2025 Toyota 4Runner (finally!) revealed, and the new Trailhunter is extremely cool

SAN DIEGO – The last time a new Toyota 4Runner debuted, Barack Obama was in the first year of his presidency. “The Hangover,” “Avatar” and sixth Harry Potter movie were big at the box office; Taylor Swift was still considered a country artist. Kids born that year can now get their learners’ permit. So yeah, to say the 4Runner was due for a replacement is putting it mildly. Finally, we have something to report in the “What’s New” section of annual 4Runner reviews besides mild tech upgrades and a new TRD Pro color.

OK, OK, enough with the preamble. The 2025 Toyota 4Runner is finally(!) here and will finally(!) be available at dealers this fall after it starts rolling off the production line in Tahara, Japan. It is based on Toyota’s TNGA-F truck platform, the latest in a too-long-to-list family of redesigned SUVs and trucks that were similarly long in the tooth. Among those is the new Tacoma, and a lot of what you’re about to read should seem familiar if you’re well-briefed on Toyota’s midsize truck — especially the rugged new Trailhunter trim that was first offered on the pickup.

2025 Toyota 4Runner features

The standard 4Runner engine is now the same 2.4-liter turbocharged inline-four good for 278 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque you can get in the Tacoma. The old 4.0-liter V6 produced 270 hp and 278 lb-ft, but it also had a five-speed automatic that did it zero favors in terms of performance and fuel economy. The new 4Runner joins the 21st century with an eight-speed automatic. Fuel economy estimates are TBA. There’s also no manual despite the Tacoma offering one with the same engine.


As nice of a generational update as that engine is, though, the 4Runner will once again offer an engine upgrade. No V8 this time, though. It’s Toyota’s i-Force Max hybrid powertrain that pairs the turbo-four with a 48-hp electric motor integrated within the eight-speed automatic for a total system output of 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. It will be available on the TRD Off-Road and Limited trim levels, and standard on the TRD Pro and new Trailhunter and Platinum trims. This would be the same hybrid engine upgrade available in the Tacoma that we’ll be reviewing April 23. 

We mentioned available third-row seating up top, and it should be noted here that you can’t get the third row with the hybrid. The battery and third row occupy the same space in the cargo area. With both, the cargo floor raises by 2-3 inches (sort of like the old Chevy Tahoe) and therefore reduces capacity. The third row is optional on the SR5 and Limited, though, again, with the turbo engine only.

Drivetrain options include rear-wheel drive, part-time four-wheel drive or full-time four-wheel-drive. The difference between those last two is you have to shift into 4 High with part-time, whereas an automatic mode can engage the front axle as needed in full-time, not unlike an all-wheel-drive system. This version is only available on the luxury-oriented Limited (optional) and Platinum (standard). The TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro and Trailhunter get electronic locking differentials. The Multi-Terrain Select system now functions in 4WD High and 4WD Low, while the Crawl Control low-speed off-road cruise control is apparently quieter. Presumably, that means it won’t sound like someone mounted an automatic rifle under the front bumper.

Now, while the last-generation 4Runner TRD Off-Road came with Toyota’s trick KDSS automatically disconnecting stabilizer bars, that feature is now the exclusive property of the Lexus GX Overtrail. Making up for that deletion, at least somewhat, is a new manually disconnecting stabilizer bar available on the TRD and Trailhunter trim levels. The new Land Cruiser is also available with this less sophisticated, but still useful feature that increases suspension articulation off-road while also improving on-road ride and handling.

2025 Toyota 4Runner Trailhunter

OK, so now let’s talk about the Trailhunter, cause it’s clearly the most intriguing addition to the 4Runner family. It’s one of two new trim levels, or grades in Toyota parlance, along with the ritzy Platinum that goes in a whole different direction atop the 2025 4Runner hierarchy. You can read more about it in our Trailhunter trim breakdown, but long story short:

Like the Tacoma version that debuted the name and concept, the 4Runner Trailhunter goes beyond the TRD Pro with hardware and capability specifically intended to look awesome for overlanding. Among the upgrades are a 2.5-inch lift courtesy Old Man Emu (OME) forged shocks with external piggyback remote reservoirs at the rear; 33-inch Toyo Open Country all-terrain tires that boost the ride height by 2 inches at the front and 1.5 at the rear; rock rails and high-strength steel skid plates; a high-mount air intake; a 20-inch light bar with color-selectable fog lamps (if they can’t turn purple, what’s the point?); a 2,400-watt AC inverter with outlets in the cabin and cargo area; three aux switches; and an ARB roof rack. With the 4Runner Trailhunter, bring on the apocalypse.

  • 2025 Toyota 4Runner vs Land Cruiser vs the old 4Runner: How they compare
  • 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser Preview: Pricing, fuel economy and everything else we know

Other 2025 Toyota 4Runner trims

So how does the Trailhunter compare to the 2025 4Runner TRD Pro, which was previously the gnarliest off-roading version? It also gets a 2.5-inch lift, but does so courtesy Fox shocks with adjustable reservoirs. These are intended more for higher-speed desert running, whereas the OMEs on the Trailhunter are meant to sustain heavier curb weights (remember, overlanders bring a lot of stuff with them) while rock crawling. The TRD Pro also comes standard with the same 33-inch tires as the Trailhunter (the biggest ever offered on the 4Runner, by the way) but with different TRD tires in black. It also gets the manually disconnecting stabilizer bar standard, plus the wider stance that stretches a whopping 3 inches beyond the last-generation TRD Pro.

Speaking of the last-generation TRD Pro, you might notice the new one lacks a big-old roof rack. Instead, it has the same rails available on other 2025 4Runners. The thought was many folks liked the old rack for aesthetic purposes, specifically as a point of differentiation with other 4Runners. With so many other unique styling cues, though (note the fender flares and gloss black trim), Toyota figures there won’t be as great demand for it. Meanwhile, those seeking extra roof capability will probably gravitate to the Trailhunter anyway. That’s the logic at least. The new TRD Pro also loses the old one’s droning TRD exhaust (no loss) while gaining a purely aesthetic hood scoop (no gain). The color you see here is called Mudbath, and I can confirm that’s indeed the special TRD Pro color for the various 2025 models.

As for the TRD Off-Road, it returns as a step up beyond the basic SR5 for those seeking some extra off-road capability without spending all that dough on the upper trim levels. The manual stabilizer bar is now an option (KDSS was optional before), and it gets a TRD-tuned suspension that’s more off-road-oriented than the SR5 offers. It comes standard with Crawl Control, Multi-Terrain Select and the electronic locking diff. It still looks like the SR5.

On the other ending of the rugged spectrum, the TRD Sport returns, but has its own TRD sport-tuned suspension for more on-road goings (it previously shared the Limited’s suspension). It gets the same 20-inch wheels as the Limited, though, along with similar styling.  

Trailhunter interior (top) with Limited (beige) and TRD Pro (the other one) 

Before getting to the interior, let’s first mention that the 4Runner’s most indelible feature is once again present: the power roll-down rear window. Your dog and surf board can rejoice. Beyond that is a big, boxy cargo area with capacity TBA and an available third-row seat, and a cabin that soars into the future after 15 years stuck in 2009. True, Toyota did substantially upgrade the tech along the way, but it was always in a retrofit sort of way rather than a comprehensive redo. There are now 8- and 14-inch touchscreens available, both running Toyota’s colorful, responsive and occasionally irksome infotainment interface. A 7-inch instrument panel display is standard on lower trims with a 12.3-inch cluster on upper ones. This screen availability is the same as the Tacoma. There are three USB-C ports up front, more available in the rear, and wireless charging added to upper trim levels.

From a design perspective, the 4Runner’s interior is a direct copy-paste from the Tacoma, which is a bit disappointing from an originality standpoint. It’s also awfully severe, verging on brutal. That may be more in keeping with the tougher exterior, especially for the TRD Pro and Trailhunter pictured in black, but it does make the Limited an even iffier luxury proposition. It may have the equipment and leather-like beige upholstery, but from an aesthetic and materials perspective, it’s a far cry from the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Though we were able to scrounge up the above info about the various TRD trims, we don’t have pics available of them all too see how they in terms of styling. We can at least see that the TRD Pro and Trailhunter get exaggerated fender flares in black (gloss TRD Pro, matte Trailhunter), with various black badging to match. They also get TOYOTA in the grille, whereas the Limited pictured above gets the Toyota emblem along with a unique fascia and body-colored trim (plus a laughably huge air dam). TRD Pro gets raised roof rails in place of the more substantial metal platform-type rack of the last version – the Trailhunter now sports the biggest rack. The Limited gets no rack, which makes it look a bit bald.

  • Toyota 4Runner history lesson: Third generation through the years

Regardless of what’s going on top of the roof, just below it you’ll find a return of one of the 4Runner’s earlier design staples: the “wrap-over” rear quarter glass. Even though the last two 4Runners haven’t had this cue, there’s something about it that just looks so right. The rest of the design also works quite well, and manages to make the new 4Runner look smaller even though it’s actually 4.7 inches longer and 2 inches wider with a 2.4-inch longer wheelbase. It’s a bit shorter, though. Ground clearance is listed at 9.2 inches, but it’s unclear how that may differ with various trim levels. The old one had different specs for 2WD (9.0 inches) and 4WD (9.6) before.

So that’s all we know about the 2025 Toyota 4Runner at this point. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date this fall. 

Related Articles

Back to top button