Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Toyota 4Runner VS 2015 Mercedes M-Class Near Phoenix, AZ

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2016 Toyota 4Runner

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2015 Mercedes M-Class

Safety Comparison

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 M-Class doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the 4Runner 4x4’s standard Downhill Assist Control allows you to creep down safely. The M-Class doesn’t offer Downhill Assist Control.

Both the 4Runner and the M-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, front parking sensors, 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 Mercedes M-Class:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

233 lbs.

256 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

381 lbs.

427 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

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

The 4Runner’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the M-Class’ (5/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

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. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the M-Class.

There are almost 4 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 4Runner’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the 4Runner’s reliability will be 71% better than the Mercedes M-Class and 81% better than the Mercedes M-Class Diesel.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 9th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota third in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 7th.

Engine Comparison

The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 273) than the ML350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota 4Runner uses regular unleaded gasoline. The M-Class 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 M-Class:



Front Rotors

13.3 inches

13 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 M-Class are solid, not vented.

The 4Runner stops shorter than the M-Class:



70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

189 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

156 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 Mercedes M-Class 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 M-Class, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better maneuverability, the 4Runner’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the M-Class’ (37.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the 4Runner has a 4.36 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the M-Class (9.6 vs. 5.24 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 up to about 300 pounds less than the Mercedes M-Class.

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The 4Runner has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more rear headroom than the M-Class.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 4Runner’s cargo area provides more volume than the M-Class.



Third Seat Folded

46.3 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed

47.2 cubic feet

38.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

89.7 cubic feet

80.3 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 M-Class doesn’t offer a sliding load floor.

The 4Runner’s cargo area is larger than the M-Class’ in almost every dimension:



Length to seat (2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






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

Ergonomics Comparison

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

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the 4Runner owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 4Runner will cost $1535 to $3840 less than the M-Class 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 55.74% to 62.27% of its original price after five years, while the M-Class only retains 41.74% to 43.74%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4Runner is less expensive to operate than the M-Class because it costs $1224 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4Runner than the M-Class, including $189 less for a water pump, $336 less for an alternator, $134 less for front brake pads, $382 less for a starter, $340 less for fuel injection, $1402 less for front struts and $607 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 $20346 to $25603 less than for the Mercedes M-Class.

Recommendations Comparison

The Toyota 4Runner outsold the Mercedes M-Class by over two to one during the 2015 model year.

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