Toyota Pulls the Wraps off the 2025 4Runner

The teasers have been (repeatedly) dropped, the news of its impending release has circulated faster than a NASCAR Camry laps Talledega and now it’s here in all its glory, sitting proudly along the golden San Diego coastline: the all-new, 2025 Toyota 4Runner. It’s the return of an icon, a cult favourite and indeed, a legend – and it’s a beauty. But more on that in a minute.

2025 Toyota 4Runner Trailhunter

According to Toyota, it’s also new from the ground-up, now riding on the TNGA-F platform shared with the Toyota Tacoma; that, of course, isn’t totally new in that the Tacoma and 4Runner have long been bedfellows but while the Tacoma is also new for this year, it received a comprehensive overhaul in 2020 that brought new styling and crucially, a new powertrain. The latest Toyota truck platform – it’s still a body-on-frame situation, by the way – also makes for a smoother ride and better on-road manners.

For its part, the 4Runner has been running with the same 4.0-litre V6 and five-speed automatic transmission since the prehistoric age, so this new iteration is perhaps an even bigger change than what the Tacoma underwent for ‘24.

2025 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

The 4.0L/five-speed has been banished to the history books, replaced for ’25 with two engine choices: a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 278 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, and an i-Force MAX hybrid V6 good for 326 hp and 465 lb-ft. Both come paired with a new eight-speed automatic with either part-time or full-time 4 x 4 and a two-speed transfer case. The trim list is extensive as there are seven count ‘em seven in total: SR5, Limited, TRD Pro, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, Trailhunter and Platinum. Of the nine, the Trailhunter and Platinum trims are new.

Speaking of that new trim: Toyota is jumping on the overlanding bandwagon by offering a model that is overlanding-ready from the factory. It gets special Old Man Emu (OME) forged shocks, ARB roof rack and 33” Toyo Open Country A/T off-road tires. There’s also enhanced underbody protection thanks to added high strength steel skid plates as well as rock rails. There’s also an LED light bar, RIGID color-selectable fog lamps and of course, you can’t miss the bronze “Toyota” heritage grille, a great nod to Toyota off-roaders of old. Inside, there’s a 2400W inverter and pre-wired auxiliary switches so all manner of overlanding gear is plug-and-playable.

The Platinum model, meanwhile, adds black exterior styling elements, heated second row seats and HUD.

2025 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

Styling-wise, every 4Runner model gets a brave new look for ’25 that keeps the bulgy, chonky look of the old truck – no way Toyota was ever going to let that go – but adds more aggressive headlight lenses, a slightly tapered-down grille and some flares on the rear haunches that look a little more performance-SUV widebody than they do Tonka truck, as was the case with the previous-gen model. Safe to say that this new styling is actually a little more befitting of the more pedestrian Platinum and SR5 models than it is Trailhunter or TRD Pro, though those last two get their fare share of tweaks – we talked about what the Trailhunter gets, while the TRD Pro gets a taller ride height and neat-o hood scoop and blacked-out wheels to have it stand out from the rest, even in the ’25 4Runner’s slightly more rounded garb. It’s an interesting blend; the slightly rounded corners and the way the rear side windows fold over onto the roof recall the first two generations of the 4Runner, while the boxy overall shape and front grille are nods to the third gen. It’s a neat mix.

Speaking of ‘chonky’: the interior sure fits the bill. The ultra fat-rimmed and flat-bottomed steering wheel, huge climate control knobs, t-bar shifter and just the general squared-off feeling found on dash dwellers like the HVAC vents, centre stack, passenger grab handle and steering wheel hub all contribute to a purposeful feel for the interior environs. It’s a darn special place to sit, and you still get that great seating position that has you looking longingly out over the hood if you aren’t an owner, and proudly if you are. Oh, and because they pretty much had to, every 4Runner gets a fully-opening rear window, as they always have done. What they’ve never had, however, that the new 4Runner gets is a power tailgate option on higher trims.

2025 Toyota 4Runner Trailhunter

All that being said, the dash is of course dominated by an all-new infotainment system. Well, all-new to the 4Runner anyway as other Toyotas have been running with it for a few years now but oh, did the 4Runner ever need it. There’s wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, virtual assistant and even a digital rear-view mirror it’s the most tech-heavy 4Runner we’ve ever seen — and that’s before we even mention the 11-speaker JBL audio system that comes with a removable Bluetooth speaker. Yes, it’s somewhat Rivian-esque but that’s fine by us.

Tech-heavy, to be sure…but is that what 4Runner people want? Folks that love playing in the mud, driving their trucks to within an inch of their lives and so on? I mean, Toyota’s sold three million of these over the years; that’s a lot of fans that know what they want.

And what about the elephant in the room – the upcoming Land Cruiser? It’s not that much bigger than the 4Runner, it’s got quite the brand equity as well and its return will be celebrated.

Well, here’s the thing: the 4Runner offers both gas-only and hybrid powertrains, while the Land Cruiser does not and believe it or not, the cargo space and lack of flat floor you get when you need to stuff a hybrid battery in there matters to 4Runner people. They often like to overland, to load their trucks to the gills – with hunting gear, with surfboards, with tents – and the 4Runner is an ideal platform for that. Not to  mention that on the flip side of that equation, the 4Runner is available with to or three rows of seating; the Land Cruiser is not, even though its Lexus GX twin gets both choices.

The final piece of this puzzle, of course, is pricing. We don’t know what the 4Runner will start at, but the hybrid-only Land Cruiser is knocking on the door of $70,000 so expect the 4Runner to come it lower than that and win some hearts as a result.

We’ll know more on the pricing as we near the fall ’24 release of the 4Runner, so until then, lets all enjoy this red letter day – one that falls within the 60th anniversary year of Toyota Canada, as it happens.


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