Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 Toyota Prius v VS 2012 Audi A3 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2012 Toyota Prius v

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VS

2012 Audi A3

Safety Comparison

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Both the Prius v and the A3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the Prius v is safer then the A3:

Prius v

A3

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Restraint Design

GOOD

GOOD

Distance from Back of Head

27 mm

40 mm

Distance Below Top of Head

32 mm

50 mm

Dynamic Test Rating

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Seat Design

Pass

Pass

Torso Acceleration

12.3 g’s

13.2 g’s

Neck Force Rating

Low

Medium

Max Neck Shearing Force

0

204

Max Neck Tension

407

806

(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

Warranty Comparison

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Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Prius v 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius v for 1 year longer than Audi pays for maintenance for the A3 (2 years vs. 1 years).

There are almost 5 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Prius v’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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The A3’s redline is at 6300 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Prius v has a 4000 RPM redline.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Prius v’s reliability will be 57% better than the A3.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 18th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 39 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 20th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Prius v gets better fuel mileage than the A3 TDI (44 city/40 hwy vs. 30 city/42 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Prius v uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A3 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The Prius v stops shorter than the A3:

Prius v

A3

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Prius v’s wheelbase is 7.9 inches longer than on the A3 (109.4 inches vs. 101.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Prius v is .1 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A3.

Chassis Comparison

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The design of the Toyota Prius v amounts to more than styling. The Prius v has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the A3 (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Prius v get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Prius v is rated a Mid-size Station Wagon by the EPA, while the A3 is rated a Small Station Wagon.

The Prius v has 8.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 (97.2 vs. 89).

The Prius v has .3 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Prius v’s rear seats recline. The A3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Prius v has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the A3 with its rear seat up (34.3 vs. 19.5 cubic feet). The Prius v has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the A3 with its rear seat folded (67.3 vs. 39 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Prius v offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The A3 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Smart Key System standard on the Prius v allows the driver to unlock the doors, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the car in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Audi A3 doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Prius v has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the A3 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the Prius v’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the A3’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Prius v offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The A3 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Optional Entune for the Prius v allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, searching the internet and other online activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The A3 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

With optional voice command, the Prius v offers the driver hands free control of the radio, climate controls, cell phone and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The A3 doesn’t offer a voice control system.

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