We don’t need to tell you that in any trim the Toyota 4Runner will go where most SUVs fear. Trails? Fire roads? No problem. But, if you’re really planning on tackling the tough stuff, skip the TRD Sport trim. Sure, it’s a popular SUV it looks the part, and it has the fancy TRD badges on the back, but it’s the poser trim of the 4Runner world.
What is a TRD Sport 4×4?
“What?” you say? the 4Runner Sport isn’t good? Nope, it’s just not tuned for dirt like the TRD Pro and the TRD Off-Road which, by the way, has Off-Road right there in the name.
Instead, the Sport has Toyota’s X-REAS suspension tuned more for where most of us tread, the road. While a squishy suspension is great when you’re trying to articulate the front end of your 4Runner over giant rocks, it sucks if you’re trying to change lanes at speed on the highway. That’s the 4Runner’s sweet spot, though. The 4Runner Sport has the same suspension as the Limited trim, according to Newsweek, which means it handles the street better at the expense of off-road ability.
The Sport SUV version gets the hood scoop and badging, as well as a color-matching grille and lower spoiler. Sport trim 4Runners also get black roof rails and 20-inch wheels. Sport models are available in two- or four-wheel drive.
What is Toyota TRD Sport suspension?
The Sport trim is more of an appearance package that elevates the 4Runner SR5 trim. The big upgrade is Toyota’s X-REAS suspension that helps the 4Runner Sport keep its on-road manners, but not hurt off-road capability too much. The linked hydraulic system is complicated to explain, but let’s just say it works to reduce pitch and roll.
If you pick up a 4Runner TRD Pro 4×4, you get the 2.5-inch Fox internal bypass front shocks, TRD-tuned springs, exhaust, and roof rack. You also get additional skid plates, smaller wheels with off-terrain tires, and unique badges. Also, with the TRD Pro you get Toyota’s Multi-Terrian Select tool and crawl control, to really get dirty.
Is the SR5 4Runner a better deal?
The SR5 version of the 4Runner comes with all of the goodies you’d want. It has fabric seats, cruise control power windows, power locks and more. When you upgrade to the SR5 Premium, you get a higher-quality seat material, heated power seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The sport package adds TRD logo comes equipped like the SR5 Premium, except you get TRD logos on everything.
All 2023 4Runners come with Toyota’s tried-and-true 4.0-liter V6 that makes 270 horsepower. That engine and the rest of the 4Runner is aging , however. With an integrated tow-hitch receiver and wiring, each 4Runner can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The SR5 starts at $38,805. The TRD Sport starts at $41,665 while the SR54 Premium (same suspension, no TRD badges) starts at $41,865.