Although the current generation Toyota 4Runner has for over a decade, Toyota still sells a bunch of them. Last year Toyota sold 144,696 units, which was increase of 12.1 percent from the prior year. We know that a new 4Runner is coming, but for now Toyota has continued to keep the 4Runner a bit fresh with some new tech features and a new Lime Rush exterior color.
For the 2022 model year, the 4Runner now comes standard with LED lighting and a rear-occupant reminder system. Upper trim levels also now get a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert. From there the rest of the 4Runner is the same, which is a good and a bad thing.
The 4Runner TRD Pro is powered by an old 4.0-liter V6 that generates 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. Those specs don’t look too bad, but the 4Runner is not fast at all. The acceleration is purely adequate, but we do like the sound of the engine. Where it’s showing its age even more is the transmission, which only has five gears. In a world where vehicles now have 9- and 10-speed transmissions, the 4Runner’s transmission feels like a relic. With only five gears the transmission is slow to react and has difficulties finding the right gear on the highway.
Given the age of its powertrain, it’s no surprise that the 4Runner TRD Pro is rated at 16 mpg city, 19 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined.
On the road, the TRD Pro’s suspension provides a rough ride and its vague steering doesn’t make it too fun to drive on a paved road. There’s way too much body roll and brake dive that takes some getting used to. Where the TRD Pro really shines is off road. The Fox 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks and Nitto Terra Grappler tires help the 4Runner crawl over nearly everything you can throw at it. There’s also a 0.3-inch aluminum skid plate and 9.6-inches of ground clearance to give you the confidence you need to crawl over rocks.
The 4Runner features a multi-terrain select system with four terrain modes. But even in standard mode the 4Runner has no problem on the trails. There’s also a multi-terrain monitor camera system, which lets you see your surroundings on the 8-inch display. The only downside is that the display is not very clear.
Inside the 4Runner’s interior looks and feels like a truck, rather than a more comfortable crossover, like the Highlander. There’s too much hard plastic and the dashboard has a simple layout with big buttons and knobs. But this is probably where the 4Runner is showing its age the most. There’s a 4.2-inch digital display in the gauge cluster that literally looks 10 years old. The infotainment system also looks and operates like an old system, but at least there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to help you bypass that. We look forward to the next-generation 4Runner which will get Toyota’s newer and much better infotainment system, that debuted in the 2022 Tundra.
Given the 4Runner TRD Pro’s $53,635 price tag we wished its interior was more up to date. Both of its main rivals, the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler have more modern interiors.
At the end of the day, the 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro looks the part and is a beast when the road ends. On paved roads the 4Runner is showing its age, making it less fun to drive than the Bronco and Wrangler. But at the end of the day, it’s hard to ignore how appealing the 4Runner is, if you want a rugged and reliable SUV. Given the fact that Toyota continues to sell so many 4Runners each year is testament to how loved the 4Runner is.