2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 MKZ 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 MKZ 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 MKZ 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 MKZ 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

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 MKZ was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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. Lincoln only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the MKZ.

There are over 45 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Lincoln dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Avalon Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Avalon Hybrid has a standard 582-amp battery. The MKZ’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 39 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Lincoln is ranked 20th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Avalon Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ Hybrid:

 

 

 

MPG

Avalon Hybrid

 

 

XLE 2.5 4 cyl. Hybrid

43 city/44 hwy

 

 

XSE/Limited 2.5 4 cyl. Hybrid

43 city/43 hwy

MKZ Hybrid

 

 

2.0 4 cyl. Hybrid

42 city/39 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Avalon Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MKZ with the 3.0 turbo V6 engine requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Avalon Hybrid higher (7 out of 10) than the Lincoln MKZ (5 to 7). This means the Avalon Hybrid produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the MKZ every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Avalon Hybrid’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the MKZ Hybrid:

 

Avalon

MKZ

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Suspension and Handling

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 MKZ.

For better maneuverability, the Avalon Hybrid XLE’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (37.7 feet vs. 39 feet). The Avalon Hybrid XSE/Limited’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (38.7 feet vs. 39 feet).

Passenger Space

The Avalon Hybrid has 7.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKZ (103.8 vs. 96.6).

The Avalon Hybrid has .6 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 3.4 inches more rear legroom, 1 inch more rear hip room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

The Avalon Hybrid has a larger trunk than the MKZ (16.1 vs. 15.4 cubic feet). The Avalon Hybrid has a larger trunk than the MKZ Hybrid (16.1 vs. 11.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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 MKZ’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 MKZ’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Avalon Hybrid owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon Hybrid will cost $215 to $5705 less than the MKZ 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 MKZ only retains 38.09% to 40.84%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Avalon Hybrid will be $2793 to $14183 less than for the Lincoln MKZ.

Recommendations

The Toyota Avalon outsold the Lincoln MKZ by 69% during 2018.

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

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