So far the 4Runner has been one of the perfect true crossovers offering not only a lot of space and quite a good cabin but also incredible off-road performance. Unfortunately it competitors moved recently to unibody chassis which started the rumors that the 2018 Toyota 4Runner will make the move as well. So far they haven’t confirmed anything about the future model and all we know for sure is that it is going to be an entirely new version. If Toyota will move the car to a new unibody chassis then all of its off-road prowess is most likely going to be gone.
UPDATE/Even though the 4Runner is not as good looking as many would hope, it still is one of the best-selling body-on-frame SUVs on the US market. This is mostly thanks to the fact it has proven its capability both on and off the road. Even though the sales are booming, this model won’t be kept on the market for much longer. One of the main reasons is the way it looks. Even though Toyota has been kept quiet so far, it seems the upcoming 2018 Toyota 4Runner is the update all of us are looking for.
On the other hand, this would come with quite a few improvements in terms of space, refinement and also on-road driving characteristics. Despite all of that many still, say that the future 4Runner would remain a body on frame design. This would mean that all the off-road prowess many love about it is going to remain the same. Also, if it will happen, the 2018 Toyota 4Runner will receive the same chassis as the new Tacoma which has been vastly improved. The base price, in any case, should remain similar to the current model. However, the body on frame model might get quite a bit more expensive at the top end due to a lot of additions in order to make it a better on-road machine.
2018 TOYOTA 4RUNNER RELEASE DATE AND PRICE
The rumors floating around on the internet about the new Toyota 4Runner 2018 suggest for a late 2017 or early 2018 release date. If we take a look at the older release dates of the current and the previous models then it is quite safe to assume that these rumors are in fact true. We are pretty sure that instead of going for a unibody design Toyota is going to keep the body on frame layout of the previous model. This is especially true now when both Ford and GM are expected to bring on the US market competitors thanks to the very low fuel prices.
2018 TOYOTA 4RUNNER RUMORS
UPDATE/ There have been many rumors about the new version. Some suggested that the SUV will go to a unibody design to save fuel and become better on the road. However, we wouldn’t be so sure about that. The 4Runner sells as good as it does because it handles well on the road and it is one of the best off-road machines on the market. The upcoming version is more than likely going to share its chassis with the new Tacoma. This means a heavier high strength steel frame, a fully independent suspension in the front and a solid axle in the back. The body will be made mostly out of steel, but the fenders, hood and possibly doors might be made out of aluminum in order to keep the weight down. The new model is expected by the end of 2018, and it will likely cost no more than $36,000 for a base model.
In order to make it better than before, Toyota will likely feature a better suspension system as standard. We expected an independent setup but one similar to the Tacoma might also be installed. In any case, the on-road stability of the car should improve and its off-road capabilities should stay at least as good as before. The NVH levels will also be improved considerably and thanks to aluminum in some parts of the body the total weight is also expected to decrease.
2018 TOYOTA 4RUNNER SPECS & ENGINE
This decrease in weight will be especially well received on the 2018 Toyota 4Runner mainly because we do expect them to install a less powerful engine. Instead of the old 4-liter unit, a 3.5 liter naturally aspirated V6 with close to 270 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque is expected. This will be the same as in the Tacoma but it will be tweaked for slightly better low-end torque. The fuel consumption should be similar to the new Tacoma but unfortunately the performance, at least when compared to the old model, might decrease slightly.
UPDATE/ The aging 4 liter V6 is finally going to be discontinued. In its place, the 2018 Toyota 4Runner will likely get the 3.5 liters naturally aspirated V6 from the Tacoma. With the help of direct and port injection and a few other fuel saving features, this should raise the average MPG from barely 18 to north of 21. The output will hover around 280 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque which is mostly identical to the old V6. A more powerful V6 could eventually be installed in the future. The sole transmission will be a six-speed gearbox mated to a four-wheel drive system with a limited slip rear differential.
One of the largest problems of the current model in the eyes of many is the way the car looks. The new model of the 2018 Toyota 4Runner, on the other hand, is expected to receive a much more modern look. This will still feature the muscular design but it will also borrow from Toyota’s crossovers which mean it will look a lot more civilized. This trend will continue inside the cabin where the car will receive better materials, a much more modern design, better equipment levels and even more space thanks to the new chassis which will intrude less inside the cabin.
UPDATE/ As we said, the largest problem with the current car has been the way it looked. This is about to change though. It seems that Toyota might give the 4Runner a more conventional front end which could be similar to that of the Tacoma. It will receive unique headlights and tail lights while the body look is there to stay. The SUV’s cabin is going to improve regarding quality and space which is mostly thanks to the new chassis. There will be more room for the rear passengers while a seven-seat model is still not out of the question.
Toyota 4Runner 2016 video: