Get off the smooth roads. Look for the high country. Now move toward it. The 4Runner Trail has up to 9.6-inches of ground clearance plus an approach angle of 33-degrees and departure angle of 26-degrees. The 4Runner will handle most terrain.
The lever-type transfer case controls the part-time 4WD system and routes power from the transmission to only two or all four wheels. The 4Runner uses the electronically controlled rear differential to distribute power evenly to both rear wheels, moving them at the same time even if one is off the ground.
The 4Runner Trail Edition also has the standard Multi-terrain Select that allows you to select four modes of wheel-slip control to better handle different off-road conditions, achieved through throttle and brake adjustments. It is hard for it to get stuck, aided by 17-inch 7-spoke alloy wheels.
Once you have gained the mountain top, available Crawl Control and Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) work together to maintain optimal traction for descending the slope safely, regardless of how uneven the terrain may be.
Even though the 4Runner willingly takes on all kinds of terrain, it dresses up right nicely for a comfortable drive or city adventure. It is quiet with only a little bumpiness.
Heated power outside mirrors with turn signals encourage safety as the power tilt/slide moonroof allows for a great view skyward.
Beautiful and comfortable SofTex-trimmed heated seats, 8-way power adjustable lumbar support, four-way front passenger seat sets the cabin atmosphere with a personal touch of convenience.
Imagine taking on challenging off-road courses that seem impossible to traverse, only to find that the 4Runner Trail appears to drive easily, carrying people and their luggage (40/20/40 split, slide, recline, and fold-flat second row-seating) with easy and high-class style.
The engine that provides the muscle for this outdoor adventure is 4.0 L DOHC V6 with Dual VVT-i, providing 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. Power is conducted through a 5-speed automatic transmission with ECT-i.
The 4Runner Trail has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $36,715.
The Trail model has a similar variation called TRD Pro. Differences are mostly cosmetic, such as a unique front grille and TRD badging everywhere, but it also has performance-enhancing features like a 1/4-inch aluminum front skid plate, which complements TRD-tuned springs and high performance Bilstein coil-over shocks. All these amenities showcase excellent credentials for a top notch off-road vehicle for anyone with an adventuresome spirit. The TRD Pro carries an MSRP of $41,850.
Fuel economy is 17 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.
36-month/36,000-mile Basic Warranty
60-month/60,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
60 month/Unlimited mile Rust-Through Warranty
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or firstname.lastname@example.org