Should You Take the 2022 Toyota 4Runner Off Road?

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner has the off-road chops to compete with any SUV in its class, though its pavement demeanor leaves much to be desired.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The 2022
Toyota 4Runner
is as rugged an SUV as you’ll find, with plenty of off-road prowess to get you through unforgivable terrain. That being said, if you’re looking for a refined SUV to chauffeur your prom date around town, we suggest looking elsewhere.
A good off-road vehicle is your ticket to hacking your way through life’s on- and especially off-road obstacles. But this begs the question—which SUV is truly an off-roading animal, and which ones are mere off-roading paper tigers?
In this article,
, the
car insurance
super app
, gets down to brass tacks and gives you the goods on the Toyota 4Runner’s off-roading capabilities. We’ll examine key factors such as ground clearance and torque, not to mention looking at alternatives if the 4Runner isn’t quite your style.
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Can the 2021 Toyota 4Runner go off road?

By jove can it ever (that means “Yes”)—the 4Runner is an excellent off-roading SUV, and it's actually much more comfortable for carving up the off-road than it is for meandering along commuter routes and grocery runs. 
Its starting price of $41,935 makes it a premium off-roading choice, with its strong V6 engine, soft suspension capable of absorbing serious bumps, and four-wheel drive. That being said, its high starting price might make it prohibitive if off-roading is something you think you’d like to do, as opposed to something you do regularly.
If you’re a serious off-roading enthusiast, you’ll want to keep reading to get the nitty-gritty on all the 4Runner can offer. If you are not a serious off-roading enthusiast? You should also keep reading, because we here at Jerry like your company.

Ground clearance

Ground clearance is a big attribute that can make or break a vehicle’s off-roading ability, so this is an important number to be aware of. The 2022 Toyota 4Runner sports 9.0 inches of ground clearance, making it a solid choice for off-roading.
Ideally, you want your off-roading vehicle to have between 8.8 and 10.8 inches of ground clearance. The higher your off-roader’s undercarriage is off the ground, the easier it will be to tackle challenging off-roading terrain. 


When you hit the trails, you want your off-roader to deliver a solid amount of low-end torque, or a higher amount of torque at lower RPM levels. More low-end torque improves your vehicle’s turning power, especially at lower speeds—which is vital to get your wheels to turn through tough off-road spots. 
The 2022 Toyota 4Runner boasts 278 lb-ft of torque @ 4400 RPM, which is a good amount of torque to get you through the toughest parts of your off-roading adventures.


The Toyota 4Runner sports a rugged set of Nitto Terra Grappler All-terrain P265/70SR17 tires. 
All-terrain tires
are ideal for drivers who want a balance of off-roading prowess combined with on-road capability. These tires don’t last as long as all-season tires, so you may have to budget for replacing them sooner than you would with all-season tires. However, their more open tread gives drivers better traction, especially when tackling tough terrain.


The Toyota 4Runner sports a powerful 4.0 L V6 engine, with 270 horsepower mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. Both rear- and four-wheel drive are available, though four-wheel drive is essential if you’re bent on becoming the unquestioned lord of your local off-road trails.


You’ll need good angles to conquer the off-road, the 4Runner delivers both approach and departure angles in spades:
  • Approach angle: the maximum angle the vehicle can climb without encountering interference
  • Departure angle: the maximum angle the vehicle can descend without interference
The 4Runner offers very capable angles—a 30 degree approach angle, and a 26 degree departure angle.

Off-road rating: Trail Boss

We here at Jerry have gone to the trouble of devising a super-complicated and uber-complex off-road rating system, which makes determining a vehicle’s off-road capabilities a snap for you, dear reader. It’s known as DIRT, and it's broken down below:
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
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The 2022 Toyota 4Runner gets a T rating—this SUV is as tough as they come and is much better suited to rollicking off-road adventures than it is getting you to the office every day. If you’re looking for more of a balance between off-road prowess and refined city driving, there are other SUVs that do a better job of giving you the best of both worlds.

The best off-road alternatives to the 2022 Toyota 4Runner

If the 4Runner leans a bit too heavily into trail-destroying territory for your liking, and not enough in the direction of regular driving, there are alternatives available to Toyota’s off-roading menace. After all, paying more than $41,000 for a vehicle best suited to blazing new paths into virgin wilderness is a lot, especially if your most pressing need is an SUV to get your kids to school.
The following are some solid alternatives if there’s more to your life than driving over rocks, logs, and bogs:
Best commuting alternative
2022 Nissan Pathfinder
The 2022 Pathfinder features 3 rows of seats, a pleasant on-road demeanor, and a comfortable and quiet interior, though its off-roading leaves much to be desired.
Best balanced alternative
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WK
Thie Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a much better balance of on- and off-road prowess, with respectable off-road chops and plenty of interior bells & whistles, especially at the higher trims.
Best practical alternative
2022 Ford Explorer
The Explorer is the most practical of the 4Runner alternatives, offering lots of power, storage, and multimedia, though its best suited as a family hauler than an off-roader.
MORE: Cheap off-road trucks
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How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

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