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2014 Toyota 4runner Vs. 2014 Chevrolet Traverse

By Author: Ryan Larimore
Total Articles: 2

The majority of modern vehicles are built for the minority of locations. Crisscrossed by red canyons, spring-fed rivers, boreal forests and soggy wetlands, America is famous for its stunning geography, yet auto manufacturers often design vehicles only suited for flat, wide, urban roads.

The 2014 Toyota 4Runner and 2014 Chevrolet Traverse showcase this dichotomy. One is a full-bred adventurer that puts the sport and utility in SUV. The other is a human U-Haul, a people pod designed for comfy Interstate jaunts. How do the two fare pitted against each other?

Sport Utility Vehicle or Crossover?

As automobile species go, the 4Runner and Traverse are not identical. The former is a midsize truck-based SUV, whereas the latter is a full-size crossover.

History lesson: Once upon a time in the early 1990s, all SUVS were like vans bolted onto big truck frames. To that family belongs the 4Runner. As time went on, a new type of vehicle evolved: the crossover, a crossbreed between a true SUV and a van on stilts. The Traverse is part of that family.

Mano a Mano

Even though the Traverse is a larger, heavier vehicle, it uses a similar engine to that of the 4Runner. Stashed in the engine bay of the 4Runner is a 4.0-liter V6 that generates 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission routes power to the wheels. Meanwhile, the Traverse uses a 3.6-liter V6 that pounds out 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed transmission is standard.

The similarities halt there. The Traverse’s relaxed ride and smooth engine optimize fuel economy, achieving up to 24 highway mpg. Front-wheel drive comes standard, but buyers can opt for all-wheel drive. It does not transform the languorous beast into an off-road vehicle, of course, but it provides peace of mind in rain or light snow.

Rain or light snow is where the 4Runner thrives. The midsize SUV is faster, quicker and stronger than the Traverse. Four – yes, four! – drivetrains are offered. Basic models can be had with rear-wheel drive. Three four-wheel systems are optional, ranging from the SR5’s all-weather part-time four-wheel drive to the Trail’s rough-and-ready system with a locking rear differential, adjustable suspension system and slow-speed Crawl Control. So equipped, the 4Runner can tow 4,700 pounds and amble over ruts and snags that would scare the pants off the Traverse. However, there is a penance it must pay for its power: fuel economy rings in at 22 highway mpg.

Good Looks or Good Luck?

Suffice it to say that neither model was introduced, nor will be introduced, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Whereas the 4Runner has a rangy, fresh-out-of-bed appearance, the Traverse looks as simple and unassuming as a mouse. If neither will attract stares, at least neither will receive taunts.

Seat Belts, Air Bags and Safety: Edition 2.0

Modern automotive safety devices are nearly as smart as their drivers. Both the 4Runner and Traverse include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, and a full suite of airbags. Both models also boast a rearview camera for child safety and easy parking. However, the Traverse edges out the 4Runner with another standard feature: OnStar emergency telematics. The 4Runner offers Safety Connect telematics, but it is not included on lower trims. Rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitor and other advanced driver aids are sold by the Chevy as well. Toyota counters with a KBB award for Best Resale Value.

Is There Room for the Kids?

Three rows of seating is fast becoming an endangered commodity. Both the Toyota 4Runner and the Chevrolet Traverse respond to the pleas of parents, thankfully, by including third-row seating. Dogs will fit; kids will squish; parents will double over, nose to knee. Although both vehicles can seat the same amount of people, the Traverse is the clear winner when it comes to hauling the most stuff. Not for nothing is the 2014 Traverse a a U.S. News finalist for Best 3-Row SUVs for Families. With the rear seats folded, it can accommodate up to 116 cubic feet of cargo. The 4Runner, just 90. Either vehicle can house a bicycle, stroller or pile of boogie boards.

Creature Comforts and Conveniences

Hands-free Bluetooth connectivity, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, keyless entry, center stack touchscreen displays, HD radio – it sounds like a technophile’s science fair. Both vehicles went the extra mile, as it were, to please customers with modern amenities and features.

After their respective base trims, the two split. For extra comfort, turn to the Traverse, but for superior functionality, look to the Toyota. The Traverse piles on gluttonous toys like a power liftgate, second row captain’s chairs, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, wood-grain trim and more. It even offers a 110-volt outlet for gaming consoles to plug into the available DVD rear seat entertainment system. Such things scream, “Road trip!”

The 4Runner cannot leverage the same power of luxury as its rival, though it does put up a valiant fight with optional features such as perforated leather upholstery, heated front seats, keyless ignition, and a 15-speaker JBL sound system. What makes the 4Runner unique is not hedonism but adventure. Where are sliding cargo racks, mudguards and adaptive shock absorbers to be found on the Chevrolet Traverse? Does the Traverse have KDSS, a heavy-duty off-road suspension that can disconnect stabilizer bars for crawling through rock gardens? Where the Interstate ends, the 4Runner’s path begins.

Chevrolet built an excellent full-size crossover. Toyota made an adventurous midsize SUV. The 4Runner may not be as luxurious as the Traverse during cross-country trips, but remember this. The 4Runner can go where the Traverse can go, but the Traverse cannot follow the 4Runner to scattered snow caps, frothing waterfalls, or fields of mountain wildflowers.

Greenville Toyota in Greenville, NC is your full-service Toyota dealership, providing new and used Toyota cars, trucks, and SUVs. Our factory-trained service technicians will keep your vehicle running at peak performance. If you are searching for Toyota dealers in Kinston NC using the keywords Kinston NC Toyota or Toyota dealerships near Kinston NC, come visit our show room today!

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