Could the New Toyota Tacoma Hybrid Mean a 4Runner Hybrid Will Follow?
One of the most notable additions to the redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra was its optional hybrid powertrain. It boasts a single electric motor and a hearty V6 engine, making 437 hp combined. Its fuel economy ratings likely won’t impress most drivers, but this setup provides excellent acceleration and a maximum towing capacity of 11,450 pounds. Soon, the Tundra’s smaller sibling, the Tacoma, will get the same hybrid treatment. Does that mean a Toyota 4Runner hybrid will follow?
When can you buy the Toyota Tacoma Hybrid?
The redesigned Tacoma Hybrid will debut for the 2024 model year. It will pack the same i-FORCE Max powertrain as the Tundra, though Toyota hasn’t revealed the new Tacoma’s specs. However, the Tacoma will likely make less power because it rides on a smaller platform.
But because the new Taco will get the same hybrid powertrain as the Tundra, the two might share similar specs. Since the Tacoma is still a midsize (and therefore lighter) truck, it could also have better fuel economy ratings. At best, the current Tundra Hybrid earns 22 mpg city/highway combined.
Motor1 notes the 2024 Tacoma could have a coil-spring suspension to match the Tundra. (The 2023 Tacoma has a leaf-spring suspension.) The site also says the redesigned Tundra will likely head into production late this year.
Is a Toyota 4Runner Hybrid next?
The Toyota 4Runner has shared the same platform as the Tacoma for years. The 4Runner will also enter a new generation for the 2024 model year. Additionally, Toyota has already confirmed the redesigned 4Runner will switch to the TNGA-F platform.
There’s no reason to believe a hybrid powertrain option wouldn’t also be on the table, but we might not know until 2025. Customers can already option the 2023 Toyota Sequoia SUV with the i-FORCE Max. Inside this large SUV, that hybrid setup generates the same amount of power as the Tundra Hybrid.
The Toyota 4Runner could benefit from a hybrid upgrade
Optimizing the 4Runner with some electric power could make one of Toyota’s most popular SUVs an even bigger hit. Despite its terrible gas mileage, over 100,000 4Runners sell yearly. The 2023 model has a 270-hp V6 paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.
That powertrain earns only 17 mpg combined — far below many midsize rivals. A hybrid 4Runner could improve that estimate significantly, but it might sacrifice the V6 engine. Rumors indicate the 4Runner’s new base engine will be a turbo-four, similar to the new Toyota Crown sedan’s powerplant. With the hybrid engine upgrade, the Crown earns 30 mpg combined.
The 4Runner has a notoriously rigid ride quality, so a potential coil-spring suspension would also be a significant improvement. And with a larger platform, the redesigned 4Runner might have more passenger and cargo space. In two-row models, the 4Runner already provides over 47 cubic feet of storage room behind the rear seats. Adding a third row drastically shrinks that number to nine cubic feet.
The two- and three-row 4Runner models have similar maximum cargo capacities of 88.8 and 89.7 cubic feet. The current 4Runner’s third row still isn’t adult-friendly, thanks to its only 29 inches of legroom.
Although many of the sixth-gen 4Runner’s finer details remain unclear, a redesign will bring nothing but improvements. So keep an eye on 2024 Tacoma news — Toyota might drop even more hints about the new 4Runner.