2019 Toyota Avalon vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

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 MKZ 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 that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The MKZ 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 MKZ 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 MKZ 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

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 MKZ was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

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. Lincoln only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the MKZ.

There are over 45 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Lincoln dealers, which makes it 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 MKZ’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 39 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Lincoln is ranked 20th.

Engine

The Avalon has more powerful engines than the MKZ:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Avalon 3.5 DOHC V6

301 HP

267 lbs.-ft.

MKZ Hybrid 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

188 HP

n/a

MKZ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

245 HP

275 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Toyota Avalon is faster than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

Avalon

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

9.4 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.3 sec

25.3 sec

21.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.7 sec

9.1 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

17.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

83 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

109 MPH

135 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Avalon

 

FWD

XLE 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/32 hwy

 

 

XSE/Limited/Touring 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/31 hwy

MKZ

 

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/31 hwy

 

 

3.0 turbo V6

18 city/27 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

 

 

3.0 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 MKZ.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Avalon

MKZ

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon is .5 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the MKZ.

The Avalon Touring handles at .85 G’s, while the MKZ Hybrid pulls only .83 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 MKZ Premiere (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Avalon XLE’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (37.7 feet vs. 39 feet). The Avalon Limited/Touring’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (38.7 feet vs. 39 feet).

Passenger Space

The Avalon has 7.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKZ (104.3 vs. 96.6).

The Avalon has .6 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 3.3 inches more rear legroom, 1 inch more rear hip room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

The Avalon has a larger trunk than the MKZ (16.1 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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 MKZ’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 MKZ’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 $595 to $6175 less than the MKZ 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 MKZ only retains 38.09% to 40.84%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Avalon will be $4142 to $13301 less than for the Lincoln MKZ.

Recommendations

The Toyota Avalon outsold the Lincoln MKZ by 69% during 2018.

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

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