2019 Toyota Avalon vs. 2019 Subaru Legacy

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 Legacy only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Avalon and the Legacy have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems 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. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Legacy.

There are almost 2 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Avalon’s warranty.

Reliability

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th.

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

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

Engine

The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 126 more horsepower (301 vs. 175) and 93 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 174) than the Legacy 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 45 more horsepower (301 vs. 256) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 247) than the Legacy 3.6R Limited’s standard 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Avalon is faster than the Subaru Legacy:

 

Avalon

Legacy 2.5i

Legacy 3.6R

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

9.2 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

17 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

84.9 MPH

96.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Avalon gets better fuel mileage than the Legacy 3.6R Limited (22 city/31 hwy vs. 20 city/28 hwy). The Avalon XLE gets better fuel mileage than the Legacy 3.6R Limited (22 city/32 hwy vs. 20 city/28 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Avalon

Legacy

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.6 inches

The Avalon stops shorter than the Legacy:

 

Avalon

Legacy

 

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Avalon XSE/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Legacy (235/40R19 vs. 225/55R17).

The Avalon XSE/Touring’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Legacy Sport/Limited’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Avalon XSE/Touring has standard 19-inch wheels. The Legacy’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 Legacy’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon’s wheelbase is 4.7 inches longer than on the Legacy (113 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

The Avalon Touring handles at .85 G’s, while the Legacy 3.6R Limited pulls only .79 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 Legacy 2.5i Limited (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .6 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 Legacy doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Avalon has .3 inches more front hip room, .2 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom and 2.2 inches more rear legroom than the Legacy.

Cargo Capacity

The Avalon has a much larger trunk than the Legacy (16.1 vs. 15 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Avalon to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Subaru doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Legacy.

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 Legacy doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Avalon and the Legacy have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Avalon is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Legacy prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Legacy’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Legacy Premium//Limited’s optional power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

The Avalon Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Legacy’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Avalon’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited.

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

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Avalon Limited/Touring keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Legacy doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Avalon Limited/Touring’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Legacy doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited.

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

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

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