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The Real Reason Why The 6th Gen 4Runner Is Delayed?

A couple months ago we ran an article about the 2023 Toyota 4Runner - 6th Gen? and as you may know quite a few people have been talking about the next generation Toyota 4Runner and although that is a really exciting news, but it has been delayed again and again. We have been wondering what is going on equally and we finally may have a potential answer for the delaying of the Toyota 4Runner.

It's possible that the Land Cruiser is being welcomed back to North America. Before we go into the possibility of the Toyota Land Cruiser returning and impacting the Next Generation 4Runner, keep in mind that Toyota has also officially declared that the Grand Highlander will be introduced next year.

Toyota has stated that something would be shown in early February, most likely right before the Chicago Auto Show. We and others are excited if that is the unveiling date, but the larger news is an interview that Motor Trend conducted with a Toyota USA executive who stated that the Toyota Land Cruiser should be returning or is likely returning to North America.

So the big question is when the Land Cruiser will return, what sort of Land Cruiser will be available in North America.  Is that in the United States, Canada or both? And does this suggest that the Toyota 4Runner 6th Gen will be again canceled or delayed again, or is there a deeper narrative here?

2023 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 150

A viewpoint on what we believe is happening; bear in mind that this is not an official Toyota statement; rather, it is our collective professional viewpoint on what may occur in the calendar year 2023. First, let's talk about the Land Cruiser speculation: would it make sense for the Land Cruiser to return to North America as well? It does seem unusual.

Land Cruiser was recently remodeled and is now known as the Land Cruiser 300 series.  It is sold all around the world except in North America, which is partly due to the preceding Land Cruiser's poor performance in that market.  In reality, just a few thousand units are produced each year, and it makes no commercial sense to maintain the Land Cruiser in the North American market when the Lexus LX600 is available for a few thousand dollars more since the price was too similar.  So why bring the Land Cruiser back to North America if it never sold well in the first place?

2022 Toyota Land Cruiser 300 series interior options

The dealers in the United States had requested this, and they were displeased with the cancellation. So it's certainly one of the most weighty reasons, but we believe, based on some personal and analytical judgments, that the Land Cruiser 300 series will not return to North America.  But there is a chance that instead of the bigger Land Cruiser 300 series, we will receive the Land Cruiser "Prado", which is marketed in Japan, the Middle East, and other parts of the world.

Obviously, we might be completely incorrect here, but bear with us. Our rationale is that the Land Cruiser 300 series had been recently updated, and they would not make much sense to redesign it again merely to bring it to North America.  According to rumors, the Land Cruiser variant that is/would be headed to North America sports a Land Rover Defender design.  A rough harsh off-road capable design, and those reports do not appear to correspond with the existing design of the Land Cruiser 300 series, lending credence to our assumptions.

I would say that model looks more rugged and tough, off-roadable, and more reminiscent of a Defender from Land Rover, so this land rover that we are getting sometime in the next year or two might be a different model than a Land Cruiser 300 series, and the only other model with a Land Cruiser name is Land Cruiser Prado, which is sold in many many countries around the world but again, not in North America.

2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 150

This will also allow Toyota to price it cheaper than the Land Cruiser and somewhere between the Lexus LX600 and the Toyota Sequoia, as this will most likely be the flagship of the Toyota SUV portfolio. So, in terms of cost, the Land Cruiser Prado makes sense in terms of dimensions, expected amenities, and also since it isn't as massive as the Land Cruiser 300. It will be priced slightly above or below the Toyota Sequoia and will fit neatly in the category just above the 4Runner.

At this moment, it is still very conceivable that Toyota is alluding to the 300 series of Land Cruisers as opposed to the Prado.  Now, the mystery is will it be the Land Cruiser 300 or the new Land Cruiser Prado, which is set to be remodeled in the 2023 calendar year, according to Japanese media sources.

The timing makes sense because the Land Cruiser 300 series isn't scheduled for a facelift for at least three or four years, but they're normally upgraded around the sixth or seventh year of manufacturing. It wouldn't make sense for them to redesign any aspect of the 300 Series Land Cruiser specifically for the North American market.

A contradictory factors here is that something similar to the Land Cruiser Prado is already available in North America, and that is our Lexus GX. Although the powertrain is different, the two share the same fundamental architecture and body lines. The Prado is commonly equipped with a 2.8L diesel engine (td). And although electrification may be unavoidable at some time for the North American market, given Toyota's desire to provide numerous alternatives, you may expect a hybrid version before an EV, as well as gasoline options.

Custom Modified Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 150

Whatever the future holds, Toyota enthusiasts hope that if Toyota introduces the Land Cruiser Prado to North America in a new generation or format, the Land Cruiser vehicle will preserve the body-on-frame recipe.  The current global Land Cruiser is built on the new body-on-frame GA-F framework based on its TNGA platform, which our current Lexus LX is also built from. This would then overlap very closely with the new Lexus GX, which is also expected to be released at the end of next year or early in 2024. The only contradictory idea we will have is that Toyota will have so many models that are identical to each other in terms of price range and segmentation

Nonetheless, we feel that the Land Cruiser Prado makes more sense for the North American market than introducing the huge Land Cruiser 300 Series, which will be quite pricey to begin with, raising another concern. Toyota executives keep insisting it's too far away to discuss, but there have been a number of speculations from Japanese media and other rumor mills that indicate it might materialize in 2023 as a 2024 model year. Best bet, the new Land Cruiser, whether The Prado or the 300 Series, would appear somewhere towards the end of the 2023 model year, about four to five months after the new Land Cruiser Prado is introduced in the Japanese market.

If it is correct, it is extremely conceivable that the Land Cruiser moniker will be revived in North America within the next year. Also hearing rumors that it will be introduced to both the U.S and Canada. Now that will be a huge deal for the Canadian Market because they haven't had the Land Cruiser for many many years unlike the U.S. which only lost a couple of years ago so let me begin to summarize what my thinking is Toyota might have pushed the foreigner out because they wouldn't want to have both the 4Runner and the Land Cruiser coming out at the same time which is a measurement to me of why we think the 4Runner keeps getting delayed.

The 4Runner seems to keep getting pushed back because it doesn't need as much attention right now. Mainly because the current model is still selling well and people really like the V6 engine powered naturally aspirated 4Runner. Finally, what would be the engine that's going to power? Obviously Toyota wouldn't confirm anything to do with these future models but we suspect that it will be the 3.4 liter twin turbo V6 that is currently used already in a number of Toyota models including the Land Cruiser 300 Series but also the Tundra or Sequoia.

2023 Toyota Land Cruiser GR RHD Interior I/P

In order to differentiate that from the Lexus LX600 3.4L (tt) V6, it could be slightly detuned version of it and that would allow Toyota to space apart neatly all the Hp/Tq in the right order because its more prevalent that more expensive vehicles would have the most amount of power and torque and if indeed this new Land Cruiser gets powered by 3.4L (tt) V6 with or without the hybrid option. Toyota's EV plans are reportedly in flux, with the company allocating more resources to hasten its EV offerings, albeit no particular models have been hinted, and old EV concepts may no longer be on the table.

As the new 4Runner eventually comes out, perhaps in end of 2024, possibly beginning of 2025 with a 2.4L turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine. The 3.4-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine bumped output up 28 horsepower and 78 lb-ft of torque, now totaling 409 hp and 479 lb-ft, and it's linked to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Toyota can at least say "hey we do have a V6 version of a rugged body on the frame SUV in the form of Land Cruiser". So we are very sorry that the Toyota 4Runner is going likely to get the 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. The theory kind of makes sense because for those people who still want the V6, not happy with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in the 6th Gen 4Runner can buy this new Land Cruiser whether it's going to be the old Land Cruiser or Land Cruiser Prado who knows

This is still really exciting news and perhaps one of the biggest news for 2023 calendar year with the return of the Land Cruiser model by the way with this fresh speculation about the Land Cruiser because we are still convinced it is not the Land Cruiser 300 Series but the Land Cruiser Prado instead but no one has seen the Next Generation Land Cruiser Prado so we will have to work on that story.

What are your thoughts on the possibilities and options we think may be in the future of Toyota SUV's? Let us know in the comments below, we would like to know.


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