|2021 4Runner History:|
November 30, 2020
|2021 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition|
The Toyota 4Runner has been a bonafide, certified, fortified adventure SUV since the original rolled out in 1984. With its core DNA as a body-on-frame, do-anything SUV fully intact, the 4Runner enters 2021 with a new Trail Special Edition, several TRD Pro enhancements, and new LED headlights across the lineup. Whether the destination is a secluded trailhead, local boat ramp, or traffic-clogged school drop-off zone, the 4Runner gets its crew there with comfort, versatility, and proven Toyota reliability.
Based on the SR5 grade, the new 4Runner Trail Edition combines sharpened outdoors flavor and capability with rock-solid Toyota value. Toyota will build 4,000 4Runner Trail models for 2021, joined in the showroom by Tacoma and Tundra pickup Trail Editions. Along with the 4Runner TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro grades and the Venture Special Edition, the new Trail underscores Toyota’s “Let’s Go Places” mantra.
A first for the 4Runner lineup, all grades gain LED headlamps (low beams) as standard equipment for 2021. Limited, Nightshade Special Edition, and TRD Pro grades also feature LED high beams. All models also have LED fog lights as standard equipment, with the TRD Pro featuring Rigid Industries LED fog lights.
Those opting for the top-of-the line 4Runner Limited grade can once again choose the Nightshade Special Edition. Available in Midnight Black Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, or Blizzard Pearl, the Nightshade gets its name from 20-inch black wheels and extensive black exterior trim, including: rear bumper, grille accents, exterior mirrors and door handles, window moldings, rocker panels, door garnish, roof rails, badging, front moldings, and even the exhaust tailpipe tip. Black leather-trimmed features include the steering wheel, center cluster and console panels, shift knob and shifter panel, and inner door grips.
2021 Trail Special Edition: Carry In, Carry Out In Style
Toyota 4Runner buyers are among the most “outdoorsy” people in the segment, enjoying activities including camping, fishing, and hiking. Recognizing and rewarding that trend, Toyota introduced the 2021 4Runner Trail Special Edition with an emphasis on extra storage (including insulated), convenience, and special styling touches. The 4Runner Trail is based on the SR5 grade and is offered in either 2WD or 4WD, in both cases featuring dark gray TRD Off-Road wheels.
Available Trail exterior color choices include Army Green, Cement, Midnight Black, and Super White. The 4Runner Trail features black exterior badging, plus black seating with tan stitching. A sliding rear cargo tray makes it easier to load and unload gear, while a Yakima LoadWarrior rooftop cargo basket carries more of it. Black front and rear Toyota bug and front “4Runner” overlays add additional style and flair, and all-weather floor liners help catch the outdoor elements that come in on occupants’ feet.
The 4Runner Trail Edition is the only way to get a very cool 40-quart cooler, custom-made for Toyota in the U.S. Its features include:
Freezer-grade gasket to provide an air-tight seal and keep ice frozen for up to seven days
Tie-down straps and special brackets on the sliding rear cargo tray to safely secure the cooler while driving
Two heavy-duty latches with integrated bottle openers
Two durable, ergonomic carry handles
Large built-in drain plug with lanyard
A flat top to allow the cooler to act as a table surface or an outdoor seat
The 4Runner Trail cooler comes standard in the Cement color.
TRD Pro Gets Even More Pro
The TRD Pro badge on any Toyota truck or SUV signifies the most off-road-capable vehicle in its respective line. The 4Runner TRD Pro lives up to its mission for 2021 with new detail upgrades. First, carrying on a new-color tradition among Toyota trucks, the 2021 4Runner TRD Pro replaces Army Green with Lunar Rock. (Toyota is coincidentally developing a genuine out-of-this-world off-roader, a lunar rover made to carry astronauts on extended moon surface explorations.)
A new wheel design not only turns heads, but also aids handling. The new black TRD alloy flow-form wheels, which are equipped with Nitto Terra Grappler tires, are stronger and lighter than the previous wheels. They retain a familiar TRD family look while debuting a bolder spoke design and deeper dish. The change allowed for adjustments in other areas to aid handling. Specifically, the Fox Internal Bypass Shocks that help give Toyota TRD models remarkable off-road prowess.
The re-tuned Fox shocks and TRD-tuned coil springs still yield an inch of front lift for improved trail-tackling capability. The rear Fox shocks feature piggyback-style remote reservoirs to maintain damping performance over the most demanding off-road terrain. Delivering the best of both worlds, the new shock tuning improves trail driving isolation and high-speed performance without compromising on-road comfort and steering response.
The 4Runner TRD Pro offers an optional TRD-branded cat-back exhaust, which gives the 270-horsepower V6 engine a powerful-sounding growl. Inside, the TRD Pro features HVAC controls borrowed from the Limited grade.
The TRD roof rack is exclusive to the 4Runner TRD Pro, which also features a standard moonroof and Premium Audio with JBL speakers featuring Clari-Fi™ technology (because it’s OK to enjoy music when you’re roughing it.) Like the other Toyota TRD Pro vehicles, the 4Runner TRD Pro features a 1/4-inch-thick aluminum front skid plate with red TRD lettering.
Off-road bound 4Runner buyers have other model choices, as well. The Venture Special Edition, which builds upon on the TRD Off-Road grade as its base, features the addition of 17-in. matte-black alloy TRD wheels and a Yakima MegaWarrior rooftop cargo basket. And since it is based on the TRD Off-Road, it comes standard with Crawl Control (CRAWL), Multi-Terrain Select, and a locking rear differential.
4Runner: Basic Training
With room for up to seven, the fifth-generation 4Runner remains the most capable of its proud family tree, and it is also the most accommodating and most comfortable. The vehicle’s inherent strength starts with its tough-as-nails body-on-frame construction featuring a four-link rear axle and coil-spring suspension. The robust chassis is also the source of 4Runner’s comfortable ride quality.
The 2021 4Runner offers the choice of 2WD, part-time 4WD with a 2-speed transfer case, or, exclusively in the Limited, full-time Multi-Mode 4WD with a 2-speed transfer case and locking center differential. With either system, all 4WD 4Runners provide a generous 9.6 inches of ground clearance, and all 4Runner models come with a full-size spare tire.
The 4Runner exudes a rugged look in all grades yet maintains a timeless SUV style all its own. The SR5 and TRD models ride on 17-inch alloy wheels that are available in three designs: 6-spoke for SR5 models; 7-spoke for TRD Off-Road models, and new flow-form matte black alloy wheels for TRD Pro.
The TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road Premium are distinguished by color-keyed bumpers and overfenders, hood scoop, and silver painted front and rear bumper accents. “TRD Off-Road” badges adorn the C-pillars. The Limited is the only 4Runner with a chrome-plated grille insert and chrome exterior trim. The 20-inch machine-finished wheels and P245/60R20 tires are exclusive to this model.
Guts and Glory
Whether blazing trails or navigating the concrete jungle, 4Runner is up to the task with a gutsy 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 engine. The powerplant’s 278 lb.-ft. of peak torque gives it plenty of get-up-and-go, and Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) optimizes torque across the engine’s operating range.
The smooth-shifting five-speed ECT-i automatic transmission includes a sequential shift mode for manually shifting when more control is desired, such as on inclines. That’s yet another factor that helps make the 4Runner an excellent tow vehicle, which is why all models include a standard integrated tow-hitch receiver and wiring harness. All 4Runner models can tow a maximum of 5,000 pounds, with a maximum 500-pound tongue weight.
The 4Runner 2WD models feature standard Automatic Limited Slip Differential (Auto LSD), a function of the traction control (TRAC) that allows some wheel slippage to help the vehicle dig out from sand or snow, for example. The available part-time 4WD system uses Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) and bolsters off-road capability with a 2-speed transfer case with selectable low-range. By distributing drive force to any one wheel in contact with the ground, A-TRAC can help maintain traction when it senses wheel slippage occurring on terrain irregularities and slippery patches.
The full-time 4WD system that’s exclusive to the 4Runner Limited uses a Torsen center differential with locking feature and a three-mode, center console-mounted switch. The system employs a 40:60 torque split in most driving situations and alters that in response to slippage. In addition, if the front wheels are slipping while the vehicle is turning, the Torsen differential changes the split to 30:70, and if the rear wheels slip while the vehicle is turning, the split changes to 53:47.
Arsenal of Traction Tech
The Toyota 4Runner offers the right tool for the off-road mission, because some people go farther off the beaten path than others. An array of technologies enhance the capability provided by the 4Runner’s high-strength chassis and 4WD. Standard Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) provides additional control when accelerating from a stop on a steep incline. The system helps to briefly hold the vehicle stationary while the driver transitions from the brake pedal to the accelerator.
Limited and SR5 models equipped with 4WD also feature standard Downhill Assist Control (DAC). This feature augments low-speed descending controllability by helping to maintain a constant slow speed and preventing wheel lockup, therefore allowing the driver to concentrate primarily on steering.
All 4Runner TRD models add the capability of an electronic-locking rear differential and Toyota’s Crawl Control (CRAWL) feature. The latter helps maintain a constant speed in low-speed off-road situations, enhancing vehicle control when driving up, over or down obstacles. With the transfer case shifted into low range, CRAWL regulates engine speed and braking force to slowly move the vehicle forward or in reverse at one of the five driver-selectable low-speed settings. This function allows the driver to focus on steering without having to also modulate the throttle or brake pedal in challenging terrain.
As trail conditions change, the driver of any TRD model can adapt the vehicle using the standard Multi-Terrain Select system using a dial to choose a mode that matches prevailing surface conditions. The system will then adjust wheel slip control accordingly.
For example, on loose terrain such as mud and sand, above-normal wheel slip is permitted, allowing wheel-spin to work in the vehicle’s favor. The Mogul setting is suitable for any extremely uneven terrain, such as V-ditches, slopes, and ridges – uphill or down. In this mode, wheel slip is minimized and the system acts more like a limited slip differential. An overhead console groups the off-road control switches in one location.
High-Tech Suspension Options
The 4Runner TRD Off-Road models and the Venture Special Edition can be outfitted with Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which allows extended wheel travel at slow speeds for greater off-road capability and control. The KDSS system hydraulically adjusts the lean resistance provided by the stabilizer bars. Sway resistance is reduced for off-road driving to help minimize any tendency for wheel lift. On pavement, KDSS enables the bars to work conventionally, reducing body lean to enhance agility and control.
The 4Runner Limited, while certainly off-road capable, emphasizes everyday comfort and pavement handling. Its exclusive Cross-Linked Relative Absorber System (X-REAS) suspension automatically adjusts the damping force of shock absorbers when driving over bumpy surfaces or when cornering. A center control absorber cross-links the shock absorbers on opposite corners of the vehicle, helping to reduce pitch and yaw by offsetting opposing inputs.
Space: An Expansive Universe
The Toyota 4Runner is a Sherpa among rugged SUVs. With the second-row seats in use, the cargo area offers up to 47.2 cu. ft. of carrying space. If it’s just two people and their gear hitting the road or trail, folding the second row opens a cavernous 89.7 cu.-ft. cargo area. The second-row seats fold flat without having to remove the headrests. The available pull-out cargo deck can support up to 440 pounds to make loading and unloading heavy items easier, and it also provides seating for tailgating and campsite relaxation. For power on the go, the 4Runner has a standard 120V outlet and two 12V outlets.
The 4Runner SR5 and Limited grades offer available third-row seating, with a split 50:50 seat that folds flat. When so equipped, the 40:20:40 second-row seat has a one-touch walk-in function to provide easy access to the third row. The seats can be folded from the side or at the rear, using separate one-touch levers. The second-row seats, which include a center armrest, individually recline up to 16 degrees in four steps.
An 8-way power driver’s seat, leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel, air conditioning with rear seat vents and pollen filter, and power-sliding liftgate window are among the many standard amenities that make the 4Runner SR5 such a strong value. A 4.2-inch multi-information display provides readouts for outside temperature, odometer, trip meters, average fuel economy, and TSS-P features, including Lane Departure Alert and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
The SR5, Trail Special Editions, and TRD Off-Road will now come standard with Smart Key with Push Button Start. The SR5 Premium and TRD Off-Road Premium add a significant comfort upgrade with SofTex®-trimmed seats, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The 4Runner Limited delivers a luxury experience with leather-trimmed, heated and ventilated 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat (with memory) and 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and the Smart Key system with Push Button Start. The Limited also adds a standard front and rear clearance sonar system for easier, safe parking maneuvers.
The Latest in Audio and Connectivity
In addition to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility, the 4Runner’s multimedia systems for 2021 are packed with in-demand features. Starting with the SR5 and TRD Off-Road grades, these include an 8-in. touchscreen display; USB media port; hands-free phone capability, advanced voice recognition and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology, and SiriusXM® with 3-month All Access trial. Connected Services include Safety Connect® with 1-year trial and Wi-Fi Connect with up to 2 GB within a 3-month trial.
The Premium Audio system in 4Runner TRD Pro and Limited models builds further, adding Dynamic Navigation with 3-year trial; six JBL speakers with subwoofer and amplifier; Dynamic POI Search; Dynamic Voice Recognition; Remote Connect with 1-year trial; Wi-Fi Connect with up to 2 GB within 3-month trial, and Destination Assist with 1-year trial.
Safety Systems and Features
All 2021 4Runner models come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), an advanced suite of driver-assist technologies that includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Automatic High Beams, and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
Along with TSS-P, 4Runner models also come equipped with Toyota’s Star Safety System that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with traction control (TRAC, or A-TRAC with 4WD) and Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop Technology (SST) brake-override system.
Eight standard airbags include driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System; front seat-mounted side airbags; driver and front passenger knee airbags, and all-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags.
Limited Warranty and ToyotaCare
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. The 4Runner also comes standard with ToyotaCare, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.
2021 Full Product Information Listing (PDF)
2021 Standard Equipment, Optional Equipment and Specifications brochure (PDF)