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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 Mercedes A-Class 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 Mercedes A-Class doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
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 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 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 A-Class doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
To help make backing safer, the Avalon’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 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 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.
Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Avalon 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 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’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Avalon 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.
The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 113 more horsepower (301 vs. 188) and 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 221) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
The Avalon XLE’s standard fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the A-Class (14.5 vs. 13.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Avalon XSE/Limited/TRD/Touring’s standard fuel tank has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the A-Class (15.8 vs. 13.5 gallons).
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 A-Class.
For better stopping power the Avalon TRD’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the A-Class:
For better traction, the Avalon has larger standard tires than the A-Class (215/55R17 vs. 205/55R17). The Avalon XSE/TRD/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A-Class (235/40R19 vs. 205/55R17).
The Avalon XSE/TRD/Touring’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A-Class’ 55 series tires.
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 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.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon’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 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A-Class.
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 A-Class doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Avalon a Mid-size car, while the A-Class is rated a Compact.
The Avalon has 11.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A-Class (104.3 vs. 93).
The Avalon has .3 inches more front legroom, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 6.4 inches more rear legroom and 3.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A-Class.
The Avalon has a much larger trunk than the A-Class (16.1 vs. 8.6 cubic feet).
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 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 has standard extendable sun visors. The A-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The Avalon has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the A-Class. 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 A-Class.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Avalon, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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