2019 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2019 BMW X5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota 4Runner 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 BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the 4Runner and the X5 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, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the 4Runner 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 4 times as many Toyota dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 4Runner’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 4Runner’s reliability 28 points higher than the X5.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. BMW is ranked 8th.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota 4Runner uses regular unleaded gasoline. The X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The 4Runner has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the X5 (23 vs. 21.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

The Toyota 4Runner’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The BMW X5 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The 4Runner has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the X5, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the 4Runner’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the X5’s (37.4 feet vs. 41.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the 4Runner has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X5 (9.6 vs. 8.7 inches), allowing the 4Runner to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Toyota 4Runner may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The 4Runner SR5 is 4.1 inches shorter than the X5, making the 4Runner easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Toyota 4Runner amounts to more than styling. The 4Runner has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .36 Cd. That is lower than the X5 (.36 to .38). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 4Runner get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

The 4Runner’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

 

4Runner

X5

Third Seat Folded

46.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

47.2 cubic feet

33.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

89.7 cubic feet

72.3 cubic feet

The 4Runner’s optional sliding cargo floor is capable of supporting 440 pounds, to make loading and unloading cargo easier and safer. The X5 doesn’t offer a sliding load floor.

The 4Runner’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Payload

The 4Runner has a much higher standard payload capacity than the X5 (1625 vs. 849 lbs.).

The 4Runner has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the X5 (1700 vs. 871 lbs.).

Ergonomics

Consumer Reports rated the 4Runner’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the X5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

Model Availability

The 4Runner is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The TRD Pro was selected by Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine as their 2015 4x4 of the Year. The X5 has never been chosen.

The Toyota 4Runner outsold the BMW X5 by over three to one during 2018.

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

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