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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Avalon 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 Alfa Romeo Giulia doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Avalon 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 Alfa Romeo Giulia doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
The Avalon 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 Giulia doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Avalon 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 Giulia 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 Limited/Touring offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Giulia doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
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 Giulia 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 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 Giulia 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 and the Giulia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.
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 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Giulia has not been fully tested, yet.
Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Avalon 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Alfa Romeo covers the Giulia. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Giulia ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The Avalon’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Giulia’s (5 vs. 4 years).
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. Alfa Romeo only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Giulia.
There are over 7 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Avalon’s warranty.
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’s reliability 73 points higher than the Giulia.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Avalon second among large cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Giulia 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 Alfa Romeo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Alfa Romeo is ranked 29th, below the industry average.
The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 21 more horsepower (301 vs. 280) than the Giulia’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Avalon higher (5 out of 10) than the Alfa Romeo Giulia (3). This means the Avalon produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Giulia every 15,000 miles.
The Avalon stops much shorter than the Giulia:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the Avalon XSE/TRD/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Giulia (235/40R19 vs. 225/40R19).
The Avalon 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 Giulia; 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.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the Giulia (113 inches vs. 111 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon is 1.5 inches wider in the front than the track on the Giulia.
The Avalon Touring handles at .85 G’s, while the Giulia Ti Q4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
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 Giulia doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Avalon has 8.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Giulia (104.3 vs. 95.4).
The Avalon has 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, 5.2 inches more rear legroom and 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Giulia.
The Avalon has a much larger trunk than the Giulia (16.1 vs. 12 cubic feet).
The Avalon Limited/Touring 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 Giulia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
If the windows are left open on the Avalon 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. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Giulia can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
Smart Key System standard on the Avalon allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Alfa Romeo Giulia’s Keyless-Go doesn’t unlock the trunk.
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 Giulia’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 Giulia doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Avalon offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Giulia doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
Insurance will cost less for the Avalon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon will cost $1590 to $6035 less than the Giulia over a five-year period.
The Avalon will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Avalon will retain 42.3% to 43.91% of its original price after five years, while the Giulia only retains 34.65% to 38.01%.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Avalon will be $9401 to $17198 less than for the Alfa Romeo Giulia.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Avalon, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Alfa Romeo Giulia isn't recommended.
The Toyota Avalon outsold the Alfa Romeo Giulia by almost three to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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