Car Reviews and Facts


2021 Toyota 4Runner Preview, Price & Release Date

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Meet the 2021 Toyota 4Runner, Toyota’s midsize SUV model that excels in off road conditions.

Toyota’s 4Runner model has been in production since 1984, making it one of the longest tenured nameplates on the market. The model sits in its fifth generation, where it has been since the 2010 model year. Toyota has had tremendous success with their fifth generation 4Runner. However, the model has become outdated and is in desperate need of an all-new design. Nonetheless, Toyota has seen an increase in units sold in the United States every single year since 2011. It’s pretty commonly noted that the Toyota 4Runner excels in an off road environment, but in recent years the day-to-day drivability of this model (in standard driving conditions) has seen a severe drop off.

What users tell us about the Toyota 4Runner

The current Toyota 4Runner is built to be an ideal off roading model, and its performance mirrors that sentiment. The model’s off roading capabilities are certainly amongst the best in the midsize SUV class. Additionally, this model has tons of advanced safety and comfort features. However, this model doesn’t compete well when matched up to many of its competitors. For starters, most of the 4Runner’s competitors have better, more powerful engine options. The 4Runner also has some of the worst EPA-estimated fuel economy in its class. On standard pavement, the large 4Runner operates more like a full size truck than a midsize SUV. Turns in this model are not smooth and bumps in the road cause an unpleasant driving experience. Overall, the 2020 Toyota 4Runner is amongst the worst midsize SUV models on the market in the United States.

What can we expect from the 2021 Toyota 4Runner

Toyota’s extremely popular 4Runner model has seen a sensational amount of success since the fifth generation 4Runner was first introduced. However, the model has become outdated, and now is the time for an all-new design and some new powertrain options. This model has been piggy backing off of the same design for 10 model years. It’s reasonable to suspect that Toyota will get rid of the current engine on the 4Runner and replace it with some more powerful and efficient engines. Additionally, the Toyota 4Runner’s interior has drawn a lot of criticism in recent years for being boring and outdated, so an all-new interior could drastically improve this model for the 2021 model year.

Toyota 4Runner Facts


Overall, the 2020 Toyota 4Runner has average crash test scores compared to other mid size SUV models. Luckily, the 4Runner comes with a long list of standard safety features such as a rearview camera, automated emergency braking, a lane departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, and more. There are some safer SUV models than the 4Runner, but this model is decently safe. It will have the Toyota safety sense built in.

Fuel Efficiency:

As previously mentioned, the Toyota 4Runner’s fuel efficiency is poor. The Toyota 4Runner’s sole engine option averages about 17 city and 21 highway miles per gallon, which ranks amongst the worst figures in its class. This certainly should be addressed in the 2021 model year. The multi terrain select option does help with efficiency but not enough. The car is also helped by a locking rear differential and speed automatic transmission.


The interior of the current 4Runner model has tons of comfort/convenience features such as optional third-row seating, a reclining second row, ventilated front seats, and automatic dual-zone climate controls. However, the decade-old design of the interior has been bland and outdated for a considerable amount of time now. On the plus side, this model (without the optional third row) serves up more cargo space than a majority of its competitors. Additionally, the infotainment system, while boring looking, serves up tons of available features. Expect at least Apple Carplay Android auto and Amazon Alexa and a range of USB ports.


The large exterior of this model is also in desperate need of a new design. The look of this model has become stagnant, and changes are likely to come for the 2021 model year. One positive to the 4Runner’s exterior is it allows the model to excel in an off road environment.


The sole engine option for the current Toyota 4Runner is a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces a meager 260 miles per gallon. Many other models in the mid size SUV class have engine options that are more powerful and fuel efficient. Also, the large exterior of this model creates an uncomfortable driving experience when making sharp turns, or going over large bumps. The day-to-day driveability of this model has slowly but surely turned disastrous, so changes should be coming to this models powertrain very soon.

2021 Toyota 4Runner price and release date

The 2020 Toyota 4Runner was released to the public in the early fall of 2019. It’s likely that the company will release the 2021 4Runner during the same period of time in 2020, although a complete redesign may delay that slightly. The starting price for the 2020 4Runner was about $37,140. If a lot of changes are made to the model for the next model year, a slight increase in price may be coming.

Is 2021 going to be the year that Toyota finally redesigns this model?

Other Toyota cars we previewed: 2021 Toyota Highlander, 2021 Toyota Tacoma, 2021 Toyota C-HR.

Impressions based on previous model years:

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