2025 Toyota 4Runner unveiled as new Prado’s cheaper sibling with Australian influence - SUV VEHICLE

2025 Toyota 4Runner unveiled as new Prado’s cheaper sibling with Australian influence


The Toyota 4Runner – the more aggressive, ute-based relative of the new Prado – brings bold styling, optional hybrid power, and a well-known Australian name on the spec sheet.

The 2025 Toyota 4Runner four-wheel-drive has been unveiled as a cheaper sibling to the latest Toyota Prado – and another preview of the design and technology of the next Toyota HiLux and Fortuner.

The 4Runner is to the TacomaToyota’s “mid-size” HiLux-sized pick-up in the US – what the Fortuner is to the HiLux, an SUV built on the underpinnings of the ute, with the same engines and features.

It is the first new 4Runner in 15 years – the outgoing model dates back to 2009 – and adopts the ‘TNGA-F’ ladder chassis used by nearly all other new body-on-frame Toyotas, including the latest Prado.

The Prado and new 4Runner appear to use the same floorpan – and are available with the same 2.4-litre turbo-petrol hybrid system in the US – but Toyota says the 4Runner is pitched as a more “fun” vehicle, while the Prado is claimed to be more refined.

MORE: 2024 Toyota Tacoma: Australian ingredients, cues next Toyota HiLux

The 4Runner – also known as the HiLux Surf – began as a wagon version of the HiLux in the 1980s, and was last sold in Australia in the mid-1990s.

At that point it moved into a higher position in Toyota’s US range, and became more closely related to the then-new Tacoma, and the Prado of the time – rather than the HiLux sold in Australia.

The new model is not expected to mark a return to Australia, where buyers will be left to choose between the Fortuner, Prado and full-size LandCruiser 300 Series.

However there is some Australian influence in the new 4Runner, in the form of parts from Australian off-road specialist ARB on the top-of-the-range Trailhunter version.

The rollout of the new 4Runner – available with turbo-petrol four-cylinder hybrid power – means all body-on-frame Toyotas sold in the US are underpinned by the TNGA-F chassis debuted on the 300 Series in 2021.

In the rest of the world, there are still a few more dominoes left to fall – including the Toyota HiLux ute and related Fortuner, which are expected in their next generations in 2025 on the Tacoma and 4Runner’s platform.

While it has not been confirmed, the design themes seen on the latest Tacoma and 4Runner – derived from the full-size Tundra pick-up likely to reach Australia next year – are expected to inspire the next HiLux and Fortuner.

The new 4Runner is effectively an SUV version of the new Tacoma, though it has styling differences – aside from its wagon body – to set it apart.

It keeps the roll-down rear window glass – a signature feature of the 4Runner – but adds more aggressive sheet metal with flared wheel arches and ‘TOYOTA’ grille script on some models.

Unlike the US version of the new Prado – where it is sold simply as the LandCruiser – the 4Runner is available with seven seats, and has bolder styling.

The window glass beside the boot and third row of seats now wraps up to the edge of the roof, in a nod to early 4Runner generations.

Replacing the old 4Runner’s 4.0-litre V6 and five-speed automatic transmission is a 2.4-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder – which is available with hybrid technology to reduce fuel use.

In standard form it develops 207kW and 430Nm – matched with an eight-speed auto – or 243kW and 630Nm as a hybrid, thanks to its 36kW electric motor and 1.87kWh battery.

The towing capacity is up to 2721kg for the hybrid – a system shared with the US-market Prado, but not yet planned for Australia – and US buyers can choose from rear-wheel drive, part-time four-wheel drive, or full-time 4WD.

Aiding off-road capability is a suite of Multi-Terrain Select off-road modes, plus Crawl Control low-speed off-road cruise control, a locking rear differential, and a low-range transfer case.

Also available is the front anti-roll bar disconnect system offered in the new Prado.

Compared to the Prado, the 4Runner is identical in wheelbase (2850mm), and 28mm longer bumper to bumper (to 4950mm) – but 3mm narrower (to 1976mm) and a substantial 135mm lower (to 1798mm).

Ground clearance is claimed as 233mm – compared to 203mm in the US-market Prado – while Toyota USA claims a 32-degree approach angle, 24-degree departure angle (down from the previous model’s 33 degrees) and 26-degree breakover angle.

The flagship hybrid-only Trailhunter includes Old Man Emu shock absorbers with ARB reservoirs, plus 33-inch off-road tyres and 18-inch bronze-coloured wheels which contribute to a ride height lift of 38mm to 50mm.

It also scores green front upper suspension control arms with Trailhunter logos, an ARB roof rack, steel skid plates, rock rails, 508mm-wide light bar, LED front fog lights which can illuminate white or yellow, high-mounted air intake (which is not waterproof), and an in-built air compressor.

Meanwhile, the other off-road-ready flagship – the TRD Pro – shares the Trailhunter’s locking rear differential and front sway bar disconnect, but gains Fox Racing shocks – as used on Ford Raptor models.

It also scores retuned springs, red upper front control arms with TRD wording, black and red 18-inch wheels, 33-inch all-terrain tyres, white-only LED fog lights, and a bonnet scoop.

Inside, top-of-the-range versions come with a 14-inch touchscreen offering wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, plus leather-look upholstery, a JBL premium stereo, 360-degree camera, and physical controls for air conditioning, off-road modes and the gear shifter.

Also available are heated front and second-row seats, a head-up display, and on luxury versions, chrome trim on the outside.

A suite of safety features – including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane centring assist and traffic sign recognition – is standard across the US range.

The 2025 Toyota 4Runner is due in US showrooms later this year.

The post 2025 Toyota 4Runner unveiled as new Prado’s cheaper sibling with Australian influence appeared first on Drive.


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