The 2014 Toyota 4Runner is a top choice for buyers looking to safely transport cargo and families across rough terrain.
For years, the Toyota 4Runner has been the choice for a smaller SUV capable of hitting the trails and the soccer fields.
As one of the last truly off-road capable SUVs, the 2014 Toyota 4Runner is a bit of an oddity in the current SUV market. Many automakers have moved away from off-road capability, choosing instead to focus on crossover SUVs that offer a more car-like ride. If your driving needs take you off the beaten path from time to time, the 2014 Toyota 4Runner is a top choice.
Toyota offers the 2014 Toyota 4Runner in three trim levels: SR5, Trail and Limited. Five-passenger seating is standard, and an optional third-row seat increases seating capacity to seven.
For years, the Toyota 4Runner has a simplistic box-like design. This has worked well for enthusiasts who do extensive modifications. However, the 2014 model year brings some exterior updates to the 4Runner, which include new headlights and updated exterior styling.
The 2014 4Runner’s interior offers spacious front seats and controls that fall close at hand for the driver and front passenger. Those controls include large knobs that make it easy to adjust audio and climate settings.
The driving position is fairly truck-like, and the seats aren’t quite as plush as what you’ll find in some competing SUVs. The 4Runner seats five, or seven when equipped with an optional third row. Cargo space is good for a midsize SUV, with 47 cubic feet of space behind the second row. Maximum cargo space is 89.7 cubic feet with the second row folded.
The 2014 Toyota 4Runner comes standard with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while part-time and full-time four-wheel drive systems are optional. When properly equipped, the 2014 4Runner can tow up to 4,700 pounds.
The EPA reports that the rear-wheel drive 4Runner gets 17/22 mpg city/highway. Four-wheel drive models get 17/21 mpg.
With the generous amount of off-road features and its truck-like body-on-frame construction, EPA fuel economy estimates are understandably not a big highlight of the 4Runner.
A part-time four-wheel drive system with low-range is standard in SR5 models. The Limited trim comes with a full-time four-wheel drive system with low-range gearing and a lockable center differential. For the most off-road capability, the Trail edition offers part-time four-wheel drive, a locking rear differential and Multi-terrain Select, which offers four selectable drive modes to maximize traction in off-road conditions.
The 2014 Toyota 4Runner comes standard with Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, an eight-speaker sound system, a rearview camera and a touch-screen audio system.
Available tech features include a voice-activated Entune infotainment system, navigation, proximity key with push-button start, a JBL audio system and dual-zone automatic climate control.
The 2014 Toyota 4Runner received four out of five stars for its overall performance in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests.
Additionally, the 2014 4Runner received a top score of “Good” four out of five test performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The only exception was the IIHS’ small-overlap front crash test, where the 4Runner received the second-lowest score of “Marginal.”
All 4Runner models come standard with a rearview camera.
The midsize SUVs market is dominated by crossovers. As a result, few competitors offer the off-road capability that you’ll get with the 2014 Toyota 4Runner.
With a starting price of $32,820, the 2014 Toyota 4Runner costs more than the base Jeep Grand Cherokee ($29,495), and it doesn’t have the same level of interior refinement that you’ll get with the Jeep. The Grand Cherokee is just as capable off-road, and it’s available with V8 and turbodiesel V6 engine choices that you can’t get with the 4Runner.
If you don’t need the 4Runner’s rugged four-wheel drive system and want a more car-like ride, the Toyota Highlander is also a viable alternative. Starting at $29,215, the Highlander costs a bit less than the base 4Runner, and it offers three rows of seats as standard equipment.
Still, Toyota’s reputation for reliability and strong resale values should make the 2014 4Runner a smart buy within the segment.
With most competitors abandoning the body-on-frame SUV market, the Toyota 4Runner remains as a throwback to what the segment used to be. Toyota has kept its off-road prowess intact and if you are looking for a capable SUV, it is hard to go wrong with the 2014 Toyota 4Runner.