Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

The rugged new 2025 Toyota 4Runner, after being revealed on a beach in San Diego, on April 9.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Toyota finally took the wraps off its all-new 4Runner SUV on a beach in San Diego. For 2025, the iconic midsize SUV adds a hybrid option, more technology and extra off-roading capabilities to stay true to its roots.

“After 15 years, and just a few questions about its future, the 2025 4Runner is all-new from the ground up,” said David Christ, group vice-president and general manager of the Toyota Division at Toyota Motor North America, during the reveal on Tuesday night. “Forty years ago the 4Runner brand began and it is now an off-road icon. It is a fan favourite with over three million units sold in the U.S. alone.”

While the 4Runner has a long history dating back to 1984, sales started dwindling in recent years. The SUV hadn’t been changed since the fifth generation came out 15 years ago – a long time in automotive life cycle years, which is typically four years for a major overhaul.

Since its introduction to the Canadian market, Toyota has sold more than 180,000 4Runners in Canada. Sales have declined since 2021, which was Toyota Canada’s best-ever year with more than 8,200 4Runners sold. In 2023, Toyota Canada sold 5,650 4Runners, which represents about 3 per cent of total sales.

Open this photo in gallery:

The SUV hadn’t been changed since the fifth generation came out 15 years ago.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

All-new from the ground up, this sixth-generation 4Runner shares its body-on-frame truck platform with its siblings: the Tacoma, Land Cruiser, Tundra and Sequoia. Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, which produces 278 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. But the more significant offering is a hybrid powertrain – the first one ever offered on a 4Runner. It pairs a turbocharged 2.4-litre engine with a 48-horsepower electric motor mated to an eight-speed transmission. Feeding off a 1.87-kilowatt-hour battery, the system produces a combined output of up to 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque – that’s a 67-per-cent increase in torque compared to the current generation. As a result, it’s the strongest powertrain ever in a 4Runner. Towing is up, too – now it can tow up to 6,000 pounds.

Open this photo in gallery:

The front seats and dash of the new 2025 Toyota 4Runner with a beefy steering wheel, large gear shifter and traditional dial.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Open this photo in gallery:

The trunk on the new 2025 Toyota 4Runner, which comes with the option of a third row of seats.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

On the outside, the 4Runner looks rugged, modern and strikingly similar to the Tacoma pickup, especially at the front end. The 4Runner also takes some design cues from its past. Paying homage to the first and second generations of 4Runners, the legacy wrap-over quarter glass returns as does the signature roll-down rear window.

Inside, it’s feels rugged with a beefy steering wheel, large gear shifter and traditional dials and buttons for several functions such as climate control. There’s a new eight-inch or an available larger 14-inch multimedia touchscreen display, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, an available wireless charging pad and several USB-C charging ports throughout the cabin. A seven-inch gauge cluster is standard; a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is on higher models.

Open this photo in gallery:

The second row of seats, which tumble forward.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

There’s second-row tumble seats and a third-row option, for more flexibility. And plenty of standard safety features including Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, which includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist and automatic high beams.

The 4Runner will be offered in part- or full-time four-wheel drive, both mated to an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case with high/low range. For off-roading, 4Runner also has a new Crawl Control function that acts like a low-speed cruise control. When traction is limited, the available electronically activated locking rear differential can split power 50/50 to the rear wheels. Other features include downhill assist control, which helps the driver navigate descents by limiting the speed of the vehicle, a new available stabilizer bar disconnect mechanism that increases suspension articulation at the push of a button, up to 32-degree approach and 24-degree departure angles and an available multi-terrain monitor so drivers can see potential hazards on the centre display. The multi-terrain select system now functions in both 4WD-High and 4WD-Low and offers adjustable settings to help control wheel spin on different terrain such as mud, dirt and sand.

The 2025 Toyota 4Runner goes on sale this fall. Prices will be available closer to its sale date.

The writer was a guest of the automaker. Content was not subject to approval.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe