If you're into four-wheeling, you've probably read about the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro which Toyota debuted last summer. After spending a week with one, both on the highways and on some off-road trails in Northern California, I've come across a few interesting characteristics that should make the 4Runner TRD Pro a vehicle to consider as your next off-road car.
The only colors available on the 4Runner TRD Pro are a solid black, a solid white, and a red-orange color called "Inferno" which is exclusive only to TRD Pro models. Oddly, the color choices on the TRD Pro are similar to those available on the BMW 1-Series M, which also had its own orange color, a solid black, and a solid white.
Toyota gave its TRD Pro models actual "TOYOTA" lettering on the grille rather than the typical emblem on other Toyota models. As a result, it's a throwback to the Toyota 4x4 models of the 1980s, when the Toyota Pickups and Toyota 4Runner simply had the "TOYOTA" lettering rather than the emblem that adorned all Toyota cars.
On the 4Runner TRD Pro, Toyota wrapped the 17-inch TRD alloy wheels with 31.5 Nitto Terra Grappler all-terrain tires. When driving it off-road, the tires helped the 4Runner keep up with some heavily modified 4x4s. Even when driving it 100 miles on the highway, the 4Runner managed to stay refined, without creating a tremendous amount of road noise, unlike other 4x4s.
Crawl Control is essentially an off-road cruise control. Whenever the 4Runner is shifted into low range. Crawl Control can be engaged by pressing a button on the roof near the sunglasses holder. A dial surrounding the button can be used to adjust the speed of the 4Runner while Crawl Control is active. It's a fantastic system.
Toyota manufactured only 3,400 units of the 4Runner TRD Pro for 2015, so if you're interested, you had better start calling dealerships. Due to their rarity, you can probably get the 4Runner TRD Pro for MSRP at the least but there are some stories of dealers adding a markup to them.
After spending a week with the 4Runner TRD Pro, I'm convinced that if you're into four-wheeling but need something comfortable on road (and also somewhat exclusive), the 4Runner TRD Pro will be a fun vehicle to have.
Satish Kondapavulur (@kondapavulur) is a writer for Clunkerture, a website focusing on experiences with both old and new cars. Much of his time is spent fixing his 2002 BMW 530i, which doesn't have a sports package or manual transmission.