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A brown 2025 Toyota 4Runner driving through muddy water in the woods under a New Car Alert banner.

The 2025 Toyota 4Runner Improves on an Icon

If you are looking for a traditional body-on-frame SUV that isn’t as large as a house and doesn’t have detachable doors, then you have one option available: the Toyota 4Runner. The good news is that it’s an absolutely incredible vehicle, and the fully redesigned 2025 model sticks to the same tried and true formula while addressing the few complaints about the outgoing model (which was already good enough to remain in production almost unchanged for a staggering 15 years). If you were put off by the gas-guzzling engine or antiquated technology in the previous generation, then it is time to take a look at the 2025 Toyota 4Runner and the many advancements it brings to the table. But if you loved the old 4Runner, then don’t be dismayed by the updates—the new version is even more rugged and off-road capable than the old one.

Toyota’s Hybrid Magic

If there was one major fault in the old 4Runner, it was the ancient 4.0L V6 engine and five-speed transmission. That was an excellent powertrain back in 2003 when it debuted with the fourth-generation 4Runner, but drivers expect more than 270 hp and 17 MPG combined here in 2024. That is why Toyota has given the 2025 4Runner two all-new powertrain options. The base option is a 2.4L i-FORCE turbocharged I-4 that produces 278 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. The second option is an i-FORCE MAX powertrain that adds a 48 hp electric motor to bring the combined output up to 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque—the same as the Toyota Land Cruiser and the top trims of the Toyota Tacoma.

While some fans of the bulletproof old V6 may look askance at a hybrid powertrain, it should be remembered that Toyota has been building hybrids since 1997, which is even longer than the old V6 was produced. The i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain is also a bit more conventional than what you will find in something like a Prius or Camry, trading Toyota’s more fuel-economy-focused eCVT for a modern eight-speed automatic transmission and true part-time four-wheel drive (rear-wheel drive and full-time four-wheel drive are also available). This gives the 2025 4Runner the gearing it needs to cross rough terrain and allows it to tow up to 6,000 lbs, matching the Land Cruiser and Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe.

The refreshed interior and large infotainment screen in a 2025 Toyota 4Runner.

Modern Features for a Classic SUV

The second complaint commonly heard from 4Runner owners was the dated technology inside the vehicle. Toyota listened and responded by giving the 2025 model the full suite of the latest tech features. The higher trims now come with a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a 14-inch center infotainment display. Even if you choose a lower trim with the standard eight-inch infotainment center, you will still enjoy Toyota’s latest Audio Multimedia system, which comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This infotainment technology is paired with the latest Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 driver-assist tools, including Proactive Driving Assist. This new feature provides steering and braking support to help negotiate curves and traffic.

However, Toyota did not let these new tech features obscure the rugged and practical nature of the 4Runner. In fact, it has added even more handy features for the 2025 model. The classic roll-down rear glass is still present to give you a bit of that open-air feel without the detachable doors and roof of a Ford Bronco or Jeep Wrangler, and Toyota has brought back the wrap-around rear windows that graced the 4Runners of the 1980s and 1990s. Inside, second-row tumble seats and optional third-row seating provide incredible practicality, and you can even add a powerful 2.4 kWh AC inverter to power everything from laptops to air compressors.

A green 2025 Toyota 4Runner Trailhunter driving through a moss-covered forest.

Ready for Any Adventure

The 4Runner is one of the only real body-on-frame SUVs remaining on the market, and Toyota successfully walked the fine line between modernizing the model and remaining true to its roots. It has added new features to address the complaints about the old model while keeping the spirit of the vehicle alive and well. Whether you are looking for a no-nonsense version like the classic SR5, a luxurious yet rugged ride like the new Limited, or a pull-out-all-the-stops off-roader like the TRD Pro, there is a version of the 2025 4Runner that is sure to appeal to any type of adventurer. The new model might even be good enough that Toyota won’t feel the need to update it for another 15 years.