2025 Toyota 4Runner takes the hybrid plunge

Yet another icon at Toyota has been completely redone for the first time in what feels like forever.

On Tuesday, the 2025 Toyota 4Runner debuted with an available hybrid powertrain, modern technology, and new Trailhunter and Platinum trims all while maintaining the key design and capabilities that make the 4Runner an icon.

When it goes on sale later this year, the 2025 4Runner’s lineup will expand to encompass a dizzying array of nine trims including SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Sport Premium, TRD Off Road, TRD Off Road premium, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter. 

Pricing will be announced closer to the 4Runner’s on-sale date.

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 4Runner downsizes to turbo-4s

Say goodbye to the tried and true 4.0-liter V-6. Every 2025 4Runner will be powered by a turbo-4 powertrain, but some will be hybrids.

Most models will be powered by a 2.4-liter turbo-4 rated at 278 hp and 317 hp lb-ft of torque. But TRD Pro, Trailhunter, and Platinum models will come standard with a hybrid version of this engine that mates an electric motor to the transmission for a combined output of 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can option the hybrid engine on TRD Off-Road and Limited models. Every 4Runner will feature an 8-speed automatic transmission.

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

Toyota 4Runner aims off-road

The 4Runner has been modernized, but seemingly not at the expense of off-road capability.

The ninth-generation 4Runner remains a body-on-frame SUV, but it now rides on a modern frame. The TNGA-F platform the 4Runner now rides on is shared with the Lexus GX, Toyota Land Cruiser and Sequoia SUVs along with the Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks. The new powertrains with their improved performance will enable up to a 6,000-pound tow rating. 

Like before, rear-wheel drive will be standard while part-time or full-time four-wheel drive will be available. Moving into this century, the 4Runner’s four-wheel-drive system is electronically engaged with a switch. Most 4Runners feature a limited-slip rear differential, but TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter models gain a rear locking differential. Confusingly, only the high-zoot Platinum models get full-time four-wheel drive with a locking center differential, which is all optional on Limited models.

The 4Runner retains its independent front suspension and coil rear springs paired with a solid rear axle. TRD Pro models use 2.5-inch diameter Fox shocks with remote reservoirs to battle heat dissipation.

The new Trailhunter model rides on ARB Old Man Emu 2.5-inch forged shocks with external piggyback remote reservoirs. A full set of skid plates underneath the Trailhunter covers everything from the front bumper back to behind the transfer case should the bottom of the 4Runner make contact with the earth. The shocks paired with 33-inch Toyo Open Country All Terrain tires give the Trailhunter a 2.0-inch lift over standard 4Runners.

With up to 9.2 inches of ground clearance, 32-degree approach, and 24-degree departure angle, the latest 4Runner is a mixed bag. The current 4Runner had up to 9.6 inches of ground clearance, 33-degree approach, and 26-degree departure angle. But the current 4Runner rides on a shorter 109.8-inch wheelbase compared to the new 4Runner’s 112.2-inch wheelbase, which should pay large dividends in terms of ride quality. A new available electronic disconnecting sway bar should help maximize wheel articulation.

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

4Runner looks evolutionary

A quick look at the 4Runner and it’s obvious what this SUV is. While it retains the iconic look with punched-out flares, a tall greenhouse, and blunt front and rear ends, the front end takes on the look of the Tacoma. The headlights and grille shape are similar, and the hilariously large chin spoiler on the non off-road models can be removed with nine bolts, but it will affect fuel economy by 1 or 2 mpg. The rear windows wrap over the roofline in a nod to the first-gen 4Runner and the rear tailgate glass electronically drops down into the tailgate to haul longer items.

Both Trailhunter and TRD Pro models feature Rigid LED fog lights integrated into the front ends along with an LED light bar mounted in the center of the grille, which the latter puts out 10,000 lumens (notably about double the output of the light bars on the larger Tundra and Sequoia).

Inside, the dashboard is almost identical to the Tacoma pickup truck with either an 8.0- or 14.0-inch touchscreen perched front and center. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard. A 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster will be standard while higher trims will upgrade to a 12.3-inch display. Lower trim models feature acres of hard plastic while upper trim models cover the hard plastic with soft-touch bits and leather. Hybrid models will make loading cargo into the rear end more of a task thanks to a higher liftover height due to the battery pack. The rear seat back manually reclines for long road trips, and Platinum models feature heated rear seats. A head-up display will be available. Trailhunter models feature a 2,400-watt inverter for power during off-road adventures.

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

2025 Toyota 4Runner reveal

4Runner features safety as standard

Every 2025 4Runner will come standard with modern safety tech including automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Blind-spot monitors will be available.

SOURCE

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