Old vs New Toyota 4Runner Review: Choosing Your Best Adventure SUV

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Old vs New Toyota 4Runner Review

Old vs new, which Toyota 4Runner should you buy? That’s what we’re going to find out.

After a decade and a half, Toyota has finally introduced an all-new 4runner, the brand new six generation for 2025, and to see what it’s all about and how much has changed, I’m gonna compare it against the fifth generation 2024 model.

So should you buy the new and improved 4runner or is your money better spent on the proven old school one? Well, I have the answer, but first let’s start off with some really good news about the new 4runner, which is the fact that it’s still going to be assembled in Japan at the Tahara Assembly Plant.

Now this is fantastic news when it comes to the build quality of the 4runner. The Tahara assembly plant is where all the best vehicles are made.

The Toyota 4runner, the Lexus Gx, the Lexus LX, and the Toyota Land Cruiser, which are all known for their fantastic build quality and reliability.

So the fact that the all new 4runner is still going to be made there in Japan is amazing news.

Build Quality and Assembly

Now no surprise, the all new 4runner is going to be made on the same global truck platform that underpins a number of different models including the brand new Toyota Land Cruiser, the new Tacoma and Tundra, as well as the Lexus GX and the Lexus lx.

And that’s a very good thing because that means the new 4runner is going to benefit from the extra strong high strength steel rigid ladder frame construction that all of those vehicles have, which means that it’s going to be a lot more rigid, more solid, and that’s going to benefit the ride quality, the handling and the overall feel on the road.

And those are certainly areas where the 4runner needed some improvement. Driving this 2024 model, you can really tell that it does have a very truckish feel to it.

It’s quite jiggly as it drives down the road and it doesn’t have the best handling and there’s quite a bit of road noise, but none of that for me really takes away from the driving experience.

In fact, if anything, it adds to the driving experience because it really gives the 4runner a lot of character even So I’m sure there are a lot of buyers that would appreciate a little bit more refinement and that’s what you’re going to get with the 2025 model.

But make no mistake, it’s still going to be a proper body on frame SUV and it’s still going to have the same options of a part-time, four wheel drive system or a full-time, four wheel drive system with a two speed transfer case and proper high and low range.

So it’s going to be able to do everything that the old 4runner could do plus a lot more.

Driving Dynamics and Performance

Now the other area of course where the 2024 4Runner feels quite old school Is the drive train.

It uses a naturally aspirated four liter V six engine with a five speed automatic transmission, an absolutely ancient dinosaur of a drive train that has been around for ages and it really feels it.

It doesn’t have a whole lot of power, 270 horsepower and 278 pound feet of torque. And not only does it have a lot of power, but it’s a little bit on the noisy and crude side and of course it doesn’t have very good fuel economy either.

But you know what? None of that matters absolutely one little bit because this old school simple drivetrain has something that you cannot get with any other brand new vehicle and that is unmatched longevity and a superb reputation for reliability.

There is no other new vehicle that you can buy that is more likely to last you 300,000 miles, even 400,000 miles without having any serious issues.

The 4runner can do that far easier than anything else.

It is so simple, so well proven and so easy to service and so incredibly well made and that reliability is really what has made it such a popular vehicle and why it continues to be such a popular seller.

Buyers absolutely love the reliability and the no nonsense longevity that’s always been a given with the 4runner and that’s perhaps the most controversial change with the all new 2025 model because it is ditching that V six engine and five speed automatic for two brand new drivetrains, which it shares with the brand new Tacoma and the new Land Cruiser.

The new 4runner offers a choice between either a standard 2.4 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that comes with an eight speed automatic transmission, or you can choose to have a hybrid drive train which gives you the exact same engine only with an electric motor and a hybrid battery pack that sits underneath the rear seats.

The standard engine produces 278 horsepower and 317 pound feet of torque, which does make it more powerful than the V six engine in the old forerunner and it’s probably going to be a little bit more fuel efficient at the same time.

And then you have the hybrid iforce Max, which produces a lot more horsepower, 326 horsepower and 465 pound feet of torque, which is an incredible amount of performance.

So yes, the new 4runner is going to have a lot more power. It’s probably going to be quieter, smoother and give you slightly better fuel economy as well.

But the major question is are these new drive trains going to be as reliable as the four liter V six and five speed auto from the old 4runner? And I think the simple short answer is no.

Realistically, you cannot expect any brand new drivetrain to have the same kind of durability and longevity that you got out of that old V six.

But that being said, I don’t think that the new drivetrains are going to be unreliable.

Off-Road Capability and Trim Options

Let’s now move on to some other really great things about the all new 4runner, including its increased off-road capability.

The fifth generation 4runner was of course already an incredibly capable off-road SUV with a ton of aftermarket support and that really should not change with the new 4runner either.

You have the same wide variety of different trim levels that you could choose from before, including the base model SR five, the TRD sport and the TRD off-Road.

You have the more Uplevel Limited trim, which of course gives you more features and for those hardcore buyers you have the TRD Pro.

But Toyota has added a few additional trims to the new 4runner including a platinum trim for those who want something more luxurious with a lot more features.

And they’ve also added a brand new Trail Hunter Trim, which sits alongside the TRD Pro at the top of the range.

Now the TRD Pro and the new Trail Hunter are basically mimicking what you get on the all new Tacoma.

The Trail Hunter is designed to be a really serious dedicated low speed overlander and it has a series of parts to support that.

Of course, just like the old 4runner, all versions of the new 4runner are going to be extremely offroad capable, but if you want something that’s really over

The top and a little bit special and perhaps it’s going to hold its value better down the road, the TRD Pro, but especially the Trail Hunter are going to be the ones to go for.

Safety Features

The new 4runner benefits from the latest Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 active safety technology, which is an area where the old 4runner definitely needed some major improvement because it’s such an old platform and such a dated vehicle at this point.

The safety rating on the old 4runner is really not that great. So the fact that the new 4runner is going to be a lot safer and have a lot more safety technology, that’s definitely a welcome change.

But at the same time, Toyota has really not changed the formula too much. It’s still the same overall size.

The interior space should be very similar to the old one with plenty of room in the rear seats in the cargo area, you have the option of a third row seat with seating for up to seven and they’ve even maintained the power sliding rear window, which is really great to see.

Price and Value Proposition

But the major question is what have they done with the pricing? Is the new 4runner going to be a lot more expensive? Well, the 2024 4runner is priced from roughly 42 to 57,000 US or

Roughly 55 to 70,000 Canadian. And even though we don’t know the pricing of the 2025 for runner quite yet, I don’t think that the pricing is realistically going to be changing that much.

And that’s because as it sits right now, the pricing for the current 2024 4runner basically tops outer ends where the all new Land Cruiser begins.

So if Toyota makes the new 4runner more expensive, that means the pricing is going to overlap with the Land Cruiser, which wouldn’t make too much sense.

Well, it does seem a bit confusing because there’s no question there is a lot of similarity between the new 4runner and the Land Cruiser.

They both share the same basic SUV platform. They’re the same basic overall size and they have the same hybrid drivetrain.

So it really does seem to be a personal preference thing and a price thing more than anything else.

And that really brings into perspective what’s so great about the fifth generation 2024 runner that I’m currently driving.

This feels like such a nice old school SUV and it just has so much character to it that it really does differentiate between the 4runner and the Land Cruiser.

If you want something more old school, more basic and simple, you have this 4runner to look forward to.

Whereas if you want something with more technology that’s more up to date with more features, you can go for the new Land Cruiser.

But now that we have this new six generation 4runner, we no longer have that simple old school option to choose from anymore, which is a bit of a shame.

No, this 2024 4runner is not the most sophisticated or the most refined SUV, but it really doesn’t need to be.

There are plenty of buyers that absolutely adore it for exactly what it is, a simple no nonsense, ultra reliable SUV that will last in eternity.

And that’s part of what has made it so popular and still such a really strong seller.

And if I were in the market for a new 4runner, there is no question I would buy the 2024 model in a heartbeat and enjoy its old school charm for as long as possible.

And who knows, maybe after a few years after the new 4runner has been around for some time and Toyota has sorted out all the kinks, that might be the time to upgrade to the new one.

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