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Drive Rugged: A Look at the 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

For families looking for more than your typical SUV, the 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is definitely one you should check out. Its rugged design means it can handle all your adventurous outdoor activities while the comfortable interior and driving make it nice for running life’s errands as well.

What I Loved

Let’s start with looks. I love the Quicksand color and the rugged design. Those tires make me think I could crush small cities, and the front grill looks ready to take on any brush or boulders I might encounter.

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The interior was impressive in it’s simple styling and I loved the SofTex, a synthetic leather, seats which are perfect for wiping off kiddo’s spills and crumbs. Also works great for when your furry friend joins you for a ride! And if you’re living the active lifestyle that this SUV inspires, you’ll need an easy way to clean up after your hikes, bikes, and skis. Plus the front seats are heated!

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If you love surfing channels or keeping things simple, the 4Runner’s infotainment system is great. I loved how their dash panel simply shows a split screen of stereo and maps, then you can jump into those to fill the screen. Some infotainment systems seem to require a lot of steps just to change the channel, not a good idea when driving. Their Entune® App Suite also lets you pull in some of your phone apps into the infotainment system, apps like Open Table, Pandora, and Yelp.

Driving the 4Runner was surprisingly comfortable. It does feel like a big vehicle, but I found the turning radius amazing, no problem pulling into a parking spot. I also thought the steering and handling felt very much like a car and didn’t notice any extreme movements being needed. The ride was perhaps a bit stiffer than a sedan, but nothing more than what I feel in my minivan.

The cargo room was spacious and perfect for stowing gear or packing for a road trip. The rear power back window was nice. It would work well for those times when you want some fresh air but don’t want the wind blowing directly on you.

What I Would Like Them to Improve

Let’s talk technology. As a traveling family, the bells and whistles make a difference and I felt the 4Runner misses on this for families. They do have a power port spot in the cargo area, which is great for portable travel fridges or powered air pumps. But the back seat, in the heart of kiddo land, was missing AC or usb ports. They do have 12V DC ports but plugged in families want USB or AC for recharging devices.

Gas mileage while probably good for a large SUV sat around 15.3 MPG for me during my city driving. It’s rated at 17 city/21 hwy, but I’d be surprised if it actually reached the 21 MPG mark on a road trip. While again, this seems ok for a large SUV, it still ranks the 4Runner at a 4 on the 1 to 10 (best) fueleconomy.gov rating panel.

Front sensors would be a nice addition since the tall front end makes judging your front approach in parking situations tough. There is a backup camera, which is soon going to be a standard requirement, but the front sensor warning would be helful.

Another missing feature that my girls didn’t appreciate was the lack of a moonroof. They enjoy looking up at the sky, so that’s a big deal. The Limited does have this feature, and all I can think is that since the TRD is targeted towards a rugged design, the moonroof doesn’t fit that design imperative.

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I also will note that my littlest took a tumble out of the car once when trying to get out, so be sure to add on the running boards accessory if you have littles; it’s a big drop from the backseat to the ground.

Again, I was really impressed with how easily the 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro drove and how nice it looked. It’s perfect for the active family who doesn’t have a high demand for fuel economy or bells and whistle interiors.

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