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November 1st, 2014
At WeeklyCarAds.com we were very interested in the new Toyota 4RUNNER TRD. We did some extensive research on the internet and found Car and Driver article one of the best as stated below.
There is nothing elegant about this imposing machine. Yet sitting confidently on its all-black 17-inch wheels and knobby 31.5-inch, P265/70R-17 Nitto Terra Grappler tires, the 2015 4Runner TRD Pro oozes charisma, particularly when its outsides are covered in retina-searing Inferno Orange metallic, one of only three hues Toyota offers. (Black and white are the others.) Regardless of color choice, the 4Runner TRD Pro is the most comfortable and everyday-suitable member of Toyota’s new 4X4 trifecta that includes the TRD Pro Tacoma and Tundra models. After a short romp in the Nevada desert, we think it might be the toughest 4Runner yet.
A Face Only a “Mudder” Could Love
The current Toyota 4Runner, refreshed for 2014, is no looker. But we gotta admit that, on the new 2015 4Runner TRD Pro, the sheer ballsiness kind of works, especially for the off-road crowd. The head- and taillamps have been darkened, and the gaping grille is rendered in matte black, with FJ40-inspired “TOYOTA” lettering and a matching lower bumper insert. The whole front end has been raised by an inch, showing off its broad, quarter-inch-thick silver skid plate as if to dare you to punch it in the chin. Don’t. It’s the kind of truck that might sock you back.
TRD’s Core Competency: This Stuff
The TRD Pro trucks were created with a particular focus on desert running, and the 4Runner is right at home charging through sandy river washes and bounding across the desert landscape. As Car and Driver states during their time behind the wheel, they find grip to turn and stop when the ground beneath looks like quicksand, and when we catch air, there’s no crash landing when we return to Earth.
We’re hardly surprised, since the 4Runner “Trail” grade on which the TRD Pro model is based is pretty rugged already, with a standard locking rear differential, crawl control, and a sophisticated multiterrain select system. But the TRD Pro’s lifted front suspension, red Eibach springs, and higher-capacity Bilstein shocks allow an additional inch of wheel travel at all four corners that make this kind of driving a blast, with a ride that gets smoother the faster you go (thank you, softer-than-stock Bilsteins). Even the preproduction models we drove felt rock solid, like they could take this kind of thrashing all day long and not leave you stranded. Clearly, the TRD folks have been playing in the world’s sandboxes for a while.
TRD did not touch the 4Runner’s standard 270-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 and five-speed automatic, which is our only real complaint. More power could allow us to kick out the rear end a bit more easily, especially in two-wheel-drive mode. At least the transmission features a manual shift mode, making it easy to find a lower gear to keep the engine closer to its 4400-rpm torque peak, where you’ll find 278 lb-ft of twist. The V-6 is rather gruff at those higher revs, but look at the truck—some gruffness should be expected.
In addition to being the most family-friendly of the TRD Pro models, the 4Runner is the most comfortable. The interior comes kitted with black seats, red stitching, Entune audio, as well as a TRD shift knob and floor mats. Otherwise, it’s like every other 4Runner inside: busily styled but ergonomically sound and well equipped.
The TRD Pro’s on-road ride is remarkably smooth, and there’s but the faintest hum from the knobby tires. The hydraulic power steering is quick (2.7 turns lock-to-lock) and accurate, even offering a semblance of tactility. Body roll, squat, and dive are more in evidence due to the squishy suspension, but such is the price to pay for the high-speed off-road capability for which the TRD Pro was purpose-built.
Only 3400 examples of the 4Runner TRD Pro will be made in the 2015 model year, ensuring that it will be a pretty hot commodity for the off-road-enthusiast set. There are few truly off-road-worthy SUV options these days, now that old rivals like the Nissan Pathfinder have crossed into crossoverdom and the 4Runner-based FJ Cruiser is soon to climb its last rock. Pricing has yet to be announced, but we expect the TRD Pro 4Runner to come in somewhere around $40,000 when it goes on sale this fall.