Toyota to Introduce New, Nearly Indestructible 2014 4Runner for 30th Birthday This Weekend
When it's unveiled this weekend at the Stagecoach Festival--country music's Coachella--the refreshed 2014 Toyota 4Runner will be noteworthy for two reasons: It will be the first time a major automaker has introduced a vehicle at an arts festival, and the 4Runner carries on as one of the last of the rugged, old school midsize SUVs, with the Jeep Grand Cherokee being its only off-road rival. Originally based on the same Toyota Truck that evolved into two different directions--the Tacoma on our continent and the Hilux for Asia and Europe--the 4Runner had little in the way of refinement. But it could potentially survive a life of sand, mud, extreme temperatures, and whatever ardors life in the wilderness could throw at it. Since its 1984 introduction, Toyota has gone on to sell 1.98 million of them over five generations. Over the years, it has had both four-cylinder and V-6 engines, hose-out interiors and today's optionally leather-lined seats. But at its core, the Toyota 4Runner has always been one of the most capable off-roaders out there, cost no object. At one point, Toyota would command six-figure sales numbers for the 4Runner; at one point gas was under $1 per gallon. Now, it's mostly a niche product for people who still need a go-anywhere, truck-based SUV. Families have since flocked to the Toyota Highlander. Still, we're glad--elated--that the 2014 Toyota 4Runner soldiers on as a true off-roader when competitors like the Nissan Pathfinder and Ford Explorer have since evolved into crossovers. There's a market for what Toyota has to offer; thank goodness the company still builds it in the face of stiffening fuel economy legislation. Source: Toyota
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