Toyota Teases the New 4Runner

Updated: 4/4/2024

Toyota is beginning to build buzz around what is expected to be the sixth generation of the popular 4Runner SUV, which hasn’t had a makeover since the second year of the Obama administration (also known as 2009). The 4Runner has had some incremental updates since Gen 5 debuted, but posts on Toyota’s social media accounts on March 29th gave a peek at what is most likely the rear panel of the upcoming sixth generation of the truck-turned-light SUV, first introduced in the 1980s.

1984 Toyota 4Runner, 4Runner SUV, Toyota, new 4Runner, Gen 6 4Runner,
Is this the new 4Runner? The 1984 model (above) is still popular 40 years later. Photo by Toyota.

What Will the Next 4Runner Be?

Toyota isn’t saying much about the new 4Runner, but fans of the platform who paged through to the end of the company’s Instagram post teasing a “can-you-name-the model year” photo sequence got a mystery photo at the end showing the 4Runner logo on a beveled tailgate that, so far, hasn’t appeared on any 4Runner model. #TBT (throw-back Thursday) #4Runner and #LetsGoPlaces hashtags accompanied the post (below).

And just today, Toyota posted a short clip confirming the rear-powered window will be included in the next generation of the 4Runner.

And, arguably more exciting is the fact that the post confirmed the new 4Runner will be revealed on April 9th.

No other information was included, but the automotive internets immediately drowned themselves in speculation. What powertrain might the new 4Runner have? Likely not the long-in-tooth V6 and 5-speed auto; more likely some sort of hybrid inline-4 like the i-Force Max that will out-torque the old V6 by a long shot.

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As far as construction goes, it’s unlikely Toyota will deviate from the tried-and-true (and popular) body-on-frame underpinnings despite obvious alternatives and new designs built to accommodate battery packs. But, again, that’s speculation. As for the look of the new 4Runner, the single photo of the back end makes it clear it won’t be a smoothed-out orb designed to cheat the wind. The bevels and sharp edges suggest a more “serious” off-road stance, with interior capacity taking precedence over any aerodynamic concerns.

1984 Toyota 4Runner, 4Runner SUV, Toyota, new 4Runner, Gen 6 4Runner,
A closer look at the teaser image. Photo by Toyota

Obviously, it’s difficult to speculate on the final vehicle from a single shot of what is likely a pre-production rear panel, even if it is close to production spec. And, of course, there’s speculation about the timeline for the new 4Runner, which would likely debut as a 2025 model at the earliest or maybe even a 2026 at this point. Price? Another point to wrestle over, especially with the recent debut of the updated Land Cruiser occupying the less-than-a-truck price point niche that’s also in play across many offerings from other brands.

As always, we’ll be watching closely for the next 4Runner clue and post updates as more information is received and verified.

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