2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD PRO
Jeff Teague's picture

Next-Gen 2022 Toyota 4Runner Coming and Enthusiasts Offer Redesign Suggestions

The popular Toyota 4Runner has a following like no other in the automotive industry. See when it will be redesigned and learn what thousands of 4Runner enthusiasts suggested for updates and improvements as the 2020 4Runner is coming soon.

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.

Subscribe to Torque News on YouTube.

Follow Torque News on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.


Longtime '04 4Runner owner, and the diesel is the wrong way to go. The 4.0L needs to be replaced by the 3.5L V-6 from the Tacoma, with an 8-spd transmission. A 4runner is not a sports car, and it just needs a little more power, and balance that with better fuel economy. If they even offer an optional engine, which may not be so essential, a turbo on that V-6, or even a little smaller would be a great option. BTW, sold my 4Runner last year after interminably waiting for a replacement, which was always coming- next year- and never came.
Wow! The 3.5 is no match for the 4.0. I I own an 11 Tacoma and 14 4runner. Have driven many 3.5 tacos and wouldn't trade for a brand new truck.3.5 may look good on paper but it is doesn't have the nuts of the 4.0. V8 option for the runner would be a smart choice, it is definitely a heavier vehicle than the taco.
I would want the smaller engine, as the fuel economy is improved with it. I had the option of the V-8, but the 13 mpg city in that year was a non-starter for me. I know there are some issues with the 3.5 V-6, related to having the rev the engine, but I think they need to tune it better, and additional gears in the tranny would help, which is why I wanted an 8-spd, and not the current 6-spd of the Taco truck. Too bad also that Toyota thinks that anything (other than Supra) belongs in the Lexus division as a smaller V-6 with a turbo would move the torque peak down, while still being economical (comparatively). That 4.0L V-6 was a great engine back in the early 2000's, as a multi-valve V-6, all aluminum block was definitely progressive for back then, and is a dinosaur today. There are 4-cyl 2.0L turbos producing more power than it today in other vehicles.
Please bring back the V8. Love my 08 Ltd V8 but the 5th gen feels like a slug compared to it. I know it's not a race car, but having that extra power is nice when towing or hauling a lot of gear (as I do often) without having to upgrade to a full size SUV/land yacht.
Keep the back window that rolls down all the way. That's one of my favorite features. I would buy a Manual, but I may be in the minority there.
Love my 2007 4Runner, but I would trade it in if they come out with a turbo diesel and a 7 or 8 speed transmission.
Count me as a fan as I own two. A 2001 and a 2015, both Limited models. I can think of a few improvements like anyone else, but if Toyota puts that plastic sh*t over the wheel wells like every other manufacturer is doing now, and that the RAV4 and Highlander have, I can guarantee I won’t buy it. That plastic will fade and look terrible as the car ages and, in my opinion, is a fad that will not last. I believe Toyota had this crap on the 2003 model perhaps, but then did away with it so I’m hoping they haven’t forgotten that lesson already!
I agree with the CHEAP black plastic crap on the exterior that fades is stupid and terrible looking!!!
Need better & lockable interior storage/compartment, either in rear doors or under rear seats, or behind 3rd row.
Stability is also an issue. I inproved it by adding a 1.5 inch hub extenders and putting michelin sequoya size tirea on my 21 inch rims. The behavior changed, the truck suspension fills more stout and decreased body roll greatly, besides increasing almost 4 inches of foot print and getting far improved stability. Wheel hubs should be a inch deeper to accomodate larger tires. Mine is a 2015 limited awd. Increase power with supercharger is a must. 100 extra ponies greatly improve passing. Transmission should be 8 speed for better fuel economy. Led lights is a must have. For me 360 radar and labe departure are safety features that should be included. A larger screen will help whiel doing reverse. Jbl system is great. Rear power outlet should be relocated to a less exposed location. Cover breaks easily. Include forwiar and rear recording cameras or a 360 view recorder camera. This is my third 4 runner. Will no buy anything else.
Better heat flow on the left side of the driver seat for your left foot to stay warm, headlights, gas mileage & blind spot warnings on all 4 runner models. That would be my sweet deal.
It only needs minor upgrades. It needs to remain reliable and you do that through proven components.
I think an actual sunroof that is not the size of a legal size paper would be honorable. And a multifunctional screen that is at least 10". Everything on the dash is stuck in time.
Long time owner of 2005 4Runner Limited V8. Bring back the V8 on a 10 speed trans. Make the V8 Non-interference, or just use the GM LS block with toyota parts. Make the Limited version like they always had, with everything in it plus more.
I had a 2004 4Runner for 14 years and put 252,000 miles on it. Absolutely loved it. We weren't going to buy anything else to replace it until we drove the 2019 Limited AWD model. It's a sled - no power. We wanted the 3rd row on our next vehicle.but the 4Runner does not have any ventilation in the 3rd row at all and the only ventilation for 2nd row is at knee level. We live in Florida, you've got to have ventilation for all your passengers! The instrument panel and safery features are severally lacking compared to other vehicles. For these three reasons, we did not buy a 4Runner to replace my beloved 2004 baby.
Put the manual back as an option, absurd you took it out.
Forgetting about luxury..turbo diesel..5 speed.. Stop bs people.. Toyota diesel best in wold.. Give me my diesel. I got 2nd generation 4 runner. Im on my way to putt in 3.9 turbo diesel from Mitsubishi fuso...
I think the 4 runner is fine the way it is, i like the limited model. I think the reason why the 4 runner has been so popular is because it's dependable. I would like to see blind detection and all the other safety precautions applied to the 4 runner. as for a bigger engine V8, i think that should be optional. Now i am sorry for those people who want better fuel economy. I don't know of any V8 with good fuel economy. I have to say i miss not having my 4 runner any more. That's the one car I would go back to in a heart beat. 10 years and not one problem, as it stands right i have a 2017 Lexus RX and I have to say, i'm not pleased or impressed at all. 12.3" screen and all the little toys that come with it, why doesn't Toyota put those features in the 4 runner limited. Now that would be something!
Don't give it the Tacoma "Duck lips" grille.
The new Toyota 4 runners need more ground clearance for off-roading. They are too low . Need to be higher !!!
i'd like a 4 cylinder with no rear glass please
3.0 liter diesel with 350 torq at 1500 rpm, 10 speed auto, 30 mpg hwy with 4x4, 7,000 lb towing, TRD trims with front/rear lockers. all 4x4 trims with rear locker, bigger screen in center console, more power plugs throughout, more blank switches for upfitting, 4runner is all about efficiently durability, moving people/cargo, offroading and providing good value. not about power, not about crazy offroad ability. not about costing as much a raptor or loaded rubicon jeep. I still want to be able to buy a moderately equipped 4runner 4x4 for $40k with improvements. i don't want the thing pushing $50k with a fully loaded 2021/2022 trd pro at $60k Currently own a 2012 T4R ltd 4x4 with trail edition wheels/tires. Camping, MTB and snowboarding are a regular occurence.
Agree with the pricing. If these 4Runners go over 50k that’s gauging just like wrangler. It’s insane! Need to be able to select trim and do a la cart like ford so people can get what they want without spending crazy money. KISS method.
maybe give the TRD Pro some Toyo Overlander tires. That would be nice!
I'd love to see them offer a hybrid version! Who else makes an off-road capable SUV that gets 30mpg (non-diesel)?
Want auto assist parking.. and Toyota coffee makerm.
Seats that don't tear and fade, fronts wheels that don't shimmy down the road, steering wheel grip that doesn't wear out, better floor carpets, rubberized floor covers.
I have been a Toyota guy my whole life. My first car (still have it) was an '84 Celica GT-S, later a '01 Camry XLE, then a 2010 Venza, now I have a 2012 Venza and a 2015 4Runner Trail Premium, added shrockworks front and rear full plate steel bumpers, winch, and LED exterior lights. Having said this, I grew up on the old Land Cruiser BJ40, FJ40, FJ45, HJ43/47, 70 series, etc, and to me, the 4Runner has always been the poor man's off road vehicle since the Land Cruisers just keep going up and up in price. With that in mind, I would like to suggest that the TRD or TRD Pro or an off-road specific trim (Dakar/Monteverde/Rubicon, something like that) have the following or similar standard features: -LED lights for the whole vehicle -Locking rear differential needs to stay (mine has it). -Plate steel bumpers such as the shrockworks or one of the others of similar strength on front and back, or manufactured by Toyota. -Full length skid-plate underneath. -All-terrain/off-road tires (max 33" size) -Turbo-Diesel!!! (Almost ALL my buddies and I want this in a turbodiesel! Better for fuel economy, engine longevity, torque, WATERPROOFING [hating that I have to waterproof a gas engine compartment after growing up on diesel land cruisers], and just general resilience other than in cold weather. -A few options for the rear cargo-seating space: 1. Bench seats on both sides that fold up flush to the walls. (Ups your possible seating when you need it but also ups your total cargo space the rest of the time) 2 rows up front and then two parallel (perpendicularly aligned to the front two rows) rear benches. 2. Locking in floor storage (think pelican case set into your floor where you set up your foam in desired shape or remove foam and use as a cooler or safe). 3. Locking cargo points to click in cargo modules (boxes that compartmentalize cargo and hold it securely, but could also switch for fewer but larger dog kennel options that lock in) -Spare on a swing out carrier (either attach to steel bumper as is on mine, or attach to door and make tail-gate swing out again, too). -Built in winch with a wireless and wired controller option, 10k lbs. -Front and rear-facing (at least) LED spot bars that can be turned on when driving or independently for showing where you are driving in night off roading or for campground setup. -Ensure the electronics in the engine compartment and other systems are waterproofed. -Better suspension. -Towing setup (full, mechanical, electrical, and hitch) Then have optional add ons of the following: -Roof basket with 4 direction LED spot bars that can be turned on from the cab separately or in any combination, running or stopped. -Auxiliary battery (overland option) -Role-bars and removable top (optional please...I don't want it, but I know a lot of people do) -Jerry Cans mounted on rear swing out/tailgate. -Optional retracting (roll out) shades for all the rear windows.
2014 trail premium. Love it! Under powered? Try shifting manually and run it up to the red line in each gear, it does well. As for the tech crap, thanks Toyota for the KISS approach. I like to drive my 4 runner not have my 4 runner tell me what to do all time. Really need more power? Contact Urd racing and slap a supercharger on it. 10 speed tranny? Ask your local trans guru how long one of those will last and how much coin to rebuild? Very happy with all 3 of my Toyotas.
I have a 2018 SR5. The 4.0 motor runs great. It feels slow because of the accelerator pedal tip in. If you mash it, the 4R takes off like a scared cat. It out accelerated a Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi V8 in one magazines test. It is way faster than the 4.6 Tundra I had before, talk about underpowered. The 4R is much easier on gas as well.