretty tough situations. I've driven a Ridgeline extensively in the sand and Honda's VTM-4 AWD system works pretty well. It's equipped in certain Pilots, MDX's, and Ridgelines.

    And yes, I too think it's a little bit of a bummer that it doesn't have low range, but at least it's an automatic (meaning no clutch to burn up).

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    Not exactly. The wheels are all driven all the time. I have the pickup version of the Pilot but the mechanics are the same.
    Honda itself says exactly this ( 2013 Honda Pilot ) :

    " Unlike some systems that only engage when the wheels actually slip, the VTM-4 system anticipates the need for all-wheel drive and automatically engages the rear wheels whenever the vehicle is accelerating."... "When added traction is needed, while accelerating or on slippery surfaces, the VTM-4 ECU signals the rear differential to engage, seamlessly transferring power to the rear wheels"

    So I guess rear wheels are not engaged all the time. Folks discussed locking button already, I'm in no means Honda expert, I got my info mostly from Honda web site and Pilot forums i was browsing when I was looking for a new SUV. By the way one of my friends got a Pilot - very nice vehicle, but I wouldn't take it to a really bad logging road. If you chose between Highlander Pilot and 4Runner, I would put Pilot on 3rd place in offroad capabily. Just my opinion though I got myself 4Runner after all : )

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by scanny View Post
    Honda itself says exactly this ( 2013 Honda Pilot ) :

    " Unlike some systems that only engage when the wheels actually slip, the VTM-4 system anticipates the need for all-wheel drive and automatically engages the rear wheels whenever the vehicle is accelerating."... "When added traction is needed, while accelerating or on slippery surfaces, the VTM-4 ECU signals the rear differential to engage, seamlessly transferring power to the rear wheels"

    So I guess rear wheels are not engaged all the time. Folks discussed locking button already, I'm in no means Honda expert, I got my info mostly from Honda web site and Pilot forums i was browsing when I was looking for a new SUV. By the way one of my friends got a Pilot - very nice vehicle, but I wouldn't take it to a really bad logging road. If you chose between Highlander Pilot and 4Runner, I would put Pilot on 3rd place in offroad capabily. Just my opinion though I got myself 4Runner after all : )
    I beg to differ. If I were to rank those three in off-road capability it would be this:

    1) 4Runner (locking diffs)
    2) Pilot (electroincally-controlled clutch-type LSD)
    3) Highlander (open diffs)

  15. #65
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    you guys are trying to sell the OP on a full-on off-roader, and probably all he really needs is a minivan...
    whatever...

  16. #66
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    Oh well, question was about SUV good for the trail and family of 4. We need to hear definition / pictures of planning trails to decide on a vehicle : )

  17. #67
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    That is a definite question mark. Here where I am the active logging roads are in great shape because they're running equipment on them so they're constantly being maintained. You can drive them in a junky old sedan with no problems.

    When they're done they cut deactivation trenches but those are still passable. The roads start to get impassible when rain or melt water starts to wash them out. Even then traction isn't an issue. Ground clearance is key.

    Devils advocate; I like the Toyota FJ and Nissan Xterra also but I need a bed to haul motorcycles. The only other thing like it when I got into the Ridge was the Avalanche and I'm glad I didn't get one of those. Coming on 8 years with the Ridgeline and still happy.

    Maybe the OP can post a bit more info on where he lives, and plans to drive.

  18. #68
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    I'd have to vote for the best vehicle I have ever owned...a Toyota FJ Cruiser.

    It's the only vehicle that I've ever owned that consistently gets me out of trouble instead of into trouble.

    -RW

  19. #69
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    How about a Tacoma 4 door? You could put a camper shell on the bed. Plus if you get the TRD Off Road you get the rear diff locker and low range. I can tell you first hand the diff locker is like magic. Three wheels on the ground? NO PROBLEM!

    I picked up my 03' taco extended cab and love the thing. However, it's not my daily driver. It's my TAV (Trail Head Approach Vehicle) I didn't get the 4 door because I wanted a bed big enough I can sleep in.
    I like to ride bikes.

  20. #70
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    2005 Jeep liberty has been good for me. 25mpg with a 210 hp engine and 4wd is a fair balance for something that can handle a couple k lbs of trailer hitch(or hitch rack). For mpg exclusively, I have an Escort wagon since 34mpg is much better but the liberty is the go anywhere do whatever when the car can't. So far it's up to 105,000 miles with no work other than plugs and oil.
    '93 Giant Sedona ATX custom
    '93 Giant Sedona AtX aero-edition
    '73 Schwinn Suburban
    '95 Fuji Suncrest

  21. #71
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    I recently went through this buying decision and I ended up getting a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon with every option except an engine block heater for about $39k. I initially wanted a 4dr SUV with a little more interior room than what the Wrangler Unlimited offered but the pricing of larger SUVs pretty much drowned that idea. It seems impossible to get a good size SUV at or below $40k with all the goodies (nav, heated seats, leather, etc) that does not look like a kid hauler (ex. new ford explorer). My height and age also played a large role in what I purchased (6'-2", 29yrs, and single).

    My dream SUV would probably be the Land Rover LR4. It has plenty of headroom and cargo space plus it looks like the older iconic Discovery. It also has much better reliability than the older Land Rovers from what I have read online, but you have to be able to shell out about $50k for the base model without options, pay for premium fuel, and be happy with about 12mpg. My next purchase will probably be a 2yr old used LR4 HSE for about $47k.

    That being said the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon is no slouch it drives on the road great compared to older Jeeps and it is quite responsive with the 4.10 gears and new 285hp engine. I just threw on a 8" hitch extension and my 1UpUSA rack and I was good to go. I considered a 4dr truck for a little while but I really wanted interior storage space for gear and road trips to Colorado. At 6'-2" I still have a few inches of head room left in the hard top variant of the Wrangler Unlimited.

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