If you’re one of those rare beautiful breeds that wants an off-road vehicle that you plan to actually get dirty, you know, off the actual road, then you can’t go far wrong with the 2020 4Runnder TRD Pro. Toyota’s tasty mid-size SUV has received the TRD Pro treatment, imbuing it with an adventurous spirit, and toughness along with some tech upgrades not to mention this badge’s legendary reliability for total peace of mind when tearing up some mud in the middle of nowhere.
The brutish TRD-branded cat-back exhaust growls thanks to a 4-liter V6 engine that’s good for 270- hp and 278lb.-ft. of torque. A multitude of modes await in the Multi-Terrain Select System, including Mud, Sand, Dirt and Loose Rock—heck, they could probably drop this thing on the moon! Each setting ensures just the right amount of wheel power, while Crawl Control incorporates five stages, with the 4Runner taking care of the throttle and brakes, leaving you to focus on forging the best path ahead.
Such clever modes and settings are backed by good ol’ fashioned practicalities such as Nitto Terra Grappler tires that proffer glue-like grip, a front anti-roll bar, skid plate, and 2.5-inch Fox shocks front and back, while it also rides an inch higher than its brother trims. Oh, and it can tow 5,000lbs.
Gloriously threatening aesthetics include muscular lines thanks to the likes of fender flares, running boards, a spoiler, 17-inch matte black wheels, and a matte front grille; while the roof rack in, you guessed it, matte black provides plenty of extra storage should the up-to-90-cubic-feet cargo space inside not suffice—that’s with the second row of seats down (with the rear seats in place, there’s 47.2-cubic-feet of storage).
The five-seater cabin is roomy and comfortable. There’s plenty of leather trim, heated front, and back seats and armrests, and the driver’s seat adjusts eight-ways. There are eight speakers, and the eight-inch touchscreen multimedia display is a much-welcome upgrade, linking you to the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a voice-activated radio and Wi-Fi Connect. Other cool standard features include reverse camera, keyless entry, cruise control with distance pacing, and a power glass tilting and sliding sunroof so you can really make the most of the weather—and views—while beating up those backcountry trails.
It’s two thumbs up from us for this well-priced, well-built ride.