2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan vs. 2019 Toyota Avalon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C-Class Sedan have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The Toyota Avalon doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The C-Class 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 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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

The C-Class Sedan’s 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 C-Class Sedan and the Avalon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the C-Class Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Avalon has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The C-Class 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’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the C-Class Sedan has a standard 800-amp battery. The Avalon’s 582-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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.

Engine

The C 300 Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 267) than the Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The AMG C 43 Sedan’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 84 more horsepower (385 vs. 301) and 117 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 267) than the Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the C 300 Sedan RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Avalon V6 (23 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/31 hwy). The C 300 Sedan RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Avalon V6 XLE (23 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the C-Class Sedan’s 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.

The C-Class Sedan has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Avalon XLE’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The C-Class Sedan has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Avalon XSE/Limited/Touring’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15.8 gallons).

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Sedan, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Avalon.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

C 300

AMG C 43

Avalon

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.2 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11.06 inches

The C-Class Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Avalon are solid, not vented.

The C-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the Avalon:

 

C-Class

Avalon

 

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the C-Class Sedan has larger standard tires than the Avalon (225/50R17 vs. 215/55R17).

The C-Class Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Avalon XLE’s standard 55 series tires. The C-Class Sedan’s optional 255/35R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Avalon XSE/Touring’s 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the C-Class Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan’s 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 AMG C 43 Sedan handles at .93 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 C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Avalon XLE’s (36.8 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

The C-Class Sedan is 11.4 inches shorter than the Avalon, making the C-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the C-Class Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Avalon doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the C-Class Sedan’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Avalon doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the C-Class Sedan is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Avalon. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

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 C-Class Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The C-Class Sedan 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.

If the windows are left open on the C-Class 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 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the C-Class Sedan offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Avalon doesn’t offer cornering lights.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the C-Class Sedan to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Avalon doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The C-Class Sedan’s 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.

Model Availability

The Mercedes C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Toyota Avalon isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Recommendations

The C-Class Sedan was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The Avalon has never been an “All Star.”

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Toyota Avalon by 78% during the 2018 model year.

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

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