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The Avalon Hybrid has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats (WIL), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WIL system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Avalon Hybrid Limited offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Avalon Hybrid Limited offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The A3 Sedan 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 Avalon Hybrid has standard Safety Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Avalon Hybrid and the A3 Sedan 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 and rearview cameras.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Avalon Hybrid its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 45 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A3 Sedan is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.
Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Avalon Hybrid 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A3 Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A3 Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Avalon Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A3 Sedan.
There are over 4 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Avalon Hybrid’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Audi is ranked 7th.
The Avalon Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 31 more horsepower (215 vs. 184) than the A3 Sedan 40 TSFI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the Avalon Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the A3 Sedan:
XLE 2.5 4 cyl. Hybrid
43 city/44 hwy
XSE/Limited 2.5 4 cyl. Hybrid
43 city/43 hwy
40 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
26 city/35 hwy
45 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
24 city/31 hwy
Regenerative brakes improve the Avalon Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Avalon Hybrid’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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Avalon Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A3 Sedan 45 TSFI requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Avalon Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a CVT.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon Hybrid’s wheelbase is 9.2 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (113 inches vs. 103.8 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon Hybrid is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 3.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A3 Sedan.
The front grille of the Avalon Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid a Mid-size car, while the A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.
The Avalon Hybrid has 17.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (103.8 vs. 86).
The Avalon Hybrid has 2 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 3.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear headroom, 5.3 inches more rear legroom and 4.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.
The Avalon Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the A3 Sedan (16.1 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).
When two different drivers share the Avalon Hybrid Limited, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.
The Avalon Hybrid Limited’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
Smart Key System standard on the Avalon Hybrid allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Audi A3 Sedan’s available Audi Advanced Key doesn’t unlock the trunk.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Avalon Hybrid’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the A3 Sedan’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Avalon Hybrid Limited has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Avalon Hybrid Limited also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
When the Avalon Hybrid Limited/Touring is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The A3 Sedan’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Avalon Hybrid has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the A3 Sedan. The Avalon Hybrid Limited also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the A3 Sedan.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Avalon Hybrid Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Avalon Hybrid Limited’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
Insurance will cost less for the Avalon Hybrid owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon Hybrid will cost $95 to $3425 less than the A3 Sedan over a five-year period.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Avalon Hybrid will be $1160 to $5068 less than for the Audi A3 Sedan.
The Toyota Avalon outsold the Audi A3/S3 by 83% during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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