Shayne Fowler at Right Toyota North Scottsdale, AZ bringing you the latest news on the 2020 Toyota 4Runner.
We had a chance to drive the TRD Pro on one of Utah’s most defiant trails to try the new features and see how the 4Runner performs off the pavement.
The current-generation Toyota 4Runner isn’t new, yet the body-on-frame SUV has sold more units year over year since 2011. The 4Runner has added a few updates since its launch a decade ago, but the factors helping it build the momentum are low gas prices and its good reliability. For the 2020 model year, the 4Runner is getting more updates that could help it maintain that sales push. We drove the TRD Pro on one of Utah’s most challenging trails, Hell’s Revenge near Moab, to try the new features and see how the 4Runner performs off the pavement.
Perhaps the most important update is the new multimedia system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. This is a big upgrade over the previous 6.1-inch screen, which was small and outdated. The new display is standard across the board—from the SR5 grade to the TRD Pro—and it makes the 4Runner a bit more modern.
A new instrument panel with a 4.2-inch screen is also standard across the model line. The whole cluster has been redesigned; the speedo and tachometer look fresher, and the new screen provides better graphics and cleaner color. The rest of the interior, from the HVAC controls to the shifter and trims, continues with no changes. However, SR5 Premium, TRD Off-Road Premium, and TRD Pro trims get a push-button start, and all 4Runners now have two USB ports for rear-seat passengers.
Multi-Terrain Select system, which carries over from last year, is also helpful for off-roading. It adjusts the wheel slip depending on the mode you select: Mud, Sand, Rock, or Mogul. We spent most of the time driving in Rock mode as it best suited the terrain of Hell’s Revenge.
Although the 4Runner is old, it proved to be plenty capable on the trail. The Fox suspension helps to keep the cabin calm, providing good cushioning on bumps, and the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System gives the 4Runner more suspension travel. I was particularly surprised to see the good articulation that the 4Runner had on the trail; the TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro models both got through the same obstacles that other jacked-up Jeeps and Lexus GXs rode through. The V-6 engine has a good growl, but the five-speed transmission makes the 4Runner lurch forward when you shift from park to drive. We also noticed a couple of clumsy shifts when driving on pavement.
For 2020 the 4Runner TRD Pro is getting new colors. Our favorite (just like in the Tacoma) is the TRD Pro exclusive Army Green. The SUV is also getting Super White, Magnetic Gray Metallic, and Midnight Black Metallic.
Those looking to buy a 4Runner should definitely wait for the 2020 model, as these updates really make a difference in the interior and safety. The updated 4Runner will be available in Toyota dealers by the end of the summer. Pricing should be announced closer to the on-sale date, and considering the many updates that it received, we could see a minor bump.