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6th Gen 4Runner Expectations For It To Be As Successful As The Current 5th Gen: What We Hope To See In The Upcoming Model Year
The 4Runner is one of the most iconic nameplates that Toyota has ever made. I would say it is as iconic as the Camry and Corolla, which have been around for decades. With every generation of 4Runner introduced, Toyota evolved and improved the platform while staying true to the platform’s identity.
That being said, the 5th Gen is going on its 15th year of production with the 2024 model year. This is the longest, by far, that we have been without a new generation. For example, 15 years is double the wait time between previous generations. So, it is extremely safe to say, that we are due for the 6th Gen any day now.
In this article, I want to share with you my expectations for the upcoming (2025?) 6th Gen for it to be a worthy replacement for your favorite dinosaur of an SUV.
I also have a similar video over on my YouTube channel, where so many of you had great ideas for what you want to see with the new 4Runner. Let’s get into it!
Design: Needs To Look Like A 4Runner
The next-gen 4Runner needs to look like a 4Runner. What do I mean by that? Every auto manufacturer aims to have their own brand identity whether it be unique grille styling or taillights. I do not want the 6th Gen to fail at that.
The new 6th Gen needs to have iconic styling that stays true to the 4Runner’s heritage. Starting up front, I’m sure that it will look like a blend of Toyota’s newer Tundra, Sequoia, and Tacoma. Hopefully, though, Toyota will find a way to make it unique from its other body-on-frame off-road siblings.
For the side profile, I expect to see that iconic angled C-Pillar that has been a key design feature for the last five generations. There are rumors that this C-Pillar will become a little more upright to make the ingress and egress of the vehicle easier, however, I still suspect it to have a slight angle.
As we move around back, I expect and hope that Toyota keeps “4Runner” spelled out dead center on the rear hatch. This has been a design feature dating back to the first generation in 1984. While previous models had “Toyota” spelled out, it is a design feature nonetheless.
Additionally, I expect to see a rear spoiler with an integrated wiper, more on that later.
Manufacturing: Built In Japan
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that the current 5th Gen is manufactured in Japan, at Toyota’s Tahara facility. This is one of the 4Runner’s biggest-selling features.
Currently, Toyota produces around 115K units, on average, every single year. The level of build quality and attention to detail that the Japanese factory has is truly unmatched. That’s especially true when compared to Toyotas made in Mexico or even America. While all factories worldwide share Toyota’s Kaizen approach, Japanese Toyotas seem to be held to a higher standard.
That being said, every 4Runner enthusiast and potential 6th Gen owner wants to see the next-gen remain in Japan for manufacturing. I feel that this is possible as the new 4R will most likely share the same powertrain as the Tacoma, including the i-FORCE MAX powertrain. It will also be on the TNGA-F global platform, which the Land Cruiser also shares, and will be built in Japan as well. Let’s have hope, people!
Reliability: Must Remain True To Toyotas Roots
This is a no-brainer. Has there ever been an unreliable 4Runner? Sure, there have been some minor issues here and there like any vehicle, but has there ever been a generation that was so plagued with issues that people avoided them?
Spoiler alert, there hasn’t, so this should hold true for the 6th Gen. Of course, there will probably be first-year issues, some recalls, and bulletins. For the most part, though, I have faith that Toyota will ultimately make a super reliable 4Runner just as they have for the last 40+ years.
Price: Reasonable Pricing
When the 4th Gen Tacoma’s official pricing was announced, there was a bit of a price bump over the prior generation. About $3500 for base trims before getting into packaging.
So, will this be the case for the new 4Runner? Most likely, but I am hoping that it won’t exceed $3000. For example, the 2024 Land Cruiser’s starting price is in the mid $50K range per Toyota USA. It is slotted between the 4Runner and Sequoia, so there shouldn’t be too much of a price overlap.
Currently, the 5th Gen TRD Pro has a base MSRP of $56K, which is just wild for a 15-year-old vehicle by the way. This is already super close to the starting price of the new Land Cruiser. Granted, the 4Runner has more “luxury” features like Softex seats and a moon roof. However, when it comes to off-road features, they are pretty comparable.
It will be interesting to see just how much the new 4Runner overlaps with the new Land Cruiser in terms of pricing. Plus if the price is good, that leaves more money for mods, right?
Rear Window: Must Have a Roll-Down Window
This is a must and goes without explanation. The rear hatch sliding glass has been a staple feature of the 4Runner since the 1st Gen. If the 6th Gen omits this feature, then we will riot. A roll-down window has so many uses such as giving pets fresh air and hauling lumber. Plus, it gives you easy access to your cargo area without opening the entire hatch.
There is nothing like an amazing 75-degree day with every single window rolled down as you jam to music. Toyota needs to keep this iconic feature on the new 4Runner.
So, those are my 6th Gen 4Runner expectations. To summarize, the long-awaited 6th Gen 4Runner needs to retain the styling of the iconic nameplate. It also needs to be built in Japan, maintain stellar reliability, be priced well, and have a rear roll-down window. Of course, I’ll report here whenever I get concrete details, but these are my hopes and expectations so far.
Are you excited for the 6th Gen 4Runner when it ultimately makes its debut? What features are you hoping for? Leave a comment below!