- A sliding rear cargo deck with underfloor storage compartment
- off-road worthy SUV with 10-inch ground clearance
- sturdy and tough roof rack
- rear glass slides down
- a household outlet in the cargo area that can supply up to 400 watts
- 2nd-row seatbacks recline
“I love that new 4Runner in your driveway,” was the surprise comment from my neighbor Bobby. Bobby has been my neighbor for two years and has never commented on a single vehicle that has come to my house. She drives a Mercedes-Benz coupe, but she likes the 4Runner.
To be fair, it’s not just a 4Runner; it is the gnarly looking 4Runner TRD Pro in the exclusive Army green color with angles that are cut to showcase the strength of the TRD Pro. All of a sudden, we’re walking to the SUV, and Bobby is telling me about her Toyota 4Runner, “I put almost 300,000 miles on that thing. I loved it!” Bobby is still singing the praises of Toyota’s reliability years after she has sold the SUV and is driving a sportscar.
The exclamations continued as we opened the back of the SUV and found a sliding rear cargo deck. There will be no more wrenching of your back as you heave your body into the depths of the cargo area to retrieve your goods. A click of a lever and the sliding deck eases out while you load your cargo, and eases back in without a single pinch in your side.
At first, we didn’t think you could fold down the 2nd-row seats, but it is a 3-step process that allows the 2nd-row seat to fold down completely, giving you ample room for longer items.
The body-on-frame SUV still houses the 4.0-liter V-6 engine that produces the same 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque as before. The five-speed automatic sends the power to the rear or all four wheels, depending on which transmission you get.
Driving off-road can be a little daunting, but Toyota has made it easy. As I start off-road, I notice that right in front of me above the rear mirror are the buttons that allow me to go into low, high, rock control. I shift to neutral, change the mode, and climb over a rock with ease as the Fox shocks do their job. The 2020 4Runner TRD Pro behaves pretty much the same as the 2019 model, but the new TRD cat back exhaust sounds a little better than last year’s model.
Going down the hill was easy as the Crawl Control took away some of the stress. The hill was steeper than I thought, so I used the crawl control, selecting a speed under 5 miles. All I needed to do after that was control the steering, and I was back on level ground in no time safe and sound.
Speaking of safety, standard on the 4Runner is the suite of safety technologies called Toyota Safety Sense P (TTS-P). TTS-P is part of the street package that keeps you out of trouble. Some of the standard equipment includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, automatic high-beams, and adaptive cruise control.
Updated for 2020 on the interior is the new multimedia system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen (two-inches bigger) compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa that you can listen to through the Standard Premium JBL Audio system. Left of the seat warmers, a push-button allows you to control the back window.
The TRD Pro is a beloved machine by the off-roaders. They want the vehicle to look like it belongs in the wild, and Toyota has obliged. There is a unique front grille with black TRD PRO external hard badges. The mats are embossed with tire tracks for the tough-guy look.
The Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is on sale now, and the 2020 model year was worth the wait.
2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro pricing and specs:
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger body on frame SUV
BASE PRICE___________________ $49,765 (as tested: $52,147)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ 24-valve V-6
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 270 hp @ 5,600 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_________________278 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 5-speed ECT automatic
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 191.3 inches
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 4,750 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY_________________23 gallons
EPA MILEAGE RATING____________16 city / 19 highway / 17 combined