2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium

For 34 years Toyota’s 4Runner has kept it’s off-road heritage front and center. In a day and age when we’re constantly being surprised and delighted with the latest and greatest of automotive technology, especially in the never-ending variety of SUVs and CUVs, the 2018 Toyota 4Runner is a reminder of the raw and mostly unfiltered nature of “old school” SUVs. Don’t get me wrong, I love convenience, comfort, and advances in automotive technology, but there’s something refreshing about hopping in a truck (yes, the 4Runner is still body-on-frame) and feeling connected to whatever terrain you’re conquering.

The 2018 4Runner has a few different options and packages but carries over from the 2017 model mostly unchanged.

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Exterior

Toyota’s designers maintained the perfect balance of rugged elegance by sculpting features around the practical nature of the truck. Muscular fenders and hood elements, along with an aggressively-styled front end fascia, give the 2018 4Runner a bulldog-like stance. The TRD Off-Road Premium tester I drove included 17” allow wheels with a six-spike design, making the wheels look like gear cogs ready to get after it.

Other TRD Off-Road Premium exterior features included color-matched fenders accents as well as front and rear bumpers with silver lower accents on each.

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Interior

Interior elements in our test vehicle were adequate but nothing exceptional. There was plenty of functional plastic mixed with some “premium-feel” materials but it fit perfectly with this vehicle. Anyone looking at the 2018 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium for luxury appointments is simply looking in the wrong truck pool. That’s not what this truck is about and I’m fine with it.

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Our tester included TRD-specific SofTex® heated front seats with 8-way driver and 4-way passenger power adjustment. What is SofTex® and why should you care? Toyota explains…

“SofTex® is a synthetic leather seat material designed for wear, easy cleaning and resisting spills. Soft to the touch, SofTex weighs about half as much as genuine leather.  The way it’s made generates around 85% fewer CO2 emissions and 99% fewer Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) than conventional synthetic leather.  It also does not include any animal-based material.”

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The front seats in the TRD Off-Road Premium 4Runner include ‘TRD’ red lettering on the headrests and have a 40/20/40 split second row which folds flat for cargo storage. Our truck also included the optional yet highly desired sliding rear cargo deck and the under-floor storage compartment. I have a feeling this would be an oft-used feature in my household. Interior legroom for front and rear seats was ample for most adults.

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Performance & Driving

The 2018 Toyota 4Runner is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine, producing 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft. of torque. It is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and rated to tow up to 5,000 lbs. EPA fuel mileage estimates come in at a subpar 17/20 city/highway and 18 MPG combined. This makes the 4Runner a fully capable SUV that comes at a premium during regularly highway driving days.

 

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But where the 4Runner TRD Off-Road shines is in its ability to perform off-pavement. The truck is truly designed for those who want to get out and truly explore their surroundings. There may not be a ton of families who take their SUVs off-road, but for those who do, they’ll be in for a treat. The 4Runner has the practical aspect of being able to handle extreme weather as well. And even if you never encounter either, you’ll feel pretty dang solid in this tough and fully-capable truck.

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Technology

Our 2018 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium came equipped with Toyota’s Entune Premium Audio with a 6.1-inch touch-screen with split display and backup camera. It’s not the largest screen available in this segment but does the job, especially for visibility when backing up.

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Pricing

There are six models available priced from $34,610 to $42,925 in the 2018 4Runner lineup. Our 2018 TRD Off-Road Premium came in at an MSRP of $39,495 standard and $42,690 with optional equipment (sliding rear cargo deck with under floor storage, Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System – KDSS, power tilt/slide moonroof) and delivery fee.

You can find detailed information on all 2018 Toyota 4Runners here: https://www.toyota.com/4runner/.

See you on the road,

Fabian