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First Drive

For too long, the Expedition hasn’t been a contender. That ends today.

If you can find a better fullsize SUV, buy it.

Report

Toyota sold 121,055 Highlander CUVs in 2012, according to Automotive News. By comparison, it sold 78,457 examples of four different body-on-frame, truck-based SUVs (4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Sequoia and Land Cruiser). One could argue then, that the traditional SUVs aren't pulling their weight from a sales perspective. Yet that isn't stopping Toyota from reaffirming its commitment to a segment that has seen its former champions – Ford, General Motors and Chrysler – abandon it with alarming

2011 Ford Ranger – Click above for high-res image gallery

2009 Kia Borrego – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to Ward's Auto, Lexus' GX SUV will finally be relieved of duty when a new model comes calling this autumn. The mid-size body-on-frame GX has been serving essentially unaltered since 2003, and dealerships have been struggling to sell them in recent years, with April deliveries down some 66.1% year-over-year.

With the U.S. market's pronounced shift away from body-on-frame SUVs towards crossovers and tall wagons, you could be excused for thinking that Toyota would be content to let its 4Runner wither away to dust. After all, the midsize SUV has been toiling away essentially unchanged since an updated 2003 model went on sale in 2002. But apparently, that isn't the case – Ward's Autoworld has learned that Toyota will build a new 4Runner.