2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid vs. 2019 Mercedes A-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Avalon Hybrid are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mercedes A-Class doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 A-Class doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the Avalon Hybrid’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The A-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Avalon Hybrid and the A-Class 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 and available around view monitors.

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 A-Class has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Avalon Hybrid 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the A-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A-Class 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. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the A-Class.

There are over 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Avalon Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 17th.

Engine

The Avalon Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 27 more horsepower (215 vs. 188) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Avalon Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the A-Class:

 

 

 

MPG

Avalon Hybrid

 

FWD

XLE 2.5 4 cyl. Hybrid

43 city/44 hwy

 

 

XSE/Limited 2.5 4 cyl. Hybrid

43 city/43 hwy

A-Class

 

FWD

220 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/35 hwy

 

AWD

220 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Avalon Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A-Class doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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 A-Class doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Avalon Hybrid has larger standard tires than the A-Class (215/55R17 vs. 205/55R17). The Avalon Hybrid Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A-Class (235/40R18 vs. 205/55R17).

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 A-Class’ 55 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 A-Class; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon Hybrid’s wheelbase is 5.6 inches longer than on the A-Class (113 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon Hybrid is .9 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A-Class.

Chassis

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 A-Class doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid a Mid-size car, while the A-Class is rated a Compact.

The Avalon Hybrid has 10.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A-Class (103.8 vs. 93).

The Avalon Hybrid has .3 inches more front legroom, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 6.5 inches more rear legroom and 3.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A-Class.

Cargo Capacity

The Avalon Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the A-Class (16.1 vs. 8.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Avalon Hybrid has standard extendable sun visors. The A-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Avalon Hybrid has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the A-Class. 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 A-Class.

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

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