2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road SUV

MSRP $40,305 - $43,050

Ranked #24 in Midsize Suv

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road SUV Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: September 29, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Toyota 4Runner is one among very few, highly-rugged real 5-seater SUVs in a segment and price range filled with road-focused puny crossovers. It carries over to 2021 without any major changes and with all the ruggedness and offroad capabilities. The only addition to the TRD Off-Road trim is LED headlamps which are now standard in all trims. The TRD Off-Road is offered in two variants that are the base TRD Off-Road and the slightly more luxurious TRD Off-Road Premium. 

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Pros

Great off-road capability

Lots of space for cargo 

Lots of standard safety features 

Cons

Very much in need of an upgrade

Disappointing fuel economy

Unimpressive ride quality and handling

What's New?

Standard LED headlamps


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$40305

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

115 mph

drivetrain

four wheel drive

engine type

displacement

241 cu.in.

horsepower

270 hp @ 5600 rpm

torque

278 lb.-ft.. @ 4400 rpm

transmission

5 speed Automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent front double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

13.3/12.3 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

109.8 in.

length

191.3 in.

width

75.8 in.

height

71.5 in.

curb weight

4750 lbs.

ground clearance

9.6 in.

capacity

passenger volume

97.3 cu ft.

cargo volume

89.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

5000 lbs.

payload capacity

1625 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.1 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.3 sec.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$40,305 onwards

Premium$43,050 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road SUV in Classic Silver Metallic color
Classic Silver Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide


The powertrain under the hood of the 2021 Toyota 4Runner models is a 4.0-liter V6 engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels. Pricing starts at around $40,730 for the base model while the 4Runner Premium starts at $43,325. The 4Runner faces stiff competition from the 2021 Jeep Wrangler and the 2021 Ford Bronco. Both of them are very much more updated and highly capable competitors, so let’s see if the much older 4Runner could keep up with them.

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road SUV Features

The TRD Off-Road trim is offered in two variants, the standard TRD Off-Road and the more premium TRD Off-Road Premium trim that adds a little more features inside the cabin for a higher price. There are no major packages available with either of the trims but both variants could be equipped with a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) and sliding rear cargo deck with an under-floor storage compartment both of which are optional features. The TRD Off-Road Premium could also be equipped with a power tilt/slide moonroof. The following are the main features of the different sub-trims if the TRD Off-Road-

Trims

TRD Off-Road

TRD Off-Road Premium

MSRP

$40,730

$43,325

Key Features

17-in. 7-spoke alloy wheels

Smart Key System with Push Button Start

 

Crawl Control (CRAWL)

SofTex-trimmed seats

 

Part-time 4WD system

Dynamic Navigation

 

Locking rear differential

TRD shift knob

 

Multi-Terrain Select (MTS)

Dynamic Navigation with up to 3-year trial 

 

TRD Off-Road floor mats

Dynamic POI Search

 

Fabric-trimmed front seats

Dynamic Voice Recognition

 

Mud-and-Snow tires

 

We Recommend

The base trim of the TRD Off-Road would be the best choice as the higher TRD Off-Road Premium doesn’t offer much more for the added price. The TRD Off-Road base trim itself is very much capable and the higher trim mainly only adds SofTex trimmed upholstery and some minor perks. But that is not worth the extra $2,500 paid for it. 

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road SUV Engine and Performance

The engine powering the 4Runner is a 4.0-Liter DOHC 24-Valve V6 outputting 270 hp and 278 lb.-ft. of maximum power and torque. Power is sent to all four wheels through a part-time 4WD system with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC). The 4Runner also comes with a set of features that boosts its ruggedness including a locking rear differential Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Multi-Terrain Select (MTS), and Crawl Control (CRAWL) making it extremely capable off the tarmac. 

The 4Runner is not as capable on the road as it is on rough terrain. The SUV takes 7.1 seconds to attain a speed of 60mph and crosses the quarter-mile mark in 16.3 seconds. The engine and transmission however are smooth and refined even though the powertrain setup is pretty outdated compared to the competitors. The 4Runner;s powerplant is outdated and lacks refinement as it has become old and sounds grunty. Overall the 4Runner has a capable powertrain, but it is not as advanced or refined as its competitors.

Models

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road 

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 

2021 Ford Bronco Outer Banks Advanced 4-Door

MSRP

$43,050

$43,045

$43,040

Engine

4.0 L V6

3.6 L V6

2.3 L Inline-4

Drivetrain

4WD

4WD

4WD

Transmission

5-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed manual

10-speed automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

270 hp @ 5600 rpm

285 hp @ 6400 rpm

270 hp @ 5500 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

278 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm

260 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

310 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

7.1

6.8

6.5

Quarter Mile (sec)

16.3

15.2

15.3

Top Speed (mph)

115

113

130

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler is the most powerful among the competition, but it lacks torque compared to the others. The Bronco and the 4Runner are equally powerful, producing an identical 270 hp while the Bronco produces the most amount of torque. The Bronco is also the fastest, reaching 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds, followed by the Wrangler while both of them boast similar quarter-mile run times. The 4Runner is a bit slower than the competitors, but it is as capable as others off the road. Overall, these are great SUVs, however, the 4Runner does show its age and is badly in need of a redesign.

How well does the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Drive and Handle?

Superb handling is not always associated with rugged SUVs but the 4Runner has an average level of driving dynamics and it could change directions pretty quickly considering its size and height. But overall, the 4Runner is not an engaging machine to drive on the road while the offroad performance is superior. The ride quality however is impressive and passengers inside would be comfortable on and off the tarmac except for the nosedives that feel quite extreme during hard braking. 

The traditional ladder-frame chassis and the larger tires lift the 4Runner up, boosting offroad performance while limiting on-road grip and stability. The standard suspension setup could be upgraded to a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) for an extra cost. This setup electronically disconnects the anti-roll bars to free up more wheel articulation while on rocky terrain. Overall the Ford Bronco is the best-handling and most engaging machine here while the 4Runner and Wrangler handle similarly. 

How efficient is the braking performance of the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road? 

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner is equipped with 13.3-inch brake rotors in the front and 12.3-inch ones in the rear. Even with the higher weight of the 4Runner, these brakes still manage to bring it to a stop from 60mph in 144 ft which is a good distance. The brakes are responsive with a good initial bite and deliver a progressive stopping power. The braking performance off-the-road is also satisfactory. 

Model

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road 

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 

2021 Ford Bronco Outer Banks Advanced 4-Door

Brake Rotors Front 

13.3

12.9

12.2

Brake Rotors Rear

12.3

13.4

12.1

Curb Weight

4,750

4,449

N/A

Braking Distance 60-0 (ft.)

144

159

134

The best-performing Ford Bronco is also the best in the braking department. It comes to a stop from 60mph at just 134 ft, which is an impressive distance considering the offroad capabilities and segment of the Bronco. The Toyota 4Runner comes in second place after the Bronco, whereas the Wrangler has the worst braking setup and performance. But the Jeep does perform better than the Toyota off the beaten path. Overall the 4Runner comes with a capable set of brakes.

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road SUV Fuel Economy

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner is the oldest vehicle in the segment and hence the engine puts out a disappointing fuel economy. The 4Runner TRD Off-Road delivers efficiency of 16mpg in the city, 19mpg on the highway, and a combined efficiency of 17mpg. However, Toyota does try to keep up with the competition with a large 23.0-gallon fuel capacity but still has a combined range below 400 miles which is not satisfactory. Overall, the 4Runner TRD Off-Road is a gas guzzler and doesn’t excel in the fuel economy department. 

Models

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road 

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 

2021 Ford Bronco Outer Banks Advanced 4-Door

MPG (City)

16

17

20

MPG (Highway)

19

23

22

MPG (Combined)

17

19

21

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

23.0

21.5

20.8

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

368/437/391

366/495/408

416/457/437

The latest entry to the segment, the Ford Bronco is the most efficient SUV here, delivering a combined fuel economy of 21 mpg. Along with a 20.8-gallon fuel capacity, it also provides the highest combined range of 437 miles. The Toyota 4Runner being the heaviest and having the most outdated powertrain is the least efficient machine here. The Wrangler, although not as efficient as the Bronco, still performs much better than the 4Runner.

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road SUV Interior

The interior of the 4Runner is a nice place to be in as everything has a simple design and the controls are laid out ergonomically. However, the tall ride height does make ingress and egress a little hard. Visibility outside from the cabin is pretty good as the windows are large. The interior doesn’t come with a lot of luxury onboard but the materials and elements are of good quality. The seats are basic, fabric-covered in the TRD Off-Road trim while the Premium trim gets SofTex-trimmed seats.

The cabin is spacious and there is an ample amount of space in the front row while the second row lacks legroom. However, the lack of legroom in the rear row has been compensated with an extra spacious cargo area measuring 47.2 cu-ft that is definitely the best in the segment. The 4Runner has a practical and spacious interior but it is not as updated or advanced as the rivals. The fact that the 4Runner TRD Off-Road is not offered with leather upholstery is actually a bummer and otherwise, it has a pleasant and comfortable interior. 

Models

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road 

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 

2021 Ford Bronco Outer Banks Advanced 4-Door

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

39.3/57.8/41.7

42.6/55.7/41.2

43.3/57.1/43.1

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

38.6/57.8/32.9

41.7/55.7/38.3

41.1/56.5/36.3

Cargo Capacity

47.2

31.7

38.3

The 4Runner has a very spacious and high-quality interior whereas the Bronco has the best-looking, highly advanced interior. However, the second row is cramped in the 4Runner while the Wrangler has the most spacious second row. The cargo area is also the most inside the 4Runner, while the Wrangler has the least. Overall the Bronco stands out with the best interior. The following are some of the most important interior features inside the 2021 Jeep Wrangler:

  • Air conditioning with air filter and second-row vents 
  • SofTex-trimmed, heated front seats
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support
  • 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat 
  • SofTex-trimmed 40/20/40 split reclining and fold-flat second-row seat
  • “TRD” red lettering on driver and front passenger headrests

How intuitive is the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road’s infotainment unit?

The 4Runner comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment unit that is easy to use and comes with crisp graphics and looks great. An audio system is an 8-speaker unit that is not upgradeable to a more premium unit which is a bummer. The infotainment system is Android Auto & Apple CarPlay & Amazon Alexa compatible while navigation is limited to the Premium trim. The following are the main infotainment features in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner. 

  • Premium Audio 8-in. Touchscreen infotainment unit
  • Eight speakers
  • AM/FM radio and HD Radio
  • Four USB charge ports,
  • Dynamic Navigation with up to 3-year trial 
  • Dynamic POI Search and Dynamic Voice Recognition
  • Bluetooth wireless technology
  • SiriusXM with 3-month All Access trial subscription 
  • Wi-Fi Connect18 with up to 2 GB within a 3-month trial

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road SUV Exterior

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner is one rugged-looking machine with distinct styling and around the exterior but overall the 4Runner looks like a huge brick. The TRD Offroad model features color-keyed front and rear bumpers with silver accents and hood scoop along with “TRD Off-Road” external hard badges that separate itself from the rest of the lineup. The 4Runner is longer and heavier than the competition while having a smaller wheelbase. Overall the 4Runner has a beauty to its design with a distinct exterior and interior. 

The 4Runner is offered in ten color choices and features 17-in. 7-spoke alloy wheels with black accents as standard while there are no available options for upgrading. The TRD Off-Road offers a ground clearance of 9.6-inches and it is capable and practical enough to tackle any rough terrain. The TRD Off-Road doesn’t have a lot of chrome-plated elements on the outside which actually makes it look better and more rugged compared to the other trims in the 4runner lineup. 

Models

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road 

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 

2021 Ford Bronco Outer Banks Advanced 4-Door

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,750

4,449

N/A

Length (inches)

191.3

188.4

189.4

Width (inches)

75.8

73.8

75.9

Height (inches)

191.3

188.4

189.4

Ground Clearance (inches)

9.6

10.8

8.3

Wheelbase (inches)

109.8

118.4

116.1

All three of these SUVs come with distinct styling and traditional design language keeping their years of offroad legacy uplifted. But still, the 4Runner looks the dullest among these three while the Bronco looks the best. The Wrangler has the most ground clearance of 10.8 inches which is superb for those offroad adventures and trails. The following are some of the main exterior features of the 2021 Toyota 4Runner:

  • 17-in. 7-spoke alloy wheels with black accents
  • TRD Off-Road external hard badges
  • Skid plate covering transfer case
  • LED headlights
  • Heated power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators
  • Aerodynamic variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist cycle
  • Windshield wiper de-icer 
  • Front and rear mudguards 
  • Power windows with auto up/down and jam protection in all positions 
  • Power rear liftgate window with auto up/down and jam protection 
  • Rear liftgate window defogger with timer and UV protection

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road SUV Safety

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road is equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS-P) suite of safety and driver assistance tech as standard consisting of Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). The 4Runner has been crash-tested by both NHTSA as well as IIHS and it gets an overall 4-star rating from NHTSA and all 5-star ratings for side safety while IIHS has awarded it with ‘Good’ under various parameters. The following are the standout safety features in the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road-

  • Multi-Terrain Select (MTS) 
  • Crawl Control (CRAWL)
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • Traction Control
  • Brake Assist (BA) 
  • Smart Stop Technology (SST)

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road SUV Competition

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road vs 2021 Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is more powerful and offers more offroad capabilities compared to the hefty 4Runner. The Wrangler is also faster and has a more advanced interior. The Wrangler is also the more fuel-efficient one and it also looks better than the 4Runner. The 4Runner has a larger cargo area compared to the Jeep, but the Wrangler is the overall better choice. 

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road vs 2021 Ford Bronco

The 2021 Ford Bronco is the newest addition to the segment and offers a much powerful engine and better performance compared to the 4Runner TRD Off-Road. The Bronco also has a more luxurious and premium interior along with a better infotainment unit. The fuel economy figures of the Bronco are also better than 4Runner making it the better option. 

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road SUV Final Verdict

The new Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-road is a capable machine offered at a good price point. It is highly capable offroad and the V6 engine has enough grunt. However, it has become outdated over the years and the time for a full redesign has surpassed. The fuel economy figures are not up to the mark and the newer, more updated models in the segment offer more refined engines with better performance and efficiency. The interior is good-looking but not as luxurious as what some of the competition offers while the 4Runner is filled with a lot of standard safety features. Overall, it is a great machine, but both the Wrangler and Bronco are better choices compared to it.