You’ll almost certainly be upgrading your lighting if you are building an overland or off-road vehicle. This is a good idea. The stock headlights are usually adequate for illuminating a dimly-lit highway, but when you’re on a treacherous path in complete darkness, the placement and quality of your vehicle’s lighting become more critical. A good set ditch lights can be the difference in staying on the road or getting stranded, while a forward-facing bar of light can perform better than factory high beams. There is one type of lighting which is often forgotten: tail lights. These lights make sure your vehicle is seen by other motorists. They also signal lane-changes, flash hazard signals and reverse lights. And, most importantly, they let the car behind know when you are braking. With this in mind, I recently upgraded my 2022 4Runner overland project with a set of new “Gen 2” Morimoto LED tail lights.
Morimoto’s New 5th Gen 4Runner Tail Lights
Morimoto has been a leader in the aftermarket automotive lighting industry for many years. Their LED headlights, auxiliary lights, retrofit kits, as well as individual bulbs, are all very popular. For many years Morimoto has offered a replacement for the 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner 2010+, but recently they went back and redesigned the Gen 2 version. It’s an improvement that I think is dramatic.
Above: A comparison between the Morimoto 4Runner Gen 2 lights (left), and the older Gen 1 designs (right). The Gen 2 lights come in red or smoked (as shown).
The Morimoto Gen 2 4Runner Tail Lights ($650 MSRP), with their sleek, horseshoe shaped running lights, create a distinctive visual signature. In contrast to the factory lights — which have a simple grid of individual LEDs — I think it gives the truck more of an upscale look, along the lines of a modern Lexus, BMW, or Audi. The running light is separated from the brake lights, which makes it easier to differentiate the two at night.
Sequential Turn Signals & Reverse Lighting
There are three LED arrays for brake lights and turn signals in addition to the running lamp. The three segments illuminate immediately when I hit the pedal. When I turn on the turn signal, all three segments light up sequentially. one-two-three Orange-hued pattern.
Above: This is a color comparison between brake light (left), and turn signal/hazard (right).
This sequential operation can be found on many newer sports cars and luxury cars, including the Ford Mustang. They give these lights a modern, upscale look. This is a huge improvement over the traditional bulb-and reflector design of Toyota’s stock lights.
The last option is a strip of white LEDs with an extremely bright line. This serves as the reverse light. They are also a great improvement over the original 4Runner reflector with a single bulb. Morimoto also offers a Backup Light Boost bar ($77.50 MSRP), which can be mounted above the license plate, for those who need more light when backing up in dark areas. The bar plugs into the taillight, eliminating the need for new wiring or to tap into the factory harnesses.
I did not purchase the Boost Bar as I already have 2 extremely bright Baja Designs lights rear-facing on my roofrack. But it’s a good option for those wanting to keep a more stock look.
It’s easy to update your 5th Gen.4Runner with new tail lights. The installation was easy and took only a few moments. I am very happy with the result. As someone who remembers the “Altezza tail light” fad of the late 1990s, I’m not a big fan of ostentatious tail light designs, so I appreciate the understated and classy look of the Morimoto Gen 2 lights. They’re functional. You can also find out more about the following: Improve your aesthetics
MorimotoHID.com offers more information on these new Morimoto 4Runner Gen 2 rear lights.
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