2019 Mercedes A-Class vs. 2019 Toyota Avalon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A-Class offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Avalon doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The A-Class’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Avalon doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the A-Class and the Avalon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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 and around view monitors.

Warranty

The A-Class comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Avalon’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A 220 FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Avalon XLE (24 city/35 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A-Class’ 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 Avalon doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

The A-Class offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Avalon doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Avalon:

 

A-Class

Avalon

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

11.06 inches

The A-Class stops much shorter than the Avalon:

 

A-Class

Avalon

 

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the A-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Avalon doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A-Class’ 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 Avalon doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The A 220 4MATIC handles at .95 G’s, while the Avalon Touring pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the A-Class’ turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Avalon XLE’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.7 feet). The A-Class’ turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Avalon Limited/Touring’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

The Mercedes A-Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Toyota Avalon.

The A-Class is 1 foot, 4.8 inches shorter than the Avalon, making the A-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A-Class’ available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Avalon doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 41% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

The A-Class has a standard 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 Avalon doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Avalon Limited/Touring, the A-Class has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The A-Class offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Avalon doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The A-Class’ 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 XLE/Touring’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The A-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Avalon doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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