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The 2020 Toyota 4Runner Is Bringing Important New Changes You Asked For

Toyota 4Runner and multimedia fans should be thrilled, as the 2020 Toyota 4Runner will be updated with the latest applications like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. What else is next for the immensely popular SUV?


The Toyota 4Runner is the one Toyota model I call a sure thing. Although it is one of the least-advertised Toyota models on the market, car shoppers just seem to know where to find it and remain fiercely loyal to this body-on-frame SUV. One of the last true SUV’s on the planet. I call it a cult-like following.

Perhaps this 4Runner phenomenon is due to its long-term reputation for quality, reliability and dependability. This is one reason 2019 4Runner ranked #5 on KBB’s list of 2019 Top Resale Value vehicles (#1 on the list is 2019 Toyota Tacoma and #3 is 2019 Tundra). Pretty strong resume.

This fall Toyota will update the 2020 Toyota 4Runner with important multimedia and safety changes. While remaining largely unchanged for the last many years, what else could be in store for the next 4Runner?

Watch 6 Changes Coming To 2020 Toyota 4Runner and Subscribe to Torque News Youtube for Daily News on Toyota and Automotive Industry.

The 2020 Toyota 4Runner updates we know so far

Although wildly popular with SUV owners, the one main critique for the 2019 Toyota 4Runner is the need for upgraded safety and technology. You asked for it and you are getting it.

Toyota is adding both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its 2020 4Runner model year. These applications make in-vehicle multimedia use both safer and more convenient. Also, look for Amazon Alexa compatibility as well.

I would expect this multimedia improvement to also increase the size of 4Runner’s touch screens. I would be surprised if Toyota carries over any of its 6.1” screens found on all levels of the 2019 4Runner. Expect to see 7-inch and 8-inch screens across the board. The 2020 4Runner TRD Pro has already been announced with an 8-inch screen.

VIDEO: Compare 4Runner TRD Pro vs Tacoma TRD Pro vs Tundra TRD Pro: Who wins?

For people concerned with safety, Toyota Safety Sense-P (Pedestrian) will be added to all trim levels of the 2020 Toyota 4Runner. This will include pre-collision system with pedestrian daytime detection, automatic high beams, dynamic radar cruise control and lane departure alert with sway warning (do not expect it to have steering assist which nudges your vehicle back into its lane).

TSS-P features a camera located just inside the windshield and a sophisticated radar located within the grille. These systems work together to drastically reduce the potential for front and side collisions, as well as nighttime driving accidents. For example, you will find the radar just below the “TOYOTA” logo on the grille of 2020 4Runner TRD Pro.

Expect to see Toyota and JBL continue their partnership with Premium JBL Audio. The 2019 4Runner is optionally equipped with 15 JBL speakers with subwoofer and amplifier. Your car’s sound quality dramatically improves when you “JBL upgrade,” as it features concert-like quality right in your vehicle. I suggest car shoppers test it out while at your local dealership to see what you think.

SiriusXM will be featured in all grade levels of 2020 Toyota 4Runner. Toyota is gradually phasing in standard SiriusXM across all trims for every one of its models, beginning in August of this year. This movement should be completed by May of 2020.

Did someone say Army Green?

Toyota has already announced a plan for symmetry within its truck and SUV TRD Pro lineup. The 2020 Toyota Tacoma will feature Army Green as its exclusive color this upcoming model year. With the all-new 2020 Sequoia TRD Pro speculated to feature Army Green as well, will 2020 4Runner TRD Pro and Tundra TRD Pro also be seeing (Army) Green in their futures? I think an Army Green 4Runner would look fantastic.

All trim levels should see a new grille but not completely different from this current 2019. They will be tweaked to incorporate the radar for Toyota Safety Sense.

What about the powertrain?

As the 2020 model is not a full re-design year, Toyota 4Runner will continue with its 4.0-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine with dual independent variable valve timing with intelligence. This delivers 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. torque. This engine works with a 5-speed electronically controlled transmission.

All this talk about refreshed and re-designed new 4Runner models has gotten me to thinking. When the time comes for a full Toyota 4Runner re-design, what do you think will be the way to go? Should Toyota keep the current 4.0-liter engine and 5-speed transmission, or should they bring in a completely new powertrain?

What has your experience been with Toyota 4Runner? Do you plan on buying one within the next year? What do you think of the updates for 2020 and what would you like to see happen with a re-designed 4Runner?

Thanks for reading everyone. Please bookmark Torque News Toyota News and Reviews, as I will continue bringing you each new update for all Toyota models as they are announced. See you next story...”and a Bababooey to you all…”

Jeff Teague is a Toyota news reporter at Torque News. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and follow his Instagram for his popular "Toyotajeff Minute" quick Toyota reviews.

Twitter at @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at ToyotaJeff1.


Ismael Rosario (not verified)    June 10, 2019 - 2:40PM

Reducing the size of the grille will give the front view a more elegant view of the front, there's be a long time of this view.

Jared Frost (not verified)    June 10, 2019 - 5:26PM

I've owned two, with my current one just going over 250K miles. It will probably be my last since they have never updated fuel efficiency...

Digitaldoc (not verified)    June 10, 2019 - 9:52PM

In reply to by Jared Frost (not verified)

Agreed, they really need to update the inefficient powertrain. I kept my 2004 4Runner for almost 14 years waiting for a new powertrain to be released, and it never came. I was hoping for a smaller 3.5 V-6 from the Tacoma, with the 6 spd transmission, and year after year, the word on the Toyota forums was that that the update was coming in a year or two down the road.

I finally could not wait any longer, and updated it last year. I now marvel at how much better fuel economy I get, and Toyota's lack of action cost them from another sale from me.

PaulD (not verified)    June 11, 2019 - 11:54AM

In reply to by Digitaldoc (not verified)

I'm about to buy a 2008 runner because the new model is dogsh*t. I really wanted a 2001, best version they ever made (minus the low power), but they are getting to be too old.

Tigermu (not verified)    June 11, 2019 - 2:40PM

In reply to by Digitaldoc (not verified)

What did you buy that gets that marvelously better fuel economy? I seriously doubt you got anything with the capabilities of the 4Runner... You could have gone with the Highlander Hybrid if that was the main driver...

sam (not verified)    September 25, 2019 - 8:55PM

In reply to by Digitaldoc (not verified)

I want to see inline-6 or inline8 motor in future 4-runner, as the gas prices can handle the v8's. The 4.7 ltr, v8 was a sheer beauty on discontinued 2009 4 -runners. We need to see 8 cylinders on 4-runner ASAP.

Scott Kamp (not verified)    December 27, 2019 - 9:52PM

In reply to by sam (not verified)

I agree. Toyota needs to offer a V8 engine option for the 4-runner. I owned a 2003 V8 Limited. I just sold it last December, with 245,000 miles on it. There is nothing like having the 4.7 V8 Iforce engine. They still use it in their full size SUV’s and trucks. The Lexus 460 uses it as well. Makes no sense that Toyota can’t come up with a more efficient V8. The technology does exist to do do this. Toyota needs to step up to the plate.

Juanita Robbins (not verified)    June 29, 2020 - 11:02PM

In reply to by Scott Kamp (not verified)

Had a 1997 for 17 years, 275,000 miles. They offered a V-8 when I ordered it in 1996, but I didn’t think I needed it. Thankfully they increased gas tank size as I was at the pump 3x/week. Have an 2014 Avalon Hybrid & love the mileage. Going to add a 2020 4Runner this week, as we found the 2020 Highlander seats were uncomfortable and the hybrid ride/drive was a little sluggish & uneven. Gas Highlander ride/drive tighter and better than the 4Runner (heavier & slower), but those seats eliminated the Highlander.

Kibriya (not verified)    June 10, 2019 - 6:32PM

My favourite suv in this price range. I hope it has keyless go. I sold my 2019 trd pro for its lack of tss and keyless go.

Pauline Dishler (not verified)    June 10, 2019 - 6:36PM

I'm waiting for a hybrid 4 Runner. That would be my ideal. I am happy that they are updating safety and sound.

Hugh (not verified)    September 6, 2019 - 3:24PM

In reply to by gDub (not verified)

Please make the front end little bit more elegant and give it better fuel economy and offer the V8 engine like 2001 an 2004 had and there is no reason why the V8 engine can't have great fuel economy along with the 6 cylinders and more gears in the transmissions that they offer today with todays technology and offer all the other technology like the other competitors over today and do this on all the models not just the TRD PRO and The Limited for safety and comfort but yet be the best SUV there is, and make the exterior style like the 2001 and 2004 and the up and coming 2025 model because I would be selling that model now it is beautiful and take the automatic window switch from the top in case the window ever leaks it doesn't cause a malfunction and put it half way down on the doors and keep The All The Models Very Roomy because back in the 1990's their was hardly any space up front especially on the DRIVERS SIDE heck a Average Size Man couldn't fit on the driver and passenger side comfortable and I see you finally got that fixed and the front lights need redesigned and offer the bright headlights and the fog lights and put the finest suspension on all Models and make the rear end long that you can put a 6ft to 7ft fishing rod in it and I think you would have the ideal 4Runner to offer to The ALL Your American Customers that are loyal to them in buying the 4Runners!! SUPERB SUV!!!! Hugh Fawcett of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. I hope someone at Toyota will read this and make the changes!! Please, Please!!!!

Nick Medinger (not verified)    October 2, 2019 - 3:21PM

In reply to by Hugh (not verified)

They don’t put the lockers and upgraded suspension on lower models because that shit adds up fast, go and look at see what an aftermarket rear locker costs. If Toyota put it on all models and sr5 would be 40 grand.

Jeff (not verified)    June 10, 2019 - 9:17PM

I have a 2014 T4R limited with a stage 2 icon lift that I absolutely love! Not everyone in the suv market wants a car based unibody - as all other manufacturers have transitioned to. I want a body on frame traditional suv to utilize in snow, sand, mud and rock! Whatever route Toyota goes I hope they maintain a traditional truck based SUV.

Richard Kirkman (not verified)    June 10, 2019 - 10:14PM

I sold my 2016 4runner mainly due to the underpowered engine. Too weak and seems to labor excessively. Change that and I will be back.

Richard (not verified)    July 28, 2019 - 1:12AM

In reply to by Richard Kirkman (not verified)

Love my 2018 forerunner for many reasons however lack of power is a big downer. Transmission issues on a steep uphill with backsliding and restricted height for back seat passengers are also big issues for me.

Dave Simmons (not verified)    June 10, 2019 - 10:24PM

How about a modern diesel, like Toyota sells in every other country but the US?
I have no use for 7-8” screens but would love an actual locking front diff...
I was all set to buy a new Tacoma based on the supposed diesel coming to America in 2020, since this turned into just another rumor, I bought a diesel Colorado ZR2 Bison.
Toyota lost a lifetime owner due to sitting on their hands.

PaulD (not verified)    June 11, 2019 - 11:59AM

In reply to by Dave Simmons (not verified)

They just make truck for kooks that want to look tough now. They don't make actual truck anymore, they proved that with the camera in the skid plate on the new Taco. Someone that knows how to drive offroad knows where their low clearance is and it's not at the approach, it's at the diffs. You don't need a camera, and you definitely don't need it where it is, but a city kook that wants to look cool definitely wants that camera to show off to his other kook friends.

Jon (not verified)    June 30, 2019 - 3:02AM

In reply to by Dave Simmons (not verified)

Yes! How about the 2.8L 4 cylinder turbo diesel from the overseas Toyota Fortuner. Noisy, only 177hp, but 450 ft lbs of torque and 28mpg! Let’s go Toyota, emission standards be damned (which is why we will never get it).

Johng (not verified)    June 10, 2019 - 10:32PM

Don't change anything. There is a reason it sells great and is reliable. Honda keeps upgrading and becoming less reliable. Toyota knows their older drivetrains are rock solid and will last a lifetime. Look at the old v8 in the Lexus.

JGinNJ (not verified)    June 10, 2019 - 11:35PM

Is this article some kind of joke? Speak to 4-Runner owners about what is "important". None of those I know would consider the changes listed in that light.
Number one is power, number two, try to get it in a manner that still improves fuel efficiency. Present owners are not looking to upgrade because of high tech safety, big screens, accident avoidance, or keys you can keep in your pocket.

Ronda (not verified)    June 13, 2019 - 12:05AM

In reply to by JGinNJ (not verified)

100% agree with you JGinNJ. I absolutely love my 07 4 Runner in all its plain glory. I have over 225,000 miles and hoping for another 225,000 more. A little better fuel mileage would be nice but not a deal breaker for me.

Ray (not verified)    June 10, 2019 - 11:55PM

As an owner of a 4runner with the 4.7l v8, I'd love to see a 4runner with the 5.7l v8 and an 8 speed transmission. The v6 is ok if you're not towing much but by no means powerful. With my 4.7l my fuel economy sucks but surprisingly enough, it has enough torque and power that I was able to tow a 2000lb trailer with a Jeep Grand Cherokee on it up hill and my fuel economy was only reduced by 0.8 mpg. So for more towing capacity and overall power, add the 5.7l engine and a transmission with more speeds. I think the size of the 4runner is about perfect for offroad and a daily driver.

Bob pilarczyk (not verified)    June 11, 2019 - 10:48AM

Why don't you offer an optional V8 engine.? I had one in my 2006 and loved it. I have since owned a 2011 and 2019 4 Runner but still miss the power.

PaulD (not verified)    June 11, 2019 - 11:51AM

The biggest thing they need to do is de-bulk the frame, make more of an off road truck and not a city car. They made the same mistake with the stupid nose of the Taco, there is a foot of deadspace in the nose for appearance - it's stupid. They should add power to the full line up and add back the FJ but a slimmed down 4 wheeler. The original FJ40 was a premier 4x4 decades after they stopped making them because everyone knows Jeeps suck (worthless at speed on dirt and shitty crawlers stock) but they abandoned the market so now that's all you see.Toyota needs to get back to its roots - meaning what they did in the 60s-90s.