2009. That's when the Toyota 4Runner currently available first entered production. Granted, it's gone through multiple updates in the last 14 years, but we're still talking about one of the oldest vehicle generations currently on sale today. That will soon change, and the folks at 4Runner6G.com shared some unofficial renderings of how the six-gen SUV might look.
Citing a "credible insider source" for information and design direction, the website created a decidedly square-shaped SUV that doesn't stray too far from the very familiar 4Runner we have today. The front clip is nearly a carbon copy from the Tacoma that debuted in May, depicted here with a larger grille and prominent pillars on the fascia bracketing the lower intake and skid plate. Perhaps the biggest (and possibly most controversial) change comes to the C-pillar and the rearmost side windows. The forward angle is gone, giving this unofficial rendering a very boxy, upright vibe.
Another possible source of controversy is a rumor claiming the new 4Runner will only offer a four-cylinder engine. That's another tie-in with the Tacoma, which uses Toyota's turbocharged 2.4-liter four-pot in a variety of tunes for different power outputs. As a refresher, it starts with 228 horsepower and reaches 278 on trucks with an automatic transmission. There's also the i-Force Max hybrid, infusing the four-cylinder with electric assist to generate 326 hp. By comparison, the 4.0-liter V6 available in the current 4Runner makes 270 hp.
It's worth noting that these are all unconfirmed details. We reached out to Toyota in hopes of at least getting a go or no-go on the V6 cancellation, but the automaker declined to comment on any 4Runner questions. That also goes for when we might see the next-gen model on the street, which 4Runner6G.com says will be next year as a 2025 model. The website also says prototypes have been in the US since 2021, but we've yet to catch one on camera.
That said, there's little reason to doubt this timeframe. Aside from the aforementioned Tacoma, Toyota recently unveiled its Grand Highlander SUV and a new generation of the Sequoia. The full-size Tundra pickup launched a new generation in 2022, and the current RAV4 received a facelift in 2021. There's also the new Toyota Land Cruiser, slated to return to North America as a smaller SUV with ties to the Lexus GX.