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The A3 Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A3 Sedan 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 Toyota Avalon Hybrid has only front height-adjustable seat belts.
The A3 Sedan has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Avalon Hybrid 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.
The A3 Sedan 45 TSFI has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
Both the A3 Sedan and the Avalon Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A3 Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Avalon Hybrid has not been tested, yet.
The A3 Sedan comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Avalon Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Avalon Hybrid’s (12 vs. 5 years).
The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Avalon Hybrid’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
The A3 Sedan 45 TSFI’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 13 more horsepower (228 vs. 215) than the Avalon Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.
The A3 Sedan 45 TFSI Quattro’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Avalon Hybrid (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons).
For better stopping power the A3 Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Avalon Hybrid:
For better traction, the A3 Sedan has larger standard tires than the Avalon Hybrid (225/45R17 vs. 215/55R17).
The A3 Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Avalon Hybrid XLE’s standard 55 series tires. The A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Avalon Hybrid Limited’s 40 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Avalon Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Avalon Hybrid XLE’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.7 feet). The A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Avalon Hybrid XSE/Limited’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).
The Audi A3 Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 450 pounds less than the Toyota Avalon Hybrid.
The A3 Sedan is 1 foot, 8.4 inches shorter than the Avalon Hybrid, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 44% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.
If the windows are left open on the A3 Sedan the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Avalon Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The A3 Sedan’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 Avalon Hybrid XLE/Touring’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A3 Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Avalon Hybrid 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 A3 Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The A3 Sedan Prestige’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 Avalon Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Audi A3 comes in convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Toyota Avalon Hybrid isn’t available as a convertible or station wagon.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi A3 Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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