2020 Toyota Avalon vs. 2020 Chevrolet Impala

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 2019/10/16

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 Chevrolet Impala 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 Impala 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 Impala 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 Impala 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 Impala only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Avalon and the Impala 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, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, 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 Chevrolet Impala:

Avalon

Impala

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

302

412

Neck Injury Risk

25%

36.3%

Neck Compression

64 lbs.

97 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 Impala:

Avalon

Impala

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.32/.59

.68/.32

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 Chevrolet Impala:

Avalon

Impala

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

156 G’s

180 G’s

Hip Force

318 lbs.

332 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

686 lbs.

855 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

13 inches

HIC

267

315

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 Impala was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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The Avalon’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Impala’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 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. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Impala.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Avalon has a standard 582-amp battery. The Impala’s 512-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 15 points higher than the Impala.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Avalon second among large cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Impala 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 Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.

Engine

© 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 2019/10/16

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Avalon is faster than the Chevrolet Impala:

Avalon

Impala

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.4 MPH

96.2 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 2019/10/16

On the EPA test cycle the Avalon gets better fuel mileage than the Impala:

MPG

Avalon

3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/31 hwy

XLE 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/32 hwy

Impala

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/28 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/28 hwy

Transmission

© 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 2019/10/16

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 Impala.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Avalon TRD’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Impala:

Avalon TRD

Impala

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.6 inches

The Avalon stops shorter than the Impala:

Avalon

Impala

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2019/10/16

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 Impala’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the Impala (113 inches vs. 111.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Avalon is .6 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Impala.

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

For better maneuverability, the Avalon XLE’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Impala’s (37.7 feet vs. 38.8 feet). The Avalon Limited/Touring’s turning circle is .1 feet tighter than the Impala’s (38.7 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Avalon is 5.4 inches shorter than the Impala, making the Avalon easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Impala doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Avalon has .9 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, .5 inches more rear legroom, .7 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Impala.

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 Impala doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Avalon’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Impala’s passenger windows don’t 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 Impala can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Impala’s 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 Impala’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Avalon detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Impala doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Impala 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 Impala’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Avalon has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Impala. 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 Impala.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2019/10/16

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Avalon is less expensive to operate than the Impala because it costs $391 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Avalon than the Impala, including $94 less for a water pump, $244 less for a muffler, $49 less for front brake pads, $8 less for fuel injection, $33 less for a fuel pump and $93 less for a power steering pump.

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 2019/10/16

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

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

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