Feature Friday: 8 SR5 Premium 5th Gen 4Runner Builds

Cali Raised Stealth Bumper on 5th Gen White SR5 Premium 4Runner

8 Different 5th Gen 4Runner SR5 Premium Builds & Their Owners’ Top 5 Mods – Build Inspiration For 2023

This Week’s Topic: SR5 Premium Builds

Welcome back to another Feature Friday! Last week, we took a look at adjustable suspension setups for the 5th Gen 4Runner. This week, we asked owners to talk about their favorite modifications on their 5th Gen 4Runner SR5 Premium builds.

The SR5 Premium trim was first introduced in 2014; think of it as a more luxurious version of the SR5. It offers keyless ignition and entry, heated front seats, SofTex leather seat covers, power-adjustable front driver and passenger seats, and an optional sunroof.

As you will see below, many SR5 Premium owners purchase this trim level to have more flexibility with modifications and allocate more of their budget toward them. While the 4Runner is a very capable stock vehicle, many owners still opt to modify it to fit their needs.

“Budget” is the key driver here. One of the primary reasons why owners choose the SR5 Premium over TRD Off-Road or TRD Pro trims is because you can potentially spend up to $12,000 more just for the truck itself. If you have plans on swapping out the suspension, wheels, tires, etc., then the higher-end trims don’t make a whole ton of sense. OEM parts don’t resell as well as you might think (even TRD Pro components) and you can quickly spend $12,000 on parts.

So if you plan on modifying the heck out of your 4Runner, vehicle trims up through the SR5 Premium make the most sense. And, the owners below would agree. Let’s take a look at some SR5 Premium Builds and owners’ favorite modifications.

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Note: The builds listed below are in no particular order

1. Eric Keller (@evergreen_rnr) – 2016

5th Gen Barcelona Red SR5 Premium 4Runner with 3" Radflo Lift & Diode Dynamics 7-Pod SS5 Crosslink Light Bar

Top 5 Mods

  1. 3″ Radflo Lift
  2. Rear Eaton E-Locker + 4.56 Nitro Gears
  3. 17×8.5 ET -25mm Offset RR7-H Beadlocks | 35×12.5 Nitto Trail Grapplers
  4. Diode Dynamics 7-Pod SS5 Crosslink Light Bar
  5. RC Fabrication Gusseted Double Shear Spindles w/ Solid Piece Tie Rods

Tell Us About Your Setup

I went with an SR5 Premium because I did not want to be forced to be in 4LO to use a locker. Plus, adding one later was more affordable. The SR5 Premium has all of the creature comforts I could need. Paired with an aftermarket locker, it’s a very capable platform.

Saving money by not buying a higher-tier 4Runner has also allowed me to build out and mod mine much faster than if I had shelled out more money at the time of purchase. For what I do, the mod path with an SR5 Premium has allowed me to build a more capable 4Runner over a TRD Off-Road or TRD Pro. I also feel less bad about beating up and wheeling a less expensive vehicle.

2. Marie Dubray (@pnw.sr5p) – 2021

2021 SR5 Premium 4Runner in Super White with Cali Raised Stealth Front Bumper & RockTrix RT112 Wheels With Falken Wildpeak 285s

Top 5 Mods

  1. Dobinsons 1″ – 3.5″ IMS Lift Kit
  2. RockTrix RT112 Wheels
  3. Cali Raised LED Stealth Bumper
  4. Ironman 4×4 12,000lb. Monster Winch
  5. Anytime Camera Front Camera

Tell Us About Your Setup

When I originally purchased my 4Runner, I had no intention of taking it off-road. That was the main reason I decided to go with the SR5 Premium. I knew I wanted heated leather seats, and this trim checked all the boxes. I was also pretty lucky because I was able to custom order my 4Runner from the dealership right before Toyota stopped allowing that!

Over time, I fell in love with off-roading, and so I began the build. I landed on the RockTrix wheels because I wanted something simple yet aggressive. I didn’t want to dedicate too much of my budget to wheels since I knew they would get bruised up on the trails.

The Cali Raised LED bumper is one of my newer additions and I absolutely love it! Paired with the Ironman 4×4 winch, it makes for the perfect recovery setup. I think the bumper accents the white color super well.

The Anytime Camera Front Camera is something that I recommend to everyone who does a lot of overlanding and off-roading. The installation is pretty straightforward, and this is a good solution if you don’t have one from the factory. I use it on every adventure because it gives me peace of mind, especially when going over anything more technical.

Finally, the Dobinsons IMS lift is amazing. I previously had a Westcott Designs spacer lift; however, as I started to explore more technical areas, I knew it was time to upgrade the stock suspension. I have yet to take it off-road with the new suspension and test it out, but from my on-road driving, it’s like night and day.

Overall, I’m very happy with my SR5 Premium, as it has allowed me to build my truck exactly how I wanted with no restrictions on parts and for less money than if I had gone with a TRD trim. It’s a very capable weekend warrior!

3. Jet Aguirre (@paksiw_t4r) – 2019

White 5th Gen 4Runner with Bronze SCS F5 Wheels and Kumho Tires

Top 5 Mods

  1. SCS F5 17×9 -38mm Offset | 35” Kumho Tires
  2. Lighting: AlphaRex Luxx Headlights, Aiden James Bezels, Diode Dynamics SS3 Pro, & Amber Raptors
  3. Bilstein/Dobinson Lift
  4. CBI Covert Bumper
  5. RSG Metalworks Sliders

Tell Us About Your Setup

I chose an SR5 Premium mainly because I needed a 3rd row for family trips. While I don’t always need it, it’s convenient when I need to haul more than 5 people.

I chose the 4×4 because I need it occasionally in inclement weather and for playtime off-road. I went with the Premium trim because of the SofTex and heated seats. Plus, they’re definitely easier to clean when my kids like to leave a mess in the truck!

4. Nick Ager (@salty_4runner_ocmd) – 2015

Silver 5th Gen 4Runner with Toytec Boss-4R210 Suspension & 17x9-25 Dakar Wheels from Summit With 315 BFG Tires

Top 5 Mods

  1. Toytec Boss-4R210 Suspension
  2. Cali Raised LED Ditch Lights
  3. 17×9 -25mm Offset Summit Dakar Wheels | 315/70R17 BF Goodrich KM3s
  4. ARK Splash Guards
  5. 4Runner Lifestyle Raptor Lights 

Tell Us About Your Setup

I chose the SR5 Premium trim because of its outstanding off-road capability and the strong, reliable Toyota V6 engine.

Another factor why I chose this trim specifically over others was because of the cargo area. I opted for the third-row seating, which comes in handy. I also have the option to fold down the seats, and that gives me ample cargo space.

When I purchased the 4Runner, I was lucky enough to get one with both a sunroof and heated seats. This was a huge selling point over the SR5 base model because it felt a bit more luxurious. As an added bonus, silver just so happens to be my favorite color.

5. David Hartzman (@h4rtz.rnr) – 2014

5th Gen 4Runner with Cali Raised Sliders & Yakima Roof Top Storage Box

Top 5 Mods

  1. Cali Raised LED Rock Sliders
  2. Baja Rack Roof Rack
  3. TRD Pro Fox Shocks
  4. RTT (built on trailer)
  5. Raptor Lights

Tell Us About Your Setup

The leather heated seats were a game changer and ultimately the deciding factor in purchasing the SR5 Premium. Since I live in Colorado, having that comfort in the winter was extremely necessary.

I’ve had four 4Runners in my life, and none of them had a locker. So, going with a TRD model didn’t make much sense to me. Purchasing the lower trim allowed me to save a little bit of money and still have an amazing base to build from.

6. Jeff Steffens (@jeffsteffens2) – 2018

5th Gen 4Runner with Lensun Solar Hood Panel and Prinsu 3/4 Roof Rack

Top 5 Mods

  1. Lensun Solar Hood Panel
  2. Dobinsons 1″ – 3.5″ Lift Kit
  3. YotaMafia Front Skid
  4. Car Trim Home T10 V2
  5. Prinsu 3/4 Roof Rack w/ Lasfit 42″ Light Bar

Tell Us About Your Setup

I decided to go with the SR5 Premium because I knew I would want to modify it. While I liked the TRD Pro color options and the slightly higher factory stance, I couldn’t justify the price tag. I don’t go offroad enough to need Crawl Control, and I thought it would be silly to opt for a better factory suspension only for me to take it all off.

My SR5 Premium plus a few mods is very capable and does what I need. Mine came with a moonroof and heated SofTex seats. The latter was a must for my family because I have 2 young boys and live near the beach. SofTex is so much easier to clean up spilled food and sand!

Saving the extra money upfront allowed for more budget room with mods and to get them sooner. I’m really happy with how it is coming along. It is our family vehicle, and my boys love it. The oldest (5) is just getting into helping me, so I’m excited for him to help more. I install and maintain everything I can, which helps me learn more about the 4Runner and save a lot of money in the process.

The lift gives me everything I need for what I do and then some. I really liked the look of lifting 3″ front and 2″ rear. I went with Dobinsons’ basic nitro shocks, which have been great, especially for the price. The lift let me fit 285/70R17 tires which helps with the aggressive look.

The solar panel is great for keeping my battery charged while running my portable fridge in the rear. It also removes glare, even though the SR5 Premium hood glare isn’t as bad as the models with hood scoops.

The YotaMafia skid gives me that better look, as well as having access plates for oil changes, so I do not have to drop the whole skid plate to change the oil. The Prinsu 3/4 is great because it’s big enough to hold my gear but also allows me to keep access to the moon roof. I just added the light bar, which is a great addition.

Finally, the CarTrimHome T10V2 is amazing! I wish I had upgraded the factory head unit right away. My 2018 didn’t have Apple Carplay, but now it does with this new head unit. As an added bonus, it is great for my kids to watch shows on long road trips or while just sitting around. I also upgraded the speakers, so that really brings the sound alive. In the future, I hope to add a subwoofer, but I need to convince the wife first! 

7. Khaled Alqirem (@t4papi) – 2019

5th Gen 4Runner SR5 Premium with SSW Offroad Wheels and Dobinsons Snorkel

Top 5 Mods

  1. AlphaRex G2 Headlights
  2. Auxbeam Switch Panel
  3. Inspired Overland RTT
  4. SSW Offroad Wheels
  5. Dobinsons Snorkel

Tell Us About Your Setup

Choosing a trim level was a no-brainer for me. I knew that I wanted to get into the aftermarket scene for the 4Runner, so I chose the SR5 Premium. The Premium trim allowed me to have leather seats and part-time 4WD.

Although I don’t have a factory-locking rear diff or Crawl Control, I’ve heard many people don’t use them anyways. By buying the SR5 Premium, I saved money for the aftermarket parts I wanted.

8. Chelsea Brayman (@rose_the_runner) – 2020

Red 5th Gen 4Runner with Westcott Designs Lift Kit

Top 5 Mods

  1. Westcott Designs Lift Kit
  2. Canvasback Cargo Liner
  3. Cali Raised LED MOLLE Panels
  4. KC Actiontrax Recovery Boards
  5. Ecotechne Hood Mount

Tell Us About Your Setup

I grew up in the south riding 4-wheelers on our family land and have always had a love for the outdoors. My family often camped and spent weekends out in nature to escape the hustle of everyday life.

Before I knew it, I had a family of my own and found myself caught up in the routine of work and home life. I was selling jewelry at the time and needed a vehicle with enough cargo space to haul my cases between vendor events. I landed on the SR5 Premium because it had a sunroof (a personal requirement for any vehicle) and the XP Package, which included 20″ wheels. That sealed the deal for me.

I searched multiple dealerships and drove 3 hours to purchase my beautiful Barcelona Red babe! I wasn’t too concerned with the off-road capability when I purchased it. However, a few months into daily driving, I realized it would be silly to keep her on the pavement when I could easily let my kids experience some of the same trips and adventures I loved as a child.

Rose is only 2WD, but she’s gotten me everywhere I’ve needed to go without many modifications. These vehicles are capable of driving straight off the lot and into the wilderness, and I have loved every minute of being an SR5 Premium owner!

Final Thoughts

Red 5th Gen 4Runner with -17x8.5 ET-25 RR7H Beadlocks Wheels wrapped in 35x12.5 Nitto Trail Grapplers Tires

That wraps up another Feature Friday! We hope you enjoyed this week’s post on SR5 Premium builds and their top 5 modifications.

I personally love my SR5 Premium 4Runner and don’t regret my decision one bit. In fact, with the money I saved not purchasing a TRD Pro, I have been able to build a reliable daily driver and weekend warrior that allows me to do almost everything I am comfortable doing.

I’m sure that my build will continue to grow and become as, if not more, capable than a stock TRD Pro. SR5 Premium builds are definitely the more cost-effective way to build your dream truck if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

We’ll see you back here next week for another Feature Friday, where we’ll be featuring leveling and spacer lift kits!

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