Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Volkswagen Touareg VS 2014 Toyota 4Runner Near Phoenix, AZ

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2014 Volkswagen Touareg

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2014 Toyota 4Runner

Safety Comparison

Both the Touareg and 4Runner have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Touareg has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The 4Runner’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Touareg. But it costs extra on the 4Runner.

The Touareg Hybrid/Executive has a standard Area View 360° Exterior Camera System 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.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Touareg 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 Touareg and the 4Runner have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The Touareg’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the 4Runner’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Engine Comparison

The Touareg V6’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 10 more horsepower (280 vs. 270) than the 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6. The Touareg Hybrid’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6 hybrid produces 110 more horsepower (380 vs. 270) and 150 lbs.-ft. more torque (428 vs. 278) than the 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6.

The Touareg’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 128 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 278) than the 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Volkswagen Touareg is faster than the Toyota 4Runner:

Touareg V6

Touareg Hybrid


Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

5.8 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

14.3 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.9 MPH

96.6 MPH

87.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Touareg TDI gets better fuel mileage than the 4Runner 4WD (20 city/29 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy). The Touareg TDI gets better fuel mileage than the 4Runner RWD (20 city/29 hwy vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Touareg Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the 4Runner 4WD (20 city/24 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy). The Touareg Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the 4Runner RWD (20 city/24 hwy vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Touareg V6 gets better fuel mileage than the 4Runner 4x4 (17 city/23 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Touareg Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Touareg Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The 4Runner doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Touareg has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4Runner (26.4 vs. 23 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

Touareg Hybrid


Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.3 inches

The Touareg stops much shorter than the 4Runner:



70 to 0 MPH

164 feet

201 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Touareg has larger standard tires than the 4Runner (255/55R18 vs. 245/60R20). The Touareg R-Line/Executive’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4Runner (275/45R20 vs. 265/70R17).

The Touareg Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4Runner SR5/Trail’s standard 70 series tires. The Touareg R-Line/Executive’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the 4Runner Limited’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Touareg Sport has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 4Runner SR5/Trail.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Volkswagen Touareg 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Touareg’s wheelbase is 4.1 inches longer than on the 4Runner (113.9 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Touareg is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 4Runner.

The Touareg Executive handles at .85 G’s, while the 4Runner Trail 4x4 pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Touareg Hybrid executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.3 seconds quicker than the 4Runner Trail 4x4 (27.2 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 29.5 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

Unibody construction makes the Touareg’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The 4Runner doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Touareg Executive is quieter than the 4Runner Trail 4x4:



At idle

35 dB

42 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

67 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Touareg has .3 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom and 4 inches more rear legroom than the 4Runner.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Touareg easier. The Touareg’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.3 inches, while the 4Runner’s liftover is 30.7 inches.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Touareg Lux/R-Line/Executive/Hybrid’s rear 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, especially for short adults or children, the Touareg has a standard power rear liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Ergonomics Comparison

The engine computer on the Touareg automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The 4Runner’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the 4Runner Limited, the Touareg Hybrid has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The power windows standard on both the Touareg and the 4Runner have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Touareg is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The 4Runner prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Touareg has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Touareg’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 4Runner’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Touareg to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 4Runner doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Touareg has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The 4Runner doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Touareg has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The 4Runner has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Limited.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Touareg has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The 4Runner doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Touareg also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Touareg has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The 4Runner doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

The Touareg’s power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The 4Runner’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The Touareg has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the 4Runner. The Touareg Executive/Hybrid also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the 4Runner.

The Touareg has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the 4Runner Limited.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Touareg owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Touareg with a number “5” insurance rate while the 4Runner is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Touareg is less expensive to operate than the 4Runner because typical repairs cost much less on the Touareg than the 4Runner, including $140 less for a fuel pump and $291 less for a timing belt/chain.

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