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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Avalon Limited/Touring offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The ILX doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Avalon Limited/Touring offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The ILX only offers a rear monitor.
Both the Avalon and the ILX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 and rearview cameras.
The Toyota Avalon weighs 412 to 609 pounds more than the Acura ILX. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.
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 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 44 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ILX was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.
Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Avalon for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the ILX.
There are almost 5 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Avalon’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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th.
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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 63 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Acura is ranked 13th.
The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 100 more horsepower (301 vs. 201) and 87 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.
As tested in Car and Driver the Toyota Avalon is faster than the Acura ILX:
Zero to 60 MPH
Zero to 100 MPH
5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start
Speed in 1/4 Mile
The Avalon XLE’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the ILX (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Avalon XSE/Limited/Touring’s standard fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the ILX (15.8 vs. 13.2 gallons).
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Avalon higher (5 out of 10) than the Acura ILX (3). This means the Avalon produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the ILX every 15,000 miles.
The Avalon stops much shorter than the ILX:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
For better traction, the Avalon XSE/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ILX (235/40R19 vs. 225/40R18).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Avalon XSE/Touring has standard 19-inch wheels. The ILX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
The Avalon 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 ILX; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
The Avalon offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The ILX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon’s wheelbase is 7.9 inches longer than on the ILX (113 inches vs. 105.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon is 3.4 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the ILX.
The Avalon Touring handles at .85 G’s, while the ILX A-SPEC pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Avalon a Mid-size car, while the ILX is rated a Compact.
The Avalon has 15 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ILX (104.3 vs. 89.3).
The Avalon has .5 inches more front headroom, 5.5 inches more front hip room, 2.7 inches more front shoulder room, 2 inches more rear headroom, 6.3 inches more rear legroom, 3.1 inches more rear hip room and 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the ILX.
The Avalon has a much larger trunk than the ILX (16.1 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).
To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Avalon’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the ILX’s useful trunk space.
The Avalon’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The ILX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
The Avalon uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The ILX 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.
The Avalon Limited/Touring’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 ILX doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The power windows standard on both the Avalon and the ILX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Avalon is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The ILX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Avalon’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The ILX’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
The Avalon Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The ILX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
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’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the ILX’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Avalon detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The ILX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Avalon Limited/Touring has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The ILX doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Avalon Limited/Touring also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
The Avalon Limited/XSE/Touring has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The ILX offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Both the Avalon and the ILX have standard heated front seats. The Avalon Limited/Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ILX.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Avalon Limited/Touring keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The ILX doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Avalon Limited/Touring’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The ILX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
Both the Avalon and the ILX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Avalon has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The ILX doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
Insurance will cost less for the Avalon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon will cost $235 less than the ILX over a five-year period.
The Toyota Avalon outsold the Acura ILX by almost three to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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