Stick Shift: 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

The Toyota 4Runner has always been a tough, off-road ready option for anyone with a preference for a brawny, beefed up SUV. Aesthetically, it doesn’t look very different for the new year. You may be asking yourself, what is new than for 2020? Like other Toyota vehicles, the 4Runner is endowed with many new driver-assistance features like: pre-collision, autonomous braking, auto high-beams, land-departure warning and adaptive cruise control. The instrument cluster gets a big redesign for 2020, with a larger 4.2” screen for fuel-economy and trip meter readouts. The infotainment display also grew from 6.1” to 8.0.” Now featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 

While other models get a little of this or that, my TRD Pro 4Runner arrived wearing an all new paint color. Army Green. It’s perfectly fitting for the tough exterior of the 4Runner. The matte black wheels and emblems with the red brake hardware, LED fog lights, meaty tires and roof basket in a matching finish all combine to make a big first impression. Resembling smart aftermarket visual customization, only you get it like that straight from the factory. This Toyota came to play, and its playground is far from limited to pavement only. 

In TRD Pro trim especially you can explore deeper down the trail than ever before. There’s revised front springs. Fox dampers with internal bypass rear remote reservoirs and an aluminum stamped front skid plate. This 4Runner is ready for almost anything. A drawback of the rugged suspension pieces is a sometimes choppy ride over smooth pavement. Especially when compared to more modern crossover SUV’s. An expected, and acceptable compromise for anyone who knows better. 

A newly added sunroof was a welcome addition to 2020. The slide-out floor in the back continued to charm as well, making loading big items into the cavernous rear a complete breeze. The V6 isn’t very fuel efficient at 17 mpg combined, but a revised cat-back exhaust has it sounding better than ever. 

For 2020, We see enough changes to move the 4Runner into a more modern era. Most of these changes lay under the surface in the form of driver and safety assist features. I for one am perfectly OK with that, as I’ve always been a fan of the 4Runners rugged good looks. The TRD Pro being the most visually appropriate edition offered in my opinion. The new Army Green color matches the attitude and mission perfectly, with all the right equipment to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk as well.

Price as tested: $52,147.00

By: Brandon Randall

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