2019 Toyota Avalon vs. 2019 Ford Taurus

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 Taurus doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Avalon has a standard Pre-Collision System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Taurus offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

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 Taurus doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Toyota Avalon has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Taurus doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

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

Both the Avalon and the Taurus 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 and rearview cameras.

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 Taurus.

Reliability

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 13 more horsepower (301 vs. 288) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 254) than the Taurus’ standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Avalon V6 is faster than the Ford Taurus V6:

 

Avalon

Taurus

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

95 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Avalon

 

FWD

XLE 3.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

 

 

3.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

Taurus

 

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

18 city/26 hwy

 

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

17 city/24 hwy

 

 

SHO 3.5 turbo V6

16 city/24 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 Ford Taurus (3). This means the Avalon produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Taurus 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 six-speed automatic is available for the Taurus.

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 Taurus SE’s standard 60 series tires. The Avalon XSE/Touring’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Taurus Limited’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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 Taurus’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Avalon Touring handles at .85 G’s, while the Taurus Limited pulls only .82 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 Taurus SEL (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Avalon XLE’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Taurus SHO’s (37.7 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

Chassis

The Toyota Avalon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 600 pounds less than the Ford Taurus.

The Avalon is 7 inches shorter than the Taurus, making the Avalon easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Taurus (.32 to .33) 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 Taurus doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Avalon has 2.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Taurus (104.3 vs. 102.2).

The Avalon has .4 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 2.2 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Taurus.

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 Taurus’ passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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

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 Taurus’ mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 is only available on the Taurus SEL/Limited/SHO.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Avalon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon will cost $145 less than the Taurus 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 Taurus only retains 38.46% to 44.28%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Avalon will be $3003 to $7462 less than for the Ford Taurus.

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

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