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2014 Toyota 4Runner

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/27/2014 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2014

The refreshed 2014 Toyota 4Runner adds a host of new tech features including Entune Premium Audio. The SUV also gains a slightly improved interior with better materials, and creature comforts such as cooled front seats.

Vehicle Summary

The 4Runner is one of Toyota's mid-size SUVs, slotting in size above the five-passenger Venza and below the Sequoia. It is sold in rear- and four-wheel-drive configurations and unlike its stable mate, the seven-passenger Highlander, the 4Runner sacrifices on-road comfort for all-terrain prowess.


The refreshed 2014 4Runner remains as the only true off-road-ready SUV in Toyota's lineup after the demise of the FJ Cruiser. Powered by a 4.0-liter V-6 that makes 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque, the SUV uses a five-speed automatic and is available in rear- or four-wheel drive. Regarding fuel economy, the 4Runner is rated by the EPA at 17 mpg city, 22-23 highway and 18-19 combined depending on whether it is rear- or four-wheel-drive model. While on-road manners are improved for 2014, the 4Runner's ride is not as smooth as crossovers including Toyota's own Highlander or the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Toyota has improved the 4Runner's interior but hard plastics remain a prominent feature. Inside, there is room for five to seven passengers and a generous cargo area that can accommodate up to 47.2 cubic feet depending on whether you opt for the sliding cargo deck. The addition of Entune Premium Audio improves the user interface for the infotainment system and gives buyers the option to add premium features to their vehicles. However, it remains clunky, unresponsive, and could benefit from a larger screen.

The 2014 4Runner has a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible 5 stars) but is not considered a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, earning a marginal rating in the small overlap front category (good is the highest possible score) but a good rating in the other four tests.

What We Think

Off-roading is where the 4Runner shines because of its truck-based body-on-frame construction, and features such as disconnecting stabilizer bars that allow it to navigate across the toughest terrain. In a First Test review, we said that the 2014 Toyota 4Runner remains true to its off-roading heritage but comfort remains a weak point due to wind and powertrain noise being "continually present." On a Quick Drive review we stated that that the five-speed automatic was one of the reasons for the lack of refinement and the "less-than-stellar fuel economy," while "the 270 horsepower, 4.0-liter V6 feels lazy."

You'll Like

  • Off-road capabilities
  • Generous space for cargo and passengers
  • Seating for up to seven

You Won't Like

  • Clunky infotainment system
  • Harsher ride compared to similarly priced crossovers
  • Despite the refresh, hard plastics inside

Key Competitors

  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Ford Explorer


3 star Trail capability that won't scare off mall-shoppers.


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