Unveiled: The Hybrid 4Runner, the Latest SUV from Toyota

Toyota (TM) unveiled the 2025 4Runner on Tuesday night, offering the SUV its first redesign in 15 years and a hybrid powertrain.   

The new 4Runner, Tacoma, Sequoia, and Land Cruiser share a new platform. Toyota claims that the redesigned frame improves comfort and handling while increasing strength and rigidity. The old 4Runner had outdated cabin technology, a cramped interior, and poor sightlines. The new model may improve on those issues.  

Bigger changes occur under the hood. The new base engine, a turbocharged 4-cylinder called i-Force, delivers 278 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft of torque, outperforming the V6 and possibly improving fuel economy (Toyota did not give EPA mileage estimates). Basic SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Limited grades have this engine.  

New Toyota trucks and SUVs use the mild hybrid i-Force Max engine, which is more crucial. The turbo 4-cylinder and 48-hp electric motor in the eight-speed transmission produce 326 hp and 465 lb.-ft. It's the 4Runner's most powerful powertrain, according to Toyota.  

TRD Off-Road, Limited, TRD Pro, Trailhunter, and Platinum models come with the i-Force Max hybrid powertrain. Both engine options come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, an upgrade from the previous model's five-speed.

iSeeCars analyst Karl Brauer told Yahoo Finance that Toyota's new 4Runner underscores the increased demand for off-road vehicles. Once considered a compromise for daily, urban use, Toyota's new platform offers a smooth and comfortable ride for daily activities while tackling intense off-road and towing needs.

Toyota believes hybrid powertrains will improve performance and efficiency in vehicles like the 4Runner and the all-new 2025 Camry and bridge the gap to full electrification in the US and abroad by using cheaper materials and smaller battery packs.  

At last week's New York Auto Show, Toyota Motor Sales US executive vice president and head Jack Hollis said hybrid tech will help the company use expensive battery materials more efficiently and meet the government's 2032 emissions standards.  

“We must consider our precious metals or limited resources. From the exhibit floor, Hollis reported that using the same resources for one battery electric vehicle would provide six plug-in hybrids, lowering CO₂ emissions and costing $6,000 to $8,000 less each vehicle.  

Toyota values cost savings, but so do customers. Toyota didn't divulge the new 4Runner's price, although the outgoing model started at $40,705 and might not cost much more in 2025. Add Toyota's hybrid technology, and 4Runner purchasers get good fuel economy. The 4Runner's loyal following should grow with this enticing package, according to iSeeCars' Brauer.  

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