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Thankfully, Toyota has finally started reworking some of its old 4×4 models like the Tundra and Sequoia. However, the Toyota 4Runner, one of the brand’s most iconic models, has been in the same generation since 2009. Despite some minor facelifts, the 4Runner has gone unchanged for over a decade. What gives? Is there ever going to be a new Toyota 4Runner? 

A red 2022 Toyota 4Runner splashing through a puddle.
2022 Toyota 4 Runner | Toyota

Is Toyota coming out with a new 4Runner? 

We still haven’t seen anything definitive in the works for the 4Runner, but some major changes to the big boys offer some hope for the smaller 4x4s.

Toyota started moving its body-on-frame trucks over to the TNGA-F platform currently underpinning the 2023 Land Cruiser, Tundra, Lexus LX600, new Sequoia. However, there has been little evidence of a smaller TNGA-F platform for the 4Runner or Tacoma, yet hope grows for the new 4Runner. 

Will the Toyota 4Runner ever get a new engine? 

A green Toyota 4Runner midsize SUV is parked outdoors.
The Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

Gear Patrol says that a four-cylinder engine for the 4Runner is a no-brainer that is likely coming whenever Toyota redesigns the classic 4×4. This trend has taken off with the Bronco leading the charge. Instead of the 4Runner’s current 4.0-liter V6, the idea would be to move toward a turbocharged four-pot with more than the current generation’s five-speed automatic transmission. 

The Toyota powerplant currently leading the crowd-favorite race is the ​​turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four from the all-new Lexus NX 350. It may sound small for the 4Runner, but this little four-banger makes a killer 275 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, which is substantially more torque than the current V6. 

The other trend sweeping the 4×4 market is hopped-up muscle trucks like the Hemi-powered Jeep Wrangler or the Ford Bronco Raptor. Toyota might want to compete with these others by giving it a bigger motor option, maybe the 400-hp V6 from the Tundra? Or maybe even an electric one? Ok. Ok. Let’s not speculate that wildly just yet. 

However, Toyota has said that by 2025, it plans to have a hybrid version of every model. A hybrid engine will come to the 4Runner; the question is, which one would it use? It could just as easily be a brand-new powerplant, but what’s more likely is taking something like the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid’s powerplant or maybe even the super badass 437-hp hybrid V6 from the up-ticket Tundra.

Will the new Toyota 4Runner get a new interior? 

The 2023 Toyota 4Runner is set to be a highly-improved version of the tried and true 4×4. We are already seeing major improvements in the new Toyota 4Runner’s interior. Toyota has traditionally kept things pretty simple in this department, but the competition is killing them in this area. Reading the writing on the wall, it seems Toyota has already decided to step up the 4Runner’s interior. We are hoping (and think it will happen) that Toyota gives the 4Runner the new Toyota infotainment system that just debuted in the new Lexus NX. 

The Toyota 4Runner is one of the greatest off-roaders in the game

Despite this hard-to-argue point, the 4Runner has suffered over the years by staying stagnant for too long. Its competitors like the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco have not stopped moving over the past few years, leaving the 4Runner way in the distance. 

The 4Runner needs a new generation for the upgrades and modernization, sure. But, more than that, it needs to be relevant again. Too long has the 4Runner sat in the shadows. It’s time for the new Toyota 4Runner.


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