But is the increase justified?
Earlier this year, we spent a week driving the 2019 Toyota 4Runner which, despite its serious off-road capabilities and solid reliability record, fails to offer anything really unique compared to certain fresh competitors like the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and Gladiator pickup truck. Still, the 4Runner's reputation is rightly earned and owners have proven to be loyal over the years. Speaking of which, the current generation 4Runner debuted in 2010 and has changed fairly little over the past decade. But for the upcoming 2020 model year, it's reportedly set to receive a significant price increase.
CarsDirect has uncovered some pricing documents that reveal the 2020 4Runner's prices will be raised by nearly $3,000. The entry-level 4Runner SR5 will begin at $37,140 with destination, a $735 increase over last year.
Moving up the trim ladder is where the price tag gets even higher. The 2020 SR5 Premium will be $2,100 more than in 2019 while the TRD Off Road and Off Road Premium increase by $1,280 and $2,100, respectively. The top-of-the-line TRD Pro will now begin at $50,885 including destination. That's a full $2,975 increase from last year. In fact, it's the most expensive 2020 4Runner in the lineup, surpassing the $49,780 Nightshade Edition. Now, here's where potential buyers need to examine this situation a bit further.
Toyota increased the 4Runner's price, specifically the TRD Pro, for 2019 as well by an also large amount, $3,340. However, various enhancements were added including sport shocks, new wheels, an improved skid plate, and redesigned roof rack. For 2020, everything appears to be carried over.
Given the 4Runner's age and seemingly annual price increases, you have to ask whether it's still worth it. The Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, for example, begins at $45,040 and it's just as capable off-road, if not more so. There's also the Ford Expedition which, despite being larger, also rides on an old school body-on-frame chassis and has a starting price of just over $52,000. Like the Jeeps, the Expedition is a far newer vehicle than the 4Runner.
We've been hearing rumors Toyota does indeed have plans for a new Tundra pickup truck, but the 4Runner's future remains unknown. Will it be discontinued? Very unlikely, but a redesign of some sort is needed.
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