The 4Runner TRD Pro is a mud-slinging son of a gun

The Moat was in fine form when I had the keys to a 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro, so the conditions were perfect for a good test of what this machine was capable of.

My driveway, also known as The Moat, is usually at its worst this time of year. The early spring snow storms have melted off, leaving the ground fully saturated, and the spring rains have nowhere to go. So the water just sits on top of the ground, not soaking in, and unable to flow off the driveway in any direction, because the driveway sits a good foot below all of the land around it.

To make matters worse, the driveway is comprised completely of bentonite clay. This stuff turns the consistency of cake batter when it gets wet. When it dries, it’s quite possibly harder than concrete, which wouldn’t be bad if it would dry smooth. Unfortunately, though, it dries slowly in ruts, ridges, gullies and bumps.

Toyota 4Runner
The Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is an intimidating creature. The Moat, lurking behind the 4Runner, is intimidating, too, but it was no match for the TRD Pro.

Right now, it’s nowhere near dry. It’s basically a mile of nine-inch-deep pancake batter. And that’s what I got to use to test the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro.

The TRD Pro comes with the Toyota Crawl feature, which is basically cruise control for off-roading. It also has Terrain Select, which dials in presets for wheel slip, power transfer, and other settings based on the terrain you’re navigating. I played with both the Crawl and the Terrain Select, but I didn’t really need them. I did need the four-wheel-high setting, to get through the sticky spots, such as the deep section my youngest son dubbed the “Pit of Doom.”

I was highly impressed with the 4Runner TRD Pro. My only complaint was that the headlights caught a good portion of the flying mud, and I had to stop at a gas station and wipe them off with the squeegee so I wouldn’t crash into something at night. I think the TRD Pro ought to come standard with headlight wipers.

The TRD Pro did great on my driveway, though, so I have no doubt it would go just about anywhere you want to go hunting and fishing.