The Nightshade will be the happy ending to the 5th gen Toyota 4Runner. The Nightshade is packed with so many retro-style features that the nostalgia you get from it is surreal. You can see the features are nowhere near the competitors, but for a good reason.
The features given in the nightshade package are so familiar that it feels right. When you hop into it and glance at the interior, it will give you the remanence of the past blended with the latest design features. Overall, the Nightshade trim is unique and very different from its supposed Limited model backing.
The Nightshade is the suped-up Limited model that blends into the night; you might not even see it coming. All the shiny chrome trim is replaced by dark emblems. The 4Runner community has long been making their badges dark as a statement. The manufacturers saw that passion and listened to the desire, hence coming out the Nightshade.
What is Toyota 4Runner Nightshade?
In a nutshell, Toyota 4Runner Nightshade is the blacked-out version of the Limited trim level. It excluded all shiny chrome trim and reflective surfaces and instead gave a dark shade, almost black, to all the chrome badging and trims. The nightshade models are also introduced in several other Toyota lineups, mentioned below:
- Toyota 4Runner
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Corolla
- Toyota Corolla Hatchback
- Toyota Sienna
These are the only five models for now, and Toyota is expected to add more models in the upcoming future. The Nightshade packages were introduced in 2019 – including the Toyota 4Runner. We are going to discuss the Nightshade package of the 4Runner in great detail. So let’s dive deep into the Limited trim level suped-up with dark trim, also referred to as the sportier Limited model.
Specs And Features Of The Toyota 4Runner Nightshade
The 4 Runner Nightshade of each year receives a couple of changes concerning the previous year. Some differences are obvious, while some are discrete and require an expert eye to differentiate. The engine is the same across all three models that have been introduced; 2019, 2020, and 2021.
All three years of the Toyota 4Runner Nightshade are fitted with X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension.
For the drivetrain, you have an option to go for the 4-wheel-drive, which further increases the ground clearance up to 6 inches. The cargo area can have three different types of settings. You can either have a third-row seat or empty that space for extra cargo. The third option is the sliding rear deck, making loading and unloading pretty easy.
2019 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade
The 4Runner Nightshade first appeared in the market in 2019. It is the first year for the appearance of the Nightshade package for other models, which we have mentioned above.
It is one of the most obvious aesthetics, which you can notice with a single glance. All the normally shiny bits are now covered in black gloss finish – as the name suggests, it is the shade of the night.
These blacked-out trims include:
- Blacked Out Wheels
- Front chrome grill
- Running Board
- Toyota Badges; both front and rear
- Door Handles (Apparent detail – can be seen on models other than black)
- Limited Badge
- All the accents on the front bumper
- 4Runner badge
- The top side of the rear bumper
- The rear chrome line encompassing the rear bumper
All these mentioned parts are given the Nightshade treatment and have turned black. The white (Blizzard Pearl) 4Runner Nighhtsahde makes these details prominent; whereas, the black (midnight black metallic) enhances the looks to the level of Mercedes stealth edition. Which gives the all known “black is not a color, it is an emotion” vibe.
You have another color option known as the “Magnetic Grey Metallic,” which is not less intimidating than the other two colors available. The most prominent feature that differentiates a Nightshade from a regular Limited model is the blacked-out wheels. Black wheels are not a very common factory-fitted color which makes them unique.
It has a 4.0L V6 engine making 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. The engine comes paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission. It is available in both rear-wheel drive and the optional part-time four-wheel drive, having high 4 and low 4.
In the interior, you will notice that all the trims on the dashboard are black as well – with a 6.1-inch infotainment system. You also get satellite radio and HD radio, with 15 JBL speakers. The gauge cluster has a black and white display showing important information about the vehicle.
The steering wheel has multiple functions; pick up a call, hang up a call, voice commands, adjust the display, radio controls, a standard moonroof, etc. Most of the features in the 2019 model are the same as the 2020/2021 model.
Let’s move on to the distinct features: two 12 Volts normal connections for the rear seat passengers and no USB connection. You can facelift the rear passenger connections for some extra bills on top of the price you paid to buy it. On top of these interior features, you have the sliding rear cargo deck that makes loading and unloading much easier.
You will not find a safety Connect in this model as it does not offer it in the first place. Safety Connect is only available in the 2020/2021 model.
The 2019 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade comes with 20-inch wheels with blacked-out alloy rims. The tires are all-season from the factory. The tire brand you get with the wheels depends on where you are buying your Nightshade Toyota 4Runner.
The fuel economy is not as great as you would expect, but it is not a hybrid either. In the end, you get 18 miles to the gallon combined if you have rear-wheel drive. On the other hand, you get 17 miles per gallon combined for the 4-wheel-drive variant. Over five years of normal driving, you will spend $4500 more on fuel – compared to a normal car.
2020 And 2021 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade
The 2020 and 2021 Toyota 4Runner aren’t that different from the 2019 Toyota 4Runner. You might not be able to tell them apart right away, so we will help you differentiate, and then you will have that expert-level knowledge.
The first thing that is very obvious is the front. When you look closely into the front grill, you will see a black box behind it, the “Toyota Safety Sense.”
Toyota Safety Sense is not available in the 2019 model, but it is available in the 2020 and 2021 models.
The blacked-out trims on the 2020 and 2021 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade includes:
- Blacked out wheels
- Blacked out Badges (All of them)
- Blacked out front grill
- Blacked out Door Handles
- Blacked out Side mirrors
- Blacked out Running Board
- Blacked out rear bumper top
- Blacked out rear bumper accents
The 2020/2021 model is very similar to the 2019 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade, with Toyota Safety Sense as the only denominator. If you are okay being deprived of this extra feature, you can opt for the 2019 model. You will find them much less expensive than the 2020 or the 2021 model.
Just like the 2019 model, the engine fitted on to the 2020 and 2021 model is 4.0L V6 paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission. You can also get this model in either rear-wheel drive or part-time 4-wheel-drive, where you can shift from rear-wheel-drive to 4 wheel drive low and high depending on the terrain.
For normal highway rides, you might not need 4-wheel-drive. Suppose you occasionally haul stuff in the back and lean more towards the Overlanding side. In that case, you should go with the optional 4-wheel-drive. Another benefit of the wheel drive is the 6 inches of extra ground clearance, which is insane – it makes a lot of difference when you are Overlanding.
The 2020 interior is much more advanced-looking when compared to the 2019 model. The first thing you will notice is the bigger 8-inch touch screen, which 2019 did not have.
The 2020/2021 model also has 2 USB ports on the back, while the 2019 model only had the 12-volt sockets and could not attach a charger. If you wanted a USB port, you would have had to pay extra –on top of the buying price. It is not a difficult install. You can either have this installed through certified dealerships or at the regional assembly point.
In the 2020/2021 model, you get two charging using ports as standard. With two charging ports, the rear passengers would not have to wait for their turns and can charge their devices at the same time. It also has the apple car play, android auto, ways compatibility, amazon Alexa command.
The map card is missing on the 2020/2021 model, which was available in the 2019 model. It comes with a dynamic navigation system; it takes real-time information from the cloud, so you do not have to manually update the maps.
The latest feature that you will see on the top where you have the moon roof controls is the safety connect, service connects, destination assist, and wifi connect – basically, it does a lot of things for you.
This feature also gives you the freedom to have every detail about your Nightshade at your fingertips. You can retrieve all the information from the ECU on your phone, so you know if your Nightshade needs gas or its tire is running out of pressure. This feature also lets you have the party trick, where you can start the engine from your phone – even when you are thousands of miles away.
It is expected to see an all-new Toyota 4Runner very soon, and chances are – the new design might not pack as good of a punch as the 4Runner of this generation and all the previous generations did.
Coming to the steering that you will be holding most of the time, it has a lot of buttons to control the sophisticated features that are filled in the 4Runner Nightshade. You will see buttons with which you can pick up a call, hang up on a call, voice command, cruise control, volume button, menu control buttons, radio controls, etc.
Toyota Safety Sense
Toyota Safety Sense prevents front-end collision, side collisions and helps you in nighttime driving. During the night, the high beams automatically change according to the situation. It has Lazer technology –which contains a radar that works with the pre-collision system and pedestrian detection. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is also an option that Toyota Safety Sense manages.
On top of all the above-mentioned assists, the system also offers the lane departure warning, preventing drowsy drivers from losing control. These features are not available in the 2019 model, which makes the 2020 model stand out.
But not so fast. We also have the 2021 model on our floor. We will see whether the 2021 model is worth getting compared to the 2020 model in the later section of this article.
You get 18 mpg combined with a rear-wheel-drive variant. On the other hand, you get 17 mpg with a part-time 4-wheel-drive variant.
You get blacked-out 20-inch wheels from the factory with all-season tires. The brand of the tire depends on the region from where you are buying your vehicle.
Question: What Is Different In 2021 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade?
Answer: The 2021 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade has LED headlights, LED high beams, LED DRLs (Day Time Running Lights), LED fog lights – everything LED. You also get a remote start on the Toyota 4Runner Nightshade as standard.
Question: 2021 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade! Is It Worth Getting?
Answer: The 2021 model Toyota 4Runner Nightshade is no different than the 2020 model. 2019, however, gives fewer bells and whistles and also looks a little outdated. Suppose you want to save some money and have better features. In that case, you can go for the 2020 model, as spending the extra cash to get the 2021 model, which is the same as the 2020 model, would not be a very good financial decision.
Question: What Is 4Runner Limited Nightshade?
Answer: The 4Runner Limited has the Nightshade add-on, which you can have when you are going for the Limited trim. You can opt for this package for an extra $1500. With this option, you will get blacked-out badges and trims. The wheels on this package will also be black. There are three different color schemes available in the Nightshade package.
Final Thoughts: Which is the Best Toyota 4Runner Nightshade?
The 4Runner Limited is a good option, but having the Nightshade on top is a better option. This add-on gives the 4Runner an all-new aesthetics, which makes it stand out even more. If you are looking for value in your purchase, the 2020 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade would be the go-to choice. As this is a limited production vehicle, you won’t see it depreciate like other normal SUVs out there on the road.
So, in short, the 2020 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade is very well made with lots of modern techs, still with the roots of the past. You can look at it and find a distinct design that you do not find anywhere else, in any other SUV out there. The competition keeps on getting similar to one another, whereas the Toyota 4Runner has been true to its design roots till this day.