Last Updated on July 19, 2023
The 6th Gen 4Runner – Here Are 5 Things We Think That Toyota Should Include From The Factory To Modernize This Popular Platform
Speculation is running amuck with just what Toyota will bring to the table with the 6th Gen 4Runner after seeing the new refreshes of the Tundra and Sequoia lineups. However, until anything is officially announced, we can only dream up what we hope Toyota will improve upon.
While some of these items may be wishful thinking, here are five improvements that we hope the 6th Gen 4Runner will bring. These are based on several common pain points among current 5th Gen 4Runners.
5th Gen 4Runner Shortcomings
The 5th Gen 4Runner has been our baby. It has been on sale for longer than any generation of 4Runner before it and it just keeps on kicking:
- 1st Gen: ’84 – ’89
- 2nd Gen: ’89 – ’95
- 3rd Gen: ’95 – ’02
- 4th Gen: ’02 – ’09
The 5th Gen has been kicking for 13 years! It has been around long enough for us to never want to see it leave but also to respect the fact that we need or desire updates. There are definitely some areas of the 5th Gen that are sorely lacking. Namely, technology and creature comforts. Hopefully, some, if not most of these shortcomings will be addressed with the 6th Gen.
At the end of the day, Toyota has limitations as a business. While all of us want a V8, it may not be fiscally or administratively feasible. But hey, that doesn’t mean we can’t still dream of seeing that!
1. Updated Head Unit
The latest generation of Tundra/Sequoia saw significant refreshes to their respective interiors. Along with a fully digital gauge cluster, the most eye-catching item in the interior is the huge 14-inch infotainment screen.
We would love to see this screen find its way into the 6th Gen 4Runner. Will it? Perhaps, and it’s very likely as it has been sprinkling through not only Toyota’s model lineup but Lexus as well.
2. Off-Road Metrics
With the TRD trim levels, we really would like Toyota to offer some off-road-oriented performance screens of some kind.
Hopefully, they build upon the current TRD Pro’s multi-terrain monitor screen and dial it up to 11. Imagine making use of that 14-inch infotainment screen for metrics like pitch & roll, steering angle, and trail map integration!
Competitors like Ford have comparable features in their native infotainment systems, so it would be awesome to see Toyota offer something similar.
If it doesn’t happen, hopefully, Toyota keeps Android Auto and Apple Car Play, unlike GM.
3. V8 Option
This is a big stretch, but 4Runner enthusiasts have wanted a V8 to make a reappearance ever since it was discontinued in the 4th Gen. That 4.7-liter V8 produced 235 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque.
As an owner of a 5th Gen 4Runner TRD Pro, I always believed the top trim should have its own engine to set itself apart from the lower trims. A V8 engine would have been the perfect way to do that.
Since the V8 4Runner is no more, the closest alternative is a Lexus GX470, which shares the same platform as the 5th Gen 4Runner. With the push towards more efficient engines, though, the possibility of a V8 is slim to none. That’s especially considering even Toyota’s full-size trucks/SUVs now use a twin-turbo V7. However, that won’t stop me from dreaming.
4. Power Lift Gate
Much of the appeal of the 5th Gen 4Runner is its analog feel in a digital world. Even still, a power lift gate would be nice.
I’m a taller fellow, so reaching up to pull the rear gate down isn’t that big a deal. However, I would much prefer simply pushing a button to close it. This small but high-impact feature will likely appear in the 6th Gen 4Runner.
5. More Functional Roof Rack
While the current TRD Pro roof rack certainly looks good, it isn’t the most functional. In fact, many owners ditch the rack in favor of third-party options.
Personally, I kept it on our 4Runner for the looks. It gives me old-school Land Rover Discovery vibes. I also only use it once a year to throw a Christmas tree up there. It’s too far back to mount any roof lighting and the rack is abnormally tall. You end up needing to memorize your vehicle’s height when squeezing into parking garages.
If the rack on the new TRD Pro Sequoia is any indication, the 6th Gen 4Runner’s may still be tall, but at least a couple of inches shorter than the current one.
Some of these requests are a stretch (cough-V8-cough), but for the most part, the rest are very possible. The 6th Gen’s interior will be completely redesigned and almost certainly feature that huge infotainment screen front and center. As long as they make good use of that screen real estate with useful off-road information, we will be golden.
Whatever shining features Toyota throws at the 6th Gen, I am sure they will be accepted with open arms. However, at the rate that new generations come out, we’d still like to see some modern updates that will stand up to the next 10 years.