Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro shows its capabilities
It’s an unspoken rule that you can’t have two vehicles from the same brand in a comparison test. But that doesn’t mean a second vehicle can’t tag along as a support vehicle.
In the case of this test, the 2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro served as the photography vehicle for William Walker and assistant Darren Martin during our trip. How could they take pretty pictures if they couldn’t keep up?
Although the new-for-2010 fifth-gen 4Runner is showing its age in terms of its exterior design and interior trim and fitments, its familiarity and capability with dirt, rocks, and river crossings was noticeable. Our 4Runner TRD Pro was equipped with a 4.0-liter V-6 engine that produces 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque mated to a five-speed automatic and a part-time 4WD system.
The TRD Pro package makes the difference. Our tester was outfitted with TRD Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs, Trd-tuned front springs, and a front skidplate. It also came with fancy off-road features like crawl control and multiterrain select—but it turns out the 4Runner didn’t need to use them.
Although Walker enjoyed driving the 4Runner both on- and off-road, he complained about brake dive and ride quality. “You feel like you’re sitting atop one of those old playground toys that’s mounted on a big spring, bouncing forward and aft until equilibrium is reached.” As someone who spent a lot of time leaning out of the 4Runner’s cargo space to get the right shot, Walker insisted it was a challenge to hold steady.
Despite a dated interior lacking most of today’s musthave tech, the 4Runner is still a capable SUV to take to the dirt. And with a base price of $44,230 and a final tag of $44,709, this Toyota was the least expensive vehicle we had on the trip.
We’ll have to see if the 2019 4Runner TRD Pro, which replaces the Bilstein suspension with heavyduty Fox Racing Shox, fixes these issues.