5th Gen Mods, DIY, Install, Reviews

2020 4Runner Review: Top 5 Differences in the 2020 5th Gen 4Runner

Updated 8/1/20 / Read Time: 5 mins

Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner - Items to consider before buying

2020 5th Gen 4Runner Review: Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner – Items To Consider Before Buying

Are you searching for your next dream vehicle? Maybe you are looking for a good reason to upgrade your current 4Runner to the latest and greatest… Or perhaps you are trying to figure out the differences between a 2019 4Runner and the new tech in the 2020 4Runner.

Well, this article will hopefully provide you with the right information to make an informed decision on which 4Runner is right for you. We will provide 5 items not commonly found on a Toyota website, and questions other 2020 4Runner owners have posted.

Let’s dive in!

1. The All-New 4Runner Toyota Safety Sense

Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner - Items to consider before buying

The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS) is new for the 2020 4Runner, which adds adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane departure alerts.

The challenge with this safety feature is the sensor in the front bumper.  The location of the new sensor now limits the options for third-party bumpers and light bars.

For this article, we won’t go into the details about different bumper options and light bars that work with the front sensor. For reference though, if you are looking at a low profile bumper like the C4 Fabrication Lo Pro, the mid-height bull bar is not compatible but the full height bull bar is and so is the “no bull bar” option.

Keep in mind while shopping for bumper options, the bull bars might block the sensor, or replacing the entire front bumper will require a solution for remounting of the safety sensor.

Also, grill light bars won’t fit all the way across, but you could add some smaller lights on either side of the sensor. Someone really needs to come up with a way to redesign the TSS on the 4Runner to give us some more bumper and light bar options while keeping the functionality intact.

Rearview Mirror Camera

Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner - Items to consider before buying

Besides the sensor, there is a camera behind the rearview mirror used to help with these safety features. Knowing the TSS  camera is located here will be important, so you don’t block this part of the windshield with something like a decal. Likewise, there will be fewer locations for putting a GoPro or dashcam because of this added safety item.

Lastly, if anyone was hoping for those blind-spot monitors or better notifications while using the backup camera, we’ll have to keep waiting.

2. The Front Grill Got Some Bling

Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner - Items to consider before buying

Some might be excited to install those grille marker lights we see on other 4Runners as a quick first upgrade. Before shopping online, you must take into consideration the chrome accents Toyota has added to all the models except the TRD Pro.

These chrome accents hinder the ability to add the marker lights, so you need to swap out the grille with something like the 2020 TRD Pro parts. Speaking of the 2020 TRD Pro, you need this specific year grille trim to accommodate a cutout for the TSS mentioned above.

Also, the upper grille part needs to be for a 2020 TRD Pro. If not, you’ll have to make modifications for a bolt to fit. If you are interested in hiding the chrome accents, then you can paint them or remove the chrome pieces.

Find It Online:

  • TRD Pro Grille Trim for 2020 4Runner – Toyota (PZ323-35058): Check Price
  • TRD Pro Upper Grille for 2020 4Runner – Toyota (PZ327-35056): Check Price

3. Ambient Light Sensor for Your Dash

Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner - Items to consider before buying

People may have noticed on top of the dash in the center near the windshield there is a round plastic plug. For those wondering, this is where the ambient light sensor goes. The purpose of this sensor is to dim or brighten the dash automatically when the headlights are on. Oddly enough, they wire the plug for use but do not include the sensor.

For those with a 2020 4Runner, you need to know that the wire has changed for this year.  In the 2010 – 2019 4Runners the connector is a 6-pin setup.

Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner - Items to consider before buying

As shown in the image above, you can see the 2020 4Runner has a 4-pin connection. Also, note the 2020 sensor costs more than the other sensor.

Find It Online:

  • 2020 4Runner Ambient Light Sensor – Toyota (PN# 89121-0E060): Check Price

4. Automatic High Beams

Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner - Items to consider before buying

Many already know that 2020 4Runners come equipped with automatic high beams.

One thing to consider with this addition is it will take up a previously empty switch spot. While losing this switch might not be a big deal, it is something to consider when adding accessories and using the empty switch locations.

As mentioned in the TSS section, you’ll want to avoid blocking the camera. Otherwise, this feature won’t switch off the high beams when the camera detects oncoming headlights.

5. More Fuses & New Relay Location

Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner - Items to consider before buying

Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner - Items to consider before buying

Because of all the great electronic upgrades for the 2020 4Runner, additional fuses are needed. As seen in the fuse diagrams above, there are fewer empty slots and additional fuses to consider.

If one is trying to follow any previous 5th Gen 4Runner wiring instructions, then the wiring might look a bit different in the 2020 4Runner.

New Spot For Fuse Relay

Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner - Items to consider before buying

Also, in the engine bay, the fuse relay is in a different location and sits higher. This means accessory trays that hold an sPOD, Switch Pros, air compressors, etc., will require modification to the relay for the tray to fit.

Make sure to verify fitment or ask the company to confirm compatibility prior to purchasing a tray.

Bonus: Apple Carplay / Android Auto / Amazon Alexa

Top 5 Differences in the 2020 4Runner - Items to consider before buying

Everyone likely knows Apple Carplay / Android Auto / Amazon Alexa was a welcomed upgrade for the 2020 4Runner. With the continued development of software on this head unit, there’s the potential to reduce the need for a tablet mod. An example can be found on the popular Gun RNR post, the iPad head unit for the 4Runner or any other communications post throughout the site.

As an example, Gaia GPS just released their map feature for Apple Carplay!

Final Thoughts

The 2020 4Runner vehicle year is still new and companies are working on developing alternative solutions for the added features. On top of companies, owners are staying busy trying to figure out creative solutions for the 2020 4Runner.

I hope identifying these differences is helpful when looking to purchase and/or modify a 2020 4Runner.

Comments or Questions? Leave them below!

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Jack
Jack
September 22, 2020 7:00 pm

2018 4runner TRD
They should have really worked on the down hill assist, better breaks, timings on the transmission and a more a responsive throttle…

Matt G
Matt G
August 7, 2020 6:19 pm

I have the 2020 SR5 P. The safety sensor on the front has already told me twice to f$&ing stop in big orange letters on the the highway in heavy traffic. It is a good upgrade. The lane departure is terrible. A terrible beeping noise that goes of constantly, unlike a gentle warning that most cars have. Apple car play is meh. Otherwise this is the same great car as my 2013 SR5!

Dan Espersen
Dan Espersen
August 3, 2020 7:41 am

Great article Derek- You mentioned in the article “while shopping for bumper options, the bull bars might block the sensor, or replacing the entire front bumper will require a solution for remounting of the safety sensor” The millimeter wave radar sensor you are referring to is mounted and calibrated from the factory at set angle(s) If this component or any surrounding mounting components are removed, replaced or adjusted – the adaptive cruise control system may not work correctly or not work at all. This includes the front bumper itself – if it’s removed and reinstalled the system must be re-calibrated(Aimed)… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
August 3, 2020 3:37 am

What 2 way radio and antenna did you use? Saw it in the photo.

Scott - @Salty_4runner
Scott - @Salty_4runner
August 2, 2020 8:11 am

Great review! Did the center info screen on the instrument panel change? I’ve always wondered why the Tacoma got the better set up while the 4Runner kept the basic.

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