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Next-Gen 2023 Toyota 4Runner Coming and Fans Suggest Powertrain Options

Things are looking promising for a next-generation 2023 4Runner. See what fans and enthusiasts suggest for potential powertrains.


We at Torque News feel Toyota is planning on launching the next generation of Toyota 4Runner within a few years. From what we are hearing, as of right now it looks like the 2023 4Runner will offer consumers a new body style, along with the latest improvements in technology and safety. This next-gen 4Runner should reach local dealerships across the country in late 2022.

How about a new powertrain, though? Many people are quite satisfied with the current powertrain team-up of a 4.0-liter V6 engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission, which produces 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. torque. If it isn’t broken, then no need to fix it. Others, though, had many suggestions on the ideal powertrain makeup in their minds.

Your powertrain thoughts on 2023 4Runner

If you want to get a pulse of the market, I feel it is best to go right to the heart and soul of 4Runner’s rich and storied history. I polled the online group “Toyota 4Runners” who stand 47,000 members strong and proud. Let’s see what they had to say.

Timothy had his thoughts on the matter. “Ready for a change. Want better HP plus better Fuel Economy. Highlander has both. No reason can’t have 300HP with 25hwy.”

Mark said. “V8 option in the TRD Off-road base models. We’ve gone backwards.”

2020 Toyota 4Runner Limited Blizzard Pearl profile view

“Toyota will follow the 3.5 and 6 speed tranny, though might put the 8 speed in it. Toyota will stay the course on the Tacoma powertrain - it is how management works and thinks.” Offered Jeff.

Josh would like to see “Inline 6 with 6 Manual Transmission.”

Kyle agreed. “Turbo inline 6.”

“Turbo diesel would be the absolute best. Plenty of torque and HP with better mpg's.” Added Troy.

Dan knows exactly what he wants. “A v8 would be nice like 4th gens had. I would bet they go with a smaller engine and a turbo like everyone else. Or a trans with more gears. A 4.0 V6 with 5 speed is really outdated. Compared to almost anything else out there at the same price. Not hating on it, obviously it works and is reliable, but how many new cars come with that big of a V6 and only 5 gears? Just please don't give us a cvt.”

David Goliatson had this to add. “Next gen 4runner. We can't be sure yet on the build, weight or even if it will be body on frame though we can hope. I predict the 3.5 with an 8 speed and a hybrid or turbo 4 cyl. option for economy. I wish we could get the 5.7 but part of me doubts that. I would actually consider trading in for the 5.7.”

“Diesel with a manual transmission.” Said Robert.

Leo gave his two cents. “I guess they might wanna keep the same 4.0 for regular models, plus maybe a hybrid system for hybrid models, and a new 6 speed transmission. The biggest change might still occur on appearances and gimmicks though. Really not too much to change in the basic mechanical system, unless they wanna risk the reliability and longevity of this perfect truck.”

2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Barcelona Red profile and back end

Sam Attar suggested multiple powertrain options. “5.7 V8, 4.0 V6, Hybrid. 6-8 speed transmission. (Better Transmission will improve the current engine significantly).

Speaking of Hybrid.

And could a 4Runner Hybrid work?

Michael did not want any part of hybrid talk. “Diesel or V8 option. If you think carbon footprint of a hybrid vehicle is low you should see how low my interest in them is.”

Adam offered. “Hybrid for sure option with liftgate and 9 inch screen. Leave the rest alone.”

“I'd like to see a 3.5 hybrid combo. The 3.5 V6 has great top end HP and does good on fuel, but lacks in low end torque. The hybrid drive would help with that low end torque and you’d be getting great city mpg.” Commented Trevor.

VIDEO: See my review of 2020 4Runner TRD Pro in Super White.

Time for your thoughts on Next-Gen Toyota 4Runner

Thanks for reading everyone. I am a huge fan of the current generation Toyota 4Runner. It is durable and tough, and the 2020 updates to safety and convenience and technology really make it a vehicle to go for if you are in the market.

When the next-gen is available, I will be one of the first to evaluate it. I cannot wait.

What do you think the next generation of 2023 4Runner will look like? Will it be a radical body style change, or will it keep its main foundation intact? How about engine and transmission? What features will be requirements for you?

See you next story when I show how to use the NEW 2020 Highlander foot-activated power liftgate.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: Torque News analyzes next-gen 4Runner launch date and potential changes. Please subscribe to Torque News YouTube channel.

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Digitaldoc (not verified)    March 11, 2020 - 12:29PM

4Runner is way overdue for a powertrain upgrade. The 4.0L V-6 was a great engine, but needs better fuel economy, and power for the size. The simple engine choice for the next gen is a 3.5L V-6 with the 6 spd. I would like to see a turbo 4, like a 2.0T with an 8 spd that should give us equivalent power with better fuel economy. A nice upgrade would be a 3.0L V-6 turbo for more power, but Toyota is not too ambitious, so doubt that would happen.

Jason (not verified)    March 12, 2020 - 11:35PM

My bet is the 4Runner will progress into a unibody longitudinal engine platform with RWD, AWD and 4x4 with low range versions non-turbo 3.5 V6 and 8 spd AT. Doesn’t cannibalize Highlander sales in fact , it’ll be closely related to the Jeep Grand Cherokee which has good yearly sales.
For hardcore body on frame lovers Toyota should bring a new Land Cruiser, either the Prado or a 70 series with manual transmission choice. It’ll need it to face the wrangler, the upcoming Bronco and the return of the Nissan Xterra.
The large Land Cruiser 200 series should get a turbocharged Inline 6 with hybrid drivetrain like Mercedes does.
Diesels: Toyota diesels are underpowered for US drivers preferences.
V8: yes please keep at least one.

Daniel Hebert (not verified)    March 18, 2020 - 11:53PM

I don't like the idea of a turbo engine, to much maintenance. But I would like to see an inline 6 developing over 300hp, combined to a 8spd or 10spd tran. Toyota needs to come forward with the next gen 4 runner sooner than 2023. fuel economy has to come up, hp and torque needs to be better, that's the bottom line. I used to own a v8 runner that I kept for 10 years, that thing was a beauty. So if Toyota wants to bring back a v8, I won't object. But please, please don't make me wait 3yrs for the next gen 4runner.

Griz (not verified)    April 6, 2021 - 3:42PM

In reply to by Daniel Hebert (not verified)

I have been driving multiple turbocharged cars since 2011 with no issues whatsoever. I have three turbocharged cars right now. And every one of them will run circles around the current 4 Runner, and get better gas mileage while they're doing it. You're living in the past. Modern turbochargers are highly reliable.

Daniel (not verified)    April 7, 2021 - 7:28PM

In reply to by Griz (not verified)

Just to clarify, I never talked about reliability and I'm defenitly not living in the past. I just said that a turbo engine is a lot of maintnance. When you have a led foot like me, a turbo doesn't save you money. Plus you lose that great exhaust sound.

AJ Soprano (not verified)    April 8, 2021 - 10:05AM

In reply to by Griz (not verified)

your cars with turbo will run around my 4runner but my 4runner will burry all your turbo cars, and laugh at them, then you can buy 3 more turbo charged cars and my Runner will still be laughing, this is coming from a husbands to a wife that loves European pieces of crap turbo charged vehicles, P.O.S bye and don't bother or i'll call paulie or silvio to whack you

Cory (not verified)    April 6, 2020 - 11:06AM

In order to compete with the Wrangler and new Bronco they should go back to the roots and come out with a removable top like the 1st gen. Engine wise.... I love the V8 in my 4th gen, great for towing. Maybe use the similar eng/trans combo used in the 2019 GX460. The 4.0l is also a great engine also, may be if it was paired with a transmission with more gears it would great also....

Ian (not verified)    October 2, 2020 - 12:40AM

As far as powertrain, I would like to see >300hp stock and some important on fuel economy. It would be nice if they could adapt their newer “dynamic force” engines for the 4Runner. The V-6 in the Lexus LS puts out over >400hp. Just saying.

Abbey Swanson (not verified)    February 24, 2022 - 1:19PM

In reply to by Al (not verified)

I’m looking at the bronco for exactly that reason. I’ve had a 4Runner since 95 311 thousand miles no major issues just normal wear, until it was totaled while parked. Replaced it with a 2005 4Runner, it now has 207 thousand miles and I’m ready to replace but with no improvement on gas mileage and no manual..I might be switching to the bronco.

Abbey Swanson (not verified)    February 24, 2022 - 1:20PM

In reply to by Al (not verified)

I’m looking at the bronco for exactly that reason. I’ve had a 4Runner since 95 311 thousand miles no major issues just normal wear, until it was totaled while parked. Replaced it with a 2005 4Runner, it now has 207 thousand miles and I’m ready to replace but with no improvement on gas mileage and no manual..I might be switching to the bronco.

Chris (not verified)    January 18, 2022 - 12:45PM

I have been a 4 Runner owner since 2000 and can't wait for the release of the 2023. As for the new powertrain, the 4 Runner is a trail climbing, trailer hauling, hard working SUV. It needs lots of low end torque and mid range HP (sorry 4 cyl fans). My fantasy would be a 500HP, 550 Ft-lbs V8 connected to an 8 speed, but I'll accept a V6 with over 400 HP and 450 Ft-Lbs.