TRD Pro Vs. TRD Off-Road Premium

 In Reviews, TRD

TRD Pro 4Runner Vs. TRD Off-Road Premium 4Runner

TRD Pro Vs. 4Runner TRD off road

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.

Suspension

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:

Grille

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.

Wheels

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.

Skid Plate

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.

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John
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John

This helps alot. I appreciate you taking the time to write back. I just needed a nudge on the TRD OFF-Road prem w/ the KDSS, which I was leaning on to buy now after I was dreaming of owning a TRD Pro for the past 6 months. Yes I agree I can make this my own look and also I can do it on a cheap to make it look like a TRD PRO. Again, thank you. I will send you a picture of my 4runner TRD OFF Road Premium after I do my first phase of my mod.

Steven
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Steven

Just went through the same decision and got a TRD Off-Road premium, super happy about it. I put the pro grill on, got Stealth Custom Series wheels and OME BP-52 suspension. This way you can make it the way you want it. Not saying the Pro isn’t awesome, off the lot with no mods it is a beast and looks awesome. But if you’re going to get suspension anyways might as well get a premium. Also the moonroof for me was a huge plus.

Rick
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Rick

just typed out two very longwinded responses that were deleted by toggling between open tabs before hitting “post comment”

Short answer—–i went w/ pro
resale value
limited production
realistic liklihood of me modding it to be an uber truck

remember this is short version
cant go wrong with any 4 runner……

Matt
Guest
Matt

I went through something similar recently, but I ended up with the non-Premium TRD Off Road w/KDSS. I’m not a fan of the blacked-out look and I didn’t want a black leather(ish) interior out here in Colorado… and I wanted Silver with no moonroof. I did add the TRD Pro front garnish and lower valence. Will probably add sliders and maybe a leveling kit in the near-term. Since I expect to drive this 4Runner for 12 years or so, longevity is a primary concern for me.

John -TRD Off Road
Member
John -TRD Off Road

The TRD Pro is more “out of the box” ready, but I chose the TRD Off-Road route. I enjoy picking out my own components and making my ride a little unique in the process. I figured I saved a fair amount of money building up the TRD Off-Road, plus was able to get the moon roof, which I was pretty set on. I have added a Bilstein Suspension, TRD Skid Plate, black negative offset wheels (different then the TRD PRO ones) and plan to get some BF Goodrich KO2 tires to wrap them in. So I figure I have all… Read more »

William
Member
William

I believe a big Pro benefit is the colors. Many people I know went for the Pro simply cause they like the cement or that new blue they got. Those two colors aren’t avail in the premium.

That being said, whenever I see those new blue Pros out there, it hurts me to see it get pinstriped.

TIREKIKR
Guest
TIREKIKR

I’m with William here. The Cavalry Blue is crazy cool to me, and KNOW the better equity is with the Pro. I drove one…rare to find, but just couldn’t justify a purchase price $5-10k above MSRP. Knew I could wrap a TRD Off-road for <$3k any color I wanted to and ended up buying a new 2018 for well below MSRP….a huge swing just for what boiled down to a color for me. Glad to learn about the KDSS after the fact. Maybe I will wrap it a cool color some day!

Kit
Guest
Kit

I agree with Everything Brenan said. I recently went with an Off Road Premium. At the time the Pro was going for >5K over MSRP. No way. With the money savings with the ORP, and price well under MSRP, making the grille and wheel upgrades simple. The main factors that I am happy with in the end are the KDSS and moonroof. I was very happy how little body roll and nose diving there was driving on road. The moonroof reduces claustrophobia for passengers and allows for that cool air flow through the cabin and rear window without opening the… Read more »

Kent
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Kent

Yeah, I started negotiations on out Off Road Premium at $3K below MSRP

louger
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louger

My response is probably as long as the original post, unless you are bored, just move on to the next one… I really think this is a decision that needs to be based on real usage and what is important to you. I have spent many hours researching and asking this question to myself over the past few months. If you are a serious off-roader, you will no doubt get more for your money and have a more capable truck with an Off-Road and investing in better suspension and tire. I am not hard core. I don’t want to admit… Read more »

John -TRD Off Road
Member
John -TRD Off Road

Your logic for your choice to get the Pro makes complete sense. If you are going to love it right out of the box and it will fulfill all year needs, why worry about expensive upgrades, insurance, warranty issues, etc… For those wanting to modify, customize, and make their truck more unique, that’s also great, spend your money on things you are passionate about. I’m probably in the middle ground, I want to make some modifications, but won’t go too overboard for me, as I don’t have a lot of tough trails where I live. I am mostly on dirt,… Read more »

louger
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louger

At this point I am planning on white. As much as I would like it to be more unique, Voodoo blue is just not talking to me. I wish they had gone with some type of green for 2019. We also have some high temps here in the summer, so white is always a little cooler when getting in the truck after parking for a while. If I was building a Off-Road, charcoal grey would likely be my first choice.

Moe
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Moe

What an awesome post and great comments. Louger LOVE your comments. Wife section is so true, and if you are going to end up making your Premium a Pro then why not get a pro. Also with mods, I get carried away and end up spending more than what I need or should and it ultimately costs more money. Also no matter how good of a mechanic there is, nothing can be as good as out the box. I am also going with a Pro. Question: I am building my own online and it has a on the Toyota website… Read more »

Kent
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Kent

Moe, I believe the Sunroof was added as standard on the 2019 Pro. Prior to that I don’t believe you could get the Sunroof (or the KDSS) on the Pro. The Sunroof really lightens up the dark interior. It was a must for all the women in my family. I like it on my own truck as well for the light, the ability to look up and see mountains, trees, etc and to check on gear that is on my load bars.

Nick
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Nick

about a month ago I picked up a 2018 TRD off road (non premium) without KDSS but had the TRD Pro Suspension with the Bilstein Shocks (PTR13-89160) installed at port (and only paid invoice price ~1700$). I chose this configuration for a couple reasons. First and foremost, I wanted the suspension that came on the TRD Pro and did NOT want the KDSS. For better or worse, KDSS is not something I even wanted to think about fixing in the future so I avoided it all costs. I do not plan to upgrade the suspension past what TRD offers and… Read more »

Brian
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Brian

SR5 (got at 4wd for a 2wd price) and modding the hell out of it… and loving every minute of it…

Sergio Franco
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Sergio Franco

Hello guys! I am finally getting my TRD PRO next week and wanted to ask what roof racks do you recommend and also, do HID or LED look better on a TRD PRO? What are your suggestions?

Shaf
Guest
Shaf

I prefer buying base and having more optunities to customize and possibly being more cost effective and less restrictive.

Nils
Guest
Nils

For me the question is really: If I’m looking at an Off-road Premium and I’m going to take it right from the dealer and go straight to a decent aftermarket adjustable suspension such as King or Fox where I have control over the compression damping, is KDSS still worth it? In general if its not needed, the fewer complicated things with hydraulic fluid underneath my vehicle the better 🙂 With something like the Fox shocks with DSC you can crank on all low-speed compression damping as you like to help with the body roll and brake dive, and back it… Read more »

De
Guest
De

I have a question on TRD OFF ROAD PREMIUM price. I know the TRD PRO are going for MSRP or a little higher. Are the OFF ROAD PREMIUM going for MSRP price too?

Nils
Guest
Nils

Just picked up an ORP for $2k under MSRP, Bay Area.

De
Guest
De

Thanks Brenan and Nils. Nils did you get the KDSS kit with your ORP?

Nils
Guest
Nils

yup.

De
Guest
De

Sweet! Thanks Nils.

Dee
Guest
Dee

I think it depends if you are able to get a hand on a TRD Pro; which is limited production and really hard to get one and especially with the special colour. I pre-order a Cavalry Blue and waiting for the truck to arrive. For re-sale in the future; I think the TRD Pro will worth slightly more than other models.

Tyler
Guest
Tyler

Not sure if this was covered in the comments, but it’s worth noting that the TRD skid plate will not fit 4Runners equipped with KDSS. It will need to be modified first. Not sure if that’s worth it on a $300 skid plate. I bought a 2016 TEP brand new and planned to do the TRD Pro wheels, grille, front/rear valances, and skid plate, but I couldn’t justify the cost, other than the wheels. Ended up doing the blackout emblem kit, wrapped the grille crossbar and front/rear valances in satin black, and called it a day. I always look at… Read more »

Dean Cebuliak
Guest
Dean Cebuliak

Wow, what a busy and great topic. I just bought a 2018 off road here in canada and love it, but I’m a newby with forerunners. My issue is body roll and people feeling car sick on twisty roads. I want a little stiffer suspension than the kdss offers even, and to level the truck out on the front. Nose diving too, but I haven’t had a full size 4×4 for awhile. Love the sun roof and i did go trd rims and ko2s, but I’m working with the dealer to upgrade slightly and not affect my warranty. I still… Read more »

Don Birdsey
Guest
Don Birdsey

Can you add KDSS to a Off Road Premium after if it was purchased without it? Or is that any after Market KDSS like products for the 4 runner? Thanks

Kent
Guest
Kent

The short answer is not really. It would take alot of reworking to make that function. Definitely better to buy one with it from the factory if that is what you want (I recommend it).

Billy
Guest
Billy

If KDSS is the ultimate, then why is it not standard on the Pro?

Kent
Guest
Kent

“Ultimate” is in the eye of the beholder. If you don’t plan on modifying your truck, the Pro is probably superior. If you do, the Off Road may be better as there are better aftermarket skids & suspension (& some feel the awesome looking Pro wheels are about a half inch too narrow). The limited colors are definitely something you can’t get without a Pro, however you can’t get KDSS with one (& until 2019 you couldn’t get a sunroof either). You really have to drive a KDSS vehicle to understand it. It improves off road travel and at speed… Read more »

Kent
Guest
Kent

Here is a simple but nice explanation of the KDSS, albeit on a Land Cruiser.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb7B6h_CNyU)
I highly recommend the YouTube information videos from Toyota New Zealand. They are far more informative than the American versions.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Brennan,

Love the site. I always come back to get helpful tips. I have a 2018 off-road premium and I want to upgrade the shocks to something aftermarket. I have my heart set on Stage 3 Icon Suspension, but I have a few questions:
– Billet vs Tubular?
– Are there any skid plates available that do not require modification to work with KDSS?
– Since the lift needs to be 3.5″ front and 2.5″ back to level, what size tire and wheel combination can I get without rubbing?
Thanks,
Adam

mysunglasses.win
Guest
mysunglasses.win

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https://www.atlfairoffer.com/blog
Guest
https://www.atlfairoffer.com/blog

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Frank Begano
Guest
Frank Begano

Brian,
I recently purchased a 2018 SR5, came with a 4″ Toy Tec lift and suspension along with Method wheels and BF Goodrich Allterrain t/a tires will cost me $38000 when paid off..added nerf bars and front mudflaps…plan on adding fro t skid plate, light bar behind the grill and a front push bar..over all I am extremely happy with my 4runner..and if anyone is interested, I purchased it Boulder, Colorado, they had 3 for sale at the same price I got mine…..I got the black one!!!

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