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#20

in Affordable Midsize SUVs

MSRP: $32,820 - $43,400
Invoice: $30,193 - $39,928
MPG: 17 City / 22 Hwy
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Toyota 4Runner Interior

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner earns mixed reviews for its cabin, as some like its utilitarian, rugged persona, while other critics simply think it appears dated. Many note an abundance of hard plastics, although some reviewers mention that there are softer, higher-quality surfaces as well.

  • "The SR5 is utilitarian but hardly stripped, as many of the materials have been upgraded, including the quality of leather covering the steering wheel." -- Car and Driver
  • "So what does the 4Runner have going for it? The revamped interior is cool. It is still awash with hard plastics and fake metal pieces, but it has taken some inspiration from the FJ with chunky textured knobs and has a purposeful, utilitarian design." -- Motor Trend
  • "Inside, the dated cabin is awash in hard plastics and features an infotainment system that's about as spritely as a tranquilized bloodhound." -- Road and Track
  • "New soft-touch surfaces within the cabin provide a more upscale environment and a bright new Optitron instrument panel improves readability and functionality." -- Autoblog
  • "Materials are generally acceptable, with a smattering of hard plastic mixing with nicely-grained and padded surfaces. A notable exception is the econo-car cheapness of the 4Runner's headliner." -- Left Lane News

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Seating

The 4Runner comes standard with seating for five, while an optional third row of seats boosts capacity to seven. Cloth seats and a six-way power driver’s seat are also standard. Leatherette upholstery or real leather is optional, as are heated front seats.

Most reviewers say that the front- and middle-row seats are comfortable and offer plenty of space, while the third row is best left to kids. A couple test drivers are pleased with outward visibility, and one likes the commanding view of the road from the driver’s seat. However, one taller reviewer says the seats feel uncomfortable after just a short trip.

  • "In all three models, the instruments and the controls are well placed, and the seats are comfortable front and rear. Optional third-row seating is best for kids or adults who absolutely refuse to wait for the next bus." -- Car and Driver
  • "The seats became uncomfortable during our quick 20-minute drive, but smaller people (I'm 6-foot-2) might find them more pleasing." -- Motor Trend
  • "The second row offers reclining seats, but the third row is problematic for anyone with shins. The driver gets the best seat in the house. The commanding view of the 4Runner's squared-off nose gives the impression that you're piloting something with serious brawn. If only it had the muscle to back it up." -- Road and Track
  • "Seven passengers will fit inside the 4Runner's cabin with the optional third-row seating. Keep in mind that those in the back will need to be small, and their occupancy swallows up nearly all of the cargo space aft of the raised seat - consider it useful only in a pinch." -- Autoblog
  • "All models have good front and rear room, comfortable seats and decent visibility, although the optional third row is clearly not for adults." -- Left Lane News

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2014 4Runner include a backup camera, an eight-speaker stereo, satellite radio, an auxiliary input, a USB port, Bluetooth and Toyota’s Entune infotainment system, which includes Pandora Internet radio compatibility. Optional features include navigation, HD Radio, a 15-speaker JBL stereo, dual-zone automatic climate control and a power sunroof.

Most reviewers say Toyota’s Entune infotainment system is fairly easy to operate. One reviewer appreciates the large screen on Entune Premium, which is available on upper trims, although another says the screen could be brighter. The 4Runner’s climate control system is praised for its ease of use and large knobs and buttons.

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  • "Included on all is Toyota's Entune app-based infotainment, which is generally easy to use for functions like Pandora Internet Radio and (optional) navigation, but the system could use a brighter screen. The dash itself is bulgy but conveniently laid out with cartoonish big climate control buttons and knobs." -- Left Lane News
  • "We spent quite a bit of time with Entune. The larger control screen is a huge upgrade, looking and working more like an iPhone with sliding screens for music files, internet access, favorite sports team tracking, real-time weather and traffic, maintenance updates and more." -- Cars.com
  • "The 2014 4Runner gets plenty of new interior tech even at this level, with the Entune Audio Plus system that has a 6.1-inch high-resolution screen with a backup camera, a good stereo with CD and SiriusXM capability and HD Radio and data, and improved voice recognition." -- Car and Driver

Cargo

Behind the second row of seats, the 4Runner offers up to 47.2 cubic feet of cargo space. Lowering the second row increases cargo capacity to 89.7 cubic feet. Models equipped with the optional third row have 9 cubic feet of space with all seats in use. The 4Runner is also available with a pull-out cargo deck that Toyota says can hold up to 440 pounds of cargo. The 4Runner’s cargo capacity trails the cargo capacity of class leaders like the Chevrolet Traverse, but reviewers still find the cargo space useful. They also like the available pull-out shelf and appreciate the 4Runner’s sliding rear window, which allows you to put smaller items into the cargo bay without opening the liftgate.

  • "If you don't need the seats, forgo the third row for a slide-out load floor that is not only useful, but makes the floor flat when the second row is folded." -- Autoblog
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "The rear cargo hold is as spacious as any 5-passenger midsize SUV. We take issue with the folding rear seat backs as they're more complicated to operate than they should be. Toyota claims that you can fold the seat backs without removing the headrests. That's true, provided the front seats are not set too far rearward. Interior storage consists of a large glovebox and several handy bins." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/12/14

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