2019 Toyota Avalon vs. 2019 Ford Fusion

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Avalon 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 Fusion doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Avalon Limited/Touring offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Fusion 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 Fusion 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 and the Fusion 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Fusion.

Reliability

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.

Engine

The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 126 more horsepower (301 vs. 175) and 92 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 175) than the Fusion’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 120 more horsepower (301 vs. 181) and 82 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 185) than the Fusion SE/SEL’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 61 more horsepower (301 vs. 240) than the Fusion’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Avalon V6 is faster than the Ford Fusion 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:

 

Avalon

Fusion

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

91.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Avalon

 

FWD

XLE 3.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

 

 

3.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

Fusion

 

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

 

 

Sport 2.7 turbo V6

17 city/26 hwy

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Avalon

Fusion

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

The Avalon stops shorter than the Fusion:

 

Avalon

Fusion

 

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

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 Fusion S’ standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Avalon XLE has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Fusion S.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon is .1 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Fusion.

The Avalon Touring handles at .85 G’s, while the Fusion Sport AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Avalon Touring executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Fusion SE (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Avalon has .8 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom, .4 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fusion.

Servicing Ease

The Avalon uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Fusion 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.

Ergonomics

The Avalon’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Fusion SEL/Titanium/Sport.

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

The Avalon has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Fusion SEL/Titanium/Sport. 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 Fusion.

The Avalon has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Fusion.

Both the Avalon and the Fusion 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 Fusion doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Avalon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon will cost $310 less than the Fusion over a five-year period.

The Avalon will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Avalon will retain 47.15% to 48.78% of its original price after five years, while the Fusion only retains 41.66% to 42.58%.

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

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