Ask TFL: I Want to Buy a Toyota 4Runner! Should I Do It Now or Wait for the Next-Gen Model?

We might, *might* see a new 4Runner in the next two or so years

2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
(Images: Toyota)

Do you really have to worry about FOMO with a 4Runner? Eh, I don’t think so.

As modern vehicles go, the Toyota 4Runner is…*looks up scientific term*…freaking ancient. The current N280 generation has been around since 2009, and any rumors of its inevitable replacement are nebulous at best. We may see a next-gen 4Runner debut shortly after the updated Tacoma pickup.

Frankly, I’m tired of holding my breath, so it will get here when it gets here — possibly by 2024. Then again, news of a new, America-specific Land Cruiser could upend the 4Runner as we know it. So, the answer to “when is a new 4Runner coming?” boils down to “who knows?”.

I offer that context for Chase, who reached out to us for help with his decision to buy one:

“I’m in the market for a 2023 4Runner. My concern is I would hate to purchase it and they release the next-gen (2024) this summer. What are your thoughts on this possibility? I also think this would be a great video ideas as I know a good amount of people have similar concerns.”

My recommendation: Buy now, trade later

Here’s the rub: Despite the 4Runner platform’s age, folks still buy well over 100,000 examples each and every year, like clockwork. They are still astoundingly popular as Toyota’s foil to the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco. Thanks to the long production run too, they’ve built up a reputation for being dead reliable, with their 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 and 5-speed (yes, five-speed) automatic transmission.

They may not be the most efficient pieces of work out there, but on the whole 4Runners are just damn good trucks. I’m especially fond of the TRD Pro, though if you’re in the market for a solid off-roader I’d recommend the TRD Off-Road or Off-Road Premium instead. Go that route, and you’ll get the essential off-road kit and save around $8,000 in the process.

What’s more, if you’re looking to buy any 4Runner, you might as well pull the trigger now. One of this model’s biggest appeals is the resale value, which holds up immensely well over the years. Even two-year-old examples with a few miles on the odometer carry an almost-new asking price.

I understand the fear of missing out, but you can pretty confidently buy a current-gen 4Runner knowing most, if not all, of your cash will still be in play should you want to trade for a next-gen 4Runner down the road. And you’ll have a rig to run around in for the time being, since we’re still in for a likely long wait before we hear anything official on a sixth generation 4Runner.

Check out more on the 40th Anniversary Edition model in the TFL Slip Test below: