2019 BMW X7 vs. 2019 Toyota 4Runner

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X7’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.

For enhanced safety, the middle seat shoulder belts of the BMW X7 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Toyota 4Runner doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The X7 has standard City Collision Mitigation, 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 X7 has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X7. But it costs extra on the 4Runner.

The X7’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The X7 offers an optional Surround View 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 X7’s 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 and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the X7’s 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.

The X7’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the X7 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 X7 has standard BMW Assist, 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 X7 and the 4Runner have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The BMW X7 weighs 565 to 1217 pounds more than the Toyota 4Runner. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The X7 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 X7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the 4Runner’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X7 for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the 4Runner (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

Reliability

The battery on the X7 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the X7’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The 4Runner’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

The X7 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 65 more horsepower (335 vs. 270) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 278) than the 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6. The X7 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 186 more horsepower (456 vs. 270) and 201 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 278) than the 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X7 gets better fuel mileage than the 4Runner:

MPG

X7

AWD

xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/25 hwy

4Runner

RWD

4.0 DOHC V6

17 city/21 hwy

AWD

4.0 DOHC V6

17 city/20 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the X7’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X7’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.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the BMW X7 as an “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV). The Toyota 4Runner is only certified to “Low Emissions Vehicle” (LEV) standards.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X7, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a five-speed automatic is available for the 4Runner.

The X7’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The 4Runner doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4Runner:

X7 xDrive40i

X7 xDrive50i

X7 M Sport

4Runner

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

15.6 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

14.6 inches

12.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X7 has larger standard tires than the 4Runner (285/45R21 vs. 245/60R20). The X7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4Runner (F:275/40R22 & R:315/35R22 vs. 265/70R17).

The X7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4Runner’s standard 70 series tires. The X7’s optional 275/40R22 front and 315/35R22 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the 4Runner Limited’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X7 has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 4Runner. The X7’s optional 22-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 standard on the X7 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 BMW X7 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 front and rear suspension of the X7 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the 4Runner, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The X7 has a standard 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.

The X7 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The X7’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X7’s wheelbase is 12.4 inches longer than on the 4Runner (122.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X7 is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 4Runner.

Chassis

Unibody construction lowers the X7’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 front grille of the X7 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The 4Runner doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X7 has 2.6 inches more front headroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 4.7 inches more rear legroom, .3 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.7 inches more third row headroom and 4 inches more third row legroom than the 4Runner.

Cargo Capacity

The X7’s cargo area provides more volume than the 4Runner.

X7

4Runner

Third Seat Folded

48.6 cubic feet

46.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.4 cubic feet

89.7 cubic feet

The X7’s cargo area is larger than the 4Runner’s in almost every dimension:

X7

4Runner

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

18.5”/45”/81.5”

n.a./42”/66.3”

Max Width

48”

57.7”

Min Width

43.5”

42.4”

Height

32”

39.5”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the X7’s second and 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, especially for short adults, the X7 has a standard power tailgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The X7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the 4Runner’s (7500 vs. 5000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the X7 to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes and 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 BMW service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 30% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

The X7 offers a 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 X7 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 X7 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The X7’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 4Runner doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The X7 offers an optional 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 X7 and the 4Runner have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X7 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 X7’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.

The X7 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 standard on the X7 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 4Runner doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The X7’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 4Runner’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

When the X7 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 X7 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 X7 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the 4Runner. The X7 also offers optional heated second and third row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Neither heated second nor third row seats are available in the 4Runner.

On extremely cold winter days, the X7’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 X7 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 X7 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.

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

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