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There are just certain things that drivers have come to expect from modern cars and SUVs. You’ll usually find power windows, automatic locking doors, and headlights that turn on automatically. Toyota included automatic on/off headlights on two higher trim levels but not on the other ones. Why are most of the 2024 Toyota 4Runner trims missing auto headlights? After I roll up my manual window, I’m going to investigate.

Why won’t Toyota give the 2024 4Runner automatic headlights?

This 2024 Toyota 4Runner is missing some features
The 2024 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

Most people anticipated a redesigned 2024 Toyota 4Runner (i.e., me), but that didn’t happen this year. Instead, Toyota soldiered on with the ancient artifact that is the fifth-generation 4Runner. However, I did expect one of the features to change drastically. Many 2023 4Runner models came without automatic headlights, which seemed like an oversight. Presumably, this would be fixed for the 2024 4Runner. The joke’s on me again.

Below is a chart of all the seven trims available for the latest model. As we can see, five of those trims still don’t have automatic headlights. Automatic headlights are basically how they sound; they come on automatically when sensors detect it is dark outside. This means in a storm where visibility is limited or when the sun starts to go down, it gets dark out. How can we not have automatic headlights?

TrimAuto on/off headlightsMSRP
TRD Sport$43,315
SR5 Premium$43,515
TRD Off-Road$44,300
TRD Off-Road Premium$46,880
TRD Pro$54,920
2024 Toyota 4Runner trims and price

By auto on/off headlights, we mean headlights that automatically come on when it gets dark. That’s a basic car attribute, like power windows and doors. How can we not have automatic headlights in 2024?

What other features are missing from the base trim of the 2024 Toyota 4Runner?

Inside the 2024 Toyota 4Runner
Inside the 2024 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

Here are some other curiosities across the 2024 Toyota 4Runner trims. Some of the lower trim levels miss out on dual-zone climate control. Only the Limited and TRD Pro get dual-zone climate control, while the other options just get air conditioning vents back there.

Also, if you were holding out for the center console storage compartment with coin, tissue, and pen holders with carbon-fiber patterns, you’d have to opt for one of the TRD trims. The TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, and TRD Pro get the cool coin holder. Other trim levels just get the center console storage compartment with coin, tissue, and pen holders (no carbon fiber pattern).

Here’s a key for the 2024 Toyota 4Runner features list below:

  • ✅ = Standard feature
  • ❌ = Not available
  • ⭕️ = Available
2024 4Runner TrimDual-zone automatic climate controlCenter console storage compartment with coin, tissue, and pen holders with a carbon-fiber patternAuto-dimming rearview mirrorKinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)
TRD Sport
SR5 Premium
TRD Off-Road⭕️
TRD Off-Road Premium⭕️

The 2024 4Runner TRD Pro and Limited trims have the most features and a higher price tag. If you want Toyota’s famous Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), you can only add it to the TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road Premium trims.

Is the 2024 Toyota 4Runner still worth buying without auto headlights?

The Toyota 4Runner in the grass
The Toyota 4Runner | Amanda Cline, MotorBiscuit

2024 Toyota 4Runner Receives Price Increase, No Redesign, and No Major Changes

All 2024 Toyota 4Runner trim levels come equipped with Toyota Safety Sense P. That includes important systems like Toyota’s Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. The midsize SUV also gets Lane Departure Alert and Automatic High Beams. How can we get Automatic High Beams without automatic headlights?

However, most 2023 and 2024 models get a higher suite of safety systems, like Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. The 2024 Grand Highlander has 3.0, and the 2024 RAV4 has TSS 2.5. The 4Runner is missing out on Lante Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist, and some other modern systems. The lowest version of TSS is reserved for the Tacoma and the 4Runner.

Even though there are seven 2024 Toyota 4Runner trims to choose from, you’ll have to prioritize some features. If you want those automatic headlights, get ready to shell out $49,960 for the Limited trim or above. If you are resistant to tech but love the outdoors, the 4Runner is still the chariot of your dreams. Just remember to turn your lights on.