2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport: More Street Style Than Off-Road Style

Unless you go to Toyota’s website and look at the page dedicated to the 4Runner SUV, you might not realize how comprehensive the 4×4’s lineup is. After all, the Toyota 4Runner only comes in a single body style (a four-door, with a fixed-roof), so it doesn’t immediately seem to offer as many configurations as, say, a Jeep Wrangler (two wheelbases, several roofs, and so on). But oh boy, the 4Runner lineup is deep, and it gets deeper for 2022 with the addition of the new TRD Sport trim level.

The 4Runner TRD Sport mimics the eponymous trim on the Tacoma pickup truck. It’s a sporty-looking treatment, one that trades the similarly positioned TRD Off-Road trim level’s off-road pretense for lots of body-color trim, street-focused tires, 20-inch wheels cribbed from the 4Runner Limited trim, and plenty of TRD badges and labeling throughout. TRD, remember, stands for Toyota Racing Development, and is a key driver of in-house vehicle performance. To that end, there is a hood scoop added to the TRD Sport.

So, what makes the TRD Sport stand out against the 4Runner’s existing SR5, Trail Special Edition, SR5 Premium, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, Venture Special Edition, Limited, Nightshade Special Edition, and TRD Pro trim levels? Besides its slick looks and odd shunning of the 4Runner’s core appeal (off-roading), the 4Runner TRD Sport borrows its complex X-REAS Cross-Linked Relative Absorber System from the fancier 4Runner Limited. This suspension setup incorporates adaptive dampers at all four corners as well as a central “control absorber” that “cross-links the shock absorbers on opposite corners of the vehicle, like an ‘X. ‘”

While pricing is forthcoming, we can assume that—based on the Tacoma lineup—the TRD Sport will be positioned below the Limited in the 4Runner family, which makes its inclusion of X-REAS a real deal (provided you want the feature). Toyota notes the TRD Sport is based on the entry-level SR5 trim. The TRD Sport’s SofTex seats (Toyota-speak for faux leather) are heated in front; gray TRD logos are stitched into the headrests and also make appearances on the floor mats and shift knob—meaningful upgrades over standard SR5 fare.

You might be wondering whether the 4Runner lineup needed a “sporty” model that isn’t geared toward off-road adventures. Fret not. Just as on the Tacoma, the TRD Sport is more of a looks package and not an actual sport package. To that end, you can expect the 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport to be just as wallowy and poor to drive on-road as any other 4Runner, with throwback nose dips when you tap the brakes and ropy steering response. The X-REAS suspension might cut down on some of that, but at the end of the day, this is just another chip off the ol’ 4Runner block.

You wanna go off-road? Pick one of the 4Runners with that phrase in its name. If you just want a Toyota-badged midsize SUV and are willing to acknowledge your preference for paved roads, then the TRD Sport might be for you. Heck, Toyota even offers the 4Runner TRD Sport with rear-wheel drive to further drive the point home.

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