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Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road: Built for Driving Off the Beaten Path

The Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road enjoys a cult-like following of passionate enthusiasts all over the world. Here is everything you need to know about our favorite SUV.


You may have seen a 4Runner or two (or one hundred) during your last vacation to the mountains or the beach or along city streets or cruising down the highway. They are everywhere, after all.

Known for their incredible long-term reliability and dependability, along with overall toughness, Toyota 4Runner’s are driven and followed by adoring fans all over the world as if they were The Grateful Dead. This includes the very popular TRD Off-Road and Off-Road Premium models.

Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Is One of the last true SUV’s left

Toyota’s tagline “Let’s Go Places” inspires car buyers to take their Toyota vehicles to new locations and heights and levels and, ironically enough, places. The 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road gives drivers the ability and versatility to do just that.

It is designed with body-on-frame construction, which is different from a Highlander's unibody design (click here to compare 4Runner vs Highlander). This means the frame and the body are separate pieces. Because of this, it excels at off-roading where your vehicle is often up against uneven, rocky, tough terrain. It also performs well in hauling heavy cargo. The 4Runner has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

TRD Off-Road lives up to its name

2019 Toyota 4Runner is available in several different trims. If you are expecting to stay on the beaten path more often than not, perhaps the SR5, SR5 Premium or Limited would be the choice for you. Look for the TRD Off-Road, the Off-Road Premium or the TRD Pro if you plan to go where most other vehicles are fearful to find.

Watch My 2019 4Runner TRD Off-Road Review - For off the beaten path

The TRD Off-Road is equipped with many features designed to assist you with more challenging terrain. It drives with a 4.0L V6 engine that delivers 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. torque and a 5-speed automatic transmission. Multi-terrain select and crawl control help guide you in low-traction situations. One feature demanded for by loyalists is locking rear differential, and 4Runner owners will be pleased this is standard. Also factory equipped stock is active traction control and hill start assist.

To Premium... or not to Premium... that is the question

Once you have narrowed your selection to the Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road, you then need to pick either Off-Road or Off-Road Premium as your final choice.

Premium buyers will enjoy upgraded Softex-trimmed heated front seats with 8-way power driver’s seat and 4-way power passenger seat. The seat headrests will display “TRD” red lettering proudly. GPS lovers can take advantage of Entune Premium Audio with integrated navigation as well.

Look for heated power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators on the Premium. When you are walking by a 4Runner, look for the turn signal indicator and that is your tip-off that it is a Premium. You will look super smart if you just yell out “PREMIUM!” and others around you will either congratulate you for your perception skills, or else they might back away from you slowly…very slowly.

Another upgraded feature on the Off-Road Premium is an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink garage door systems.

What else can you get with it?

In addition to standard equipment and features, customers can request optional upgrades that add to performance, convenience or to overall value. You can request a power moonroof, Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) and running boards.

Available sliding rear cargo deck is perfect for working outdoors, for tailgating and even watching your kid’s ballgame while sitting on your cargo deck. It’s a home run.

Base pricing for 2019 Toyota 4Runner Off-Road is $38,085 before shipping/destination. Off-Road Premium base pricing is $39,995.

What are your thoughts on 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road? Have you owned a 4Runner before or are you thinking of getting one?

Thanks again for reading. For all your Toyota news and reviews, feel free to Bookmark my Torque News page and follow my work to catch the all the latest (click here). See you next story!

Jeff Teague is a Toyota news reporter at Torque News. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and Instagram (click here). Twitter at @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at Toyotajeff.


Digitaldoc (not verified)    May 15, 2019 - 10:05PM

Former 2004 4Runner owner here, and kept the vehicle for just short of 14 years.

I truly waited, and waited for Toyota to update the vehicle, but they never did, and continue to use the same engine, and transmission that is dated by modern standards.

At least next year supposedly it gets safety equipment- finally.

While the off road capability was impressive, most of the rest was not as time moved on.

Perhaps I was also soured to the vehicle as I went through six front brake jobs in just over 100k miles, and each was the pads, rotors, and calipers each time as the calipers rusted and locked on, overheating the rotor and wearing the pad down very prematurely. Toyota never acknowledged the problem, nor had any fix, and continued to sell the same parts until 2015 I believe.

I still like the V-6, but it is a dinosaur by modern standards, with smaller displacement engines, such as Toyota's own 3.5 V-6 used in the Highlander, and Tacoma offering better power, and better fuel economy.

It is unclear why Toyota does not invest some money into updating the 4Runner, but they lost at least a few sales from me.

Lotus1 (not verified)    August 24, 2019 - 2:36PM

In reply to by Digitaldoc (not verified)

Interesting, the fact the drivetrain hasn’t changed is exactly why I just bought a 2019. It’s a proven reliable vehicle. I also didn’t want any of the safety equipment and added complexity. It’s why I didn’t wait for. 2020.