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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 Fusion Hybrid 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 Fusion Hybrid 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 Fusion Hybrid 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.
Both the Avalon Hybrid and the Fusion Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.
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. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Fusion Hybrid.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Avalon Hybrid has a standard 582-amp battery. The Fusion Hybrid’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.
The Avalon Hybrid’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 27 more horsepower (215 vs. 188) than the Fusion Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.
On the EPA test cycle the Avalon Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Fusion Hybrid (43 city/43 hwy vs. 43 city/41 hwy). The Avalon Hybrid XLE gets better fuel mileage than the Fusion Hybrid (43 city/44 hwy vs. 43 city/41 hwy).
For better stopping power the Avalon Hybrid’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Fusion Hybrid:
The Avalon Hybrid Limited’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fusion Hybrid’s optional 45 series tires.
The Avalon Hybrid has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Fusion Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon Hybrid is .4 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Fusion Hybrid.
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 Fusion Hybrid doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Avalon Hybrid has .8 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 2.1 inches more rear legroom, .4 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fusion Hybrid.
The Avalon Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the Fusion Hybrid (16.1 vs. 12 cubic feet).
The Avalon Hybrid uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Fusion Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
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 Fusion Hybrid 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.
The Avalon Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Fusion Hybrid SEL/Titanium.
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 Fusion Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Avalon Hybrid has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Fusion Hybrid SEL/Titanium. 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 Fusion Hybrid.
Insurance will cost less for the Avalon Hybrid owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon Hybrid will cost $125 less than the Fusion Hybrid over a five-year period.
The Avalon Hybrid will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Avalon Hybrid will retain 46.54% to 47.58% of its original price after five years, while the Fusion Hybrid only retains 41.41% to 43.22%.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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