Experienced by Leon Brittain
Available in 2WD and 4WD models and with seating for up to seven passengers, the 5th-generation 2024 Toyota 4Runner is more capable than ever for fanatics looking to tackle the great outdoors. For additional bravado, step up to the tough-as-nails 4Runner TRD Pro 4×4, featuring enthusiastic off-road prowess that allows you and the crew to venture into the wild whenever a euphoric increase is needed.
Since 1984, the midsize SUV has been raw, hardcore, and unapologetic. My Terra colored (a deep orange) 4Runner TRD Pro 4×4 arrived with contrasting blacked-out everything including the TOYOTA grille, TRD Pro badges, roof basket, and 17″ TRD Pro Matte Black alloy rims wrapped in Nitto Terra Grappler all-terrain tires. However, I would swap to outfit my Japanese SUV with BF Goodrich A/T KO2s. Upon arrival, I instantly felt like blasting through a forest or going on a serious desert safari trip. The 4Runner TRD Pro is geared for nomadic owners with active lifestyles, whether traversing through muddy tracks to the campsite or rolling over boulders for a natural high. So, don’t expect fancy amenities that sway the direction of luxury SUVs because that’s not this Toyota’s forte.
During my week-long test drive, I took my Specialized MTB out a few times to local trails here in Maryland. The 4Runner TRD Pro was ideally suited for the activities at hand, such as foraging through rough patches in the wilderness. The SUV is powered by a robust 4-liter V6 engine exerting 270-horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque and connects with a 5-speed automatic transmission. A part-time 4WD system with Active TRAC, Hill-Start Assist Control, Multi-Terrain Select, Crawl Control, and a locking rear differential ascertain that obstacles and challenges in your path become nothing more than recreational afterthoughts.
The TRD moniker adds TRD-tuned Fox shocks, springs, and a prominent TRD-stamped aluminum front skid plate. Also, a traditional stick transfer case allows you to move into High4, High2, or Low4 and sits next to the tall TRD shift knob while all of the off-roading controls are located overhead with the sunroof and light switches.
Inside the husky cabin you will find black seats with TRD embossing, thick TRD rubber mats, and a hulking, manually-adjustable steering wheel. Red stitching outlines the SofTex-trimmed seats and door panels and a faux carbon fiber panel contours the center console. Large temperature dials and smaller volume and channel dials highlight the robotic, vertical center stack and its small embedded 8″ touchscreen. Updated multimedia functions include Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, and dynamic navigation. I had just created a new “Roots Rock Reggae” playlist to engage with the 15-speaker JBL sound system and to keep the drive alive. Lastly, the 4Runner TRD Pro 4×4 features a standard Multi-Terrain Monitor for drivers to view the topography through an array of strategically placed cameras.
So, I mentioned TRD Pro quite a few times for various reasons. It is the progressive 4Runner model to choose if you want to stunt out your body-on-frame utility with both looks and technique. TRD equates to Toyota Racing Development and has been revered in off-road motorsports for several years. TRD Pro SUVs and trucks are engineered with the finest equipment for confidently handling off-road courses. You can also customize your Toyota with TRD Pro accessories specifically made for the brand. For example, a set of TRD Pro rock sliders is fitting to set off the exterior’s aggression.
Expect 16 city and 19 highway mpg and an MSRP of $54,920 for a 2024 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro 4×4. You also receive standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), which is Toyota’s active safety system that incorporates a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Automatic High Beams, and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Moreover, ToyotaCare will provide owners with complimentary factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.