2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid vs. 2019 Mercedes A-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Avalon Hybrid have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Mercedes A-Class doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Avalon Hybrid are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mercedes A-Class doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Avalon Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The A-Class doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

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 A-Class doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the Avalon Hybrid’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The A-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Avalon Hybrid and the A-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

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 A-Class has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Avalon Hybrid 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the A-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A-Class 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. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the A-Class.

There are over 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Avalon Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Avalon Hybrid second among large cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The A-Class 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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, 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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 17th.

Engine

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The Avalon Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 27 more horsepower (215 vs. 188) than the A-Class’ 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 A-Class:

MPG

Avalon Hybrid

FWD

XLE 2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/44 hwy

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/43 hwy

A-Class

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/35 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

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

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 A-Class doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Avalon Hybrid has larger standard tires than the A-Class (215/55R17 vs. 205/55R17). The Avalon Hybrid XSE/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A-Class (235/45R18 vs. 205/55R17).

The Avalon Hybrid XSE/Limited’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A-Class’ 55 series tires.

The Avalon Hybrid has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the A-Class; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon Hybrid’s wheelbase is 5.6 inches longer than on the A-Class (113 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon Hybrid is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A-Class.

Chassis

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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 A-Class 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 A-Class doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid a Mid-size car, while the A-Class is rated a Compact.

The Avalon Hybrid has 10.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A-Class (103.8 vs. 93).

The Avalon Hybrid has .3 inches more front legroom, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, 6.5 inches more rear legroom and 3.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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The Avalon Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the A-Class (16.1 vs. 8.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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If the windows are left open on the Avalon Hybrid 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. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the A-Class can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Avalon Hybrid has standard extendable sun visors. The A-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Avalon Hybrid has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the A-Class. 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 A-Class.

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 2019/10/16

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

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

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