2020 Toyota Avalon vs. 2019 Ford Taurus

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 2019/10/14

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 Ford Taurus doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear 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 Taurus doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Avalon has a standard Pre-Collision System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Taurus offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

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 Taurus 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 Taurus doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Toyota Avalon has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Taurus doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

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 Taurus only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Avalon and the Taurus have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 and rearview cameras.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Toyota Avalon is safer than the Taurus:

Avalon

Taurus

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

4 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.32/.59

1.19/.41

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 Ford Taurus:

Avalon

Taurus

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.2 inches

Abdominal Force

156 G’s

173 G’s

Hip Force

318 lbs.

337 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

266

284

Hip Force

686 lbs.

910 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

18 inches

HIC

267

376

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

719 lbs.

743 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 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Taurus was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

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 2019/10/14

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. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Taurus.

Reliability

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

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

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The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 13 more horsepower (301 vs. 288) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 254) than the Taurus’ standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Avalon is faster than the Ford Taurus V6:

Avalon

Taurus

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

95 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2019/10/14

On the EPA test cycle the Avalon XLE gets better fuel mileage than the Taurus FWD with its standard engine (22 city/32 hwy vs. 18 city/26 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Avalon higher (5 out of 10) than the Ford Taurus (3). This means the Avalon produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Taurus every 15,000 miles.

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 six-speed automatic is available for the Taurus.

Tires and Wheels

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The Avalon XLE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Taurus SE’s standard 60 series tires. The Avalon XSE/TRD/Touring’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Taurus Limited’s 45 series tires.

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 Taurus’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Avalon Touring handles at .85 G’s, while the Taurus Limited pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Avalon Touring executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Taurus SEL (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Avalon XLE’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Taurus SHO’s (37.7 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Toyota Avalon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 600 pounds less than the Ford Taurus.

The Avalon is 7 inches shorter than the Taurus, making the Avalon easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Taurus (.32 to .33) 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 Taurus doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Avalon has 2.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Taurus (104.3 vs. 102.2).

The Avalon has .4 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Taurus.

Ergonomics

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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 Taurus doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Avalon’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Taurus’ parking brake has to released manually.

The Avalon’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Taurus’ passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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 Taurus can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Avalon’s driver power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Taurus’ power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Avalon’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Taurus’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Taurus’ headlights are rated “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 Taurus doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Avalon’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Taurus SEL/Limited/SHO.

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 Taurus’ mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Avalon has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Taurus SEL/Limited/SHO.

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 Taurus doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 $155 less than the Taurus 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 Taurus only retains 35.57% to 41.38%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Avalon is less expensive to operate than the Taurus because it costs $45 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Avalon than the Taurus, including $175 less for a water pump, $393 less for a muffler and $150 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 $2944 to $7715 less than for the Ford Taurus.

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 2019/10/14

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Toyota Avalon and the Ford Taurus, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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