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The 2025 Toyota 4Runner begins the sixth generation of this venerable midsize off-road SUV, but there’s a problem. The new generation Land Cruiser is infringing on 4Runner territory. Toyota built this new Land Cruiser with only two rows of seats, giving it a wheelbase similar to the 4Runner. While the two options for off-road midsize Toyota SUVs are intriguing, we need to understand their differences to understand how they can live in the same market together.

Older models didn’t have this problem

Past versions of the Toyota Land Cruiser had gotten so big that this SUV was the largest model in the Toyota lineup. That distinction now belongs to the Sequoia. On the other hand, the 4Runner has always been a midsize off-road SUV.

The new Toyota Land Cruiser is smaller than the 2022 version, taking us back to the early days of this nameplate when it was a hardcore midsize off-road SUV. The Toyota 4Runner stagnated in the fifth generation for 15 years, meaning this new model was overdue. It seems both Toyota SUVs were ready for some significant changes.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser, posed on an off-road trail.
2024 Toyota Land Cruiser | Toyota

Toyota says these SUV have different roles and missions

Although the Land Cruiser and 4Runner are extremely similar, they fill different roles for the brand. According to Motor1 in a conversation with Keita Moritsu, chief engineer for both SUVs:

“The Land Cruiser is designed to support life. It has to be safe. Its duty is to transport people and goods safely and confidently. That’s it’s role. And obviously, it doesn’t break. And even if it does break, it has to be easy to repair, It’s a vehicle that gives people a peace of mind. That’s the role of that vehicle.”

“In contrast, the 4Runner represents fun, a leisurely off-road [experience]. The customers want to have an exciting time in the car. And to really be able to have fun is what’s important. It’s a much lighter, agile kind of vehicle. And [it has] a much more energetic, active kind of persona to it.”

2025 Toyota 4Runner Trailhunter posed on a dirt trail.
2025 Toyota 4Runner Trailhunter | Toyota

What are some of the differences?

Reviewing some of the specs of these two Toyota midsize SUVs, we find more similarities than differences. Using the i-Force Max Hybrid powertrain, which is available for both models, the specs are:

 Toyota 4RunnerToyota Land Cruiser
Engine2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder hybrid2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder hybrid
Transmission8-speed automatic8-speed automatic
DrivetrainPart-time or full-time 4WD with 2-speed transfer casePart-time or full-time 4WD with 2-speed transfer case
Power326 hp/465 lb-ft326 hp/465 lb-ft
Towing6,000 lbs6,000 lbs
Wheelbase112.2 inches112.2 inches
Length194.9 inches193.8 inches
Width77.8 inches77.9 inches
Height70.8 inches76.1 inches
Ground Clearance9.2 inches8.0 inches

Clearly, the greatest differences between these two Toyota SUVs are height and ground clearance.

How can consumers better understand the differences?

The 2025 Toyota 4Runner receives the i-Force Max Hybrid powertrain in the highest trims, TRD Pro, Trailhunter, and Platinum. The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser comes exclusively with this powertrain. The 4Runner’s lower trims use a 2.4-liter engine that produces 27 horsepower and 317 lb-t of torque.

The best way for consumers to view these two SUVs is that the Land Cruiser is a continuation of the 4Runner’s trim lineup. Otherwise, these two Toyota SUVs are extremely similar, despite Toyota’s claim of different missions and roles.