The lifted suspension, inferno paint with black accents on the 2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro prototype speak loudly to the adventurous off-roader, but the modified suspension also make for a mighty comfortable ride on the pavement. Can the 2015 4Runner TRD Pro be the Raptor of SUVs?
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is a full-size toy truck for bashing deserts and going off-road, while also offering a supple on-road experience. This off-road focused version of the 4Runner follows suit. The standard 4Runner is already one of the most capable off-road SUVs. It’s no crossover, as it continues to use a frame as its foundation. It has a sophisticated 4WD system with several adjustments.
TRD Pro package adds tuned Bilstein TRD shocks with remote reservoirs. These provide a 1.5″ of added ground clearance and 1″ of extra wheel travel. This prototype wears NITTO Grappler tires on unique TRD 18″ wheels. It’s not clear if the production version will use the same tires when it goes on sale.
The lifted front-end makes for very a impressive approach angle, although exact number is not available at this time. The 4Runner does have an independent front suspension, but the added clearance and articulation allowed us to tackle a moderate difficulty mountain trail without blinking an eye. The turning radius is not bad either.
>A common side affect of off-road focused suspension is a supple and smooth on-road ride. And the 4Runner TRD Pro delivers the goods there. The SUV rides smoothly over asphalt cracks, potholes, expansion joints, or any other imperfections. What if people buy the TRD Pro for the comfort and not for off-roading?
The more compliant suspension has added lean, dive, and squat. This behavior is well controlled and no cause for alarm. It feels a little like a boat, and in a good way. If you go too hot into a corner, it will remind you that you are in a tall and heavy off-roader and not a luxury sedan. Still, the on-road manners of this 4Runner are noteworthy.
There are no changes to the powertrain or the 4WD system. The familiar 4.0L V6 remains under the bulging hood. It produces 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. The tried-and-true 5-speed transmission sends the power down. It has adequate power for on-road use, and I got 15.3 MPG average after three days (this included off-roading and the acceleration testing). That’s not too shabby. The gearing and low range make for more than enough power off-road.
I cannot give the TRD Pro 4Runner a rating at this time as pricing, fuel economy estimates, and full specifications are not available at the time of writing.
The TRD Pro video is coming soon. In the meantime, check out this snowy Toyota 4Runner off-road review.