We spotted a prototype of what is most certainly the new Toyota 4Runner testing near Toyota's R&D facility in Southeast Michigan.
The camouflaged SUV was seen entering the highway in Ann Arbor flanked by two de-badged Tundra pickup trucks.
Its size and shape are close to the current 4Runner and its truck-like underpinnings make it clear this is not a future Highlander crossover.
Caught near Ann Arbor, Michigan, just miles away from Toyota's R&D center (and Car and Driver HQ), we spotted what is most certainly a redesigned 2025 Toyota 4Runner. Draped in heavy camouflage, the mid-size SUV appears to be similar in size to the 2024 model, with ground clearance and approach and departure angles that indicate this is a truck-based SUV and no mere Highlander crossover.
This is the best evidence yet that the 4Runner will receive a modernization, although it shouldn't come as a surprise. Toyota has been focusing its efforts lately on revamping its truck and off-road SUV lineup, evidenced by the consistent flow of redesigned models starting with the Tundra pickup for the 2022 model year and more recently with the new Tacoma and revived Land Cruiser.
The prototype was driving between two Tundra pickup trucks, either serving as support for this development ride or as benchmarks. The 2025 4Runner is expected to use the mid-size Tacoma pickup truck as its basis, but both the Tacoma and Tundra are built on Toyota's GA-F body-on-frame platform.
Powertrain details are unknown, but judging by the Tacoma's offerings we expect to see a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine ranging from 228 to 278 horsepower as well as a hybrid setup with as much as 326 ponies. Four-wheel drive and all manner of off-road goodies are all but a certainty, as is a TRD Pro trim level.
Look for the 2025 4Runner to debut sometime later this year and go on sale early next year. Pricing will likely rise above the current model's $41,600 starting price, but probably not by too much given the 4Runner's place in the Toyota lineup. While we wait for the official unveiling of the next-gen off-roader, we'll keep a vigilant eye on the roads here near our home office for more glimpses of what's in store.
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