2025 Toyota 4Runner First Look: It’s Back and It’s Awesome 

Toyota FINALLY redesigned this uber-popular SUV and now, the 2025 Toyota 4Runner is filled with modern touches and tech, but still the adventure inspo we all love.

Me With The 2025 Toyota 4Runner
Me with the 2025 Toyota 4Runner. Photo: Kymri Wilt Credit: Kymri Wilt

Everything We Love About 4Runner and Then Some

When you get into the Toyota 4Runner you’re instantly in the mindset for adventure. Essentially an SUV version of the Toyota Tacoma, the 4Runner may be Toyota’s most capable SUV for off-roading. It’s been a favorite for drivers, off roaders and weekend trail riders for decades, and now, finally it has gotten a makeover to bring it up to the modern standards of the rest of the Toyota lineup. 

Related: 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition is 80’s Nostalgia in a Modern Package

The 2025 Toyota 4Runner. Photo: Scotty Reiss
The 2025 Toyota 4Runner. Photo: Scotty Reiss Credit: Scotty Reiss

Two New Editions Added to the 4Runner Family

The big news is that Toyota has added two new editions to the lineup, which will go on sale in the fall of 2024: A Platinum edition, which is the top of the line for non-adventure trims, and a Trailhunter for adventure. 

The Trailhunter is ideal for overlanding, camping and long dusty trails that a car or crossover will find challenging.

Still part of the family is the TRD Pro edition; this is the model that buyers who want to crawl rocks and traverse sand dunes will find most capable. Though, really, any of the 4Runners with 4WD are pretty capable. 

There is still a 3rd row but only in two models: The base SR5 edition and the Limited edition, and then, only in the gas models, not in the hybrid models.

Related: 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser: Big, Bold and a Boss on the Trail and in Traffic

The Front Face Of The 4Runner Trailhunter
The front face of the 4Runner Trailhunter. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Choices, Choices: 4Runner Offers Two New Engine Options

Toyota replaced the engines with two more fuel efficient options: A 4-cylinder turbo that generates 278 HP and a hybrid i-Force Max engine that generates 326 HP. 

All models have the option of either engine, though keep in mind that the hybrid i-Force Max engine is designed to create more power, not necessarily get better fuel economy the way a hybrid would in something like a Prius or Highlander. 

Related: 2024 Toyota Tacoma First Drive: All the Choices Are the Luxury

The Rear Of The 2025 Toyota 4Runner
The rear of the 2025 Toyota 4Runner. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Fresh New Look for Toyota 4Runner 

Following in the footsteps of the Toyota Tacoma, the 4Runner has a modern look to the front end and a new logo on the tailgate. Inside it has Toyota’s new multimedia system and all the goodies: the 14” screen has voice activation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, customizable settings, maps and more. 

The center console is nicely organized and ready for adventure, too: 4WD drive modes are right at your fingertips next to the gear selector. And there’s a grab bar next to the passenger’s seat on the console for when off-roading gets exciting. 

There is a double phone cubby tucked under the climate control panel; the left side is a wireless charger and the right side is simply a great place to stow a phone. There are USB ports right next to the phone cubby. There’s an additional small-ish but deep cubby between the phone pads and the grab bar; this is great for paper maps, charge cables or other things you may need close at hand. 

Overall, the look and feel is stylish and also, heritage Toyota, with the large “TOYOTA” name spelled out across the right side of the dashboard. Each of the three models we saw — Limited, Trailhunter and TRD Pro— had unique and distinct leatherette upholstery with contrast stitching and piping that compliment the dashboard materials, door panels and exterior paint colors. 

Flip And Fold Rear Seats
Flip and fold rear seats. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Is the Rear Seat Big Enough?

While the 4Runner is a sizable SUV, the rear seat is still on the small side. I found it comfortable when the front seats were set for me; I’m 5’8”. If the driver or front passenger is taller, I would probably feel a bit squished. 

And then, there’s mixed news regarding kids car seats. Seat-back to seat-back measure you have about 28” of space when the front passenger seat is set for a passenger my size. That may not be enough space for a rear facing child car seat, especially if that seat holds a baby. 

However, the seats are really wide and with the right car seats, three should easily fit across the rear bench, though be sure to install the center seat first and don’t plan to move it; the seatbelts will be hard to reach.

The Rear Cargo Area In The 2025 Toyota 4Runner
The rear cargo area in the 2025 Toyota 4Runner. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Cargo Space, or a 3rd Row

In two models a 3rd row bench is an option, though buyers should consider a couple of caveats. First, the center seats don’t move forward and back so legroom in the 3rd row is fixed. Then, center seats flip and fold to access the 3rd row which means if kids car seats are installed they have to be moved first. The last caveat is that the 3rd row has cupholders but not USB ports or air vents. Passengers in that row may not be very comfortable. Think of this as a convenience more than a daily use row.

Without the 3rd row the cargo space is huge. There’s room for hockey bags, camping gear and more.

The Front Seat Of The 2025 Toyota 4Runner Limited
The front seat of the 2025 Toyota 4Runner Limited. Photo: Toyota

Who is the Toyota 4Runner For?

The 4Runner is less roomy— and probably will be less expensive —  than the Land Cruiser; pricing will be announced closer to the sale date. And it’s certainly smaller than the 3-row Sequoia, which is also offered in 4WD and capable on the off road trail. 

But for off road adventurers, campers, small families and anyone who loves adventure and wants an SUV rather than a truck will find the 4Runner to be a head-turner. It offers flexibility and comfort, all in Toyota’s rough-and-ready style.

And even when you’re just heading to the grocery store or the gym, it’ll make you feel like adventure is just around the corner. 

2025 Toyota 4Runner Center Console Photo Kymri Wilt
2025 Toyota 4Runner center console. Photo: Kymri Wilt

Disclosure: I was a guest of Toyota for this test drive. Travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are my own. Additionally, A Girls Guide to Cars may earn a commission from affiliate links in this story.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss