The 4Runner has been part of the Toyota line-up for four decades and for the 2022 model year the automaker is underscoring and beefing up its off-road character by adding in some TRD engineering and style for the ute.
At first glance, it wouldn’t seem the rugged body-on-frame 4Runner would need a badge since its name and character have always endowed the vehicle with an edge that go along with travel off the pavement.
However, the competition in the off-road segment is intensifying and for 2022, the 4Runner portfolio expands with the addition of TRD Sport, which comes with a fresh combination of style and performance.
As is the case with the Tacoma midsize pickup, the 4Runner adds TRD Sport grade to complement TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro packages, but where TRD Off-Road and Pro add trail-ready features designed for tackling the tough terrain, TRD Sport looks to add style, flair and some road-worthy upgrades.
Tough suspension part of package
The 2022 TRD Sport comes with the exclusive Cross-Linked Relative Absorber System suspension to enhance on-road handling. The system, also found on the Limited grade, 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, like an “X,” to help reduce pitch and yaw by offsetting opposing inputs.
TRD Sport is available in 2WD or part-time 4WD with a 2-speed transfer case. Regardless of choice, 2WD 4Runners provide an ample 9.0 inches of ground clearance while 4WD models offer an even more generous 9.6 inches of ground clearance.
Unique styling comes in the form of color-keyed accents on the grille, rocker panels and body molding. The signature TRD-style hood scoop is added to TRD Sport, as is a front spoiler, and black roof rails complement the color scheme. On the inside, the TRD sport ditches cloth for SofTex-trimmed seats, which adds heated front seats to the mix.
The 4Runner TRD Sport also is equipped with a standard 8-inch multimedia touchscreen display. In addition to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility, the multimedia system includes a USB media port, hands-free phone capability, advanced voice recognition and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, and a SiriusXM 3-month All Access trial.
For 2022, all 4Runner grades include LED headlamps, fog lamps and now LED high beams as well.
The 4Runner is powered by a 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V-6 engine. The powerplant’s 278 pound-feet of peak torque gives it plenty of get-up-and-go, and Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) helps optimize torque across the engine’s operating range. The V-6 is matched to a 5-speed ECT-i automatic transmission that includes a sequential shift mode for manually shifting.
4Runner 2WD models feature standard Automatic Limited Slip Differential, 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 and bolsters off-road capability with a 2-speed transfer case with selectable low-range.
P for plenty of technology
The Toyota Safety Sense 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, is standard on the 2022 4Runner.
Along with TSS-P, 4Runner models also come equipped with Toyota’s Star Safety System that includes Vehicle Stability Control with traction control and Anti-lock Brake System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and the Smart Stop Technology 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.