Tuesday, October 20, 2015

2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro On Point in Union Springs, Alabama

Downtown Union Springs - 4Runner and Bird Dog Statue
These folks love bird dogs alright!
I had never been to the Bird Dog Field Trial Capital of the World in Union Springs, Alabama but as an avid upland hunting enthusiast I was glad to visit for a quail hunt. The 2015 TRD Pro edition 4Runner was a perfect fit for a 7-hour ride from the Lowcountry of S.C. into the rolling red clay hills of eastern Alabama. Landmarks along the way in Georgia included the Claxton fruit cake company and the Vidalia onion packing plant. My full size SUV on a lift kit with a special white paint job over a solid black wheel package was turning heads along the way.

Arriving in Alabama at the historic town of Eufala, I crossed the super-sized Lake Eufala and before continuing on the way into Bullock County traveling along Highway 82, I stopped to pay homage to the bird dog statue in downtown Union Springs. No one paid me any attention as I parked my 4Runner and stepped out into the street to make a photo - just another tourist in town! Part of the TRD Pro package is the Aluminum front skid plate underneath the front grill that spells out the name Toyota. The absence of the T-insignia found on all other Toyota models, gives this 4Runner more of the feel that one yearns for from older model Toyota jeeps and cruisers.

After the hunt with a brace of bobwhite quail
Bird Dogs on point in Bullock County, Ala.
This SUV rides great and since I was on the highway much of the driving time, I exceeded the 18 miles per gallon average that is stated on the vehicle's data sheet. The list price for this model is $42,345 and while it lacks some bells and whistles such as moon roof or auto assist tailgate, this edition is more of a man's truck due to its simplicity. With no step rail, the first step into the driver's seat is not going to suit short people, but I didn't really have any issues getting in or out. During my horseback quail hunt in the Alabama Black Belt, it is safe to say that I had more difficulty just getting up and down into my saddle.... but that's another story.

We did have a rainstorm while I was in Alabama, and this SUV rolled across the two-rut red clay roads like it was nothing. Boy does that red clay spray show up nicely on the side of a white truck too! Having been on an off road driving course before with a Tundra, I definitely got the feeling that this TRD Pro edition 4Runner would be able to handle any average off-roading challenge I might encounter in the Southeast.

To view past blog entries about my trusty Toyota Tacoma click 400,000-miles.

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