2020 Toyota Avalon vs. 2020 Mercedes CLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/05/26

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 CLA 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 CLA 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 CLA doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Avalon and the CLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, 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, its standard 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 82 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The CLA has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Avalon 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the CLA. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the CLA 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 CLA.

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.

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 51 points higher than the CLA.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Avalon second among large cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The CLA 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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 80 more horsepower (301 vs. 221) and 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 258) than the CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Avalon uses regular unleaded gasoline. The CLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Avalon XLE’s standard fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the CLA (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 CLA (15.8 vs. 13.5 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 CLA.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Avalon XSE/TRD/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CLA (235/40R19 vs. 225/45R18).

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 CLA’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon’s wheelbase is 5.6 inches longer than on the CLA (113 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

Chassis

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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 CLA doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Avalon a Mid-size car, while the CLA is rated a Compact.

The Avalon has 15.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLA (104.3 vs. 89).

The Avalon has .3 inches more front legroom, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear headroom, 6.4 inches more rear legroom and 3.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the CLA.

Cargo Capacity

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The Avalon has a much larger trunk than the CLA (16.1 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/05/26

Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Avalon as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes CLA isn't recommended.

The Toyota Avalon outsold the Mercedes CLA by over two to one during 2019.

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