Off-road enthusiasts have enjoyed the capable Toyota 4Runner for nearly 30 years, thanks to its durable body-on-frame construction and rugged demeanor. Now in its fifth generation, the SUV will receive an update for the 2014 model year that gives it a bolder style and improved interior comfort. Three trim options will be offered when the 2014 4Runner goes on sale late this summer, including the SR5, the Trail grade and the range-topping Limited.
On the outside, the 2014 Toyota 4Runner will receive a standard roof rack and a new front fascia, including a more aggressive grille and smoked headlamps that create a go-anywhere look to match the utility’s impressive trail abilities. The Trail Grade trim will get color-keyed bumpers and overfenders, while the Limited will stand out with a chrome-plated grille insert and chrome front bumper. Four new colors will also be available, including Super White, Attitude Black Metallic, Barcelona Red Metallic and Nautical Blue Metallic.
“Maine drivers love to get off the beaten path, which is why the Toyota 4Runner has been popular here for years,” said Jeff Leclerc, general sales manager of Central Maine Toyota, a Waterville, ME Toyota dealership. “That said, they still need a vehicle that is manageable to drive around town during the week, and the updates to the new 4Runner ensure they have a comfortable commute to and from work.”
In contrast to the more muscular exterior, the cabin of the refreshed 4Runner will feature more premium materials for a comfortable, refined ride. New soft-touch door trim and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob create an upscale feel, while a new Optitron instrument panel adds functionality to the front dash. Second-row passengers will benefit from additional knee room, and a one-touch feature on the second-row seats makes for easier access to the available third row.
Toyota hopes the 4Runner’s refresh will help the company distance itself from competitors in the race for the title of the world’s top-selling automaker. Through the first quarter of 2013, Toyota has sold 2.43 million vehicles, putting it ahead of General Motors and Volkswagen in the chase for the crown. Though just two years ago Toyota faced serious production problems resulting from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, it is on target to finish 2013 with more sales than any other automaker.
“The 4Runner’s facelift will inject some fresh excitement into a vehicle that’s known for its value-driven practicality,” added Leclerc. “We think it will appeal to a lot of drivers who want a stylish ride but also enjoy heading out to remote areas like Baxter State Park or Acadia National Park on the weekends.”