2019 Audi Q7 vs. 2019 Toyota 4Runner

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q7 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Toyota 4Runner doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The Q7’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 4Runner doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q7 and 4Runner have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q7 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The 4Runner’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Q7 has standard Pre Sense City, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 4Runner doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Q7 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Q7 offers an optional backup collision prevention system which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 4Runner doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q7. But it costs extra on the 4Runner.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q7 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The Q7’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Q7 offers an optional Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 4Runner only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Q7’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Q7’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Q7 uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The 4Runner uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

The Q7 has a standard Audi Connect CARE, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Q7 and the 4Runner have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Toyota 4Runner:

 

Q7

4Runner

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

99

267

Neck Injury Risk

25%

47%

Neck Stress

186 lbs.

438 lbs.

Neck Compression

37 lbs.

54 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

61/46 lbs.

488/468 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

102

367

Chest Compression

.7 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

44%

57%

Neck Stress

118 lbs.

271 lbs.

Neck Compression

38 lbs.

58 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

46/29 lbs.

453/353 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the 4Runner:

 

Q7

4Runner

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

12 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.57/.7

.95/.85

Tibia forces R/L

4.2/.3 kN

5/2.9 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Toyota 4Runner:

 

Q7

4Runner

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

128 G’s

179 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

20 inches

HIC

290

507

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

557 lbs.

895 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q7 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 4Runner was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Q7 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 4Runner’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the 4Runner’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Engine

The Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 59 more horsepower (329 vs. 270) and 47 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 278) than the 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Q7 55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6 is faster than the Toyota 4Runner:

 

Q7

4Runner

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.2 MPH

87.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q7 45 TFSI 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the 4Runner 4x4 (19 city/25 hwy vs. 17 city/20 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Q7’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The 4Runner doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is available on the Audi Q7, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a five-speed automatic is available for the 4Runner.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Q7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4Runner:

 

Q7

4Runner

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

12.3 inches

The Q7 stops much shorter than the 4Runner:

 

Q7

4Runner

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

201 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q7 has larger standard tires than the 4Runner (255/55R19 vs. 245/60R20). The Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4Runner (285/45R20 vs. 265/70R17).

The Q7 2.0T’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4Runner’s standard 70 series tires. The Q7’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the 4Runner Limited’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q7 2.0T has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 4Runner. The Q7’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the 4Runner Limited.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Q7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 4Runner doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Audi Q7 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Toyota 4Runner has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Q7 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The 4Runner’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q7’s wheelbase is 8.1 inches longer than on the 4Runner (117.9 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q7 is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 4Runner.

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the 4Runner TRD Off-Road pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.1 seconds quicker than the 4Runner TRD Off-Road (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 29.5 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 w/Air Suspension has a greater minimum ground clearance than the 4Runner (9.7 vs. 9.6 inches), allowing the Q7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

Unibody construction lowers the Q7’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The 4Runner uses body-on-frame design instead.

The design of the Audi Q7 amounts to more than styling. The Q7 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .333 Cd (optional .32 Cd with Air Suspension). That is lower than the 4Runner (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Q7 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Q7 Prestige is quieter than the 4Runner TRD Off-Road:

 

Q7

4Runner

At idle

43 dB

43 dB

Full-Throttle

70 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

The Q7 has 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 5.9 inches more rear legroom, .7 inches more rear shoulder room and 1.6 inches more third row headroom than the 4Runner.

Cargo Capacity

The Q7’s cargo area provides more volume than the 4Runner.

 

Q7

4Runner

Behind Third Seat

14.8 cubic feet

9 cubic feet

The Q7’s cargo area is larger than the 4Runner’s in almost every dimension:

 

Q7

4Runner

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

19.5”/44.7”/80.7”

n.a./42”/66.3”

Min Width

42.6”

42.4”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Q7’s third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The 4Runner doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Q7’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Toyota 4Runner is limited to 5000 pounds. The Q7 offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

A Service Interval Display is standard on the Q7 to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, spark plug replacement, air filter replacement and tire rotation, vehicle inspection based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Toyota doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the 4Runner.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 44% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

The Q7 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The engine computer on the Q7 automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The 4Runner’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the 4Runner Limited, the Q7 Prestige offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Q7 Premium Plus/Prestige’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 4Runner doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Q7 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Q7 and the 4Runner have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Q7 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The 4Runner prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Q7 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Q7’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 4Runner’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q7 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The 4Runner doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Q7 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The 4Runner has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Limited/TRD Pro.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Q7 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 4Runner doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Q7 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The 4Runner doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Q7 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Q7 has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The 4Runner doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

A manual rear sunshade is optional in the Q7 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The Q7’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 4Runner’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

When the Q7 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The 4Runner’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Q7 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The 4Runner offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Q7 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the 4Runner. The Q7 also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the 4Runner.

On extremely cold winter days, the Q7’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Q7 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the 4Runner Limited.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Q7 (except Premium) offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The 4Runner doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q7 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q7 with a number “5” insurance rate while the 4Runner is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q7 is less expensive to operate than the 4Runner because typical repairs cost much less on the Q7 than the 4Runner, including $223 less for a water pump, $134 less for a fuel pump and $236 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q7, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Toyota 4Runner isn't recommended.

The Q7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The 4Runner has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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