If you’re an SUV lover that likes to traverse the roads unknown on the weekends, then you either own a Toyota 4Runner or it’s on the top of your list. Either way, you’re probably well aware of the 4Runner’s top trim, the TRD Pro, which is decked out in heavy off-road artillery. With that trim, your 4Runner will be outfitted with Fox Racing shocks and TRD front springs, not to mention a set of TRD wheels and even a TRD roof rack.
But for the 2021 model year, Toyota released the 4Runner Trail Edition, which is a dressed-up version of the base SR5 trim level. However, that doesn’t mean that it skimps on value. In fact, here are three ways that we think the 4Runner Trail Edition is actually a better buy than the 4Runner TRD Pro.
The Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition looks as tough as the TRD Pro
The 2021 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition is mainly geared toward the “outdoorsy” folks, according to the automaker. It sure does look the part, with its 17-inch dark gray alloy wheels, black emblems, and Yakima roof rack. Additionally, the Trail Edition is available in four different colors: Midnight Black, Super White, Cement, and Army Green.
If those last two colors sound familiar, that’s because they were once offered on some TRD Pro models in the lineup. That’s an added plus if you’re a TRD fan since you can now buy a 4Runner that looks the part, without having to pay the higher price for it.
The Trail Edition’s lower price means value
Speaking of pricing, the 2021 4Runner Trail Edition has a starting price of $38,740 for the two-wheel-drive model and $40,115 for the all-wheel-drive model. By comparison, the 4Runner TRD Pro starts at $50,745, which is a $10,000 difference for a skid plate, upgraded shocks, and a slight lift.
OK, so we can see where that extra money is going. But the good news here is that if you don’t have the extra money to shell out for the TRD Pro, the 4Runner Trail Edition is within an easier reach. Even if it doesn’t come as ruggedly equipped.
The 4Runner Trail Edition is easier to drive every day
Despite the fact that you won’t get all of the off-road bits in the Trail Edition as you would in the TRD Pro, one thing that you will get is a better daily driver. Since the Trail Edition doesn’t have a higher lift, it’s easier to get in and out of. Additionally, it doesn’t come with the same all-terrain tires as the TRD Pro, which is better for on-road commuting.
Keep in mind that the Trail Edition is one step above the base SR5 trim, which means that it’s still the “normal” 4Runner that’s better suited for daily driving right out of the box.
The Trail Edition has what you need
Ultimately, the 4Runner Trail Edition could prove to be a better buy than the TRD Pro if you’re the type that likes to go off-road but doesn’t need the serious capability that the higher trim provides. Let’s face it, most 4Runner owners use their SUVs for commuting at least 90 percent of the time, so we recommend saving $10,000 and getting the Trail Edition instead.