2020 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2020 BMW X4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 X4 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the 4Runner and the X4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available four-wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the 4Runner 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X4 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

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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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, 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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

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.

Engine

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The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 22 more horsepower (270 vs. 248) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 258) than the X4 xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota 4Runner uses regular unleaded gasoline. The X4 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The 4Runner has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the X4 (23 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 4Runner’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the X4:

4Runner

X4

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 4Runner’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X4 (265/70R17 vs. 245/40R20).

The Toyota 4Runner’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The BMW X4 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 X4, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.

Suspension and Handling

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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 X4 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

For better maneuverability, the 4Runner’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the X4’s (37.4 feet vs. 40 feet).

For greater off-road capability the 4Runner has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the X4 (9.6 vs. 8 inches), allowing the 4Runner to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The 4Runner offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the X4 can only carry 5.

The 4Runner has 30.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X4 (128 vs. 97.8).

The 4Runner has .3 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the X4.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 4Runner’s middle row seats recline. The X4’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The 4Runner’s cargo area provides more volume than the X4.

4Runner

X4

Third Seat Folded

46.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

47.2 cubic feet

18.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

89.7 cubic feet

50.5 cubic feet

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 X4 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 X4’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Payload

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The 4Runner has a much higher standard payload capacity than the X4 (1625 vs. 882 lbs.).

The 4Runner has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the X4 (1700 vs. 882 lbs.).

Ergonomics

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The 4Runner has a 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X4 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The 4Runner is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X4 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 $2845 to $5830 less than the X4 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 X4 only retains 42.31% to 43.29%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota 4Runner will be $24633 to $26286 less than for the BMW X4.

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 X4 has never been chosen.

The Toyota 4Runner outsold the BMW X4 by over eighteen to one during the 2019 model year.

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