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Toyota Fans Anxious for Next-Gen 2023 Toyota 4Runner

This is what we know so far about the upcoming next-generation 2023 Toyota 4Runner.

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There are so many things to like about Toyota 4Runner. For more than three decades, this tough and rugged SUV has been making people and families happy on the road.

And, of course, off the road too.

I appreciate the wide variety of trim levels like SR5, TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro Limited and Nightshade. Plus, the new 2021 4Runner Trail Edition is here.

2020 Toyota 4Runner lineup

Most people realize Toyota 4Runner is ready to change and be redesigned. Time for the 6th Generation to arrive for us to see.

We have been on our 5th Generation design since 2009. People really like the current entry, but they also are ready to see what comes next.

People talk about 2021 Toyota 4Runner

Comments from viewers of my “Toyotajeff” YouTube channel and readers of my Torque News / Toyota News column are what provide ideas for new content. Like this article I am writing today, for example.

People have had interesting observations when talking about our current 4Runner and what might come next. Time to open the comments bag.

“Cannot wait to see what Toyota has next for 4Runner!” Exclaimed Terry.

2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Premium Super White profile view

Lamar apparently thought it has been awhile. “Redesign time. Hasn’t it been a decade already?”

“Jeff do you know if there will be a redesign next year?” Asked Commander Rhino.

Mr Bobby Brown shared his thoughts. “Beautiful, but kind of crazy how they can charge so much for it considering how outdated it kind of is. Specifically, the engine and transmission.”

“Just picked up a 2021 4Runner Venture and plan on trading it in for the new design in a couple years.” Commented Brad.

Good plan Brad. Until we hear differently, probably the best thing to do is think about a redesigned 2023 Toyota 4Runner.

Rumors are swirling in Toyota circles for that time frame. I do not know more but it is a good frame of reference – for now at least.

Here are some of my thoughts on what could be changed or updated.

Toyota 4Runner Hybrid

Toyota has an aggressive plan in place for its growing hybrid offerings in the next several years. This movement includes its entire lineup of cars, trucks and SUVs. I was lucky enough to discuss this a year ago with a Toyota expert in the know.

“In the next few years, we’re trying to increase the number of vehicles that we have with an alternate, electrified power plant to 25% (of total vehicle sales). And give every vehicle we offer an electrified power plant option.” Offered Tom Kretschmann, who is the Product Subject Matter Expert with the Toyota Product & Sales Engagement team.

2021 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium Midnight Black Metallic profile view front end

Having a 4Runner hybrid option for consumers would fit a specific buyer market.

People looking to significantly improve their gas mileage would benefit from a hybrid 4Runner. Currently 2021 Toyota 4Runner buyers will find listed mpg at 16 city / 19 highway / 17 combined for part-time 4WD 4Runners.

Other potential benefits for Toyota 4Runner hybrid could include improved low-end torque, lower emissions and pollution, and potentially higher values.

Toyota 4Runner engine

2020 Toyota 4Runner Limited Blizzard Pearl front end profile view

Current 2021 4Runner powertrain is a 4.0-liter V6 engine that is matched with a 5-speed automatic transmission. This produces 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. torque.

This is not the only engine we have seen over the years on Toyota 4Runner. Options such as a 2.4-liter engine and as high as a 4.7-liter V8 engine have moved drivers from Point A to Point B in the past.

It is difficult to speculate what powertrain evolution we can expect to see next. I do feel the biggest room for improvement is in this department.

A more modern transmission would satisfy 4Runner fans and enthusiasts for sure.

Also, I would not be surprised to find a turbo-assisted path similar to the rumored 2022 Toyota Tundra next-gen design.

What are your thoughts on ideal powertrain combinations?

2021 Toyota 4Runner features

When Toyota 4Runner was refreshed for the 2020 model year, it gave owners a few incredibly important upgrades.

On 2020 and 2021 4Runners you will find Toyota Safety Sense, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, larger multimedia screens, slightly updated interior design and rear USB ports.

Yes, there are LED lights across the lineup for 2021 4Runner now too.

VIDEO: Take a tour of 2021 Toyota 4Runner Venture Special Edition in my video review.

These are practical and essential features for some. Plus, these additions have helped satisfy the cravings of fans who are calling for a redesign as soon as possible.

I would expect a similar but more modernized interior cabin. I would be shocked if new updates do not include standard blind spot monitor on all trim levels.

People want convenience, the latest technology and safety available, along with a “with the times” look.

Not all people, of course, but many. We have many traditionalists as well.

Time for your thoughts on Toyota 4Runner

The important consideration here is that Toyota 4Runner fans and owners love their vehicles because they are 4Runners. It is essential to maintain the legacy and foundation already in place.

Do not change the look too much. Modernize it. Provide ample seating and storage areas. Make it tough and rugged and versatile for weekend camping and trail trips.

Continue to make us proud of 4Runner. Just in modern ways.

What do you think? Are you a 4Runner owner and what has your experience been so far?

What improvements and updates are on your next generation 4Runner wish list?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I show exclusive pictures of new 2021 Camry color.

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Mark (not verified)    November 9, 2020 - 12:06AM

Extremely happy with my 2020 can TRDORP. Just wish it had the LED headlamps. As far as the next model offering. I'll keep mine. Not interested in a hybrid or turbo options. A supercharged one would be nice.

To be honest, it's looks are rugged, interior is fine, just needs more power. Nothing else. Porsche 911's don't change much in the looks department and they are over 60 years old... And neither has the Jeep design and that been around since the 1940's.

Peter A Wadsworth (not verified)    November 9, 2020 - 11:15AM

I had a 2005 4Runner with the V8/5speed auto AWD combination and loved it. Averaged 18.6 mpg. I traded it in for more modern electronics - Bluetooth, nav, backup camera but not another 4Runner, which I sometimes regret. I’ve driven the late model 4Runner and am appalled at how sluggish it is. I had an X5 with similar displacement but an 8 speed that which much more responsive to drive. So my highest priority would be modern running gear (duh). And keep the electric rear window. My dogs loved it. Incidentally, I preferred the older more rounded styling.

Engin Celen (not verified)    November 9, 2020 - 11:36AM

Hi Jeff I am currently at the car market I was thinking to buy 4 runner but it has been so long and pour fuel economy and 5 speed transmission high price because of them I changed my mind. Thank you for updates

R.Siegel (not verified)    November 9, 2020 - 12:59PM

I have owned or currently own 3 4-runners,an '88,`96 + a 2000.In 2017 I looked to purchase a new one and in my opinion found it to be both underpowered and steered like an old raft.Instead we purchased a Camry XSE which is great.Others might disagree, but those are the 2 areas that need to be addressed.thanks

Danny (not verified)    November 11, 2020 - 8:22AM

In reply to by Scott (not verified)

I had a 2007 4runner v8 I loved it, you do know the v8’s have a timing belt You must change at 60 thousand miles right? That was the only thing toyota messed up on the v6 engines came with timing chains

Ester Johnson (not verified)    March 1, 2021 - 7:41PM

In reply to by Raj Sharma (not verified)

I was planning to purchase my first 4Runner (2021 model), but changed my mind when I found out the 4Runner doesn’t have a power lift gate.

I really want to purchase one, so please install a power lift gate in the 2023 model please!!!

Meredith (not verified)    November 9, 2020 - 2:47PM

I still want the boxy body-on frame 4WD but I wish they would put all the bells and whistles that come on the Highlander. Modern safety features, hybrid/better gas mileage and everything. It's ridiculous how they milk the 4 Runner for so long with minimal upgrades.

Sean (not verified)    November 9, 2020 - 3:48PM

The 4runner is a great vehicle I have no complaints I don't want it to have a ton of tech because then it can have issues I bought my 4runner because it was a basic truck with 4wd

Scott Cole (not verified)    November 9, 2020 - 5:03PM

I just purchased a 2018 SR-5. I had a choice of lots of different vehicles on the market, but the 4Runner chose itself. I use it primarily as a work vehicle--I'm a piano technician that makes house calls all over southern OR and northern CA. Since my Outback left me stranded 3 times in 9 months, I bought the 4Runner mostly for it's reliability, load carrying, and ability to bomb over rough dirt roads. I DO NOT want to see equipment added that will detract from reliability, like a turbo or more silly distracting electronic "safety" features they've crammed into the 2021 Subarus. Forget a 4-cylinder engine. I hope they retain the knobs and dials and don't give into having everything controlled by swiping and diving into submenus just to get some heat or AC. I guess a hybrid would be ok, but hybrids are more expensive and more complex. "Hybrid" doesn't necessarily equate to "more reliable." It's just another added system. The gas mileage isn't great, but it's no worse than a comparable 6-cylinder vehicle of the same size, and in fact we've gotten up to about 25mpg on the highway.The poor gas mileage will be compensated by higher resale value and lower repair cost.

If I had my ONE pick of something to change, I'd say please, please let dealers install the sliding rear cargo deck into any model. And please don't change the 4Runner just because people are bored. It's practically perfect the way it is for what it is. Which is why they sell them like crazy out here.

James (not verified)    November 9, 2020 - 5:25PM

Headroom!!!!!? I had to buy an ascent as I didn't fit in the current gen 4runners. I loved my 08 sport and would have bought one in a second if I fit. Also stop forcing sun roofs on 4runner buyers in Canada. It makes sense for the southern states but not us Canadians.

Eugene wiedenbeck (not verified)    November 9, 2020 - 7:15PM

I have an 06 with the V8. Nothing better! The 6 cylinder is very underpowered regardless of the horsepower listed. Bring back the V8 as an option and the 4Runner sales will explode! Ill even buy a new one!

Scott E (not verified)    November 10, 2020 - 1:53AM

I've missed my 2000 4WD 4Runner since 2012 accident.. following the newest models
Finally LED Headlight/Fogs and Rear but the Front and Rear Turn Signals need to be LED
Better looking aluminum Deepdish wheels would appreciated
My biggest complaint ..the Power Window switches on inside of doors are too high
Not good ergonomics..please lower them into the arm rest !!!!! Thanks for allowing us to comment

Scott E (not verified)    November 10, 2020 - 2:18AM

I've missed my 2000 4WD 4Runner since 2012 accident.. following the newest models
Finally LED Headlight/Fogs and Rear but the Front and Rear Turn Signals need to be LED
Better looking aluminum Deepdish wheels would appreciated ..although those wheels on that blue 2021 4Runner Venture are awesome.
My biggest complaint ..the Power Window switches on inside of doors are too high
Not good ergonomics..please lower them into the arm rest !!!!! Thanks for allowing us to comment

Scott Michael Webber (not verified)    November 10, 2020 - 9:49AM

2.5 liter hybrid powertrain standard, 2.5L turbo hybrid, or 3.5L hybrid optional. Plug in preferably for both. Keep the retractable tailgate window no matter what.

Sean F Marble (not verified)    November 10, 2020 - 3:08PM

Love my 2016 4Runner!! I have two large dogs, and I carry a fold-out ramp for them to get into the back. My main wish list item would be a retractable/integrated ramp which could be used when the tailgate was raised. Slide it out...up the doggos go!! Slide it in...tailgate is allowed to close. Not rocket science, but would be a HUGE improvement!!

SrirachaHOT (not verified)    November 10, 2020 - 4:08PM

I've got a '21 TRD ORP & can tell you everybody talking about low on power are the guts running oversized tires & have an added 1000lbs of junk on their truck (tents, ladders, racks). DUH!! It's going to slow down.

Kevin Webb (not verified)    November 12, 2020 - 8:43PM

I have a 2012 4 runner I bought new. I love this vehicle!! I’m gonna buy a new one in 2023 with the redesign. Hopefully it will incllude a robust but efficient drive train, keeps the roll down rear window, improved sound system, keep it a simple / manly design - please don’t turn it into another plush SUV kid carrier.