2014 Autoweek New Truck Buyer's Guide

Toyota 4Runner

HIGHLIGHTS: For body-on-frame loyalists, Toyota has updated its venerable 4Runner for 2014, guaranteeing at least a few more years carrying the torch at the front of a diminished field. The powertrain remains a 4.0-liter, 270 hp V6 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. This is definitely a truck engine with the positive and negative connotations the label implies, but it works well enough in the 4Runner. The 278-lb-ft of torque help with off-roading should you want the 4x4 model, and we do. Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds. Inside, there are modest updates, but the 4Runner remains about a generation behind the nicest versions of its competition. 4Runner owners don't care.

BASE PRICE: $31,700 (est)

OUR OPINION: Every time an SUV moves away from body-on-frame, as the fourth-generation Nissan Pathfinder did for 2013, it likely sends a few more new customers to the 4Runner. They won't be disappointed with the 2014 model.

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Toyota Highlander

HIGHLIGHTS: The Highlander receives a complete revamp for the 2014 model year with beefier looks. Powertrain options remain

the same: a 2.7-liter four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic. The hybrid also stays, with Toyota claiming improved fuel economy across all powertrains due to transmission changes. Front- and all-wheel-drive models will be offered. Toyota promises improved interior materials, upgraded sound deadening and a more spacious third-row seat.

BASE PRICE: $30,500 (est)

OUR OPINION: It all comes down to price. We liked the previous generation Highlander well enough (excluding the hybrid) and thought it was a solid competitor in the crazy hot midsize SUV/crossover market. The 2014's looks might be polarizing to some, but the truck is improved basically across the board, so if it's priced right, it should continue to do well in its class.

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Toyota Tundra

HIGHLIGHTS: Even on the base model, overall the 2014 Tundra interior is considerably upgraded, and on premium models it's downright Lexus-like. In the CrewMax -- the model that features the full four doors -- rear-seat room is cavernous. Up front, there are newly squared-off fenders and an enormous grille. Various cab sizes (Regular, Double and CrewMax) and bed lengths, available four-wheel drive and a choice of three engines round out the package. The three engine options are, for the most part, carryovers -- a 4.0-liter V6, and a 4.6- and 5.7-liter V8. The 270-hp V6 is reasonably gutsy and works well if you don't tow a lot. The 310-hp 4.6 is fine, but go ahead and opt for the 5.7-liter, 381-hp V8. It's a monster with a means-business exhaust note, nicely matched to the six-speed automatic transmission; based on our tests, it will happily tow most anything you can pile onto the trailer.

BASE PRICE: $31,700 (est)

OUR OPINION: With Ford, GM and Ram all making dramatic changes to their full-size trucks in the past couple years -- mechanically, cosmetically or both -- those hoping for similar big changes to the 2014 Toyota Tundra might be disappointed. There are differences, and they are mostly positive, but they are aimed more at keeping the Tundra on track than any sort of “hail Mary” attempt to genuinely advance. The 2014 Tundra's improvements won't make any domestic-brand loyalists climb the fence, but it should keep those who already like Toyota trucks happily in the camp.

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Source : https://autoweek.com/article/car-reviews/2014-autoweek-new-truck-buyers-guide

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