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The Toyota 4Runner 4X4 Trail Special Edition

2021 Toyota 4Runner Special Trail Edition Main
2021 Toyota 4Runner Special Trail Edition Main

The Toyota 4Runner has been a consistent part of Toyota’s vehicle range for more than thirty years. The 2021 Toyota 4Runner represents the fifth generation of this model. It is a genuine off-road vehicle capable of handling a variety of challenging activities.

The 4Runner stands out as one of the few SUVs today that employs a body-on-frame construction. It is purpose-built to tackle rough terrains, yet it also performs well in everyday driving scenarios. I recently had the opportunity to test drive this remarkable piece of automotive engineering. Here is my experience with the 4Runner 4X4 Trail Special Edition.


One of the initial standout features of the SUV is its rugged exterior design, appealing to off-road enthusiasts. It exudes a bold and adventure-ready look. The interior is comfortable, and the Trail Special Edition Package offers a range of excellent extras. The vehicle’s height provides excellent road visibility.

I particularly appreciated the standard convenience features, including the power-sliding liftgate window. Opting for the upgraded version adds amenities like heated and ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic AC, leather upholstery, and push-button start.

Driver Experience

The 4Runner is equipped with a 4.0-liter V6 engine capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds. It boasts ample ground clearance and superior visibility. In cornering, the 4Runner displays agility and stability, considering it is a truck-based SUV. Off-road enthusiasts will find the 4Runner to be a joy to drive. It felt completely at home when I took it off-road, featuring useful elements like high ground clearance, a multi-mode 4WD system, and specialized TRD features for stress-free driving on rocky trails.


The interior of the 4Runner offers generous space, particularly in the rear seat area. The cargo space amounts to 46 cubic feet, with a standard slide-out deck facilitating loading and tailgate seating. Folding the rear seats flat expands the cargo capacity to a total of 89 cubic feet.

The interior can be best described as utilitarian. The large and user-friendly knobs make operation easy, even when wearing gloves. Noteworthy features include conveniently located off-road controls above the rearview mirror, staggered cup holders, and spacious door pockets for storing personal items. Toyota even integrated a built-in tissue box holder inside the center console lid.


The 4Runner’s blend of trail-ready toughness and modern style has established it as an off-road icon. I had the chance to drive the Trail Special Edition, which offers enticing options. The Yakima Loadwarrior Cargo Basket presents a practical design for various outdoor activities. Over the past decade, there have been minor tweaks and changes to the 4Runner’s exterior design.

Engine / Powertrain

Featuring a robust 4-liter V6 engine capable of producing 270 HP and 278 lb/ft of torque, the Toyota 4Runner delivers impressive power. The Trail Special Edition, which I test-drove, incorporates a part-time All-Wheel Drive system. Across all trims, the powertrain is paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission, with low-range gearing available in the AWD versions. The fuel efficiency is reasonable for its power output, averaging 16 MPG City, 19 MPG Highway, and 17 MPG combined.


All Toyota 4Runner variants come equipped with the Toyota active safety system TSS-P as standard. This advanced suite of driver-assist technology comprises features like the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam, Sway Warning System, and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Trail Special Edition Package

The Trail Special Edition comes with appealing features such as 17-inch dark gray alloy wheels with P265/70R17 tires. The sliding rear cargo tray, capable of supporting up to 440 lbs, simplifies loading and unloading heavy items. The package also includes a 40QT removable cooler with tie-downs, ideal for the 4Runner driver’s lifestyle. All-weather floor liners and the Yakima LoadWarrior Cargo basket complete the package, along with black badge overlays to enhance the overall look.


After experiencing the 2021 Toyota 4Runner Trail Special Edition firsthand, I can confidently say it is a fantastic off-road vehicle that provides an enjoyable driving experience. It is a superb choice for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring an appealing exterior and capable performance on rugged terrains.

Starting at an MSRP of $38,740, the tested model was priced at $49,765.

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