The Jeep Wrangler has always been the go-to for off-roaders. And, for the longest time, it was the only one available on the market to handle those rocky terrain areas.
We now have several options to pick from and one of them, the Toyota 4Runner, is fast becoming a close competitor to the Wrangler. One Road and Track author came to the realization that it’s more of a contender than we previously thought.
What did Road and Track’s testing on the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro reveal?
The article’s author, Mack Hogan, shared that he previously owned a Toyota 4Runner, one from the third-generation era. Although it had rust and was prone to leaking, the only thing he regretted about that vehicle was that he sold it to someone else.
His next experience with this Toyota was when he tested a 2020 4Runner TRD Pro in the mountains of Ouray, Colorado, and on the trails of Moab. It performed great for the rough and rugged terrain, but it didn’t impress him too much as far as the interior and price points go.
In fact, he felt it was just too outdated, compared to its competitors, and the interior was humdrum, lacking any kind of appeal. This particular model came at a price of around $50,000, which just seemed way too overpriced for what you really got for it.
It wasn’t until he got another chance to evaluate it that he changed his mind about the 4Runner. This time he would test it on some back roads about an hour and a half from his home in New York.
Does the 4Runner perform as well as the Jeep Wrangler?
With the expanse of the outdoors surrounding him, The Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro pounded through muddy areas with ease. It plowed through deep sections of water with no issues and handled two-foot potholes without batting an eye.
Small, jagged rocks didn’t stop the 4Runner TRD Pro from adventuring down moderately rough terrain. Outside of the mud, there wasn’t a mark on it. It’s as if he never left the road that brought him out to the area.
But, what seemed to impress him the most was the fact that the 4Runner went from off-roading with ease to on-roading with just as much ease. Transitioning from rough terrain to normal driving had no effect on the SUV.
The 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro had exactly what he was looking for. It was fun to drive over rocky areas, but smooth driving on the highway.
The Jeep Wrangler, however, is more suited for rougher terrain and harder roads to traverse on. The issue, though, is that it doesn’t handle the highway all that well.
What else does the 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro offer?
The 2020 model is a midsize SUV with plenty of cargo space for all the stuff you pack for an off-roading adventure. This Toyota comes with either a rear-wheel, all-wheel, or four-wheel drive, depending on which package you choose.
Under the hood is a beefy 4.0-liter V6 engine, according to Car and Driver’s review of this SUV. It’s paired with a five-speed automatic transmission, which gives it an acceleration time of 7.5 seconds for a 0 to 60 run.
The 4Runner disappoints with its EPA rating of 20 highway mpg, which makes it fall behind its competitors. But, it makes up for it with its optional off-roading features like a locking rear differential, multi-terrain selection, and crawl control.
At the end of the day, the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is an excellent choice for mid-range off-roading ventures. It handles rough terrain with ease but still rides smoothly on normal road surfaces, making it a truly well-balanced SUV.