Fans and followers of Toyota 4Runner already know the proud legacy of this tough and rugged SUV. After all, 4Runner has been transporting families both on the road and off since 1984, with no plans for slowing down in sight.
All signs are pointing to a new 6th-generation Toyota 4Runner for the 2022 model year. We polled an online forum of more than 36,000 Toyota 4Runner loyalists, enthusiasts and fanatical fans to see what next-gen suggestions they have for the engineering and design team working hard to deliver a product we will all be proud of.
What is so special about 4Runner now?
Toyota 4Runner is designed with body-on-frame construction, which is unique from most other SUV’s. This means the body is mounted to a relatively rigid frame. Because of this, 4Runner excels at off-roading where your vehicle is often up against uneven, rocky, tough terrain. It also performs well in hauling your toys like boats, campers and trailers. The 4Runner has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.
The powertrain consists of a 4.0L V6 engine that delivers 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. torque combined with a 5-speed automatic transmission. It is available exclusively with automatic transmission, as manual is not a current option.
Popular trims TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro offer many resources for when you want to drive and play off the beaten path. Multi-terrain select and crawl control help guide you in low-traction situations. One feature demanded for by loyalists is locking rear differential, and 4Runner TRD owners will be pleased this is standard. Also standard on TRD models is active traction control and hill start assist.
Watch as I Compare 4Runner TRD Pro vs. Tacoma TRD Pro vs. Tundra TRD Pro and Subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily Reports on Toyota and Auto Industry
What changes will we see in 2020 Toyota 4Runner?
Although extremely popular with SUV owners, one of the main critiques for the 2019 Toyota 4Runner is the need for upgraded safety and technology. Just like the 2020 Toyota Tacoma, the 2020 4Runner will receive some beneficial safety and multimedia upgrades.
For people concerned with safety, Toyota Safety Sense-P (Pedestrian) will be added to all trim levels of the 2020 Toyota 4Runner.
Toyota is also adding Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa to its 2020 4Runner model year. Expect standard SiriusXM on all 4Runner trim levels as well. In fact, Toyota is making SiriusXM a standard feature on all levels of every model across the board by summer of 2020.
Expect larger multimedia screen sizes on most or all trim levels as well. For example, 2020 4Runner TRD Pro has already been announced with an 8-inch screen.
What would we like to see with the 2022 Redesigned 4Runner?
There are many online forums dedicated to specific car brands and models. None may be quite as passionate and loyal to their favorite SUV as the “Toyota 4Runners” online group. We asked them for ideas and suggestions for improving the current 2019 Toyota 4Runner as it evolves into its new 6th generation model.
As you can imagine, the hundreds of responses were very well thought out and diverse, as well as being extremely informative and enlightening.
4Runner Performance suggestions
Many ideas for improving powertrain and safety came up, and this was certainly a hot topic with forum members. Most agreed that improvements to both power and the all-important miles per gallon were most important. However, the answers branched off from there.
“I hope they keep it as an off-road capable truck. Maybe a Diesel engine?”
“Functional hood scoop (because turbo diesel); front (in addition to rear) lockers standard on Off-Road/Pro.”
“Manual transmission and diesel.”
“V8!!!! Maybe even turbo diesel!”
“Please add front locking diff along with rear locker.”
“Bring the v8 back and improve the fuel efficiency again.”
“Way more power and 8 speed transmission. Better fuel economy.”
“Put a manual back in it and add a V8 option again.”
“I hope they increase mpg so I’m not constantly filling up.”
“LED headlights/DRL and TSS+, they are useful for the daily drive!”
Exterior and Interior Ideas
Toyota has continually earned the reputation for a strong fit and finish over its entire product line. Clean exterior with flowing aerodynamic lines. Interior with high-scale parts and finish that lends itself nicely to luxury and sportiness.
However, just like every new generation of every model, the time has come to modernize both the outside and the inside of Toyota 4Runner. The “Toyota 4Runners” forum had some very practical, useful ideas and suggestions:
“I want to see something that still looks tough, not something that looks weak and bubbly.”
“Blind spot monitoring and power tailgate.”
“…and cooled front seats and auto trunk I’m short I need the help!”
“Please keep the power sliding rear window.”
“Better heating/ cooling for the 2nd and 3rd row seats.”
“Flat cargo space, comfortable driver’s seat.”
“More padding for my elbows on the door and center arm rest.”
“A customizable digital gauge cluster and heated and cooled seats as an option.”
“Heated seats standard, the ability to remove the 3rd row and slide the 2nd row back.”
“ALL windows power down.”
“TRD with 3rd row seating option.”
“Larger multimedia screens and colored multi-information display that is modernized.”
“More head room for back seat. I’m 5’9” and I come close to bonking my head, let alone family members that are over 6’. And it would be nice to have a V8 option again.”
“I’ll take Potpourri for $200 please Alex”
Then, there are those who had ideas that encompassed all facets of the new 2022 Toyota 4Runner redesign.
“New transmission, infotainment center, shifter on a steering column, updated lighting.”
“Bring back the removable top and add turbo diesel!”
“Turbo Diesel or at least V8 option (needs more power for sure). Lockers on front and rear. Solid front axle. I also wouldn’t mind remote start, a/c cooled seats on Off-Road models. Also I like my manual shifter for my 4wheel drive in the trail (I don’t want a dial or buttons but that’s probably just me).”
“Turbo diesel, 8 speed transmission, better headlight bulbs, 360 cameras, auto climate.”
“More power, better mpg, removable top and doors, bigger and better A/T tire option, LED lighting, better infotainment system, all window down button, more USB ports, apple car play, better roof rack, cool DRLs, better suspension.”
And the comment of the day goes to Pete…
“I’m cashing in my kids’ college funds if they bring out a diesel.”
As we know, it is highly unlikely the new redesigned Toyota 4Runner will be able to accommodate all of these brilliant update ideas. But, it will be interesting to see when the time comes what ones they end up using.
Watch 6 Changes Coming To The 2020 Toyota 4Runner and Subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily Toyota News and Automotive Analysis.
What ideas did you like from this list? Time for you to be an engineer / designer: write down your thoughts on what would improve the next 4Runner.
Thanks for reading. See you next story where I am discussing 5 Facts to Know About 2019 Toyota Prius Prime Before You Buy One.
Jeff Teague is a Toyota news reporter at Torque News. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at ToyotaJeff1.