The 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD PRO is an off-road beast masquerading as a family hauler. It’s definitely not your civilized crossover or SUV type vehicle. It’s an old-school SUV/truck machine built to be multi-functional. It will fulfill a number of important functions but it’s not for everyone.
Do you need a rugged vehicle with a go-anywhere attitude? If so, then this vehicle will light you up.
This week, we tested the 2016 Toyota 4Runner 4X4 TRD PRO V6.
The 2016 4Runner doesn’t get too many upgrades over the outgoing model. There is, however, cell phone navigation, an upgraded base audio system, and a slight increase in towing capacity for most models.
Features & Options
Toyota 4Runner 4X4 TRD PRO V6 ($41,550) comes standard with a sunroof, upgraded exterior mirrors, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, heated front seats, a power front passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an upgraded version of Entune (with smartphone app integration), and a navigation system.
TRD PRO is an off-road model and comes naturally with 4WD . It gets Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs, Nitto all-terrain tires, TRD front springs, skid plates, exclusive wheels, and TRD trim and badging to set it apart. Our tester came with an optional sliding rear cargo deck w/ under floor storage compartment ($350).
Total MSRP including destination: $42,800.
You step up high to get into the 4Runner TRD PRO. It’s a serious off-roader and has plenty of ground clearance to roll over the highest obstacles. Once up into the cabin, you have a commanding view from the driver’s seat. Inside, there are creature comforts like power heated foam seats, heated windshield for those frosty mornings in the high country, and soft-Tex fabric.
The all-black interior on our tester was simple and uncluttered, with easy-to-use controls. The off-road control functions are positioned overhead, so the center stack is clean with plenty of usable storage space. There’s not much chrome and bling because it’s not 4Runner’s style.
This machine is functional and built for utility.
The second row seats fold flat and recline 16 degrees offering rear passengers extra comfort on long trips to the high country. Passengers have lots of legroom and can stretch out and enjoy the scenery. There’s a large cargo area behind the second row seats for camping, fishing, or hunting gear – but if you need even more cargo space, the rear seats fold flat. The sliding rear cargo deck with under floor storage is ideal for changing out dirty boots and storing the day’s catch.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
4Runner TRD PRO is powered by a smooth 4.0-liter V6 producing 270 horsepower and 278 lb.ft of torque. It comes mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. It also features a locking rear differential, Multi-terrain select, crawl control, and hill-start assist.
EPA ratings are 17/21 city/highway and 18 combined.
The TRD PRO is . . . well for pros who are off-road warriors, serious about getting away from civilization. The TRD PRO comes with a firmer off-road suspension and large, 17-inch Nitto Terra Grappler All-Terrain tires. It’s comfortable for longer trips and features a reasonably smooth ride with some road noise – but families wanting a cushy crossover ride will want to look elsewhere.
The 4.0-liter V-6 engine with its 5-speed automatic brought decent acceleration as we pulled up I-70 into the mountains at altitude. The 278 lb-ft. of torque is enough for getting the big vehicle moving off a dead start, and works especially well as a rock-crawler when going up a steep incline. We felt the 5-speed automatic was smooth and quick, but lags behind some of the newer automatics with more gears from the competition.
Overall, the 4Runner TRD PRO is well-enough-behaved on the pavement to use as a daily commuter and family hauler. Its steering and maneuverability are good for urban use. We were surprised at how well it handled in city traffic this week.
If you need a full-sized SUV to get away from civilization, but still need it for everyday use, the Toyota 4Runner TRD PRO will fulfill your needs. It offers more off-road capability than any other family hauler in the segment. The tweaked suspension with reworked springs, Bilstein remote-reservoir dampers, Nitto all-terrain tires, and TRD parts, like skid plates, make it the ideal weekend traveler.
This vehicle will get you easily into the back country and through terrain others fear to travel on.
*Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy