Review: 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD PRO – New Color and Entune Audio Upgrades
Armed with a new color and upgraded Entune audio features, the 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD PRO once again proves it is quite capable off the beaten path and on it. While I still hope for more powertrain performance, it is hard to deny the appeal of the body-on-frame SUV.
I’m happy to say, I’ve driven every model year of Toyota 4Runners since the 2014 model came out with its facelift of new exterior and interior styling upgrades. Over the years, I’ve driven every trim level of 4Runner: SR5, Limited, Trail and TRD PRO. Each of these trims truly offers a different flavor of the SUV and it isn’t just a cosmetic touch here and there.
The TRD PRO is especially a different kind of 4Runner with its l7″ tires, skid plate, 1.5” lift for the front of the vehicle, 1” of additional wheel travel and blacked-out TRD badging. Incidentally, I drove this SUV to the Denver Auto Show. While pulling into a parking spot downtown, I spotted a white TRD PRO 4Runner with the dealer tag on it. Why bring this up? Because the new owner had already de-badged the 4Runner. No license plates yet, but no badges either!
While some of the changes above are cosmetic, the others are performance. I’ve had the opportunity to go really fast (don’t tell the police) on a variety of surfaces like dirt roads, muddy fields and highways. In all cases, the Bilstein shocks deliver a smooth ride – one I would argue is better than the stock. While at the Denver auto show, I had the opportunity to chat with a Toyota product trainer on this very question and he agreed, the TRD PRO versions simply out perform the stock models for road comfort.
Back to this generation of TRD PRO. When I first started driving the 4Runner the sharp edges of the exterior styling were off putting and the interior layout felt cramped. Over time, I’ve gotten accustomed to the exterior styling, however, the interior styling still feels a bit cramped. Look, I love the big knobs. But, they can dominate the center console.
Also, I really, REALLY wish Toyota would add their excellent TRD exhaust to this package. In fact, if I were to buy one, I wouldn’t take it home without it installed. When you drive the TRD PRO Tundra with the exhaust, it simply changes the way you feel about the powertrain.
Speaking of the powertrain, it is still the 4.0L V6 mated to a 5-speed manual returning 17/21/18 city/highway/combined. And still leaves something to be desired.
I’m starting to wonder at what upcoming show, we will see changes to the 4Runner. As many have pointed out on this site, it is ready for a full re-do or another major facelift. I haven’t heard anything official, but it is time.
In the meantime, the 4Runner TRD PRO is simply awesome. Sure, it has a high step-in height and can be a bit cumbersome to access the very edge of the rear storage for vertically-challenged men like me, but the ground clearance gained is worth the sacrifice. Besides, the rear cargo area featured an optional sliding rear cargo deck that brought things to me as well as added under floor storage below it – a neat addition.
Finally, like with the TRD PRO, the Quicksand color looked terrible to me at auto shows and awesome against my background. This color is sure to be a winner for attracting a younger or off-road enthusiast buyer. It also hides the dirt really well.
If you are looking for a no-nonsense body-on-frame SUV that can literally tear up the dirt, the 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD PRO is really, really good. Check it out.
Model: 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD PRO
Engine: 4.0L V6
Transmission: 5-speed auto
Fuel Economy: 17/21/18 city/highway/combined
- Sliding Rear Cargo Deck – $350
Price as Tested: $42,800 with $900 Delivery, processing and handling fee
Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com