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The Biggest 2020 Toyota 4Runner Pros and Cons

Get ready because the 2020 Toyota 4Runner is just about here and complete with some nifty upgrades. We will show you both the good and the not so good about this popular Toyota SUV.


The Toyota 4Runner has been transporting people off-roading as well as city streets and highways for decades. It is one of the most popular SUVs in the world, both for its incredible toughness and its amazing reliability and dependability.

The latest 4Runner entry, the 2020 model year, will be hitting dealerships this fall with a host of new features. Typically when a vehicle of any brand is not scheduled for a refreshed design or a complete model redesign, it is left alone without any additions.

However, Toyota listened to its customers and is adding some much-needed safety and technology updates to make the 4Runner safer, less distracting and more convenient for people sitting in any row in the SUV.

These changes come with some good (the Pros) and some less-than-good (the Cons).

First the 2020 4Runner Pros (not TRD Pro but Pros)

Let us look at the updates and additions to 2020 4Runner and see what is really good.

Toyota Safety Sense Added to 2020 4Runner

The addition of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS-P) to the entire 2020 Toyota 4Runner lineup is a big deal and a game changer. This comprehensive package includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection during the daytime, lane departure alert, dynamic radar cruise control and automatic high beams.

These active safety features create real-time, in-the-moment additional peace-of-mind safety for drivers and passengers. They will help limit frontal and side collisions as well as nighttime accidents.

2020 4Runner Gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

If you are the owner of a Google or Apple cell phone, you are about to be very pleased with the new 4Runner updates. Every 2020 4Runner built will feature standard across-the-board Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Of all the suggestions I get for current and future Toyota vehicles from readers and my YouTube channel viewers, these popular applications are the most requested features by far.

2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Offroad

CarPlay and Android Auto make it simple to make and accept phone calls, to operate navigation functions, to play music, and to send and receive text messages.

The name of the game is to limit distractions for drivers, and owners of the 2020 4Runner, along with 2020 Tundra, 2020 Tacoma and 2020 Sequoia will all be thankful their vehicles have both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Compare TRD Pro 4Runner vs TRD Pro Tundra vs TRD Pro Tacoma in my video review and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily Toyota and automotive news analysis.

Larger Multimedia Screens in 4Runner

This might be one of those options that will be important to some, while unimportant to others. I am of the former opinion, as I feel the 6.1” touch screens from previous year 4Runners looked a little out of place and underwhelming when compared to the rest of the expansive, roomy cabin.

All grade levels for the 2020 Toyota 4Runner will have 8” touch screens. This will make reading information on these screens easier, and it will look like an appropriate size in the large 4Runner cabin.

Everyone can enjoy 2 Rear USB Ports

The more prevalent technology becomes in our society, the more important it will seem that we need to be more connected at more times. This even applies to riding in cars and trucks.

Toyota is adding 2 rear USB ports in the 4Runner so that back seat passengers can plug in and charge their devices during short commutes and long family road trips and outings. If you have kids of the ages where they will be using this technology, you will be happy that everyone in the family will not be fighting for USBs anymore.

And now for 4Runner Cons

Since the 4Runner will not be refreshed or redesigned for the 2020 model year, there are sure to be some people hoping for more drastic and widespread changes.

2020 4Runner will keep same powertrain

Toyota 4Runner operates with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that delivers 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. torque. It works in combination with a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Some 4Runner loyalists have commented they feel it is time for a more powerful and fuel-efficient engine/transmission combination. The good news is this generation of 4Runner has incredible longevity and is dependable and trustworthy for as long or longer than most people will own it.

Same body style for 2020 4Runner

Fans of the 4Runner love the styling of their favorite body-on-frame SUV. They are just ready for it to be modernized and changed up a little.

What does the future hold for 4Runner?

We will have to see if the rumors floating around the internet of a fully redesigned 2022 4Runner come to fruition or not. I was curious what others thought, so I opened up the floor to my readers for their suggestions for an all-new proposed 2022 4Runner. Read the suggestions here – they are fascinating.

I really like the updates coming for the 2020 Toyota 4Runner. I feel they will make life easier, safer and less distracting for drivers and their passengers.

What do you think about the 4Runner? Will you be in the market for a 4Runner within the next year?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story where I am discussing tips on whether to buy a new 2019 Toyota Tacoma or a used one.

Bookmark Jeff Teague's Toyota News and Reviews at Torque News Toyota. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at ToyotaJeff1.


Bob (not verified)    August 16, 2019 - 10:47AM

Pros, tried and relatively true platform

Cons, paying over $50k for a 20 year old platform with low power, low chassis technology, slightly upgraded but low interior features (minuscule for the price) laughable 3rd row, horrible mpg even in its “class” which contains pretty much nothing rendering all the above null to the framed Toyota buyer.

For anyone over 25 and over 5’5”. Horrible, just horrible on the floor seating. At 6’2 my head is in the ceiling and no support for my legs. Goes all the way back to the first Toyota trucks.

Digitaldoc (not verified)    August 16, 2019 - 12:47PM

That identical powertrain to the 2005 4Runner, and the same engine even further back does not interest me at all. Amazing this thing sells despite that limitation. trust me, getting 17 mpg in city traffic gets real old quite quickly. It is overdue for Toyota to show this vehicle some love. I think they were hoping for the sales to dwindle and just kill it, but now they really just want the profits to continue with minimal investment. I will not be purchasing one, and I am a former owner of one for over a decade.

Rob (not verified)    August 16, 2019 - 3:49PM

In reply to by Digitaldoc (not verified)

I'd like to stick up for the 4.0 liter. I have an 08 that my parents bought new. I'm 50 years old and at the 6k miles per year that I put on it, it will probably out live me. I dont mind trading a bit a mileage to get something as reliable as that engine. What would sadden me is some sort of under powered ohc crap come to the 4runner just to dave a few bucks on gas.

Eric (not verified)    August 17, 2019 - 10:02AM

In reply to by Rob (not verified)

I too am willing to give up some gas milage for A tried and proven engine. My 2004 4Runner has almost 250,000 miles on it. All I do is change oil regularly. It still has the original hoses and plug wires. It has plenty of power to get out of its own way and the ancient technology traction control system saved my life. I haven’t had a car payment for 10 years. I’m good.

Rob (not verified)    August 17, 2019 - 11:55AM

In reply to by Eric (not verified)

Quarter million! You go!
I'm currently paying on a Challenger. After that, I'd like to add a lightly used 4.0 Tacoma to the driveway. That way I'll probably just deal with wear items till about age 70. Hehe

John R (not verified)    August 16, 2019 - 3:35PM

I have a 02 4runner and that body style is much better than the new ones. It has more character.
Not boxy but curvy.

L8Shift (not verified)    November 22, 2019 - 5:25PM

In reply to by cgunzelman (not verified)

The 4.7 V8 in the T4R is basically the same V8 used in the LandCruiser with the 4.7. It's about the torque, and where it's available. They calculated the HP differently, since that era. So.... do some more research :)

MoneyWellSpent (not verified)    August 16, 2019 - 3:41PM

I would replace my 2003 4runner with a 2020, but it just keeps going albeit a bit rusty.
Paid ~$31k in 2003, prices really haven't changed much compared to other things in life. I get 21MPG on the highway (V6 w/17" wheels, K&N filter, changed spark plus once and on 3rd battery).
Only recently are things starting to require service beyond oil change and fluids-- that is quite a run! Whether in rear-wheel drive or 4x4- the 4runner is fun to drive and still has plenty of power.

John G (not verified)    August 16, 2019 - 5:22PM

As the owner of a 2012 4R Trail, the modest upgrades on the 2020 are very doubtfully enough to consider a "trade up". Although I may change my mind when a see an Army Green TRD Pro in the flesh. I love my lightly modded (level kit, 275s, pedal box, blacked out with some bolt on goodies) more today than the day I bought it. Unlike many manufacturers, Toyota made this car to last. I will have my eye on the redesign in 2022, hopefully with a V8 TRD Pro option.

Todd (not verified)    August 17, 2019 - 8:30PM

I have a Highlander right now and I love my truck. However I have wanted to get me a 4Runner. I avoided it because it did not have the safety package. I now am looking forward to trade my Highlander for 4Runner, Thanks to Toyota for adding it to 2029 model year. It is a huge improvement.

Robin Day (not verified)    September 6, 2019 - 10:01AM

Will a GPS map 16GB SD/TF card usa canada Mexico for Android system work on the 2020 navigation system?

henryhartmann (not verified)    April 27, 2020 - 5:48AM

looks old but gold for me. Currently driving a toyota rush (also this old), but love to have a test drive in this beast