NAPA, CA — If ever the expression of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is to apply to any vehicle, the latest 4Runner is the poster child. With just a few minor tweaks to the 2020 model year, the 4Runner continues to find itself into the hands of its continued loyalists.
If nothing, the 4Runner is easily one of the most rugged-looking SUVs on the market and this TRD Pro version adds a few more goodies as well. The now-standard roof rack, TRD shock absorbers and a skid plate underneath the engine. Additionally, the TRD Pro has an exclusive “Army Green” color which looks awesome with its black accents and push-button start.
Under the sheet metal, we still have the exact same powertrain, which includes the tried and true 4.0 liter V6 engine that develops 270 horsepower with 278 lb-ft of torque. This feeds a 5-speed automatic transmission with no paddle shifters. Power is sent to either the rear wheels or all wheels, depending on if you have the manual (yes, manual) shifter between 2WD and 4WD locked into place.
Inside, the 4Runner actually comes across as being a bit outdated. Save the 8-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, it’s still lacking many modern conveniences. The instrument cluster has been updated, with a 4.2-inch display screen and newer-looking speedo/tach. However, it’s still a very minimalist design overall. What we love about it, however, are the easy to clean surfaces, including the rubberized floormats.
Sound quality from the JBL-powered audio system is good but not superb and there’s a variety of audio source options. AM/FM/XM/CD/Mp3 and Bluetooth audio are all in tow and the interface is nice and snappy with minimal lag.
Seat comfort is very good and both front seats are power-adjustable and heated. However, there are no memory settings. Rear legroom is very ample and shouldn’t have any issues having adults up to 6ft tall, have minimal discomfort.
Toyota Safety Sense includes; blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, pre-collision braking system, pedestrian alert, auto high-beams, lane departure alerts, and adaptive cruise control.
On and off-road:
Off-road is where this TRD-Pro version of the 4Runner really shines. However, we’d love to see Toyota shed the running boards to allow for more ground clearance. The suspension articulation really shines in this environment, allowing for a great deal of up and down wheel travel with various 4-wheel-drive modes. The stock all-terrain tires do an admirable job over a wide variety of terrain and surfaces.
Youll be hard-pressed to find a more capable off-road SUV that doesn’t have adjustable suspension. That’s the only thing the 4Runner is missing. And for the sticker price of $43k, we can’t think of any competitor that offers as much for the outdoor enthusiast. Toyota’s engineers have done a brilliant job of keeping the 4Runner with a very utilitarian feel to it and have slapped on a few goodies in this TRD Pro model. We absolutely love the “Army Green” color and black trim accents.
By every account, the 2020 4Runner is a winner for Toyota and does a brilliant job of continuing the strong pedigree of capable of an off-road SUV it is. The additions of the TRD Pro perks are well worth the extra money for anyone that wants it for more than a pavement princess.
There aren’t any competitors to this model that don’t wear a Jeep moniker and that places it in good company. If you’re looking for a great off-road SUV that is built with Toyota’s known reliability, good looks and utility, than the 2020 TRD Pro 4Runner is your ticket to ride.