The Toyota 4Runner’s legacy has remained as the all-in-one SUV. From dropping the kids off at school to tackling your local dirt roads, to even towing your camper, the Toyota 4Runner has never failed to impress. One of the main reasons 4Runner enthusiasts love the car is because it’s one of the last brand-new cars that come out without a whole bunch of tech that can easily fail. All you get in terms of comfort is an infotainment system that’s outdated by today’s standards, A/C and heat, and other stuff that’s been around for the past 10 years like heated seats and power windows.
However, a recent post on Facebook’s Toyota 4Runner group showed that a lot of people did not want to see any technology improvements on the next generation Toyota 4Runner. Bentley Stewart asked, “When is the Next Gen of the 4Runner? The current Gen is very outdated. Now, we have a 2020 Toyota 4Runner and it’s so outdated, was hoping to get the next Gen.”
So, I have seen some of the clickbait next-gen Toyota 4Runner images and it looks like an old Land Rover Defender had a brand-new Ford Bronco had a kid. Looks pretty cool, but I highly doubt it’s going to look like that. However, the current-gen 4Runner is so reliable, that Wendy Plummer said, “I love my 2021, hoping I have it for the next 30+ years.”
The only car that’s been able to survive 30+ years of ownership is the old ‘90s Camrys or maybe well-taken care of Civics. The thing is, when Toyota released the 5th gen 4Runner in 2010, the new look gave it a new eye. Today, people still drive these cars, and they even complain about new add-on accessories like infotainment and comfort features.
Here’s an interesting “testimonial” on the current-gen Toyota 4Runner. Michael White said, “love my 2020 pro. my brother bought a 2020 ford explorer with all the bells and whistles and when it was brand new, he showed me the hood release sensor that you sweep your hand under. it opened great. would not close. took 5 minutes of fiddling to finally close the hood. this week it was recalled for slipping out of the park and rolling away.”
My high school psychology teacher drove a 2016 4Runner with a cool 2.5’ lift kit and mud tires with steelies. She told me it was the best purchase ever because she felt like the king of the road when driving it. Our school was situated on some dirt roads so every day we had to go a little off-roading just to get to class. She told me the dirt road was the only time she ever off-road her 4Runner and she wasn’t much of a “mud bogging gal”.
It seems like a lot of current 5th gen owners didn’t buy their car for the features. Most of the discussion was centered around getting a luxury SUV if they wanted SUV+luxury. However, I think Toyota can fill the gap for both demands by bringing back the Land Cruiser to the United States.
Last year I took a 3-month long vacation in my home country of Armenia. If you were successful or had “under the table” money, you drove a black-on-black Land cruiser with a tan interior. Even the Mercedes-Benz G-wagon was seen as a lesser model in terms of status than the Land Cruiser.
So, whether Toyota will add more features to this incredibly reliable generation of 4Runner, we still don’t know. However, ideally, people would want new looks with the same bones and muscles. Maybe give the next-gen a facelift or maybe even a new look altogether but the people really want nothing to be changed.
By the way, check out our latest story to find out whether your RAV4 Hybrid can tow as much as you think.
What do you think? Should Toyota listen to the people and not add more tech and features? Let us know in the comments below.
Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.