2020 Toyota Avalon 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 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 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 A3 Sedan 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 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 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 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 is safer than the Audi A3 Sedan:

Avalon

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 is safer than the Audi A3 Sedan:

Avalon

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 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 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 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’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’s reliability 45 points higher than the A3 Sedan.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Avalon 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’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 117 more horsepower (301 vs. 184) and 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 221) than the A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 73 more horsepower (301 vs. 228) and 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 258) than the A3 Sedan 45 TFSI’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Avalon XLE’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s standard fuel tank (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Avalon XSE/Limited/TRD/Touring’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan 45 TFSI Quattro’s standard fuel tank (15.8 vs. 14.5 gallons).

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Toyota Avalon, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A3 Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

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The Avalon offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The A3 Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon’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 is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A3 Sedan.

Chassis

© 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 design of the Toyota Avalon amounts to more than styling. The Avalon 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 get better fuel mileage.

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 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 a Mid-size car, while the A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The Avalon has 18.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (104.3 vs. 86).

The Avalon has .9 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 3.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 5.2 inches more rear legroom and 4.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

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The Avalon 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 Limited/Touring, 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 Limited/Touring’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 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 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’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 Limited/Touring 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 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 A3 Sedan’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Avalon and the A3 Sedan have standard heated front seats. The Avalon Limited/Touring 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 Limited/Touring 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 Limited/Touring’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 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon will cost $380 to $4885 less than the A3 Sedan 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 A3 Sedan only retains 36.82% to 38.8%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Avalon is less expensive to operate than the A3 Sedan because it costs $518 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Avalon than the A3 Sedan, including $157 less for a water pump, $223 less for a muffler, $27 less for a starter, $109 less for front struts and $457 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Avalon will be $1429 to $9352 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® recommends the Toyota Avalon, 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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