2019 Toyota Avalon vs. 2019 Dodge Charger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Charger only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Avalon and the Charger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Toyota Avalon is safer than the Charger:

 

Avalon

Charger

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

153

222

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

26 cm

28 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.7/.5 kN

3.7/3 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.32/.59

1.21/.58

Tibia forces R/L

2.1/1.8 kN

3/4.7 kN

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 Charger was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Avalon’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Charger runs out after 60,000 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. Dodge doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Charger.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Avalon has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Charger.

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 Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 19th.

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 Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 70 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Dodge is ranked 21st.

Engine

The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 9 more horsepower (301 vs. 292) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 260) than the Charger’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6. The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 1 more horsepower (301 vs. 300) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 264) than the Charger’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Avalon

 

FWD

XLE 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/32 hwy

 

 

XSE/Limited/Touring 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/31 hwy

Charger

 

RWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/30 hwy

 

 

5.7 OHV V8

16 city/25 hwy

 

 

6.4 OHV V8

15 city/25 hwy

 

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/27 hwy

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 Dodge Charger (3). This means the Avalon produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Charger every 15,000 miles.

Tires and Wheels

The Avalon XLE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Charger SXT’s standard 65 series tires.

Chassis

The Toyota Avalon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 700 pounds less than the Dodge Charger.

The design of the Toyota Avalon amounts to more than styling. The Avalon has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Charger (.304 to .335) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Avalon get better fuel mileage.

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 Charger doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Avalon has .3 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and .2 inches more rear legroom than the Charger.

Ergonomics

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 Charger’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 Charger’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 Charger 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’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Dodge charges extra for heated mirrors on the Charger.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Avalon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon will cost $1785 to $8585 less than the Charger 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 $1409 to $13562 less than for the Dodge Charger.

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

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