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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.


Digitaldoc (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 12:49PM

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.

Tony (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 9:43PM

In reply to by Digitaldoc (not verified)

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.

Digitaldoc (not verified)    June 20, 2019 - 11:45AM

In reply to by Tony (not verified)

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.

Jbelo (not verified)    June 18, 2020 - 8:54PM

In reply to by Digitaldoc (not verified)

I strongly disagree with the 4 cyl 2.0L turbo idea. The tried and true 4.0L with a solid 5 speed auto is what keeps people coming back. They're way too may "gas sippers" trying to squeeze the most MPG out of the little briggs and strattons. If Toyota were to swap the 4.0L with anything turbo'd, they would completely ruin the reliability aspect of the 4runner. Remember, these vehicles aren't meant for everybody. They're sooo many other vehicles to choose. Especially if you live in the city. Please let the rural, country folks have something. Everything these days is built to appease the masses, mainly city folk.

Hary (not verified)    October 27, 2019 - 10:48AM

In reply to by Tony (not verified)

I hope they keep the body on frame and the 4.0 because its proven to be bullet proof, a 6 speed transmission would be awsome combined with the 4.0. In the exterior i suggest they redisign it to look more like the 3tr gen that would be awsome.

bluehurler (not verified)    November 12, 2019 - 5:12PM

In reply to by Hary (not verified)

Agree with 3rd Gen styling comment. Should have 500K on my 2002 by the time the 2022 comes out. I would drive to a Toyota dealer right now if I could buy my exact same 4Runner today.

Werpor (not verified)    August 15, 2020 - 12:18AM

In reply to by bluehurler (not verified)

I had a 2001 4Runner. Recently I took it to the wrecker. Why? Because the frame turned to Swiss cheese. Vehicle was impeccable otherwise. It had 432,000km on the odometer. I changed the oil every 5000 km. Washed it regularly. Waxed it regularly. Inside was barely worn. Except seat side panels. Originals were grey. Replacements were black. I own a summer cottage on an Island in Lake Nipissing. I tow a heavy 20 ft boat. Often towing the boat up to Tamagami. Lots of iffy boat launches. Greased all fittings after launching boat. Also I own a ski chalet at Mount Tremblant. Lots of hauling skiis, kids, bags, food, etc. Often drive to Mount St Anne and Jay Peak in the U.S.
Today I own a 2016 4Runner. I will keep it and buy another 4Runner when Toyota brings out a new updated one.
But if I could buy another 2001 brand new I would. I remain extremely disappointed that Toyota refused to replace the frame; although as I understand it, certain Toyota Trucks with the same rotten frame problem were replaced. But those frames were outsourced and a apparently Toyota leaned on that manufacturer to replace the frames.
I see those replacement frames stacked up at a local dealer in Ottawa where I bought my vehicles.
But my other truck is a Ford. My wife refuses to buy a Toyota because of my obvious frustration with my 2001 4 Runner.
She has a Jeep Cherokee. Too bad that’s two vehicles Toyota did not sell my family. My son has a Subaru.
So I prefer the body on frame. Too bad the frame on my 2001 rotted out. Otherwise I thought it was the perfect vehicle.
The feature I enthused about to all my friends turned out to be its weakest feature.
I own a business. Most of my employees prefer to drive trucks. Guess what? No Toyota’s.

I spend a lot of money advertising my business. The best advertising is word of mouth. At least once a year I eat a mistake. Much less expensive than losing customers.

SteveL (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 4:33PM

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.

Jim Deal (not verified)    May 28, 2020 - 2:12AM

In reply to by SteveL (not verified)

I also would love to have another V8 Limited. My 2005 ran like the wind. Now I really like my 2015, but the pickup can't compare with the V8 model. My main cons for my current 4Runner is that the rear lift is last decade manual, and the voice recognition system is awful. It should function better with the new Alexa installation though. My wife's new Camry has that awesome full length tinted sunroof along with multiple cameras. I hope that the new Limited has all the bells and whistles as well. I still will purchase the new edition with a brand new face lift regardless.

pfat (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 4:34PM

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.

Phil Mislinski (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 4:35PM

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.

Patrick (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 4:49PM

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!

Larry (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 6:01PM

Need better & lockable interior storage/compartment, either in rear doors or under rear seats, or behind 3rd row.

Dayra Chatagneau (not verified)    February 15, 2020 - 10:42PM

In reply to by Larry (not verified)

I think to make the 4 runner better will be keeping the 4.0 engine and make it direct injection , it with have more power and will still a good engine Whit 8 speed transmission that's it

Alex Franco (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 6:35PM

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.

Feralkty (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 7:21PM

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.

Donald Maldonado (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 10:18PM

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.

MIDave (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 10:44PM

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.

Jocelyn (not verified)    June 20, 2019 - 4:22AM

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.

Jeff J (not verified)    June 27, 2020 - 3:14PM

In reply to by Jocelyn (not verified)

This is how I came across the Lexus GX 460: V8, full-size 3rd with vents, full time 4wd, locking center diff, KDSS, leather and luxury. Still a truck. The after market parts for it can be for the FJ or 4Runner, same frame.

Alexander (not verified)    June 20, 2019 - 7:45AM

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...