Toyota 4Runner

The Ultimate Toyota 4Runner Buyer’s Guide

From 2016 to 2019, the Toyota 4Runner successfully hit over 100,000 sales every year. Even in 2015, it came close, with a little over 97,000 units sold.

As you can see, this mid-sized SUV is extremely popular with American drivers. For that reason, you might want to consider this vehicle if you’re up for a new car soon.

But which model should you buy? Here’s a Toyota 4Runner buyer’s guide so you know which one’s best for you.

The Trims

What’s amazing about the 2021 Toyota 4Runner is there are trims to choose from! Take a look below to see what each one comes with.

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SR5 and SR5 Premium

These trims come standard with rear-wheel drive, although you can always choose to upgrade to 4-wheel drive. Even though they’re the base trims, you’ll get some great features, such as a power-adjustable driver’s seat, power liftgate, skid plates, and heated side mirrors.

Both you and your passengers will enjoy Bluetooth, a wifi hotspot, 4 USB ports, as well as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa.

If you opt for the SR5 Premium, you’ll get additional features such as synthetic leather upholstery, navigation, proximity keyless entry, HD radio, and a power-adjustable front passenger seat.

Both trims come standard with the Toyota Safety Sense P package. In it are:

  • Pedestrian detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • LED headlights with automatic high beams

As you can see, even the base trims come with some pretty great features!

Trail Special Edition

Like with the other 2 trims, this one comes standard with rear-wheel drive but gives you the option of upgrading for 4-wheel drive.

For the most part, expect the Trail Special Edition to be quite similar to the SR5. However, additional features include a sliding cargo deck, Yakima LoadWarrior roof rack, and a beverage cooler.

TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road Premium

These 2 trims come standard with 4-wheel drive, considering they’re made especially for off-roading. They have all the same features as with the SR5, but with the addition of all-weather floor mats, a TRD shift knob, and a crawl control system.

If you want the premium version of this trim, you’ll get the features included in the SR5 Premium trim.

Venture Special Edition

Like the TRD Off-Road trims, the Venture Special Edition trim only comes in 4-wheel drive. It has all the SR5 Premium trim’s features and also has a Yakima MegaWarrior roof rack, as well as crawl control.

Limited and Nightshade Special Edition

With these trims, we go back to rear-wheel drive as standard and 4-wheel drive as an upgrade. You’ll get genuine leather upholstery, power moonroof, ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, front and rear parking sensors, and cross-linked shock absorbers. You’ll also enjoy a JBL 15-speaker stereo.

If you opt for the Nightshade Special Edition trim, the main difference is that you’ll get black exterior accents, as the name suggests.


Lastly, you have the TDR Pro trim. It also only comes in 4-wheel drive and you’ll find all of the features from the TRD Off-Road Premium trim here.

However, what makes it the top trim is its upgraded features. They include:

  • Retro TOYOTA grille
  • Moonroof
  • Upgraded skid plate
  • TRD front springs
  • TRD-Pro roof rack
  • FOX shock absorbers
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • JBL stereo

So if you’ve got the cash to spend, we highly recommend getting the TDR Pro!

Fuel Economy

SUVs are notorious for being gas guzzlers, and the Toyota 4Runner is no exception. You can expect to get 16 MPG in the city and 19 MPG on the highway.

Of course, if the other features in this vehicle are more important to you, then the fuel economy can easily be overlooked.


As you may have guessed, off-roading is where this car outperforms all its competitors. No matter which of the 4-wheel drive trims you choose, you’ll have a fantastic time on any type of terrain, even if it’s rough.

This SUV can tow up to 5,000 pounds so if you’re planning on bringing equipment, then that’s plenty of leeway for whatever you want to haul.

Do note that the features that make the Toyota 4Runner so amazing for off-roading may impact the quality of driving on regular roads. So long as you’re fine with that, then this is an excellent vehicle to purchase, for the sole reason that it’s the SUV king of off-roading.


Overall, the 4Runner new model is pretty safe on the road. It has an overall star rating of 4 out of 5. Here’s a breakdown of its other scores:

  • Frontal crash: 4 stars
  • Side crash: 5 stars
  • Rollover: 3 stars

The rollover rating might not seem too impressive, but you need to keep in mind that taller vehicle designs (like SUVs) will naturally roll over more easily than shorter cars, like sedans.

Generally, you and your passengers should expect to stay safe and sound in this car. It’s very sturdy and will certainly protect you in any situation. But if needed after an accident, parts such as the 4th gen 4Runner rear bumper can easily be found and replaced.

Choose the Right Toyota 4Runner for You

Now that you have a guide on the different Toyota 4Runner models, you should now hopefully have a better and clearer picture of each.

Of course, each comes with its own pros and cons, so it’s up to you to decide which one’s right for your needs and budget. With the information from this guide, we hope that it should be a much easier and less stressful decision!

If you found this article on the different 4Runner Toyota models helpful, then check out our other blog posts too!