2020 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2019 Volkswagen Atlas

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The 4Runner has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Atlas doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 4Runner’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 Atlas doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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

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

4Runner

Atlas

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Stress

438 lbs.

441 lbs.

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

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, results indicate that the Toyota 4Runner is safer than the Volkswagen Atlas:

4Runner

Atlas

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

41

57

Hip Force

233 lbs.

345 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

89

144

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

39 G’s

Hip Force

381 lbs.

527 lbs.

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

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4Runner for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Atlas.

There are over 89 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 4Runner’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

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 62 points higher than the Atlas.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 16th.

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 35 more horsepower (270 vs. 235) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 258) than the Atlas’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 266) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Toyota 4Runner is faster than the Volkswagen Atlas V6:

4Runner

Atlas

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

7.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.1 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

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

The 4Runner has 4.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Atlas (23 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The 4Runner stops much shorter than the Atlas:

4Runner

Atlas

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

139 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The 4Runner has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 4Runner has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the 4Runner flat and controlled during cornering. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The 4Runner TRD Off-Road/Venture offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Atlas doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 4Runner’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.6% to 46.4%) than the Atlas’ (55.1% to 44.9%). This gives the 4Runner more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the 4Runner’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Atlas’ (37.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

For greater off-road capability the 4Runner has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Atlas (9.6 vs. 8 inches), allowing the 4Runner to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The 4Runner SR5 is 8.1 inches shorter than the Atlas, making the 4Runner easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the 4Runner TRD Off-Road is quieter than the Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion (73 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

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The 4Runner has .2 inches more front legroom and 2.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the Atlas.

Cargo Capacity

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The 4Runner 5-Passenger’s optional sliding cargo floor is capable of supporting 440 pounds, to make loading and unloading cargo easier and safer. The Atlas doesn’t offer a sliding load floor.

The 4Runner’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Atlas’ rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Payload and Towing

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The 4Runner’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Atlas’ (5000 vs. 2000 pounds).

The 4Runner has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Atlas (1625 vs. 1213 lbs.).

The 4Runner has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the Atlas (1700 vs. 1213 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The engine in the 4Runner is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Atlas. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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If the windows are left open on the 4Runner the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Atlas can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the 4Runner owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 4Runner will cost $45 to $2480 less than the Atlas over a five-year period.

The 4Runner will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 4Runner will retain 61.48% to 71.13% of its original price after five years, while the Atlas only retains 39.77% to 41.75%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4Runner is less expensive to operate than the Atlas because it costs $527 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4Runner than the Atlas, including $151 less for a water pump, $380 less for a muffler, $84 less for front brake pads, $149 less for a starter, $151 less for fuel injection, $348 less for front struts and $834 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota 4Runner will be $4454 to $12819 less than for the Volkswagen Atlas.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

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

The Toyota 4Runner outsold the Volkswagen Atlas by 74% during the 2019 model year.

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

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