Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Toyota 4Runner VS 2015 BMW X5 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Toyota 4Runner

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VS

2015 BMW X5

Safety Comparison

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 X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the 4Runner and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available four-wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the 4Runner 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5-years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 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 Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 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 fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 8th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 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 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota 4Runner uses regular unleaded gasoline. The X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 4Runner’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the X5:

4Runner

X5

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

13.1 inches

The 4Runner stops shorter than the X5:

4Runner

X5

60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Toyota 4Runner’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The BMW X5 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The 4Runner has a standard full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the X5, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 4Runner Trail 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 X5 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

For better maneuverability, the 4Runner’s turning circle is 4.3 feet tighter than the X5’s (37.4 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the 4Runner has a 1.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the X5 (9.6 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the 4Runner to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The Toyota 4Runner may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The 4Runner SR5/Limited is 3 inches shorter than the X5, making the 4Runner easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 4Runner’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

4Runner

X5

Third Seat Folded

46.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

47.2 cubic feet

22.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

89.7 cubic feet

66 cubic feet

The 4Runner’s optional sliding cargo floor is capable of supporting 440 pounds, to make loading and unloading cargo easier and safer. The X5 doesn’t offer a sliding load floor.

The 4Runner’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics Comparison

Consumer Reports rated the 4Runner’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the X5’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

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 X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the 4Runner owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 4Runner will cost $3555 to $4935 less than the X5 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 55.34% to 64.22% of its original price after five years, while the X5 only retains 49.67% to 53.21%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota 4Runner will be $20889 to $29181 less than for the BMW X5.

Recommendations Comparison

The Toyota 4Runner won the Most Fuel Efficient award in Kiplinger’s 2014 car issue. The BMW X5 didn't win any award.

The Toyota 4Runner outsold the BMW X5 by 68% during the 2014 model year.

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