Toyota’s dated five-speed transmission has fewer gears and older software, which makes for a less-than-positive impact on efficiency – Jeep’s eight-speed automatic is a boon in this regard. Thanks to its rugged good looks, obvious off-roading talents, roomy interior, huge cargo area, and essential technologies, the 2020 Toyota 4Runner is an exceptionally likeable SUV in spite its age. Christian Wardlaw is a veteran automotive journalist with over 25 years of experience in test-driving vehicles. The huge Yakima roof basket adds function – along with aerodynamic drag and wind noise. Every 4Runner also includes a 120-volt, 3-prong household-style power outlet in the cargo area, as well as a side storage bin and several trays. The Toyota’s leatherette-covered front seats offer adequate support during long drives and hold you in nicely. That means drivers now have the choice of asking Siri, Google, or Alexa for directions to the best campsite, Toyota noted. In addition to its new infotainment system, the 2020 4Runner also gains revised instrumentation with a 4.2-inch driver information system and two new USB ports for the back seat. It wasn’t going to take care of the situation for me, like so many modern SUVs do. According to J.D. A third-row seat is an affordable $305 option for the 4Runner. Most trim levels get a part-time system optimized for off-roading, while the Limited trim level gets a full-time system that’s better suited to on-road driving. While TSS is neither as sophisticated nor as refined as TSS 2.0, which Toyota is adding to its other models with each redesign, it’s a good thing it comes standard because the 4Runner does not perform well in safety tests. Large side mirrors make it easy to see your blind spots, though, which is especially helpful because a blind-spot warning system is not available for the 4Runner. The TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro models get Toyota’s Crawl Control, which basically acts as low-speed cruise control in off-road conditions, and Multi-Terrain Select, which adjusts vehicle settings for different surfaces. There is also a row of auxiliary buttons, ready for aftermarket light bars, winches, etc. But at its core, the 2020 4Runner is largely the same as the 2010 version. Other tricks like locking rear differential, multi-terrain select, and revised front and rear bumpers (for enhanced departure and approach angles) round off the Toyota’s special kit. Sought-after features like blind-spot monitoring and a 360-degree camera aren’t available, either. A refreshed 2022 Hyundai Kona is on the way, equipped with revised styling and available in a performance-tuned N Line version that is certain to turn the little crossover SUV’s fun factor up to 11. Apart from some dull tire noise from the big Nittos, the TRD is generally quiet. The price came to $48,977, including the $1,120 destination charge. Safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) do not inspire confidence. It’s simple and it’s easy to use, but any of the 4Runner’s rivals provide a more up-to-date experience. Frontal-impact protection is, however, an issue. In addition to the mechanical advantage of low range, the 4Runner uses some tech tricks to make off-roading easier. Sought-after features like blind-spot monitoring and a 360-degree camera aren’t available, either. In crash tests conducted by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 4Runner earns a middling 3-star rating for frontal impact protection for the front passenger, and 4 stars for driver. Heated front cushions stand ready to ward off a winter chill, but ventilated seats are offered only with the real leather in the Limited or Nightshade versions of the SUV. However, for 2020, the 4Runner now has standard Toyota Safety Sense. Better yet, the 4Runner is made for foul weather and getting dirty. Though it’s all a little overdone, the look tugs on our enthusiast heartstrings; it’s just wild enough but doesn’t overdo things. In this case, opting for the off-road machine won’t make normal roads miserable. The 2020 Toyota 4Runner needs no introduction. One of those activities also involved some off-roading near Ojai, California. On pavement, the steering is slow, vague, and disconnected. We’ll get to the downsides in just a second, but it’s not all bad. Or as a 6-foot, 2-inch friend put it when jumping into the back, “Hey, not bad.” There is also a massive 46.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which will easily swallow a road trip’s worth of gear (and that’s without adding to the cargo basket). Our test car rings in at $51,580, including the $1,120 destination fee. The question is whether or not this rugged 4Runner’s charm is a worthy trade-off for its aging interior and hefty price tag. However, 4Runner owners are younger with a median age of 48 (vs. 56). Introduced at the 2019 New York International Auto Show, the 2020 Subaru Outback has been optimized to offer better fuel efficiency, a quieter and safer ride, boosted technology, and turbocharged power, which is something Subaru hasn’t given its Outback in over ten years. It is tightly screwed together, and the tough underpinnings pummel lousy paved and dirt surfaces into submission. Toyota didn’t mention any performance improvement, but the new exhaust should at least make the 4Runner’s V6 sound nicer. A heavy, traditional, body-on-frame SUV, it sits on a double-wishbone front axle, 4-link beam rear axle, coil spring suspension with a whopping 9.6 inches of ground clearance. For an old school SUV, the 2020 Toyota 4Runner has a lot of tech features. Toyota didn’t make any major mechanical changes for 2020, so the sole engine option on the 4Runner is still a 4.0-liter V6. The least efficient Jeep Grand Cherokee with its V6 nets 18 city, 25 highway, and 21 combined. A cat back exhaust system is new for 2020. According to J.D. The TRD Pro is another shining example of Toyota’s ability to keep its cars engaging even in the last few years of their lives. The latter automatically holds the 4Runner at low speeds while descending hills. The 265/70R17 tires howl pretty early in corners and curves. A range-topping, four-wheel drive, TRD Pro model will set you back $50,885 (all prices include a mandatory $1,120 destination charge). The 4-wheel-ventilated disc brakes are strong but touchy, grabby, and hard to modulate. You can get JBL components, but only with Limited or Nightshade trim. The rear bench, meanwhile, is actually quite roomy. Owners say their favorite things about the 4Runner are (in descending order) the exterior styling, driving dynamics, interior design, and the seats and the visibility and safety (in a tie). This is a tough-as-nails, ready-for-anything, truck-based SUV. But for buyers who want an SUV that can keep going where the pavement ends, it’s hard to beat the 4Runner. The TRD Pro is the most rugged 4Runner model, so it gets a few extras like 2.5-inch Fox internal-bypass shock absorbers, Nitto Terra Grappler tires, and a front skid plate. After experiencing both rows, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house, with 39 inches of headroom for everyone, 41 inches of front legroom, and 33 inches of rear legroom. Look no further than the 8.0-inch touchscreen or teeny-tiny gauge cluster display. Drive normally, and you’ll be going nowhere fast. Power data shows that 78% of 4Runner owners agree that they’re willing to pay extra to ensure their vehicle has the latest safety features (vs. 83% for the segment), and 39% agree that they are willing to pay extra for a vehicle that is environmentally friendly (vs. 52%). Power evaluated a Toyota 4Runner Venture Special Edition equipped with a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), a TRD Pro exhaust system, a power sunroof, running boards, a sliding rear cargo deck, a cargo cover, a cargo mat, and carpeted floor mats. And I can personally attest that the headlights are awful unless you run them on high-beams. TSS-P includes autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. Moderate temperatures did not tax the system, and it took a while to remember that when I got too cold or too warm, I needed to adjust the system. It caters to adventure, giving you the tools necessary to get well off the beaten path. Almost every interior surface is flat and plastic, making for easy clean-up. The original, introduced in the mid-1980s, was essentially a pickup truck with a back seat, a rear roll bar, and a removable roof. Direct overhead visibility is also compromised due to the SUV’s low roofline and fairly vertical windshield, and the standard reversing camera is fairly low-tech. Quality and reliability are important to 4Runner owners, with 64% of them strongly agreeing that quality of workmanship is a first consideration when choosing a new vehicle (vs. 51% for the segment) while 79% strongly agree that a first consideration is reliability (vs. 67%). This niche of an off-road vehicle only appeals to a particular group of customers, and for those interested in the TRD Pro, we think the design is extremely appealing. An optional extra on the TRD Off-Road model, Kinetic Dynamic Suspension allows more wheel travel at low speeds to make it easier to get over obstacles, but stiffens up at higher speeds to improve on-road handling. It also comes with a new infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. Power data, 57% of 4Runner owners are male (vs. 56% for the segment), and they earn about the same money in terms of median annual household income ($115,682 vs. $116,933). The test vehicle included SofTex simulated leather that is soft but also oddly sticky. Beyond the beautiful, creamy green coat, the rest of the SUV looks menacing with the TRD Pro–specific “TOYOTA” front grille, black TRD badging, and huge roof cargo basket. In an age of car-based crossovers, the truck-like 4Runner is something of an anachronism. Once you’ve climbed aboard a 4Runner, you enjoy a commanding view forward, though the long, flat, and scooped hood can be a liability when off-roading. That’s more than enough twist to smoothly accelerate up hills and power through mud puddles. Next to the TRD PRO 4Runner, this model will do the job! We’ve updated the Why get a 360 camera section to include info about why many people are using 360 cameras instead of action cameras. Although the answer isn’t one-size-fits-all, we think the pros outweigh the cons here. Here's how the most popular models stack up in our testing. There is no shortage of storage or space inside of a 4Runner, making this an exceptionally practical SUV. Upgrade your lifestyleDigital Trends helps readers keep tabs on the fast-paced world of tech with all the latest news, fun product reviews, insightful editorials, and one-of-a-kind sneak peeks.Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. In practice, we love the Pro’s do-it-all attitude. Both four-wheel drive systems have a two-speed transfer case with low range, ensuring maximum traction on the trail. Every other trim comes with a simpler rearview camera. Pricing for the 2020 Toyota 4Runner starts at $37,140 for a base SR5 model with rear-wheel drive. Other 4Runners have an old-school manual air conditioning system operated using huge knobs. If it’s just the Pro’s killer looks that you’re after, we’d recommend looking at the expansive TRD parts catalog and dressing up a cheaper trim level. But once you’re aboard, the Toyota 4Runner is comfortable for everyone. For the 2020 model year, the 4Runner mixes its old school off-road capability with new safety and tech features. And while we didn’t tackle the tough stuff this time around, we’ve driven enough of these models to vouch for their off-road prowess. Despite consisting of nothing more than outdated trucks and SUVs, Toyota’s TRD Pro lineup enjoys a cult-like following among off-road enthusiasts.
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