Originating from the Toyota Trekker from the early 1980s, the 4Runner is more or less the same vehicle since the N280 entered the scene in 2009 at the State Fair of Texas. Related to some extent to the Land Cruiser Prado and FJ Cruiser, the mid-size utility vehicle with a body-on-frame architecture also happens to be a versatile off-roader with lots of practicality.
Cars Direct reports that 2020 variants get Toyota Safety Sense P as standard, a suite that includes automatic high beams, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, which should come in handy if you’re the type of driver who likes to jam to Spotify while driving to Walmart.
The thing is, Toyota knows that the 4Runner is more appealing than ever. Sales figures prove it, and despite the old underpinnings and woeful fuel efficiency, the mid-size SUV costs $50,885 in 4Runner TRD Pro flavor. Even the Nightshade Edition with 4×4 is less at $49,780.
Adding insult to injury, Toyota increased the pricing of the TRD Pro by $3,340 last year. That’s $6,315 in the span of two model years, which is insane for a series-production vehicle that’s not special in the least. To make matters worse, both the Wrangler and Gladiator from Jeep cost less than $50,000 for the Rubicon off-road package with the eight-speed auto.
On the upside, the manly transfer case and 2.5-inch Fox shock absorbers are complemented by expanded skidplates in the 4Runner TRD Pro. The vintage character of the Toyota is also noticeable in the case of the Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select systems, which are operated with good ol’ physical knobs.
The 4.0-liter V6 with Dual VVT-i? Known as the 1GR-FE, the engine can trace its roots back to the 2002 4Runner and Hilux Surf, and in this application, you’re looking at 270 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 278 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm.
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