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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 Review

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner ranks 20 out of 23 Affordable Midsize SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Toyota 4Runner, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner is ranked:

Auto writers say the 2014 Toyota 4Runner is one of the more capable off-roaders in the class, but it falls short of crossovers that offer more refined interiors and better ride quality on paved roads.

The 2014 4Runner is powered by a V6 engine, which some reviewers say makes adequate power. However, critics comment that the 4Runner’s five-speed automatic transmission could use at least one more gear to make better use of the engine’s power, which they say is part of the reason the 4Runner can feel sluggish at times. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 17/22 mpg city/highway, which is typical for the class. Reviewers agree that the 4Runner, especially the Trail trim, has decent off-road capability, but they also say that it can’t match the driving refinement of most crossovers on paved roads.

Some test drivers appreciate the Toyota 4Runner’s straightforward, utilitarian cabin, but many also take note of the cheap plastics throughout the interior. Test drivers agree that the first- and second-row seats are comfortable and spacious, while the optional third-row seat, which boosts seating capacity to seven, is best left to kids. The 4Runner has comparable cargo space with many SUVs in the class, and reviewers find features like a retractable rear window and optional cargo deck useful. Still, rivals like the Chevrolet Traverse have greater cargo capacity. Reviewers generally like the 4Runner’s standard Entune infotainment system for its ease of use, and they note that the 4Runner also has straightforward climate controls. Other standard features include a backup camera, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo. Major options include navigation, a 15-speaker JBL stereo and dual-zone automatic climate control.

  • "Like the similarly afflicted Jeep Wrangler, however, the Toyota 4Runner comes into its own once the trail turns muddy. The difference is that while the Wrangler makes no apologies for its straight-axle self, the 4Runner seems torn between its roots as an off-road heathen and a desire to court lifestyle drivers more interested in space and comfort. The result is a conflicted SUV." -- Road and Track
  • "For 2014, Toyota has refreshed the fifth generation that was originally launched in 2010. While the 4Runner has stayed true to its roots, most competitors have moved on." -- Motor Trend
  • "If you like your SUVs slightly old-school, it's easy to recommend the 2014 4Runner, a comfortable, viceless, off-roadable, and, if history is properly suggestive, dependable vehicle. Winston Churchill might have driven one, even if it didn't have his nose." -- Car and Driver
  • "One has to appreciate the evolution that this SUV has gone through over the years, as the Japanese automaker has tweaked, polished and refined nearly every square inch since its introduction in 1984. While I'd still choose the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon for hard-core off-pavement use and the Nissan Xterra is priced much more aggressively, the 2014 Toyota 4Runner is years more civilized and much more practical as both a people hauler and daily driver." -- Autoblog
  • "Some might argue that the 4Runner is a relic of the past. They're right: It is. But it has been carefully updated and refined to provide nearly all of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited's off road capability with an added dose of refinement and a generally lower price tag. It'll never topple the Highlander on Toyota's sales charts, but we're glad to see that enough 4Runner buyers keep lining up to give this long-lived nameplate a viable future. It's not for everyone, the 4Runner, but for those still interested in off road ability, it's a solid Wrangler alternative." -- Left Lane News

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Other SUVs to Consider

The Jeep Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer three rows of seats, but it is regarded as one of the best midsize SUVs in terms of off-road capability. Reviewers also like the Grand Cherokee’s on-road ride, refined interior and polished engine and transmission choices.

The Toyota Highlander is not an off-road SUV, but reviewers like its comfortable ride and well-built interior. The four-cylinder Highlander also gets great fuel economy for the class.

Compare the 4Runner, Grand Cherokee and Highlander »

Details: 2014 Toyota 4Runner

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner comes standard with seating for five, while an optional third row boosts seating capacity to seven. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional. A 4.0-liter V6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission are standard. The 4Runner is available in three trims: SR5, Trail and Limited. The 4Runner gets some interior and exterior updates for 2014, but is otherwise unchanged. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2010 through 2014 model years.

See full 2014 Toyota 4Runner specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/12/14

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