Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Volkswagen Atlas VS 2017 Toyota 4Runner Near New Bern, NC

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas

VS
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2017 Toyota 4Runner

Safety Comparison

The Atlas (except S) offers optional Autonomous Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 4Runner doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Atlas has standard post collision braking, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 4Runner doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Atlas (except S)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Atlas SEL Premium has a standard Overhead View Camera 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.

The Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Atlas 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 Atlas and the 4Runner have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty Comparison

The Atlas comes with a full 6 year/72000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The 4Runner’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Atlas’ corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the 4Runner’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability Comparison

The Volkswagen Atlas’ engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the 4Runner’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine Comparison

The Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 6 more horsepower (276 vs. 270) than the 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Atlas gets better fuel mileage than the 4Runner:

 

 

Atlas

4Runner

 

2WD

V6/Auto

18 city/25 hwy

17 city/22 hwy

 

4WD

V6/Auto

17 city/23 hwy

17 city/21 hwy

 

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Atlas’ 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.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Atlas’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4Runner’s standard 70 series tires. The Atlas’ optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the 4Runner Limited’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Atlas has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 4Runner.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Volkswagen Atlas 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.

The Atlas’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 4Runner doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Atlas’ wheelbase is 7.5 inches longer than on the 4Runner (117.3 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas is 3.6 inches wider in the front and 4.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 4Runner.

Chassis Comparison

Unibody construction makes the Atlas’ 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.

The design of the Volkswagen Atlas amounts to more than styling. The Atlas has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .34 Cd. That is lower than the 4Runner (.36). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Atlas get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Atlas has 25.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 4Runner (153.7 vs. 128).

The Atlas has 2 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more front hip room, 3.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear headroom, 4.7 inches more rear legroom, 2.3 inches more rear hip room, 3 inches more rear shoulder room, 4 inches more third row headroom, 4.4 inches more third row legroom and 1.8 inches more third row hip room than the 4Runner.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

 

Atlas

4Runner

Behind Third Seat

20.6 cubic feet

9 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.5 cubic feet

46.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

96.8 cubic feet

89.7 cubic feet

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

 

Atlas

4Runner

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

23.4”/53”/84.5”

n.a./42”/66.3”

Max Width

61.8”

57.7”

Min Width

45”

42.4”

Height

32.3”

39.5”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Atlas (except S) offers an optional power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Atlas SEL/SEL Premium, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Atlas (except S) offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Atlas and the 4Runner have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Atlas 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 Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The 4Runner’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Atlas SEL Premium detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 4Runner doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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

Both the Atlas and the 4Runner offer available heated front seats. The Atlas SEL Premium also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the 4Runner.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Atlas SEL Premium’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Atlas (except S) offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The 4Runner doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Atlas SEL Premium’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 4Runner doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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