2014 Toyota 4Runner review

30 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2014 Toyota 4Runner review

2014 Toyota 4Runner

won#39;t admit it, but we bet its executives rather surprised with the of the fifth generation Toyota .

Quietly – almost too – launched in late at, of all places, the State Fair of the 4Runner has defied expectations the last few years by finding buyers annually.

We were not because we disliked the 4Runner, but it represents something of an anachronism in the world of SUVs and crossovers. The with its body-on-frame construction, tires and plenty-of-daylight ground represents the way SUVs used to be.

proof? Today, it#39;s one of a small handful of vehicles so But, as the refreshed 2014 clearly indicates, there#39;s still plenty of demand for off road-oriented #39;utes.

Off road

Most of us might think of primarily for its workaday Camrys and but it#39;s worth remembering Big T is best known in the far reaches of the for rugged Toyota Land As revered for its off roaders as Land and Jeep, Toyota could be to criticism for not getting with the and and offering a road-going crossover.

But there#39;s the hot-selling Toyota which represents the yin to the 4Runner#39;s

Based on a platform that underpins the Toyota FJ Cruiser and the GX 460. the 4Runner features a frame beefed up with bracing for 2014 and a solid axle. Only one engine a carried-over-for-2014 4.0-liter V6 that out 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft. of torque is on offer. And it#39;s mated to a automatic that either power to the rear or all four

Since 4Runner is a real it offers a pair of two-speed cases – a simple system on SR5 and Trail and a full-time on range-topping Limiteds.

Regardless of all 4Runners look different for Up front, SR5s and Trails get a new that either looks a ninja fighter or appears to been attacked by a feral We#39;ll say this: In person, a lot better than in photos.

Limiteds, meanwhile, gain own style with a chrome lip that reminds us of a milk

SR5s are high-volume 4Runners. For they add a leather-wrapped steering a backup camera, LCD screens in center stacks and instrument and a power driver#39;s seat.

meanwhile, up the game with a complement of luxury goodies standard heated and ventilated seats, navigation and 20-inch wheels. As a nod to their pavement-oriented Limiteds feature an X-REAS with opposite end cross-linked absorbers to reduce side-to-side on rough pavement and lean in

But it#39;s the Trail trim that really represents the best. For 2014, Toyota has some standard equipment to reduce its base price pricing hasn#39;t been Remaining standard are a host of off goodies: A locking rear a Land Rover-style traction system that can literally be in depending on the type of terrain and a crawl control to descend or steep obstacles at an especially pace.

Optional on Trail is a trick Dynamic Suspension System includes thicker sway for on road use that automatically under high articulation In short, the system delivers on road handling and better off ability.

One thing Toyota announced yet is pricing, but the automaker has that 2014 SR5s list from about the $31,500, while the base will probably drop to $36,000 thanks to the deletion of its (now optional) moonroof. A Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is more like $38,000.

of the Wrangler, no reasonably-priced 4×4 as many off road credentials, not the Jeep Grand Cherokee. And the Wrangler that really is the best rival since Highlander does battle pavement-oriented crossovers (and SUVs) like the Nissan and Ford Explorer .

Both and Wrangler about the same room inside and a similar of off road capability. Sure, you can a Wrangler harder, but for the way most are likely to use $35,000 SUVs out of the box, the 4Runner is plenty

And, even though the has become far more civilized the 4Runner remains more Some minor enhancements to its are centered around the newly-standard head unit upgrade. on all is Toyota#39;s Entune app-based which is generally easy to use for like Pandora Internet and (optional) navigation, but the system use a brighter screen.

The dash is bulgy but conveniently laid out cartoonish big climate control and knobs. Trail models a rugged old-style transfer lever, while SR5 and Limited use an electronic knob.

All models good front and rear comfortable seats and decent although the optional third row is not for adults. Materials are generally with a smattering of hard mixing with nicely-grained and surfaces. A notable exception is the cheapness of the 4Runner#39;s headliner.

On off) the road

If the last body-on-frame SUV you drove was in the design#39;s mid-1990s heyday, the represents a giant leap No, it isn#39;t as nimble or, ultimately, as as the tall wagon crossovers their unibody constructions. is adequate but not breathtaking from the big V6.

the 4Runners we sampled on rural in Pennsylvania and Maryland proved to be refined on terra firma. We most of our road time in an SR5 the standard suspension and a Limited the X-REAS setup. The former predictably in corners but smothered with aplomb, while the #39;Runner felt firmer but more planted.

In fact, argue that either felt nearly as precise as the recent Highlander we tested, that#39;s damning it with praise.

Off road, we only the Trail with KDSS. a Jeep Wrangler#39;s solid axle will articulate further, allowing all four to remain on the dirt, but KDSS is flexy. Hampered only by its road-oriented tires, the 4Runner is certainly among the most off roaders ever built.

Shame that someone at clearly doesn#39;t get it – the Rubicon comes from the with off road tires, so why the 4Runner?

That#39;s compromise for which defines the 4Runner.

might argue that the is a relic of the past. They#39;re It is. But it has been carefully updated and to provide nearly all of the Jeep Unlimited #39;s off road with an added dose of and a generally lower price

It#39;ll never topple the on Toyota#39;s sales charts, but glad to see that enough buyers keep lining up to this long-lived nameplate a future. It#39;s not for everyone, the but for those still interested in off ability, it#39;s a solid alternative.

2014 Toyota base price, TBA

Photos by Ganz.

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