Up to this point in my life, i've never owned a 4x4. I've had a 2004 Tacoma Prerunner, a Subaru Impreza (AWD in a car is not the same as a 4x4 you can take on trails), and now a 2005 DCSB Prerunner. However, i'd love to get into off-roading, but Houston does not provide a lot of opportunity for that in the immediate area.
I do work in the pool business, so i transport a lot of things, hence why i have a truck, but the budget doesn't provide the opportunity to get a 4x4 Tacoma. They hold their value really good.
On the other hand, the 4Runners, around the same MY as my Tacoma in 4x4 configuration are within my price range. I like the power the 4.0 provides in my truck and bet it's the same in the 4Runner. However, storage could be an issue. Like my Subaru, i had to lay the seats down to get gear inside. How much room do 4Runners have with the seats down? And is it a chore to put up and down a lot?
I'd really like to start exploring and off-roading with my family as my boy gets older. I'd need something that hauls pool equipment, family friendly, city driveable and off-road capable. On my Prerunner, i've though off upgrading the tires to A/T, installing sliders and seeing what i can do, but what 99% of TW says, "it's still not a 4x4".
I've looked on-line at 2003-2007, 4x4 4Runner, most with 100-150K miles. Some are 4.7 V8 and others the 4.0. Tell me, which one is more sought after and are there an major issues or concerns with the V8?