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STYLING | 7 out of 10
Some love Toyota's latest interior themes, and others find them a bit overwrought and self-conscious
Toyota has morphed the 4Runner into a large, bland people-mover that is stylistically similar to its other cars
blocky and industrial
boxier - retro, if you will - sheetmetal that more closely resembles that on the FJ Cruiser
styling is a nice blend of retro and modern, inside and out
For better or worse--maybe a little of both--the Toyota 4Runner's profile hasn't changed much over the past decade.
The 4Runner stays true to sport-utility tradition, which dictates a truck front end and a wagon body, and some bright chrome tossed in only where it'll protect the paint from rocks or trees. You can admire that from a philosophical point of view, even if something like the 4Runner gets very, very familiar over time--even with with year's chunky new grille that borders on a Mitsubishi look more than ever.
It's brawny and aesthetically unconcerned with sleekness. That sets the 4Runner aside from entries like the Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango even toward the rear end, where it's still mostly a conservative, traditional SUV look, with a wide, downward-sloping C-pillar looking to past generations of the 4Runner.
Inside, the design of the 4Runner also feels traditional yet freshly detailed. It's quite upright, built on the fundamentals of the Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV as much as it does take after 4Runner tradition--but again with better attention to detail throughout. The simple, sensible way the 4Runner's controls are arranged—and the chunky yet precise feel of them—is a highlight of its interior. Off-road-focused controls are located in an overhead console, keeping the center stack of controls straightforward and accessible, with large buttons and knobs that have a great tactile feel. A secondary display sits atop the center stack, and redundant steering wheel controls access audio and Bluetooth functions.
The 2014 Toyota 4Runner has spot-on SUV looks--if you're into that.