What You Need to Know About the Future SUV

toyota 4runner


It’s hard to deny that the Toyota 4Runner remains one of the most charming SUVs on the road. It’s capable, it’s bulletproof — and, perhaps most importantly, it just looks cool. The trouble is, the fifth generation — which entered production back in 2009 — has grown outdated. It gets less than than 20 mpg on the highway, and its five-speed automatic transmission offers half the number of gears that the new Ford Bronco does. It’s time for Toyota to give us an upgrade for the 4Runner; luckily, one should be arriving very soon.

Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming sixth-generation Toyota 4Runner.

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When will the sixth-generation Toyota 4Runner arrive?

Did Toyota tease the new 4Runner during the Land Cruiser launch?

At the end of the 2024 Land Cruiser reveal, Toyota teased a future product with a darkened silhouette of a new, smaller off-road SUV. Our first thought was that it was the production version of the Compact Cruiser E concept. But it could also just be a new 4Runner.

In theory, the Land Cruiser will carry some of the 4Runner’s luxury and family load. That could free up Toyota to build a smaller, more hard-edged 4Runner to more explicitly take on the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco.

Will the new 4Runner have a four-cylinder engine?

Almost undoubtedly. Toyota has been downsizing its engines throughout the truck and SUV lineup. V8 models are becoming V6s. The 4Runner, currently packing a 4.0-liter V6, will probably move to a four-cylinder powertrain.

If we presume Toyota isn’t plotting any truly wild changes — like going all-electric with the 4Runner nameplate — the best bet is for the 4Runner engine lineup to track the Tacoma’s with a 270 horsepower base 2.4-liter gas engine.

Will the new Toyota 4Runner get a hybrid engine?

That seems probable. Toyota has previously said all vehicles would have at least a hybrid option by 2025. Toyota included a 2.4-liter iForce Max hybrid as an upgrade engine for the Tacoma with 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. We could see Toyota do the same with the 4Runner.

One sticking point would be that the Land Cruiser also uses that powertrain. If Toyota keeps the 4Runner in its present form, a fully luxed-out Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro would be competing against a spartan base Land Cruiser with the same engine.

Will the next 4Runner get an updated interior?

Almost certainly. The new Tundra interior (shown here) was a major modernization over the previous version; the 4Runner should follow suit, likely packing Toyota’s new infotainment system that debuted on the Lexus NX with an optional 14-inch touchscreen. Typically, Toyota doesn’t try to blow away buyers with interior material quality. But expect substantial upgrades to help fend off rivals.

Will the Toyota 4Runner get an electric version?

Will the new 4Runner still be built in Japan?

Toyota is moving its body-on-frame trucks and SUVs to their new TNGA-F truck platform. It underpins the new J300 Land Cruiser, the new Tundra, the Lexus LX 600 and the new Sequoia. A smaller version of it should be used for both the 4Runner and the new Tacoma pickup.

Like the Land Cruiser, the 4Runner has traditionally been built in Japan. But the point of the new common platform is to streamline production costs. Toyota will still build the American Land Cruiser in Japan. But we could see some or all of 4Runner production shift to North America.

How much will the 2024 4Runner cost?

We don’t know yet. The current The current 4Runner starts at $39,555 MSRP and tops out at $54,020. Toyota has said the Land Cruiser will start in the mid-$50,000 range. Any increase in 4Runner pricing would butt up against that. We don’t expect the 4Runner to get dramatically more expensive.

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