2020 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2020 Chevrolet Traverse

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 2019/10/18

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 Chevrolet Traverse doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

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 Traverse 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 Traverse doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 4Runner and the Traverse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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.

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 Chevrolet Traverse:

4Runner

Traverse

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

41

69

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

89

134

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

39 G’s

Hip Force

381 lbs.

716 lbs.

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

Warranty

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The 4Runner’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Traverse’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

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. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Traverse.

Reliability

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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 64 points higher than the Traverse.

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 Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.

Engine

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The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 266) than the Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The 4Runner has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Traverse FWD’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 4Runner has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Traverse AWD’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 21.7 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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

4Runner

Traverse

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.6 inches

The 4Runner’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Traverse are solid, not vented.

The 4Runner stops shorter than the Traverse:

4Runner

Traverse

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 4Runner’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Traverse (265/70R17 vs. 255/65R18).

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 Traverse, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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

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 Traverse 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 Traverse’s (56.6% to 43.4%). This gives the 4Runner more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the 4Runner’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Traverse’s (37.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

For greater off-road capability the 4Runner has a 2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Traverse (9.6 vs. 7.6 inches), allowing the 4Runner to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The 4Runner SR5 is 1 foot, 2.1 inches shorter than the Traverse, 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 Traverse High Country AWD (73 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

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The 4Runner has .7 inches more front legroom and .2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Traverse.

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 Traverse doesn’t offer a sliding load floor.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the 4Runner. The Traverse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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

Towing

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The 4Runner’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Traverse’s (5000 vs. 1500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the 4Runner is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Traverse. 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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The 4Runner’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Traverse’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically.

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 Traverse can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 4Runner has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Traverse doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages

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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 Traverse only retains 43.57% to 46.78%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4Runner is less expensive to operate than the Traverse because it costs $654 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4Runner than the Traverse, including $127 less for front brake pads, $67 less for fuel injection, $21 less for front struts and $230 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 $4739 to $13500 less than for the Chevrolet Traverse.

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 2019/10/18

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

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

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