2014 Toyota 4Runner Test Drive

?Fifth Generation Toyota 4Runner freshened and refined for 2014?

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The Toyota 4Runner was first launched in 1984 and is currently in its fifth generation. Toyota has sold nearly 2 million 4Runners over what is almost three decades, and 75 percent of all 4Runners sold since its introduction are still on the road. The new 2014 Toyota 4Runner has been redesigned, receiving a bolder, new exterior persona, along with interior refinements and improvements that provide more comfort and convenience for the consumer, without giving up any performance attributes or value.

Since its inception, the Toyota 4Runner SUV has provided the off-road adventure enthusiast a ?go anywhere? capability. It remains poised for the 2014 model year for hunting and fishing excursions into backwoods scenarios, or even for traversing the legendary and challenging Rubicon Trail. Toyota offers a choice of 4×4 systems: a part-time system; or a full time multi-mode system with a locking center differential.

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The 2014 Toyota 4Runner will be available in three levels of trim and equipment, or grades if you will: a well equipped, value laden SR5; the top-of-the-line Limited; and a Trail Grade for consumers who seek the ultimate in off-road capability.

Power for all new 4Runners will come from a 4.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve V6?engine with electronic fuel injection that delivers 270 horsepower at 5,600 rpm,?along with 278 pound feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. The engine is positioned up front in a longitudinal orientation, and delivers energy to either the rear wheels or to all four with a part time four-wheel drive system, or a full time multi-mode system with a locking differential, through a five-speed, electronically-controlled automatic transmission.

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The refreshed 2014 4Runner features a bolder, restyled front fascia for a more aggressive and muscular appearance, with a prominent grille and edgier smoked headlamps, which have been changed from halogen to projector beam, while the rear combination lamps now display LED lights. SR5 and Trail grades feature a color-keyed grille insert and front bumper that is surrounded by fog lamps set into sharply cut inlays that extend from the headlamps down to the bumper. Trail grade models feature new color-keyed bumpers and over-fender trim, and continue to be distinguished by an aggressive hood scoop and silver painted front and rear bumper accents.? All grades now come with a standard roof rack.

In addition to the bold new grille, the premium Limited model?s front design stands apart with a chrome-plated grille insert and chrome front bumper that extends to the fog-lamp bezels. The side molding, roof rack and rear bumper are also trimmed in chrome.

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SR5 and Trail grades will ride on 17-inch alloy wheels with a new and unique wheel-design, while the Limited will continue to roll on 20-inch alloy wheels, which are now painted black prior to machining for added contrast.? All grades continue to provide a full-size spare as standard fare.

4Runner exterior updates are complemented by added refinements to the interior. Both SR5 and Trail grade models add standard Soft Touch door?trim, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather shift knob. The SR5 receives a new bright and highly visible Optitron instrument panel that?houses the speedometer, tachometer, voltage, fuel and coolant temperature gauges, as well as a multi-information display that offers multiple functions. An Eco-Driving feedback system allows the driver to monitor fuel consumption in real time. On 4Runner Trail models, an overhead console within easy reach organizes off-road control switches into one location. A compass indicator and outside temperature display add functionality.

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A manually controlled air conditioning system is standard on SR5 and Trail grades, while the Limited features an automatic dual-zone climate-control system. For second-row passengers, a sculpted front seat-back shape provides?additional knee space, and second-row seats, which include a center armrest,?individually recline up to 16 degrees in four steps for increased comfort. The?40/20/40 second-row seat configuration also provides a one-touch walk-in function, for easier access to third row seating, which is available on SR5 and Limited grades featuring a roomy, supportive seating area.

SR5 and Trail grades come standard with fabric-trimmed seating or available SofTex seats for a softer feel. New for 2014, the SR5 adds a standard eight-way power driver seat. Limited grade models come standard with a leather-trimmed interior with new ventilated driver and front passenger seats, which are also heated with an eight-way power-adjustable driver?s seat that includes a power?lumbar support and four-way power-adjustable passenger seat. Both front seats?now feature standard memory settings.

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My test 2014 Toyota 4Runner was a Limited grade 4×2 model, finished outside in Attitude Black metallic, and inside in Black leather. The base price was set at $41,365 but option pricing was not finalized, so an accurate as tested price is not currently available. Standard equipment and features and equipment included: the 20-inch alloy wheels with full-size alloy spare; the Smart Key System with push-button start; leather-trimmed Tilt/Telescopic steering wheel with cruise control, audio and Bluetooth hands-free telephone controls; and Entune Premium JBL Audio with Navigation and Entune. Options included automatic running boards and a tow hitch. We?ll estimate the final price at $43,960 including options and Destination charge.

SUMMARY: The 2014 Toyota 4Runner continues to live up to its prowess and reputation for off-road trekking, while delivering a totally civilized and comfortable ride quality on road.

The 4.0-liter V6 delivers plenty of oomph for highway travel and sufficient torque for hill climbing challenges. My limited 4Runner test vehicle was a 4×2 model, but I was afforded the opportunity to pilot a 4×4 Trail grade unit with Toyota?s optional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System on a challenging off-road course set up on the vast backwoods property at the Nemacolin Falling Water resort in Pennsylvania. I was able to crawl over logs, climb and descend steep muddy hills, and ford deep streams and ponds with no problem, thanks to the Multi-Terrain Select System that dials in wheel-slip control to match the terrain?s surface. All models come standard with Hill Start Assist Control, and all 4×4 models feature Downhill Assist Control.

Obviously, freeway jaunts also posed no problem, delivering a ride that was not only comfortable, but stable as well, and the new 4Runner provides plenty of room for hauling one?s gear along on road (or off-road sojourns). There?s even a ?Party Mode? that?s ideal for game day tailgate parties. Simply pop the rear hatch of this 5-door SUV and ?Part Mode? raises the bass and shifts sound balance to the rear of the vehicle. How cool is that?

The interior enhancements showcase a refined style with the amenities and comfort expected of a mid-sized SUV. Second row seats fold flat, as do the available 50/50 split third row seats.

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The 4Runner comes standard with Toyota Care?, a complimentary?plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. The 2014 Toyota 4Runner is destined to carry the iconic SUV?s torch forward.

 
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4×2 [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $41,365.
Price as Tested: $43,960. * est. – Option pricing not yet available.
Engine Type and Size: 4.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve V6 with electronic fuel injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 270 @ 5,600 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 278 @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission: Five-speed electronically controlled automatic.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / 2WD rear / part-time 4×4 or full-time 4×4.
Suspension: Front – Independent double-wishbone suspension with stabilizer bar
Rear – 4-link rigid type with coil springs with stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS, EBD, BA and VSC.
Tires: Bridgestone Dueler H/T P245/60 R20 M&S radial mounted on 6 “U”-spoke alloy machine face/painted alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 190.7 inches
Length Overall: 189.9 inches
Width: 75.8 inches
Height: 71.5 inches with roof rack.
Curb Weight: 4,805 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 23.0 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 17 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.36
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.

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