Review and Test Drive: 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro and Nightshade Edition

By Jonathan Spira on 3 April 2020
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2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

If you want a bit of fun, park your Army Green Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro somewhat adjacent to an off-road trail or gravel road.  For even more fun, wear a safety vest and hold a large walkie-talkie in your hand. For no good reason whatsoever, almost every car turning off will stop in your vicinity and the driver will ask if he may proceed.

For one week, I felt as if I had enlisted in the army as I drove around town with this mid-size sport utility vehicle, even though, just a few weeks earlier, I had spent a week with the 2020 Toyota 4Runner Pro Nightshade Edition.  While the TRD Pro truly does look like it belongs at a military base or fort, the Nightshade Edition is far more understated and uses darkened elements throughout the vehicle, starting with the front and rear bumper fascias and continuing with the outside mirrors and door handles, window moldings, and rocker panels.

The current generation 4Runner is the fifth in a line that started in 1984 and it was introduced in 2009 at the State Fair of Texas, received a facelift for the 2014 model year, and received significant tech upgrades for 2020.  As a result of its age, it still uses a truck-like body-on-frame chassis unlike the more car-like anybody design favored today.

2020 Toyota 4Runner NightShade Edition

Design wise, aside from a new grille that accommodates the front radar sensor for the Safety Sense package, little has changed visually.


Climb into the 4Runner of your choice and you’ll find a nicely executed if slightly aging interior.  The cabin offers more than enough space for driver and four passengers, and can seat a driver and six passengers with the optional third-row seat, but the limited legroom makes it the kiddie section without a doubt. The third row cuts cargo space down to nine cubic feet (0.8 cubic meters), versus 47.2 cubic feet (4.39 cubic meters) of cargo behind its second row and 89.7 cubic feet (8.3 cubic meters) behind its first row.

The dash gets a new instrument panel with a 4.2” display with far better graphics than prior versions, and the entire cluster has been given a fresh, more modern look.   The SR5 Premium, TRD Off-Road Premium, and TRD Pro variants also lost their ignition keys in favor of push-button start.

This is in addition to the new Entune 3.0 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, a larger touchscreen display (8”), Amazon Alexa integration, a 4G LTE hotspot, SiriusXM satellite radio, and two additional rear USB ports.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2020 Toyota 4Runner

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