A Fresh Take On Toyota’s Venerable Family SUV

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport is a more athletic version of the Japanese carmaker’s longstanding and versatile family SUV. Whereas the 4Runner TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro are leaning more towards the rough stuff, the all-new TRD Sport has the legs to conquer smooth tarmac. Also, it gets a healthy dose of street style and curb appeal to go along with its newfound on-road refinement.

2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport: What’s New?

Toyota said the 4Runner TRD Sport looks to “add style, flair, and some roadworthy upgrades” to the existing 4Runner lineup. It starts with a standard 4Runner SR5 model and adds color-keyed accents on the rocker panels, body moldings, and front grille. It has a luscious TRD-style hood scoop, a front spoiler, and black roof rails.

It also gets machine-faced 20-inch wheels with dark gray accents and a full-sized spare tire (as all 4Runners have). Inside the 4Runner TRD Sport, drivers will find heated and power seats wrapped in a SofTex material with contrast gray stitching, a TRD shift knob, and TRD floor mats. It even has a power-sliding liftgate window.

Standard equipment includes an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Amazon Alexa connectivity, Bluetooth capability, LED headlights (with LED high and low beams), LED fog lights, Wi-Fi connectivity, advanced voice recognition, and many more.

Despite its sporting apprehensions, the 2022 4Runner TRD Sport still offers nine-inches of ground clearance (9.6 inches for 4WD models). The TRD Sport trim is available in 2WD or part-time 4WD with a two-speed transfer case.

Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport.
Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport. Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Innovative X-REAS Suspension

Underneath, the 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport benefits from the automaker’s innovative Cross-Linked Relative Absorber (X-REAS) suspension system. Responsible for giving the TRD Sport a more street-friendly ride, X-REAS automatically adjusts the damping forces of the shock absorbers when driving over humps and bumps. The system utilizes a center control absorber that cross-links the shock absorbers on opposite corners (like an X) to reduce vehicle pitch and yaw.

Now, the 4Runner was never about luxurious refinement. But Toyota’s X-REAS suspension (also available on 4Runner Limited) is a reasonable effort in taming the SUV’s somewhat choppy ride.

Engine & Powertrain

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport gains motivation from its perennial 4.0-liter V6 gasoline engine with 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft. of torque. It’s not the most powerful V6 engine on Earth, but it does have dual independent variable valve timing (VVT-i) to spread the torque nicely across the rev band.

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All models get a five-speed ECT-I automatic gearbox with manual sequential shifting modes. 4Runner 2WD variants have an automatic limited-slip differential (Auto LSD)  that allows a marginal degree of wheel slippage to conquer sandy or snowy terrain. On the other hand, 4Runner models with part-time 4WD have an active traction control (A-TRAC) system to help maintain a steady footing when things get slippery.

TRD Sport, like all 4Runner grades, includes a tow-hitch receiver and wiring harness from the factory. Max towing capacity is 5,000 lb.s with a max tongue weight of 500 lbs.

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