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2014 Toyota 4Runner Review

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2014 Toyota 4Runner Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.8

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner is among the last of its kind: a rugged, mid-size sport-utility vehicle that finds purpose where the pavement ends. While others such as the Nissan Pathfinder and Ford Explorer have transformed into car-based crossover SUVs that emphasize a refined ride and better fuel economy, the 4Runner is built with adventure in mind. This SUV is still adept as a daily driver, and with its outstanding reliability record and seating for up to seven, it's a tempting choice for lovers of the outdoors and families that would rather camp in the mountains than shop at the mall. The trade-offs for the 4Runner's off-road capabilities come at the expense of middling fuel economy and a rather truck-like ride.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want an SUV that's happy on the road on weekdays and even happier off it when the weekend arrives, the 2014 4Runner is ready to be your dual-natured friend. Other feathers in the Toyota's cap are exceptional resale value and an enviable reliability record.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If off-roading is not a priority, look to a car-based crossover SUV such as the Toyota Highlander and Nissan Pathfinder, which are more comfortable and fuel-efficient. If you want rough and rugged on a tighter budget, the Nissan Xterra and Toyota FJ Cruiser cost thousands less.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 6.8
  • 6.0
  • 7.0
  • 7.0
  • 6.4
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#45

out of 52

Fuel Economy

#28

out of 54

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.0 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Toyota 4Runner Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

Updates have been made to the front fascia, while interior upgrades include the addition of soft-touch material to the door trim and Entune Audio Plus multimedia on SR5 and Trail models. With the new audio system, the "party mode" rear liftgate-speaker audio setting feature has bid adieu.

Driving the 4Runner
2014 Toyota 4Runner Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions Though based on a truck chassis, the 4Runner is bearable on the road thanks to a compliant suspension that soaks up bumps. The SUV accelerates briskly thanks to...

... its standard 270-horsepower V6 engine, and its 5-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. It shouldn't be a surprise that the 4Runner isn't at its best on twisty roads – it floats far more than it carves. The Toyota's steering can feel overly assisted in low-speed settings such as parking lots and is rather slow to respond, requiring constant corrections. The brakes also take getting used to, as they tend to be "grabby" after the initial, mushy depression of the pedal. At highway speeds, wind noise can interrupt conversations. Outward visibility is good even with the raised rear-seat headrests, which adds confidence on road and off. Concerning the latter, the 4Runner truly excels. It's a blast to drive on rutted trails that would make most crossover SUVs whimper.

POWER REAR LIFTGATE WINDOW
You can gain access to the 4Runner's rear cargo space without opening the rear liftgate – especially useful in a tight garage or when someone is parked close behind. As a bonus, you can carry long objects such as lumber out the back window without fuss.

OPTIONAL SLIDING REAR CARGO DECK
This convenient sliding deck lets you reach your gear in the back, supports 440 pounds and is handy for your next tailgate party.

2014 Toyota 4Runner Details
2014 Toyota 4Runner Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Although still rather simple, the 2014 4Runner's cabin is roomy and versatile. The Toyota's large dials and buttons for everything from the radio to low-range gearing are a cinch to use. The large center console has an available 120V AC power outlet, helpful for charging accessories. The power-adjustable front seats are comfortable and supportive. In back, a 40/20/40 split seat offers numerous cargo/seating configurations and reclines. For larger families, 7-passenger seating is available in SR5 and Limited trims, though the small third row is best suited for children. Folding the rear seats yields a flat floor and nearly 90 cubic feet of cargo space.

Exterior
2014 Toyota 4Runner photo

Not much has changed on the outside for the 2014 4Runner, and that which has may not be seen as an improvement. In an effort to give the SUV a "more rugged and aggressive appearance," Toyota has endowed the front fascia with large, boomerang-shaped indentations below the slanted headlights. If that gaping design is a deterrent, know that it doesn't apply to the top-line Limited edition. The rest of the 4Runner successfully carries on the SUV's rugged, boxy shape. We dig the 4-wheel-drive Trail model's hood scoop and additional ground clearance that totals 9.6 inches. All trims now have a roof rack standard.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner is available in three trims: SR5, Trail and Limited. The base SR5 has, the new, 8-speaker Entune Audio Plus system with AM/FM/CD/USB player and Bluetooth music streaming, HomeLink remote transceiver, rearview camera, fabric interior and 8-way-power driver's seat. Off-road aficionados will find much to like in Trail models, which include 4-wheel drive (4WD) instead of rear-wheel drive (RWD), water-resistant seat fabric, locking rear differential, and multi-terrain select with crawl control. Limited models add leather-trimmed seats (heated and ventilated in front), dual-zone climate control, a new 15-speaker JBL sound system with navigation, moonroof, X-REAS automatic-adjust suspension and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Optional Equipment

Depending on trim, extras for the Toyota SUV include a 3rd-row seat, 4-wheel drive, Entune premium audio with navigation, and the helpful sliding rear cargo deck. Trail models can be equipped with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which can disconnect the stabilizer bars to allow more axle travel to help conquer tough terrain.

Under the Hood
2014 Toyota 4Runner Engine photo

The sole powertrain combination in the 2014 Toyota 4Runner is a 270-horsepower V6 mated to a responsive 5-speed automatic transmission. There are three drivetrain choices: 2-wheel drive (2WD) in the SR5 and Limited, part-time 4WD (SR5, Trail), or full-time 4WD (Limited) with a limited-slip, locking center differential. Towing is a strong point for the 4Runner, with an SAE J2807-compliant rating of 4,700 pounds. A not-so-strong point is fuel economy, with 2WD models returning a combined 19 mpg and 4WD models rated at 18 mpg combined. Thankfully, the Toyota's V6 drinks regular unleaded.

4.0-liter V6 engine
270 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
278 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/22 mpg (2WD), 17/21 mpg (4WD)

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner SUV has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $33,680 for a base SR5 model, a $1,330 increase over 2013 models. Trail models begin at $36,585, which is $1,430 below last year, and Limited models start at $42,225, a $2,370 increase. At its starting price, the 4Runner costs more than the Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer and Kia Sorento, though those three are car-based crossover SUVs not meant for serious off-roading. The Nissan Xterra, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and Toyota's own FJ Cruiser are more like-minded competitors, and all have starting prices several thousand dollars below that of the 4Runner. Before buying, check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Toyota. In long-term value, the 4Runner is a Best Resale Value Award winner, with predicted residuals far above the Xterra and near those of the stellar Jeep Wrangler and FJ Cruiser.

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2014 Toyota 4Runner Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 170 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Best body on frame SUV out there!

By on Monday, March 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Capable, comfortable, reliable, 4WD system"

Cons: "Factory tires, nose dive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned my 2014 4Runner SR5 Premium 4X4 since December 2013 and it is by far the best all around vehicle I have ever owned and I've owned many over the last 20 years. This is the first truck, and I'll call it a truck since it has a real frame, that I want to keep and enjoy for years to come. These trucks are built to last with quality through and through. It's been through two fairly rugged Wisconsin winters, a 2,000+ mile road trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota towing a motorcycle on a trailer and made a full up family trek to and from Pittsburgh without a hiccup or issue. I typically see anywhere from 19-21 MPG on the interstate and ~17 MPG in mixed city driving. Overall sight lines, comfort and conveniences get top marks. Everyone who takes a ride in the T4R comments on how upscale and tight the truck is. I only have two real areas that are easily fixed and I've addressed the first. The Bridgestone Dueler H/T tires that come from the factory on this truck are horrible. I think they're there simply for MPG impact as they have been mostly useless in any snow over 4" deep this winter. The 4WD system is outstanding and highly capable and these tires simply take away from that. I've since swapped them out with General Grabber AT2 M/S tires that grip like a billy goat. My second issue that I'll deal with in the coming months is the porpoising that the front end does under hard acceleration and braking. Nose dive is exaggerated and something that a good set of Bilstein shocks all around should address. If you're in the market for a true SUV with many of the comfort and conveniences of all the car based SUVs, you couldn't do much better than a 4Runner. To boot, their reliability and resale value are simply unmatched. Look for yourself."

9 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Best all around family vehicle

By on Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Can make it through most any terrain if needed."

Cons: "Does not have the comfort of a luxury vehicle"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I ordered this vehicle from the factory and it was my best car purchase to date. I have had no maintenance issues and it is capable of carpooling to camping. Plenty of room for 3 kids and 3 dogs with all of the luggage for a road trip."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

2012 Trail Edition - my dream vehicle!

By on Sunday, March 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "4WD, black bumpers, cargo deck"

Cons: "sunglass holder?"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought the Trail edition in excellent used condition. I've owned a Sequoia, Highlander, Camry, and a Corolla, but this is just right for my family of four, including two teenagers. The Sequoia was just too large for my day to day. 4WD works well during the Michigan snow storms and traveling through the wooded trails to prepare for a hike. Crawl control and the unique settings for mud, rock, etc. are a bonus. Water resistant seats are perfect for an outdoorsy lifestyle and am enjoying the XM satellite radio is great with the sound system. I prefer the black bumpers and exterior black trim; can't stand all the scratches on a painted bumper. The body looks cool - I receive compliments frequently. Gas mileage is not ideal around town, but I can get 22/23 driving around 60mph. The body on frame feels safe and sturdy with not a lot of road or wind noise - just a slight hum from the tires. Plenty of cargo room, especially when the back seats are folded. The party mode is pretty cool for tailgating, and the slide out cargo deck is pretty useful. I pull out the deck, place the heavy items on it, then slide into the truck. Also I sit on the slide out to put on my boots for skiing. Power seats are perfect to adjust to each driver. The Trail edition is great looking without all that chrome, running boards not required even though I'm only 5'8" - not a big deal, and the soft touch interior surfaces for elbows are comfortable. 4.0 L is plenty of power for me. Plenty of cup holders - great rear roll down window for air flow. Fantastic vehicle for outdoorsy type family who need to get off-road and beat around the town. I would buy another Trail Edition all over again."

10 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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