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2014 Toyota 4Runner

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2014 Toyota 4Runner Review

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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.

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

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
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

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

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)

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2014 Toyota 4Runner Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 185 Ratings for the 2010 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Great SUV

By on Friday, February 05, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "looks, how it drives, included features"

Cons: "turning circumference"

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

"This is my third 4runner. I love it. It has enough space but is not big and bulky like some of the comparison SUv's. It has more than enough power. I love the features and options. It is a great vehicle."

limited options

By on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "priced fair"

Cons: "seat and carpets stained easlily"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"vehicle was overall great with a few complaints. 1-back up camera in rear view mirror is a distraction. remote start would be a big improvement. running boards would be an improvement."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Don't be fooled, it isn't what it claims to be...

By on Thursday, December 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,900

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Cargo space, heated seats"

Cons: "Underpowered, horrible mpg, not off road"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Having been a loyal 4-Runner owner for over 20 years I was excited to supposedly upgrade to a newer version having read many positive reviews. I enjoyed taking my old 4-Runner into the Colorado mountains skiing, hiking, camping and moderate off-roading. It was reliable and would go anywhere. A few months ago I purchased a 2015 Trail Premium version and this car is not what it claims to be, quality, rugged or off-road worthy. At first everything seemed fine but within 4 weeks I had started looking for another car to replace the under performing 4-Runner. The 2015 Trail Premium is grossly underpowered, systems don't perform as claimed and I'm reluctant to take it marginally off-road as it isn't designed for anything more than a level dirt road if that. In fact it got high centered/stuck in a mall parking space in 9 inches of packed snow that had previously been parked in. As for its features, my 10-year old hand held GPS is more accurate than the navigation system. The voice recognition system works accurately approximately 10-20% of the time even after taking multiple tutorials, reading the manual and taking it in to the dealership twice. Voice commands, directly from the owners manual, only work 50% of the time. The layout of the console screen is awkward and distracting when driving. The car has a known issue of accelerating backwards after a cold start if your foot isn't placed firmly on the brake peddle when placing it in reverse. I was told by a Toyota dealership "if you think yours is bad try driving a Tundra". Not the answer you would expect given Toyota recently had problems with acceleration issues. In addition, the moon roof started rattling within two weeks of purchasing the car and the dealership has been unable to fix it. At first I was pleased with the gas mileage averaging around 20-21 miles per gallon and even getting up to 24 mpg on one occasion. Five months later I'm lucky to get between 14 and 15 mpg even on the highway and I don't have a "lead foot" and diligently watch and use the "Economy" performance bar. At times the steering wheel will start to vibrate on regular cycles and the engine will shutter in unison and without warning it just goes away. The headlight performance is awful as they project a perfectly straight horizontal line in front of the car, below the line is lite just fine and above is pitch black. When driving on a less than level road the line is constantly moving up and down both revealing and concealing obstacles in front of the car. Friends riding in the 4-Runner have commented on the lighting performance. I've taken the car to the dealership three times and all three times everything mentioned above with the exception of the moon roof squeak have been found, "within performance standards". Lastly, don't lean or even breath on the car or it will scratch. While the car may be within "performance standards" it's an over priced under performing version of the former 4-Runners. If you're looking for a station wagon type car for road trips that won't be used off pavement or in adverse weather conditions this may be your car. The Trail Premium comes with street tires which makes no sense. If you're considering buying a 4-Runner, which I wouldn't recommend, I'd suggest renting one and living with it for a week... I wish I had..."

17 people out of 30 found this review helpful

GOOD TRUCK

By on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Controls. handling. Styling. Drive. Fuel economy"

Cons: "Underpowered. Not enough for value. Light steering"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I drove away from the dealer in a 4 Runner SR5. So far still impress with fit and finish but there is not enough power as expect in a Grand Cherokee. One thing it drives 100% well on Nebraska highways and interior is very nice being comfortable riding in 4Runner. I love how drives and technology its got but needs some more stuff to earn little bit more up there with value still its a truck able to trust many years. Overall superb fantastic got few options as blue tooth, rearview camera and even nice storage spaces on SR5 Premium bought my in Pearl white looks gorgeous in that color but its the best wish horsepower was better and had few more perks up there at best bang for the money buying this truck."

28 people out of 58 found this review helpful

Pretty; but rough riding

By on Monday, July 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "pretty vehicle"

Cons: "No third row seat;"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"The tires and vehicle sits up high; rides like you are in a truck. I prefer a smoother riding vehicle."

17 people out of 41 found this review helpful

Definitely like this vehicle. This is my 4th one.

By on Friday, July 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have really enjoyed this vehicle. I bought it because I like to fly fish in the mountains and drive on dirt roads and rough terrain. The 4-Runner handles the rough stuff like a dream. Drove it 7,000 miles across country to fly fish Montana. No problem. It has lots of hauling room. This vehicle drives like a truck, not like a car. Comfort is good for me at only 5' 1" but marginal for big people, as the seats are medium in padding and size. I like that I can see over the hood, even though this is a tall vehicle. Headroom can sometimes be problematic for those over 6' tall. Its handling is good for a truck-type vehicle, but it leans on steep banking interstate ramps. Has plenty of power when you need it and braking is good. Gas mileage on my Montana trip was 22mpg overall with regular fuel. Had one mechanical problem in 5 years and 79,000 miles-- fixed under warranty."

45 people out of 63 found this review helpful

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