A mid-cycle remake adds new edge to the appearance and new refinement to the cabin of the 2014 Toyota 4Runner. Set to arrive in showrooms later this summer, this updated version of the automaker's popular mid-size SUV made its official debut at the Stagecoach Music Festival in California over the weekend.

Still offered in SR5, upline Limited and off-road-oriented Trail trim configurations, the 4Runner's basic bodywork carries over from 2013. However, the recasting imparts bolder character and model-specific cosmetic touches to the front and rear fascias as well as four new paint colors. All variants get a more aggressive grille/lower valance treatment and new smoked accenting on the headlamps. In addition to upgrading from halogen to projector-beam units in the Limited, the entire 2014 4Runner lineup benefits from LED enhancements to both the front and rear lighting elements and feature a standard roof rack. Although wheel/tire fitments carry, the 17-inch alloys on the SR5 and Trail and the 20-inch rims on the Limited have been redesigned as part of the makeover.

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Toyota stepped up the 2014 4Runner's inside game, as well, whether configured to handle five or seven passengers. The SR5 and Trail gain new soft-touch door trim and leather accent elements, with the SR5 also adding upscale Optitron gauges and a standard 8-way power driver's seat. The leather-lined Limited now boasts heated/ventilated power front seats with a memory function.

On the infotainment front, the revamped 4Runner SR5 and Trail feature a new 8-speaker Entune Audio Plus infotainment package with an AM/FM/CD/MP3 player, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (including 90-day trial subscription), USB port/iPod connectivity and Bluetooth hands-free phone/music streaming capability. The Limited steps it up with a 15-speaker JBL premium sound setup that adds navigation with a 7.0-inch display screen and HD Radio with iTunes tagging.

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Toyota made no changes to the 4Runner's powertrain for 2014. All models share the same 4.0-liter/270-horsepower V6 backed by a 5-speed automatic transmission. That's also true of the available 4-wheel drive systems that feature a dual-range/part-time setup in the SR5 and Trail and a full-time, multi-mode system with locking center differential in the Limited. The 4Runner's comprehensive Star Safety System that includes Vehicle Stability Control with traction control, Anti-lock Brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop brake-override system also is unchanged, as is its array of eight standard airbags.

Pricing information for the 2014 Toyota 4Runner will be released closer to the vehicle's official on-sale date. Inside sources have indicated that the sticker numbers should remain fairly close to those of the 2013 model.


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