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2021 4Runner Trail Edition – Toyota Brings Back The Trail Edition with New Styling

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Trail Special Edition 4Runner - Cement

2021 4Runner Trail Special Edition – “Gear Up and Get Out”

It’s that time of year again! The Chicago Auto Show debuted Toyota’s new lineup of Trail Special Edition trucks and SUVs. It’s no secret that we are thrilled to see this new addition to the iconic 4Runner, but was the hype worth it this time around?

We all know that most Toyota truck owners love spending time outdoors exploring the vast array of trails and campsites at our disposal. Toyota is well aware of our interests, and in the spirit of speaking to that customer base, we are going to see the new Trail Special Edition trims released summer 2020.

It seems they are bringing the model name back from the dead, reaching back to the early 5th Generation models (2010-2016 Trail Editions). Well, today, we find out if the newly revived 4Runner lives up to our adventuring needs.

Built on the SR5 Platform

Trail Special Edition 4Runner - Built on SR5 Platform

Ok, it looks a lot like the previous models at first glance but let’s jump into the details.

The Toyota Trail Edition (TE) is built upon the SR5 models in order to deliver the most value for your dollar and is offered in 2WD or 4WD. They have the same powertrain, 4.0L V6 paid with the 5-speed automatic transmission. This means we’re still boasting the same performance, 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque.

The TE has a few color options: Army Green (like the new TRD Pro), Cement, Midnight Black, and Super White. Although these are not technically considered limited quantities, the volume of these models will be limited.

Toyota is expected to only release 4000 4Runners with the TE distinction. Considering how few will be built, we suggest that if you want to purchase one of these, reserve it as early as possible to make sure you are not left out.

The Toyota vision for 4Runner remains very much unchanged to this point, but that’s not a terrible thing. Most of us love the rugged interior, usability, space, comfort, versatility, and distinct styling with one of a kind build quality.

All in all, the 5th Gen 4Runner is pretty great – and yes, it could be better. Did Toyota answer all our wants and needs this time around? No.

New Features

Trail Special Edition 4Runner - Tan Stitching

All of the Trail Special Editions have characteristic black seating with tan stitching, blacked-out exterior badging and standard all-weather floor liners and are equipped with dark gray TRD Off-Road wheels.

4Runner comes standard with a Yakima® LoadWarrior cargo basket 56 and a custom removable 40-qt. cooler that’s perfect for camping and tailgating. All together, their black badging, refined grilles and unique dark gray TRD Off-Road wheels give every Trail Special Edition an authentic look. Inside, black front and rear seating with unique tan stitching matches their adventurous exteriors. – Toyota Special Editions

What we like most about the Trail Edition is obviously this one change, the seating color, and new stitching. Moving away from the red stitching, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues into the well-established TRD lineup as well.

I’m sold on this stitching though, very nice and thank you Toyota for offering up something new, even if only minimal aesthetics.

New Toyota Cooler

Trail Special Edition 4Runner - New 40qt Cooler

Other than new tan stitching, what’s really changed?

A 40-quart cooler, that’s what!

With the new Trail Special Edition 4Runner, you now get a custom Toyota-branded 40-quart cooler with sliding cargo tray and again that Yakima LoadWarrior rooftop cargo basket for increased hauling capacity.

The custom cooler is exclusively manufactured for Toyota in the United States and features the following; a lockable lid, freezer grade gasket to give an airtight seal (can keep ice frozen for up to 7 days), tie downs and special brackets to safely secure the cooler to the cargo tray, heavy-duty latches with integrated bottle openers, long-lasting and ergonomic carry handles, built-in large drain plug with a lanyard and a flat top which can be used at a table or outdoor seat.

Let’s just put this out there – it looks a lot like a Yeti. Well done Toyota.

The cooler comes color-matched with the Cement/Army Green exterior colors and is Cement colored on the Super White/Midnight Black 4Runners. Long-lasting, durable coolers have become more and more popular in recent years and this limited edition looks ready to stand toe to toe with the competition.

With an emphasis on the outdoors, this new trim should be ready to tackle whatever the trail, and the driver, has to throw at it.

Looks A lot like the Venture Edition 4Runner

Yakima Roof Rack on 4Runner

Toyota has another trim line, the Venture Special Edition that was released last year (2020) that looks quite similar to the new Trail. Did this new Trail Edition replace the Venture Edition or will we see a new Venture Edition trim available in 2021?

They look oddly similar.

The Venture Edition comes with exclusive 17-in dark metallic gray alloy wheels, a Yakima MegaWarrior roof-mounted cargo basket, black door handles, a black rear spoiler and all-weather floor mats.

These specs are almost dead on with the new Trail, but the Venture seemed to have a few more trim pieces.

Final Thoughts?

Trail Special Edition 4Runner - Cooler

If you find yourself itching to know more, head over to the 2021 Trail Special Edition page on Toyota’s website and sign up for updates.

Fill out a small form and submit your information to receive the newest developments as Toyota releases more details in the future.

What do we think?

The Venture and the new Trail look pretty similar but the Trail comes in a few new colors, with a cooler and new interior stitching which honestly, both are pretty rad. I have yet to see this tan stitching in person but I am excited to see it.

Toyotas’ decision and direction with the cooler addition further validates the acknowledgment for us explorers, adventurers, and off-roader types.

Thanks, Toyota – but just a suggestion, maybe we get a turbo diesel soon?

Questions or Comments? Leave them Below!

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Stuart Ashman
Stuart Ashman

How about a manual transmission ?

Sean Sullivan
Sean Sullivan

So…. Paint? This is me totally underwhelmed “wow”. Did Carlos Ghosn take control? Toyota hasn’t changed much on any 4×4 platforms in years. I say “nay”, what say you?


Did you see the cooler tho?

Tyler C
Tyler C

Seat stitching and a cooler. Job well done Toyota. lol Maybe time to upgrade the Thomas Edison headlight bulbs?

Daniel F Sturgis
Daniel F Sturgis


John Martin
John Martin

The 2010 -2016 Trail had the locking rear differential, multi-terrain select, and crawl control. This new Trail appears to be just a SR5 with no locking rear diff, multi-terrain select or crawl control. I am disappointed with Toyota for implementing this marketing scam. It is still a great vehicle but does not live up to the Trail reputation. Marketing people….Dishonesty….You get the picture.


Eryck - @e_hung_photography
Eryck - @e_hung_photography

the 10-16 Trail is TRD Offroad. it wasn’t a different special edition like this.

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