Toyota just unveiled a blacked-out edition of its aging 4Runner SUV at, of all places, the Texas State Fair where potential customers can ogle it and envision doing a hard day's work, wash it off, and then taking the wife out for a swanky steak dinner. We just say it's trying to disguise the fact that the 4Runner is a freakin' dinosaur. The trim is called the Nightshade Edition, so named for a deadly flower whose berries can kill.
The 4Runner Nightshade Special Edition just has visual changes, since there's nothing under the hood or in the SUV's tech that sets it apart. There are fancy gloss black 20" wheels, black chrome grille
The interior gets the same treatment, including black bits on the steering wheel, center stack, instrument cluster, shift knob
Is it a final edition? We doubt it since Toyota has confirmed anything about a much-need 4Runner redesign, along with the Tundra pickup truck that underpins the 4Runner. Of course, many automakers follow this same pattern close to the end of a vehicle's current generation. It's an attempt to drum up interest in a dated model by changing out some parts and hoping to give the vehicle a fresh look. But no amount of black trim is going to mask this SUV's age.
Don't get us wrong. The 4Runner is built very well, and it's an incredibly capable off-roader. But the fact that it's a decade old means it's time to swap out designs, not trim bits. Toyota is creating new models like the C-HR, which is less than stellar, and they're also redesigning key models like the RAV4. It's time, though, to pay more attention to their larger vehicles like the 4Runner, Sienna, Land Cruiser, and Sequoia, which all lag behind the competition in terms of styling, tech, and driving dynamics.
The Nightshade Edition package is currently available on the Limited trim 4x2 and d 4x4 models for $1,740 on top of the 4Runner's $35,955 starting price. The Nightshade trim can be paired with black metallic, gray metallic or pearl exterior paint choices. Whatever you choose, however, the 4Runner will still be as dated as ever.