The Toyota 4Runner has been a mainstay of Toyota’s lineup for over three decades. The 2020 Toyota 4Runner is the fifth generation of the vehicle. It is a true off road vehicle and can handle a lot of extreme activity.
The 4Runner remains one of the few SUVs today that offers a body-on-frame construction. It is an SUV specifically designed to handle the rough terrain. However, it still performs admirably when used for day-to-day activities. I recently had the privilege to test drive this impressive piece of engineering. Here is my experience with the TRD Pro.
One of the first things I noticed about the SUV was the aggressive exterior look, which many off-road enthusiasts appreciate. It’s got a masculine appearance and looks like it’s ready for adventure. The interior is comfortable and with the TRD package you feel like you can go anywhere I also like the overall height of the vehicle. Visibility of the road is great.
I also enjoyed the standard convenience features, such as the power-sliding liftgate window. For those that opt for the upscale version, the car comes with heated and ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic AC, leather upholstery, and push-button start.
I can describe the drive experience of the 4Runner as adequate. It is not a super-fast SUV, but the transmission and engine are quite smooth. The brakes can feel a bit jumpy, and there is a noticeable nosedive when you really press down on the brake pedal. However, it is something that you will quickly get used to and doesn’t effect the driving experience in a negative way.
During cornering, the 4Runner is quick and stable, considering that it is a truck-based SUV. For those who love off-roading, you will love this SUV. The 4Runner felt completely in its element when I went off-road. I noticed many useful features that helped with this. For instance, it comes with high ground clearance, a multi-mode 4WD system, and special TRD features. All these features came together to ensure a stress-free driving on rocky trails.
The interior of the 4Runner is quite spacious, and there is a lot of room in the rear seat. In the cargo area, you get 46 cubic feet of space. Additionally, a slide-out deck comes as standard, which is great for loading and tailgate seating. To get more cargo space, fold the rear seats flat to get a total of 89 cubic feet of space!
A good word to describe the interior is utilitarian. The knobs are huge and bulky, which makes it easy to use when wearing gloves. Another noteworthy feature is the off-road controls, which are conveniently situated on a headline above the rearview mirror. The cup holders are also staggered, and the door pockets are large enough to accommodate all your personal carry-on items. Toyota even decided to add a built-in tissue box holder on the inside lid of the center console.
I had a chance to test drive the TRD Pro, and it comes with the most rugged look with skid plates, a hood scoop, huge tires, and a raised suspension. The roof rack is durable, has a good design and included as standard in all versions. In general, little has changed in the design of the 4Runner since it was first released a decade ago.
Engine / Powertrain
Under the hood, the Toyota 4Runner features a powerful 4-liter V6 engine that can generate up to 270 HP and a torque of 278 lb/ft. In the TRD Pro trim that I had an opportunity to test-drive, there is a part-time All-Wheel Drive system. In all trims, the powertrain is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission with low-range gearing provided in the AWD versions. The engine can take regular gasoline, and fuel consumption is 18 mpg although I averaged 16.9 MPG for the week I test drove.
The Toyota active system TSS-P comes as standard on all variants. It is an advanced suite of driver-assist technology that includes the Pre-Collision System fitted with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, with Automatic High Beam, Sway Warning System, and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
In the TRD Pro trim, you will get Nitto Grappler tires as well as 2.5 inches Fox internal bypass shocks with rear remote piggyback reservoirs. The TRD Pro also features a cat-back exhaust as well as a 1-inch front lift.
After test-driving the 2020 Toyota 4Runner, my conclusion is that it is a great off road vehicle and it’s fun to drive. It is an excellent choice if you love spending time in the great outdoors. It looks great from the outside, and you can climb any rugged terrain.
MSRP $49,765 as tested
2021 Toyotas are being released and I look forward to test driving one. Here is a link to the official Toyota site with all the info you need about the 4 Runner