2021 Volvo S60 vs. 2020 Toyota Avalon

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 2020/10/29

The S60’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Avalon doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the S60 and Avalon have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Avalon’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The S60 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Avalon doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The S60’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Avalon doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S60 and the Avalon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, 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, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Avalon has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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The S60 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Avalon’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The S60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Avalon’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S60 for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Avalon (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the S60 has a standard 800-amp battery. The Avalon’s 582-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the S60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the S60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Avalon’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The S60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 15 more horsepower (316 vs. 301) and 28 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 267) than the Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The S60 Recharge’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 99 more horsepower (400 vs. 301) and 205 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 267) than the Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the S60 T6 is faster than the Toyota Avalon V6:

S60

Avalon

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

6.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.8 sec

15.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

98 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/29

On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Avalon XLE (70 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Avalon:

MPG

S60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

28 city/33 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

Avalon

FWD

XLE 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/32 hwy

3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/31 hwy

The S60 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The Avalon must run its internal combustion engine to move.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S60’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Avalon doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The S60 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Avalon doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S60’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Avalon:

S60 T5

S60 Polestar

Avalon

Avalon TRD

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

11.7 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

11 inches

11.1 inches

The S60’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Avalon are solid, not vented.

The S60 stops much shorter than the Avalon:

S60

Avalon

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S60 has larger tires than the Avalon (235/45R18 vs. 215/55R17).

The S60’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Avalon XLE’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Avalon XLE.

Suspension and Handling

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The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .94 G’s, while the Avalon Touring pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Avalon Touring (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S60’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Avalon XLE’s (37.1 feet vs. 37.7 feet). The S60’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Avalon Limited/Touring’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

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The S60 is 8.5 inches shorter than the Avalon, making the S60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Avalon doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S60 offers cargo security. The Avalon’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the S60. The Avalon doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S60’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Avalon doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Towing

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The S60 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Avalon has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/10/29

The S60 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Avalon doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Avalon Limited/Touring, the S60 R-Design/Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The S60’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Avalon’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the S60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Avalon doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Avalon doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Avalon Limited/Touring’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The S60’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The S60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Avalon.

The S60’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Avalon doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S60 is less expensive to operate than the Avalon because typical repairs cost much less on the S60 than the Avalon, including $24 less for a starter, $30 less for fuel injection, $133 less for front struts, $1062 less for a timing belt/chain and $46 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/10/29

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2019 issue and they ranked the Volvo S60 R-Design AWD higher than the Toyota Avalon Touring.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S60 second among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Avalon isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

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