Review: The 2014 4Runner Trail is a Respectable Ride


Need a dose of intimidation in your ride? You’ve found it in the 2014 4Runner Trail Premium. This 4×4, 4.0L, V6, 5-speed magnificent piece of machinery has got your back as you confidently conquer your off-road journey one dip and groove at a time. It’s also not a bad choice, with a striking front end and reinforced body on frame construction, to claim your space on city streets and highways.

Out of respect, drivers of cars and smaller SUVs will stay their distance. But when parked, the 4Runner draws a crowd to revel in its size and design. I surprised a few people peeking into the windows of the magnetic gray metallic 4Runner in my possession. They apologized for invading my space, but wanted to know more about this vehicle.

The overall height is 71.5”; width is 75.8”; and length is 109.8.” The 9.6-inch ground clearance is great for traveling over snow and deep puddles in winter weather as well as through uneven terrain. On the other hand, the space inside is a bit disappointing for passengers if you like to travel with a crew of larger-than-life-athletic types like I do to match the “wow” image of the 2014 4Runner.

It seats five, but not comfortably. Headroom is 57.8”; hip room at 55.7” and leg room is 32.9.” Because of this I have mixed feelings about the 40/20/40 split reclining and fold-flat second-row seat, which also offer a wealth of space to haul stuff with, including added space on top with silver-painted roof rails. Friends will call you when it’s time for them to move. The towing capacity is 4,700 pounds. They’ll also call when it’s time to tailgate at the next big game. The optional sliding rear cargo deck holds up to 440 pounds.

Safety features include downhill and hill start assist control, part-time 4WD with active traction control and all row roll-sensing side curtain airbags and side door impact beams.

The fabric-trimmed front seats with 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support and 4-way adjustable front passenger seat is great support if you’ve got back issues. However, my arm didn’t automatically rest where I could easily access the window and lock/unlock controls. It was a good attempt at a new design, but a couple of inches down would have been more of a natural fit.

The MSRP is $38,645. The MPG is 17/21 city/highway.