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A brown 2025 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is shown from the front at an angle.

The 2025 Toyota 4Runner Shatters Expectations

The moment we have all been waiting for is here: after 15 years on the market, the venerable Toyota 4Runner has finally received a full redesign.

Redesigning an icon is never easy, but Toyota knocked this one out of the park. Based on the same TNGA-F body-on-frame platform as the Tundra, Tacoma, and Land Cruiser, the new sixth-generation model is hands-down the most capable 4Runner ever built. In fact, it is so capable that it threatens to make the recently re-released Land Cruiser obsolete.

With a potent hybrid powertrain available, upgraded four-wheel drive options, fresh off-road features, and the all-new Trailhunter trim, there is a lot to unpack about the 2025 4Runner, and we can’t wait to see what this model will do out on the trails.

A Better Land Cruiser?

When Toyota shrank the Land Cruiser for the 2024 model year (more technically, when it brought the Land Cruiser Prado to the United States under the Land Cruiser name), there was a lot of question about what this meant for the 4Runner. Traditionally, the 4Runner has been the American counterpart to the Land Cruiser Prado, much like the Tacoma is the American version of the Hilux. How would both models co-exist in the same market?

Some feared that the 4Runner would be watered-down to slot in beneath the Land Cruiser, or it would even be canceled entirely. However, the 2025 4Runner proved our fears were unwarranted. In fact, rather than the Land Cruiser killing the 4Runner, the 4Runner might just kill the Land Cruiser.

The 2025 4Runner shares the same wheelbase and track as the Land Cruiser, which makes it slightly larger than the outgoing model. The only real dimensional difference is that the Land Cruiser is slightly taller and bulkier—although that added height is all in the cabin since the 4Runner actually has about a half-inch more ground clearance.

A white 2025 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is shown from the rear at an angle.

Both models offer 33-inch all-terrain tires, locking rear differentials, and a full-time four-wheel drive system with a two-speed transfer case. However, the 4Runner can also be optioned with rear-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel drive, while the Land Cruiser comes standard with full-time four-wheel drive.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the 4Runner even gets the same 2.4L i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain that propels the Land Cruiser and the top trims of the Tacoma. This powerful option produces 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, which is 21% more horsepower and 67% more torque than the old 4.0L V6 engine that has powered the 4Runner since 2003.

However, while the Land Cruiser comes standard with the i-FORCE MAX powertrain, it is only found in the higher trims of the 4Runner; the lower trims come with a 2.4L i-FORCE turbocharged option producing 278 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, which is more comparable to the old V6. Both engine options are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and can tow up to 6,000 lbs, which is, again, the same as the Land Cruiser.

Personality and Practicality

All of these similarities between the 4Runner and Land Cruiser are not to say that Toyota didn’t make an effort to give these two models their own identities. In fact, the 2025 4Runner has more 4Runner heritage than the fifth generation did.

In a really neat blast from the past, the rear side windows now curve up into the roof, the way they did back on the first- and second-gen models. And, of course, the rear glass on the 2025 4Runner still rolls down into the liftgate for easy access to the trunk or some fresh air when you’re camping in your car. These little design details give the new model a ton of personality and make even the heritage-inspired Land Cruiser look a little dull by comparison.

Inside, the 4Runner continues to offer third-row seats as an available option, which makes it a bit more versatile as a family adventure vehicle, although it is still not a substitute for a full-size SUV like the Ford Expedition or Chevy Tahoe. The second-row seats not only fold down but also tumble forward, providing easier access to the third row and a truly expansive rear cargo area for adventure gear or simply stretching out for a good night’s sleep.

A rear 2.4-kWh power supply means you can fire up an air compressor or power a whole camp kitchen while out on the trail, and the new Trailhunter trim comes with three pre-wired upfitter switches to add even more accessories if its 20-inch LED light bar and RIGID fog lamps aren’t enough for you.

The black interior of a 2025 Toyota 4Runner is shown from above the center console.

The New Star of the Toyota Lineup?

The rise in popularity of off-road vehicles has seen an explosion in the number of options available. There are over a dozen rugged pickup trucks on the market—like how the Bronco is challenging the Wrangler in a segment Jeep once had to itself—and there are more softroader crossovers than you can shake a stick at, but Toyota still has the once-popular body-on-frame midsize SUV segment to itself.

It would have been easy enough for the brand to phone it in for the 4Runner‘s redesign, especially with the new Land Cruiser serving as the halo model in the segment; instead, we got a sixth-generation model that really stands out and may just be the star of the Toyota lineup from now on. With all the performance of the Land Cruiser, more approachable entry-level options, and tons of personality, the 2025 4Runner is shaping up to be a classic in its own right.

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