2020 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2019 Toyota Avalon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Avalon doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Avalon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.

Warranty

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Avalon’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Avalon’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4 Series Gran Coupe for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Avalon (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

Reliability

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The battery on the 4 Series Gran Coupe is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Avalon’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Avalon isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

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The 440i Gran Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 19 more horsepower (320 vs. 301) and 63 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 267) than the Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the 430i Gran Coupe is faster than the Toyota Avalon V6:

4 Series

Avalon

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

6.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.9 sec

15.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

14.8 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

On the EPA test cycle the 430i Gran Coupe RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Avalon V6 XLE (23 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Avalon doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Avalon XLE’s standard fuel tank (15.8 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Avalon:

430i

440i

Avalon

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

11.06 inches

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Avalon are solid, not vented.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe stops shorter than the Avalon:

4 Series

Avalon

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 4 Series Gran Coupe has larger standard tires than the Avalon (225/45R18 vs. 215/55R17).

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Avalon XLE’s standard 55 series tires. The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s optional 255/35R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Avalon XSE/Touring’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Avalon XLE.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 4 Series Gran Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Avalon doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Avalon’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 430i Gran Coupe handles at .89 G’s, while the Avalon Touring pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Avalon XLE’s (37.1 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe is 1 foot, 1.2 inches shorter than the Avalon, making the 4 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe has 1.4 inches more front headroom and .1 inches more front legroom than the Avalon.

Cargo Capacity

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Avalon (17 vs. 16.1 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Avalon doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the 4 Series Gran Coupe is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Avalon. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Avalon doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the 4 Series Gran Coupe the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Avalon can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Avalon XLE/Touring’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Avalon doesn’t offer headlight washers.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 4 Series Gran Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Avalon doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Avalon doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Toyota Avalon isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the 4 Series Gran Coupe owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 4 Series Gran Coupe with a number “1” insurance rate while the Avalon is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is less expensive to operate than the Avalon because typical repairs cost much less on the 4 Series Gran Coupe than the Avalon, including $197 less for a fuel pump and $335 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The Avalon has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The Avalon has never been an “All Star.”

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

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