2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid vs. 2020 Ford Fusion Plug-In Hybrid

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 2019/10/23

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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid 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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid 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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Avalon Hybrid and the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

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 Ford Fusion Plug-In Hybrid:

Avalon Hybrid

Fusion Plug-In Hybrid

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

156 G’s

353 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

59 G’s

Hip Force

686 lbs.

720 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

17 inches

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

50 G’s

Hip Force

719 lbs.

768 lbs.

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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

© 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 2019/10/23

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. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Avalon Hybrid has a standard 582-amp battery. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 50 points higher than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid.

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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.

Engine

© 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 2019/10/23

The Avalon Hybrid’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 20 more horsepower (215 vs. 195) than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Avalon Hybrid XSE/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid (235/45R18 vs. 225/50R17).

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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Avalon Hybrid XSE/Limited has standard 18-inch wheels. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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

Chassis

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The Toyota Avalon Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Ford Fusion Plug-In Hybrid.

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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Avalon Hybrid has .8 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear legroom, .3 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

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The Avalon Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid (16.1 vs. 8.2 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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The Avalon Hybrid uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid 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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s headlights are rated “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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid 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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Avalon Hybrid and the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid 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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Avalon Hybrid offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 $900 to $1640 less than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid 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 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid only retains 33.66%.

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 2019/10/23

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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