2019 Toyota Avalon vs. 2019 Audi A4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 A4 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Avalon and the A4 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, 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 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 44 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A4 is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Avalon 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A4.

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’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Avalon has a standard 582-amp battery. The A4’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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.

Engine

The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 113 more horsepower (301 vs. 188) and 31 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 236) than the A4 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 53 more horsepower (301 vs. 248) than the A4 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Avalon is faster than the A4 40 TFSI:

 

Avalon

A4

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

91 MPH

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Avalon higher (5 out of 10) than the Audi A4 (3 to 5). This means the Avalon produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A4 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Toyota Avalon, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A4.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the A4 (113 inches vs. 110 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon is .9 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A4.

The Avalon Touring executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the A4 Premium (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

Chassis

The Avalon offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A4 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Avalon a Mid-size car, while the A4 is rated a Compact.

The Avalon has 12.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A4 (104.3 vs. 92).

The Avalon has .8 inches more front legroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 4.6 inches more rear legroom and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4.

Cargo Capacity

The Avalon has a much larger trunk than the A4 (16.1 vs. 13 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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 A4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 A4’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

The A4’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Avalon Limited/Touring’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

When the Avalon 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 A4’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Avalon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon will cost $650 to $5110 less than the A4 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Avalon will be $5723 to $12606 less than for the Audi A4.

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

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