2020 Kia Telluride vs. 2019 Toyota 4Runner

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Telluride are reminded to check the back seat when a sensor determines the back seat is occupied. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Telluride has standard Forward Collision Avoidance, 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 Telluride’s 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 Telluride SX has a standard Surround View Monitor 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 Telluride’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 Telluride’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 Telluride’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 Telluride 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.

Both the Telluride and the 4Runner have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

The Telluride comes with a full 5-year/60,000-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 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Telluride 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the 4Runner. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the 4Runner ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 21 more horsepower (291 vs. 270) than the 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Telluride

4Runner

2WD

Auto

20 city/26 hwy

17 city/21 hwy

4WD

Auto

19 city/24 hwy

17 city/20 hwy

Transmission

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

Tires and Wheels

The Telluride LX/EX’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 Telluride S/SX’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the 4Runner Limited’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Telluride LX/EX has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 4Runner.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Kia Telluride 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 Telluride has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Telluride’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the 4Runner (114.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Telluride is 3.6 inches wider in the front and 3.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 4Runner.

Chassis

The Kia Telluride may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the Toyota 4Runner.

Unibody construction lowers the Telluride’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.

Passenger Space

The Telluride has standard seating for 8 passengers; the 4Runner can only carry up to 7.

The Telluride has 50.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 4Runner (178.1 vs. 128).

The Telluride has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front legroom, 2.4 inches more front hip room, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, 9.5 inches more rear legroom, 2.3 inches more rear hip room, 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room, 3.8 inches more third row headroom, 2.1 inches more third row legroom and .4 inches more third row hip room than the 4Runner.

Cargo Capacity

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

Telluride

4Runner

Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

9 cubic feet

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Telluride EX/SX’s power liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Telluride’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Ergonomics

The Telluride offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed 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 Telluride SX’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The 4Runner’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Telluride’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 Telluride SX is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The 4Runner’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Telluride and the 4Runner offer available heated front seats. The Telluride SX 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.

The Telluride EX/SX has standard front air-conditioned seats and the Telluride SX offers them optionally in the second row. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 4Runner doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

On extremely cold winter days, the Telluride EX/SX’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.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Telluride has a standard Smart 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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