Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. says an all-new Toyota 4Runner SUV is on the way, with the vehicle making its debut Sept. 24 at the Texas State Fair.

This will be the fifth generation of the SUV. The current generation went on sale in 2002 as an ’03 model.

Toyota says more than 1.8 million 4Runners have been sold since the vehicle debuted in 1984, with over 70% still on roads.

Toyota Div. Vice President Bob Carter told Ward’s earlier this year that despite the significant downturn in sales of traditional body-on-frame SUVs, Toyota was committed to keeping the model in its lineup.

“We’re fortunate that just like Prius, it carries a lot of brand equity,” he said in February. “(The) 4Runner is right there with it; it’s an important part of the franchise.”

However, just a few weeks ago TMSUSA President Jim Lentz said rationalization of Toyota’s body-on-frame SUVs likely would occur, specifically midsize SUVs, as most people who purchased them had transitioned to middle cross/utility vehicles.

“We see the vast majority of (our midsize utility) business headed toward car-based SUVs,” Lentz said.

Ward’s data shows 4Runner sales are down 62.1% through July, compared with the 58.8% decline in Ward’s Middle SUV segment where 4Runner lives.