4Runner TRD Pro or 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium Differences
We had a question come in about the TRD Pro and the TRD off road premium. There are a few key differences between the TRD Pro and the TRD off road premium that you should note before pulling the trigger on either 4Runner.
The most important difference to me is KDSS (Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System). This component adjusts front and rear stabilizers based on a set of interconnected hydraulic cylinders. KDSS is an option on the TRD Off-Road and the TRD Off-Road Premium only. KDSS is not an option on the TRD Pro. Both models offer some seriously impressive features so whatever direction you go, prepare to be impressed.
Both models offer a fully capable 4WD system with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Multi-terrain Select and Crawl Control (CRAWL) and a Locking rear differential. The locker and the 4wd being the most notable features of the body on frame platform.
The Question: Buy a TRD Pro or TRD off road premium?
After reading a bunch of the threads on the TRD Pro and the TRD off road premium. I’m still indecisive based on the following after factoring that would apply to my personal preferences. I know, it’s really about your preferences. But I really value yours because of the site that you have put together and you’re very fair with your opinions on mods and products out there. I have an opportunity to purchase brand new 4Runner TRD Pro or the 4Runner TRD off road premium both in super white. My question is which 4Runner should I buy, the TRD Pro or the TRD Off-Road Premium.
KDSS (TRD Off-Road) Vs. Bilstein shocks (TRD Pro)?
I don’t plan on doing some crazy 4Runner Lift Kits or anything, maybe something minor. I’m gonna be doing most of my driving on the road-highways (I live in Southern California) probably gonna be doing some overlanding and camping 6x times a year hopefully around the western region for like a weekend getaway, nothing crazy like a Baja trip to Mexico.
Cost Vs. Value
I don’t plan to own a 4Runner in a short term. My goal is own it for a long time. The Pro is $44,155 vs off road premium is $39,695 (plus add $2200 into it for TRD Pro grill/black cover bumper and TRD 17-inch wheels wd tires to make it look like a PRO) total to be $41,895. I love the pro look but I’m just justifying the cost.
Other than that, the only diff between what you can’t have is the sunroof (TRD off-road only).
Your insight on those two (2) major points for me will be much appreciated.
Other mods I would like to do on both 4Runner models regardless on which one I ended buying:C4 Fab low front bumper, 4Runner Roof Rack Upgrade, and nnerf bars – side step bars.
Short Answer: Buy the TRD Off-Road Premium
KDSS Vs. Bilstein shocks Vs. General Features:
The TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road Premium have the KDSS option which kicks ass for on-road and off-road performance. KDSS makes the 4Runner much stiffer, reduces body roll, and nose dive. To me, this is incredibly important. From an off-road perspective though, KDSS will only get your travel so far.
The travel with KDSS is not going to be as much as an SR5 with an aftermarket suspension. This is an important factor to consider if you are looking to have the max travel possible. Some guys have ripped the KDSS off in order to achieve more travel.
We own a 2016 SR5 with a level kit and a 2014 Trail Edition Premium (TEP) with KDSS. I am not a fan of driving the SR5 unless I have to. The body roll and nose dive on the SR5 is really bad compared our TEP, granted we have a stage 2 Icon Suspension which stiffens things up a bit more. Also, I test drove a TRD Pro just to see what it was all about and the suspension is definitely stiffer than our SR5 but nothing compared to KDSS with Icons.
The Bilstein shocks (TRD Pro Suspension) are great but you can get by with the stock shocks on the TRD Off-Road Premium just fine all while having a stiffer ride (less body roll, and nose dive) with the KDSS. The TRD suspension is always something that can be replaced and swapped with something else. The TRD suspension kit is merely a Bilstein 5100 suspension system that you can get for a fraction of the price. In my opinion, the “TRD Tuned” Bilstein shocks are overrated and there are better suspension systems out there.
You can always replace your stock shocks with something else if you decide to go with the TRD Off-Road. You can buy a stage 2 Icon suspension, a KING suspension, OME suspension or any other adjustable performance suspension system that will be much better (adjustable) than the TRD suspension. I would take that $2200 difference and buy a better suspension system and throw it on a TRD Off-Road Premium.
You can’t buy an aftermarket KDSS kit if you decide to purchase the TRD Pro. KDSS is one option that you really need to consider, which really comes down to a hard test drive on both 4Runners.
TRD Pro Bling
The TRD Pro has a lot of bling; TRD PRO external hard badges, TOYOTA front grille, an auto sensor on/off headlights, TRD-stamped aluminum front skid plate, TRD alloy wheels & 265/70R17 Nittos. For the interior; TRD PRO floor mats, TRD shift knob, and the TRD stitched seats.
TRD Off-Road Bling
The TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road Premium offer bling as well; TRD red lettering on the driver and front passenger headrests, the TRD Off-Road external hard badges, TRD shift knob, and TRD Off-Road floor mats.
Customizing your TRD Off-Road to look more “pro-ish”
To me, the wheels, grille, and skid plate are easily replaced with something a little more “you”. You can buy each of these items (TRD Wheels, TRD Skid Plate, and the TRD Grille) after you purchase a TRD Off-Road and then throw them on at your own pace. Or, you can go with something different.
You can buy your own wheels and if you want, go bigger with the tires. You can buy a new TRD skid, blackout your badges with a blackout emblem kit, and buy a better shift knob made by Ellis Precision or AJT Design. For the floor mats, there are better floor mats out there that I would replace with, anyway.
At the end of the day, you can make your 4Runner, your own look or you go for the TRD Pro look. Going with the TRD Pro look, I think you can achieve this look for less than what Toyota will charge you. It just depends on if you want to do the installs or not.
Cost Vs. Value on the TRD Pro Vs. the TRD off road premium:
If you love the look of the TRD Pro, and you want some of the features like the grille added on, you are overspending at $2200. You can buy and install the TRD Pro 4Runner Grille yourself which is not very expensive. You can also blackout your bumper (Vinyl wrap) for fairly inexpensive as well.
Also, there are the FN FX PROs which look almost identical to the TRD alloys (but I think they might have discontinued this wheel). In any case, there are so many cool 5th Gen 4Runner wheel options out there that really make your 4Runner… “your 4Runner”. To each their own on this one, though. If you love the TOYOTA front grille, the TRD alloy wheels with 265/70R17 wrapped Nittos, then spend the money with Toyota.
You have quite a few skid plate options when it comes to the 5th Gen 4Runner. There are many companies out there that make pretty bad ass skid plates. Some companies; RCI Metal Works, ARB, Shrockworks, C4 Fabrication, Budbuilt Skid and CBI Off-Road all make Skid Plates for the 5th gen. I am probably leaving out a few, but you get the point. You have options.
There are just so many options out there for you to go a cheaper route if you are looking at the cost vs. value aspect, especially from a finance perspective. Also, moving forward with your build, nothing in this world is “cheap” but you can move at your own pace when adding parts and accessories. Personally, I would save the money and customize your 4Runner at a later point with a TOYOTA grille, different wheels, and bigger tires. But, that’s just me.
Sunroof on the TRD Off-Road & TRD Off-Road Premium
As for the sunroof (technically a moonroof), that is all personal preference again but I love my moonroof. I had one on my 1999 SR5 and loved it. I have one on my 2014 TEP and love it. My girl has a moonroof on here 2016 SR5 and she loves the fresh air as well. This is another huge reason why I would consider a TRD Off-Road Premium over the TRD Pro. It is a small addition but to me, a very cool one.
What to buy: TRD Pro or TRD Off-Road?
Other than all of the bling options, they are both very capable platforms on-road and off-road. Whatever direction you go, you will be happy with your purchase. At the end of the day for me, it comes down to KDSS. KDSS makes the 4Runner such a better (all relative) platform to use on-road and off-road. Let’s put it this way; I hope I never own another 4Runner without KDSS. Just my opinion, though. Take it with a grain of salt and test drive both of them a couple times. Make sure to corner hard and brake hard on both 4Runners to understand the difference in the KDSS.