2014 Toyota 4Runner vs. Its Competition

2014 Toyota 4Runner
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The vast majority of SUV drivers don't really need an off-road vehicle--they're looking for all-weather traction.

The handful that do want to be true explorers really do need something like a Toyota 4Runner, at least in its base SR5 or Trail trim.

There's authentic off-road capability here that's long gone from the Ford Explorer, which now shares some running gear with the Taurus sedan.

The Nissan Xterra is a five-seater only, but it's essentially a Frontier pickup with a wagon body, so rugged isn't just a keyword.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is still a formidable all-terrain vehicle, especially with its new EcoDiesel edition, but it gets quite expensive quite easily--and who wants to ruin a really nice $50,000 SUV? The 4Runner has two rivals within its own company to consider: its cousin, the Lexus GX 460, has the same underpinnings, but more luxury appliques like running boards and a V-8 engine.

The GX doesn't cost much more than the 4Runner Trail, but with its complicated power-folding third-row seat and side-opening hatch, we'd rather have the Toyota.

And the most dedicated off-road weekend-warrior types should also consider the slightly more compact Toyota FJ Cruiser, which uses some of the same off-road hardware.

2014 Toyota 4Runner2014 Toyota 4Runner
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2014 Ford Explorer2014 Ford Explorer
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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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2014 Nissan Xterra 2WD 4-door Auto X Side Exterior View2014 Nissan Xterra
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2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser
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Quick Specs
The 2014 Toyota 4Runner's brawny looks don't fit the crossover mold, but neither do its off-road talents, either.
The 2014 Ford Explorer does build on its heritage, but on-road fluency and passenger comfort are clearly at center stage.
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee adds great turbodiesel fuel economy to a resume already blushing with talent.
The 2014 Nissan Xterra doesn't have many extras available, but it does accomplish exactly what a weekend warrior would want–plus it can go just about anywhere.
The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser pairs tough trail-ready hardware with modern features and fab styling--but it's not for families or commuters.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
17 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6
EPA Class    
N/AStandard SUV 2WDStandard SUV 2WDN/AN/A
Style Name    
RWD 4-Door V6 SR5 (GS)FWD 4-Door BaseRWD 4-Door Altitude2WD 4-Door Automatic XRWD 4-Door Automatic (GS)
Rear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
Sport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility
Automatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2014 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2014 Ford Explorer2014 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee2014 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2014 Nissan Xterra2014 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser