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The One Feature 2021 Toyota 4Runner Needs but Does Not Have

Updates are coming to the 2021 Toyota 4Runner. One feature should have been included but was left out.

Toyota 4Runner has been a staple in the lives of off-road fans and enthusiasts for decades. It is tough and rugged and dependable. Plus, it will keep going strong for several hundreds of thousands of miles.

4Runner is pretty much the automotive equivalent of “a sure thing.”

New 2021 4Runner updates

2020 Toyota 4Runner trim levels

The 2020 Toyota 4Runner was upgraded last year with many useful additions including Toyota Safety Sense, larger multimedia screens, and popular applications like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2021 4Runner is bringing a big change that should improve safety, looks and convenience for drivers. LED headlamps, long a requested wish list item by Toyota fans, are now standard on all 2021 Toyota 4Runner models.

2021 Toyota 4Runner updates
2021 Toyota Tundra updates
2021 Toyota Tacoma updates

LED fog lamps are now standard across the board as well.

Vehicle LED lighting is important in many ways. It lasts longer, it projects farther and wider, and it looks great too. Especially on a 2021 Toyota 4Runner.

As Toyota 4Runner gears up for its next generation entry, it has now steadily made improvements in safety, technology and convenience to bridge the gap, so to speak.

However, one feature is missing for now and should be included.

2021 Toyota 4Runner Blind Spot Monitor

One of the most important safety innovations for many popular vehicles today is blind spot monitor. This allows drivers to get a second opinion on if the coast is clear before changing lanes.

The Toyota blind spot monitor system is both practical and smart, as the indicator is located right in the side mirror where drivers should look anyway when switching lanes.

Blind spot monitor is often paired with rear cross-traffic alert. RCTA (for short) lets drivers know if another car or person is behind your vehicle, or coming from either side, when you are backing up.

VIDEO: Watch my demo of rear cross-traffic alert.

It is especially useful when in reverse in parking lot spaces when you have a truck and a van on both sides of you and vision is limited. Toyota Corolla just added rear cross-traffic alert to its list of 2021 additions.

Blind Spot Monitor was not included in 2021 4Runner updates. But it would be nice if it had.

Time for your thoughts on 2021 Toyota 4Runner

Do you own a Toyota 4Runner and how have you enjoyed it over the years? How many miles do you have on it?

Would blind spot monitor be a help to you and would you use it on your vehicle? Also, what suggestions do you have for the next generation 4Runner?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I talk about the new 2021 Toyota RAV4 trim level coming soon.

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Jimmy (not verified)    September 8, 2020 - 10:26AM

Agree 100%. Just purchased a 2020 Limited for my wife and I was shocked to discover that despite having Toyota safety sense, there was no blind spot monitoring. I'd think it would be standard equipment on all modern vehicles by now.

LEE KAFAFIAN (not verified)    December 28, 2020 - 4:17PM

In reply to by Jimmy (not verified)

I have a 2018 4Runner and would trade it in tomorrow for a 2021 with the blind spot indicators in the mirrors. I'm happy to hear that it now comes with LED headlights, which was also on my wish list, however, I feel the blind spot indicators are top priority. I currently have almost 60K miles on this one. I guess ill just have to wait until the 2022's come out and hope Toyota has finally gotten the message.

Mike B (not verified)    September 8, 2020 - 3:00PM

We have a 2018 Camry and love the TSS on it. I was hoping the 2020 4runner would have all the safety features but it doesn't. I was planning on getting a 4runner to replace my Dodge Diesel but now looking at the Kia Teluride. Don't care for the look of the Highlander and the Sequoia has BSM but don't want 13 mpg. Toyota lost me.

Doug (not verified)    September 9, 2020 - 1:38PM

Strongly agree. Great that they are finally adding LED headlights but missing BSM is very frustrating. I love the 4Runner and was expecting to buy one soon, but may be swayed away by the upcoming Bronco (made a reservation). If Toyota had added TSS and LED headlights a couple years earlier I would already have one.

Cam (not verified)    September 24, 2020 - 9:06AM

Would like a BEV 4-runner not a hybrid. Better yet a BEV FJ cruiser to go against Bronco. These are good platforms for battery packs or batteries to chassis per Musk agree BSM should be standard like back up cameras

Nestor Avila (not verified)    September 29, 2020 - 5:40PM

Toyota is out of touch. I waited for 2021 hoping they will upgrade with BSM but still did not. I'm thinking of buying other brands not Toyota.

Leo Fabi (not verified)    October 6, 2020 - 9:02PM

The 4Runner is too under-powered and the LED headlamps are only available on the highest upgrade level. Handling on curves is still scary. Needs handing upgrades. Failure.

Keri Harrelson (not verified)    October 7, 2020 - 4:32PM

I'm old school and still look to my sides before changing lanes. I've become accustomed to where the blind spots are. My wish is that they would have overhead rear air and automatic lift and close gate.

Kathy zoumberos (not verified)    October 29, 2020 - 4:35PM

Considering buying a 2021 trd off road premium. Have had a 4 runner before and loved it. Disappointed that there is still no auto lift gate or bam. I am short and reaching to pull the lift gate down is challenging. BSM has already save a collision several times with my current vehicle which has BSM. These 2 non available options could be a game changer in my decision to move forward. Also don’t need the tiny moon roof

Brian Bruno (not verified)    November 17, 2020 - 1:01PM

Incredible that others found the lack of BSM annoying. I test drove one in 2018, and the lack of BSM was literally the only reason I didn't buy a new 4Runner. Glad its available in 2021 as I might just go shopping again.

Nancy Reale (not verified)    December 7, 2020 - 8:46PM

I just purchased the 2021 TRD Off Road Premium 4Runner. Does anyone know why there is a “felt flap” on the side of the seat, (in between the drivers seat and the console) instead of the seat being completed with the synthetic leather?

Wendy Sevenandt (not verified)    January 14, 2021 - 1:14PM

I just bought the 2021 4 Runner limited. I am extremely disappointed to discover it does not have the blind spot monitor. I guess I just assumed it would be there with all the other safety features. Feature is definitely desired.

Val Eding (not verified)    February 15, 2021 - 11:14AM

In reply to by Wendy Sevenandt (not verified)

Apparently ALL the 2021 4Runners lack the Blind Spot Monitor. We are actively shopping but the BSM issue may mean that we wait and see about the 2022 models. Toyota includes the rear cross-traffic alert safety feature that apparently has functionality that the BSM would use. What was Toyota thinking?

David Rivera (not verified)    February 14, 2021 - 5:33PM

I just purchased a 2021 4 Runner I love it. I just realized it didn't have BSM on it. What's weird I swore I saw some kind of notification on the mirror when driving it home and now its gone and not sure how to bring it back. Maybe just too excited lol.

Val Eding (not verified)    February 15, 2021 - 11:05AM

Blind spot monitor is often paired with rear cross-traffic alert which makes me wonder if the wiring and hardware to add BSM is already there on the 2021 4Runner. Is that wishful thinking or would that make adding BSM easier (and less expensive) when using a side mirror with BSM hardware from a RAV4, etc? Any feedback is appreciated.

RICK (not verified)    February 22, 2021 - 7:59PM

Can you please tell me if the 4runner's have the auto start/stop feature?
I am not interested in this feature and am trying to find a vehicle without it.

Thanks for your help.

Eva (not verified)    March 16, 2021 - 9:09AM

I have had 2 4runners, the last one a 2018 limited that I traded in last summer because of the BSM and the lack of an auto tailgate. I had it for 2 years but really missed those tech features from my previous vehicle. What I don't understand is that every other Toyota vehicle has those features available.

Tonia Girodo (not verified)    April 14, 2021 - 8:58AM

Does anyone else have a whistling sound in theirs? I have a 2021 that there is a whistle sound when I hit 20MPH- my 2017 never did that- Took it to dealer and they are lost.

Sonya (not verified)    August 30, 2021 - 5:32PM

Not only do I wish it had the blind spot monitor but also the backup sensor. This would have a plus in my 2021 TRD 4 Runner.