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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 Legacy 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.
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 Legacy only offers a rear monitor.
Both the Avalon and the Legacy have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.
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 Legacy has not been tested, yet.
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. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Legacy.
There are almost 2 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Subaru 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 Legacy 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Subaru is ranked fourth.
The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 119 more horsepower (301 vs. 182) and 91 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 176) than the Legacy 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 41 more horsepower (301 vs. 260) than the Legacy XT’s standard 2.4 turbo 4 cyl.
For better stopping power the Avalon TRD’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Legacy:
For better traction, the Avalon XSE/TRD/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Legacy (235/40R19 vs. 225/55R17).
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 Legacy Sport/Limited/Touring’s 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Avalon XSE/TRD/Touring has standard 19-inch wheels. The Legacy’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
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 Legacy’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Avalon has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Legacy doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon’s wheelbase is 4.7 inches longer than on the Legacy (113 inches vs. 108.3 inches).
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 Legacy doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Avalon has .3 inches more front hip room, .2 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom and .8 inches more rear legroom than the Legacy.
The Avalon has a larger trunk than the Legacy (16.1 vs. 15.1 cubic feet).
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 Legacy’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
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 Legacy’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The Avalon’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.
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 Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.
Both the Avalon and the Legacy offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Avalon has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Legacy doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
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 Legacy doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Avalon, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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