2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid vs. 2019 Audi A3 Sedan

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 2019/10/21

The Avalon Hybrid 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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Avalon Hybrid Limited offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Avalon Hybrid Limited offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The A3 Sedan 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.

The Avalon Hybrid has standard Safety Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Avalon Hybrid and the A3 Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Toyota Avalon Hybrid is safer than the Audi A3 Sedan:

Avalon Hybrid

A3 Sedan

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

162

217

Neck Injury Risk

35%

45%

Neck Stress

220 lbs.

427 lbs.

Neck Compression

6 lbs.

143 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Toyota Avalon Hybrid is safer than the Audi A3 Sedan:

Avalon Hybrid

A3 Sedan

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

163

172

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

156 G’s

219 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

266

277

Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

686 lbs.

777 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

267

333

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

47 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 Hybrid its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A3 Sedan is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

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Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Avalon Hybrid 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A3 Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A3 Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Avalon Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A3 Sedan.

There are over 4 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Avalon Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Avalon Hybrid’s reliability 45 points higher than the A3 Sedan.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Avalon Hybrid second among large cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The A3 Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Audi is ranked 7th.

Engine

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The Avalon Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 31 more horsepower (215 vs. 184) than the A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Avalon Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the A3 Sedan:

MPG

Avalon Hybrid

FWD

XLE 2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/44 hwy

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/43 hwy

A3 Sedan

FWD

40 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

AWD

45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Avalon Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Avalon Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A3 Sedan 45 TFSI requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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The Avalon Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon Hybrid’s wheelbase is 9.2 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (113 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon Hybrid is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A3 Sedan.

Chassis

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The design of the Toyota Avalon Hybrid amounts to more than styling. The Avalon Hybrid has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is significantly lower than the A3 Sedan (.32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Avalon Hybrid get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Avalon Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Avalon Hybrid XSE offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

© 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 2019/10/21

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid a Mid-size car, while the A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The Avalon Hybrid has 17.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (103.8 vs. 86).

The Avalon Hybrid has .9 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 3.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 5.3 inches more rear legroom and 4.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

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The Avalon Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the A3 Sedan (16.1 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the Avalon Hybrid Limited, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Avalon Hybrid Limited’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Avalon Hybrid Limited has a standard 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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Hybrid’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the A3 Sedan’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Avalon Hybrid Limited has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the Avalon Hybrid Limited 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 A3 Sedan’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Avalon Hybrid and the A3 Sedan have standard heated front seats. The Avalon Hybrid Limited also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the A3 Sedan.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Avalon Hybrid Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Avalon Hybrid Limited’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Avalon Hybrid owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon Hybrid will cost $165 to $4735 less than the A3 Sedan over a five-year period.

The Avalon Hybrid will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Avalon Hybrid will retain 41.14% to 42.47% of its original price after five years, while the A3 Sedan only retains 36.82% to 38.8%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Avalon Hybrid will be $3195 to $11359 less than for the Audi A3 Sedan.

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 2019/10/21

Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Avalon Hybrid as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Toyota Avalon outsold the Audi A3/S3 by 83% during 2018.

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

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