Can the 2023 Toyota 4 Runner Still Compete?

The Toyota 4Runner hasn’t seen any major changes since 2010 and it looks like buyers are starting to notice. Sure, the 4Runner remains as one of the top 4×4 SUVs. It now has magical Crawl Control that can get you unstuck from deep mud and sand, its styling has long set a standard for off-road SUVs, and it’s comfortable and powerful. But that’s changing as the much newer Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Bronco seem to be passing it in sales.

So, can the 2023 Toyota 4Runner still compete? For now, at least, it seems like buyers are saying, “Nope.”

Bronco and Grand Cherokee outsell the 4Runner

The Bronco and Grand Cherokee outsold the 4Runner last month. The 4Runner doesn’t compete with normal SUVs. Instead, this 4×4 really sits in an adventurous class of SUV that includes the Ford Bronco and the (old) Jeep Grand Cherokee. These are all SUVs that, while they may be good at commuting, they’re also excellent SUVs when you switch on the four-wheel drive and go off into the boonies.

Ford sold nearly 11,000 Broncos last month. Jeep has sold more than 12,500 Grand Cherokees last month. Toyota, though, sold just 8,800 4Runners, according to GoodCarBadCar, a firm that tracks vehicle sales. To be fair, so far this year, Toyota has sole more 4Runners that Ford did Broncos, however Ford did face production issues with the Bronco in the first half of 2022.

The Bronco and the Grand Cherokee are newer SUVs

We get it, the 4Runner is old and it hasn’t changed much since 2010. The Ford Bronco and Jeep Grand Cherokee are basically all-new SUVs. The Bronco came out in late 2021, while Jeep launched the new Grand Cherokee for 2022. One of the best ways to sell some SUVs is to make a new one, and Jeep and Ford are following that playbook.

Ford keeps adding options to the 2023 Ford Bronco to make it even more competitive, and we’re not just talking about the mighty Bronco Raptor. For 2022, you can order the Sasquatch package with a new, lower, max crawl ratio and 35-inch wheels, for example. The new Grand Cherokee can now be ordered as plug-in hybrid in the 4xe package, or in a gas-powered version with three different levels of four-wheel drive, and an all new available air suspension that smooths out the rough stuff.

At Toyota, the 4Runner got some new paint schemes for 2023. But, at its core the 4Runner is hard to beat because it has some serious off-road abilities in TRD trims and for its legendary reliability. Over the last couple of years Toyota added standard active safety features, like blind-spot monitoring, and more. While its outdated V6 reliably gets you where you want to go, it’s not particularly powerful or easy on the gas pump. Also, its interior is starting to show its age.

Will there be a new 2024 4Runner?

Front angle view of black 2023 Toyota 4Runner midsize SUV
2023 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

We’re expecting a new 4Runner to debut for 2024 or 2025, alongside a highly anticipated new Toyota Tacoma truck. Many are expecting that the new 4Runner will add hybrid power, or maybe even a full-electric version. It’s hard to say what to expect for the next generation of 4Runner, but if Toyota wants to keep sales up, maybe the company needs to launch a seventh generation 4Runner.

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