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2014 Toyota 4Runner Review

While reviewers were impressed with the 2014 Toyota 4Runner's off-road capability, they were less taken with its bouncy ride, sluggish acceleration and hard cabin materials.

Pros & Cons

  • Good off-road capability


  • Hard cabin plastics
  • Bouncy ride on pavement





Critics' Rating: 6.8
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 6.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 8.6
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Toyota 4Runner Overview

Is the 2014 Toyota 4Runner a Good Used SUV?

If you want an SUV for adventuring off paved roads, the 2014 Toyota 4Runner is a great option. However, its harsh on-road manners and cheap cabin materials make it impractical and uncomfortable for daily driving.

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner has a strong 270-horsepower V6 engine that has no trouble moving this midsize SUV. However, its standard five-speed automatic transmission doesn’t make good use of the engine’s power. This transmission is partly to blame for the 4Runner’s EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, which is below average for the class. The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango both come with more efficient eight-speed automatic transmissions. The 4Runner's ride isn't very comfortable on the pavement, but it truly shines off road. It can tackle a variety of terrains and weather conditions – particularly when equipped with four-wheel drive and the Multi-Terrain Select system that adjusts for mud, rock, and other off-road challenges.

Read more about 4Runner performance »

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner's interior uses hard plastics and is appropriately styled for an off-road oriented SUV. It seats five in two spacious rows. Forward visibility is good from the first row. An available third row increases seating capacity to seven, but only smaller children will have adequate space back there. That's true of many 3-row SUVs, but the 4Runner's third row is smaller than most. The 4Runner's LATCH child-seat system includes lower anchors on the second-row outboard seats and an upper tether anchor on all second-row seats. The 4Runner's 89.7-cubic-foot cargo capacity is greater than most 2-row midsize SUVs, but typical for a 3-row SUV.

Standard features include Bluetooth and Toyota's Entune infotainment system, which is simple to operate. Features like HD Radio and navigation are available.

Read more about 4Runner interior »

Used 2014 Toyota 4Runner Prices

Used 2014 Toyota 4Runners start as low as about $29,000 and rise to about $37,500 for a four-wheel-drive Limited model. The price depends on the car's location, condition, features, and mileage. 

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How Reliable Is the 2014 Toyota 4Runner?

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner has a reliability score of three out of five from J.D. Power and Associates. That's average for all vehicles, as well as for the class.

How Safe Is the 4Runner?

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner received an overall crash test rating of four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It received four stars in the frontal crash test, five stars in the side test, and three stars in the rollover crash test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 4Runner the highest score of Good in the moderate overlap front, side impact, rear crash protection, and roof strength crash tests. It has a Marginal rating – the second lowest – in the small overlap front crash test. 

The 4Runner comes with a standard rearview camera. Rear parking sensors are available. Many competing midsize SUVs – like the Dodge Durango and Ford Edge – have more available safety features, including adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning.

See 4Runner safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used 4Runner?

The 2014 4Runner is part of the SUV's fifth generation, which began in 2010 and includes the 2017 model year. The 4Runners in this generation share similar features and styling, so you could save money by purchasing a 2012 or 2013 model. However, make sure you like how the older models look; Toyota refreshed the 4Runner’s interior and exterior styling for 2014.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 4Runner »

Which Used Toyota 4Runner Is Right for Me?

The Toyota 4Runner is available in three trims: SR5 (base), Trail, and Limited. The 4Runner SR5 comes with a rearview camera, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, and Toyota's Entune infotainment system. The Premium model has a 6.1-inch touch screen and a moonroof, among other amenities.

If you plan to do any off-roading, the 4Runner Trail is the model you should consider. It's the only one that comes standard with four-wheel drive, and it also adds the Multi-Terrain Select system. This system allows you to choose from three presets to adjust the SUV's wheel slip based on its driving surface.

The 4Runner Limited adds convenience features, like dual-zone automatic climate control. It’s also the only trim that comes with front and rear parking sensors.

You may also consider purchasing a certified pre-owned 4Runner. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

We Did the Research for You: 44 Pieces of Data Analyzed

Our review of the Toyota 4Runner is based on our analysis of 44 data points pulled from reliable expert reviews, safety and reliability scores, and total ownership costs. We conduct this research to help you make the best buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking cars for a decade, and our team has 75 years of combined experience covering and working in the automotive field. To ensure our impartiality, our staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from manufacturers, and our site’s advertising is solicited by an outside company.

2014 Toyota 4Runner and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Toyota 4Runner or 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee has both outstanding off-road capability and refinement on paved surfaces. It’s available with a number of off-roading systems that make it one of the most capable SUVs in the class. The Grand Cherokee also has luxurious interior materials and a strong V6 engine, as well as better fuel economy estimates than the 4Runner. You’ll find more standard features in the Jeep, including dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, and the Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen. Finally, it also costs considerably less than the 4Runner. The only real downside is the Grand Cherokee’s low reliability score.

Which Is Better: 2014 Toyota 4Runner or 2014 Dodge Durango?

The 2014 Dodge Durango doesn’t have off-roading chops, but it can move on pavement. It has a V6 engine that delivers plenty of day-to-day driving power and an available V8 that produces potent acceleration. The Durango has seven seats as standard, while you’ll only find a third row in some 4Runner models. The Durango is also available with many safety features the 4Runner lacks, including adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross path detection. It’s the better, less expensive option if you’re staying on the road.

Which Is Better: 2014 Toyota 4Runner or 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser?

Like the Toyota 4Runner, the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser has one purpose: off-roading. Both models are uncomfortable on the highway, have low-rent cabin materials, and provide few features. Choosing between these two SUVs comes down to price and style preference. The FJ Cruiser has distinctive retro styling, but the 4Runner will likely save you a few thousand dollars.

Compare the 4Runner, Grand Cherokee, and Durango »

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