2025 Toyota 4Runner – Tacoma-based SUV slots between Fortuner, Prado; gets 326 hp 2.4T hybrid

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Nearly a year after the fourth-generation Tacoma was revealed, Toyota has finally pulled the covers off the SUV version, the sixth-generation 4Runner. As a midsized pick-up, the Tacoma is essentially America’s equivalent of the Hilux, so think of this as a Fortuner of sorts, albeit with only five seats.

Like its truck sibling, the 4Runner rides on the TNGA-F ladder chassis that also underpins the larger Tundra, Land Cruiser and Prado models. As per those models, it rides on a high-strength boxed steel frame and sits on double wishbone suspension at the front and a multilink setup at the rear, the latter with a solid rear axle and coil springs.

Given that they were designed concurrently, it’s not surprising that the 4Runner shares a familial resemblance to the Tacoma. Both sport a very rugged, angular design said to be inspired by desert racing, with sharp headlights and a hexagonal motif that’s found everywhere from the front grille to the bulging fenders.

2025 Toyota 4Runner – Tacoma-based SUV slots between Fortuner, Prado; gets 326 hp 2.4T hybrid

There are a few changes, however, starting from the front where the 4Runner loses the “tear” air intakes below the headlights, which also get different graphics. The rear end, of course, is completely different, with a thick body-coloured C-pillar, “wraparound” rear quarter windows that lead into roof (reminiscent of the first-generation 4Runner) and more hexagons in the taillights. As before, the rear windscreen can drop down into the tailgate – something that’s recently been picked up by the Fisker Ocean and Rivian R2.

Inside, you’ll find the same blocky dashboard as the Tacoma, continuing the hexagonal theme and featuring chunky grab handles, including on the centre console. As standard, you get a seven-inch instrument display and a new eight-inch freestanding Audio Multimedia infotainment touchscreen, which can be upsized to 12.3 inches and a massive 14 inches respectively. As is typical for 2024, you’ll find wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plenty of USB-C ports (optional for the rear passengers) and a Qi wireless charger.

Other features include a sharable smartphone Digital Key as well as tumble-fold second-row seats to maximise interior versatility and cargo floor usage. You also get Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 as standard, which includes new motorcyclist detection for autonomous emergency braking, enhanced lane centring assist and an Emergency Driving Stop System that brings the car to a stop if it senses the driver is incapacitated.

2025 Toyota 4Runner – Tacoma-based SUV slots between Fortuner, Prado; gets 326 hp 2.4T hybrid

Also new is Proactive Driving Assist, a Level 2 semi-autonomous driving system that can now gently brake into corners. Traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and automatic high beam are also fitted.

Under the bonnet, Toyota has dispensed with large six-cylinder engines in favour of 2.4 litre turbocharged four-cylinder mills. The range starts with the i-Force petrol engine that develops 278 hp and 512 Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Range-topping models instead receive the i-Force Max hybrid, pairing the blown four-pot with a 48 hp electric motor and a 1.87 kWh nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery for a total system output of 326 hp and 630 Nm. This powertrain, plus the stronger TNGA-F chassis, allows the 4Runner to tow up to 6,000 pounds (2,700 kg).

The 4Runner is available in rear- (with an automatic limited-slip differential) and four-wheel-drive versions, the latter with an electronic low-range transfer case. The more rugged TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro and Trailhunter variants gain an electronic locking rear diff as well (which can split power 50:50 to each rear wheel), while the Platinum comes with a full-time all-wheel-drive system with a centre locking differential – something that’s also offered on the Limited.

You also get a Multi-Terrain Select system with Mud, Dirt and Sand, now functional in both low- and high-range modes. A Crawl Comfort low-speed off-road cruise control is also fitted, similar to Jaguar Land Rover’s All Surface Progress Control. The 4Runner comes with up to 32-degree approach and 24-degree departure angles, with an anti-roll bar disconnect system further increasing axle articulation.

For extra ruggedness, the Trailhunter variant adds ARB Old Man Emu (OME) 2.5-inch forged dampers with rear external remote reservoirs. Also fitted are an ARB roof rack, a snorkel, a 20-inch LED light bar, Rigid colour-selectable fog lights and 33-inch Toyo Open Country A/T tyres that add an extra two inches of ground clearance at the front and 1.5 inches at the rear. A 2,400-watt AC inverter provides electric power to the interior and boot.

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