Ask Nathan: The Next Toyota 4Runner, the Stick Is Dead, and Why We Don’t Cover Longevity

Images: Dongfeng

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • What’s the next Toyota 4Runner going to be like?
  • Is the stick (manual transmission) about to die?
  • Why don’t we test vehicle longevity?

This fan asks about the next Toyota 4Runner, which we have a bit of information on – and a ton of speculation too!

Q: (Via:Twitter@NathanAdlen) Do you have any intel on the next Toyota 4Runner?

The best I can guess is that it will be coming in 2025. My brother says the next Toyota 4Runner will be electric. I hope that isn’t true.

– Cannon-F

A: I have a few facts mixed in with some insider information, and a few educated guesses.

I doubt the next Toyota 4Runner will be an EV, seriously. Before I go any further, the images you’re looking at have nothing to do with the next Toyota 4Runner. It is the Dongfeng Mengshi 4×4 EV, but I thought it looked a bit like a future 4Runner, so I grabbed a few shots. It’s a military (Humvee) inspired 4×4 that may go into production in China.

2023 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

As for the next Toyota 4Runner – there are a few tidbits that were released before. The 4Runner will be based on the new TNGA-F frame-based platform, which is modular. This new platform already underpins the Tundra and Sequoia, and it will be part of the upcoming Tacoma as well. Parts that are allocated to the Tacoma appear to be aimed at the next 4Runner as well.

2024 Tacoma – Image: Toyota

We expect a lot of next-gen Tacoma components in the next Toyota 4Runner

Like the current 4Runner, which share some components with the , the new one will share components with the upcoming Toyota Tacoma. That means the gutsy but inefficient 1GR-FE V6 will finally be replaced. The V6, which dates back to the previous generation (N210) 4Runner in the early 2000s, will most likely be replaced by smaller displacement 4-cylinder engines.

Toyota recently announced that the upcoming Tacoma will have a hybrid variant. In that post, we speculate that the Tacoma will make a peak 376 lb-ft of torque, from a 2.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder. That powertrain is paired with an electric motor/battery setup, making it a similar system that the beefier Tundra has. speculates that the hybrid system will be standard on the TRD Pro, the same way the Tundra’s hybrid system is offered.

It’s important to note that the current 4.0-liter V6 in the 4Runner makes 278 lb-ft of torque, so this would be a huge increase. Entry level Tacomas may only have a non-hybrid setup with a turbocharged engine, but that might not translate to the 4Runner. Insiders say that, similar to all new Sequoias, the next 4Runner may only be a hybrid.

There’s more!

Many speculate that Toyota will take a page from Ford, placing 10-speed automatics in all of their trucks. If the next Tacoma comes with a 10-speed, then it’s logical to assume that the next Toyota 4Runner will too. At the very least, the new transmission’s smoothness and gearing should help performance and efficiency.

As for the interior, exterior designs, along with the tech? Yea, we’re expecting the next Toyota 4Runner to be rather similar to the upcoming 2024 Toyota Tacoma. The good news is: that new Tacoma will debut soon, so we’ll know more about the 4Runner too!

– N

The next question comes from YouTube, regarding the death of the manual transmission.

The heart of the Mustang Dark Horse interior is its all-new anodized blue, lightweight titanium manual shift knob. Preproduction computer-generated images shown.

Q: (Via: YouTube) Nathan, think that the stick is dead?

They are killing the Camaro. That had a stick and I hear the stick will soon be gone in all Jeeps. Are the stick shift transmission gonna die?

– Omar

AWould you believe that there may be MORE manual transmissions (“stick shift”) transmissions coming!

You’re right, some are disappearing – and the manual transmission has vanished from some automakers’ transmission options. The onslaught of electric vehicles hurts manual transmissions as well. It’s a bummer, as I am a huge fan of slapping around a manual transmission.

Here’s a list of the current models that come with an manual transmission option.

Subaru just announced that their Crosstrek will ditch the manual next year. Now, there is some good news – for now. Jeep and Toyota still build manual transmissions for their midsize pickups. We have no idea if that will continue past 2023. Yay!

More good news: MINI will bring back the manual transmission to four of their models! On top of that, MINI will offer a driving school for those who want to learn to drive a stick from the experts. At one point, many feared that MINI will kill off the manual altogether.

Sadly, this list will shrink over the next decade.

– N

The last question comes from a viewer who wants to know why we don’t test our vehicles for longevity or reliability.

Image: TFLtruck

Q: (Via:Twitter@NathanAdlen) You guys have been around long enough to fully test your cars for years and see if they are reliable.

I don’t understand why the cars you test are never rated for reliability or the resale value.

– Varsha V

A: Thanks for the question.

Here are a few things you may not know. A majority of the vehicles we test are given to us for a week or two. As such, we can only comment on what we can ascertain over a fairly short period of time. It would be unfair to report on something we can’t independently verify. We do mention some statistics on some videos, but those were created by other outlets who sent out polls.

With that being said, we do have a few vehicles that we buy for the studio. Those vehicles (which are mostly trucks) are kept from six to 18 months. In those cases, we can report about their shot-term reliability.

– N

p.s. For the record, we always report on vehicles that have reliability issues during testing.