The Toyota 4Runner is a remnant of yesteryear as one of the only body-on-frame midsize SUVs available in the U.S. today. In a sea of soft-roading crossovers, the 4Runner offers a ruggedness the class otherwise lacks. Though its design is over 10 years old, other than a new special-edition model, we expect the 2021 Toyota 4Runner to hit showrooms as a carryover model.
Visually, we expect the 2021 Toyota 4Runner to roll in with the same basic design it’s had since 2010. Sure, it’s front and rear ends have been through some refreshes over the years, but the bulk of this rugged SUV’s design remains. The only notable change will be the new Trail Edition, which will add dark-gray TRD Off-Road wheels and a Yakima LoadWarrior rooftop cargo basket. The 4Runner Trail Edition will be available in Army Green, Cement, Midnight Black, or Super White.
Inside, we presume the 2021 4Runner to continue with the basic cabin design it’s had for many years. There have been some tech updates and light restyling, but the truck-like dash and interior design have remained mostly unchanged. The aforementioned Trail Edition will add a 40-quart cooler and a cargo tray, but its cabin will otherwise be identical to the rest of the 4Runner lineup.
Under its hood, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner will likely continue with the same 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. This power will head through a five-speed automatic transmission and out to the rear wheels as standard. Four-wheel drive will be an option as will a more rugged suspension in the TRD Pro and TRD Off-Road models.
The current 4Runner shows its age in IIHS safety testing with a “Marginal” score in the small-overlap test, a “Poor” headlight rating, and no forward-collision-avoidance features to speak of – not even forward-collision warning. We expect this simplicity to carry unchanged into the 2021 4Runner.