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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 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
Both the Avalon and the 4 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, rear cross-path warning 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 4 Series Gran Coupe has not been tested, yet.
Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Avalon 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 4 Series Gran Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are almost 4 times as many Toyota dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Avalon’s warranty.
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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, 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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. BMW is ranked 8th.
The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 53 more horsepower (301 vs. 248) and 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 258) than the 430i Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
The Avalon stops much shorter than the 4 Series Gran Coupe:
4 Series Gran Coupe
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
For better traction, the Avalon XSE/TRD/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe (235/40R19 vs. 225/45R18).
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 4 Series Gran Coupe; 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 2.4 inches longer than on the 4 Series Gran Coupe (113 inches vs. 110.6 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon is 1.8 inches wider in the front and .7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 4 Series Gran Coupe.
The design of the Toyota Avalon amounts to more than styling. The Avalon has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (.29) 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 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 4 Series Gran Coupe is rated a Compact.
The Avalon has 12.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (104.3 vs. 92).
The Avalon has 3.5 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 6.6 inches more rear legroom and 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the 4 Series Gran Coupe.
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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The Avalon’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.
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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
Insurance will cost less for the Avalon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon will cost $2500 to $6930 less than the 4 Series Gran Coupe over a five-year period.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Avalon is less expensive to operate than the 4 Series Gran Coupe because it costs $81 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Avalon than the 4 Series Gran Coupe, including $360 less for a water pump, $526 less for a muffler, $50 less for front brake pads, $91 less for a starter, $65 less for fuel injection, $229 less for front struts and $312 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 $11418 to $15425 less than for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Avalon, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Toyota Avalon outsold the BMW 4 Series by 7% during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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