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2012 Toyota Avalon

Overview
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2012 Toyota Avalon Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The 2012 Toyota Avalon sedan is more than just the company's flagship car, it's a testament to Toyota's ability to adapt its product to the uniquely American market. There are still a lot of people out there who like cars, not SUVs or CUVs or pickups, but cars. And, within that population there are many who like their cars big, plush and carefree. With the exception of the carefree part, this used to be the sole domain of the American automobile industry, with names like Buick Electra and Mercury Grand Marquis leading the way. Today, there are only a few large near-luxury sedans offered, making the Avalon's job all the easier. With appointments approaching a Lexus level of refinement and comfort, the 2012 Toyota Avalon 4-door sedan can easily handle competition from such heavyweights as the Buick LaCrosse and Chrysler 300. However, Hyundai's Genesis might be able to cause the big Toyota some heartburn, with features equaling and in some cases exceeding the Avalon's at a very competitive price.

You'll Like This Car If...

Looking for a big, soft-riding cruiser with loads of creature comforts, room for five and a massive trunk? Look no further than the 2012 Toyota Avalon sedan.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the 2012 Toyota Avalon is big on comfort and quality, it's not really a looker. Those who seek a more stylish and sophisticated design may be happier with the Hyundai Genesis, Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus or Chrysler 300.

What's New for 2012

Fresh from a mild makeover last year, there are no major changes to the 2012 Toyota Avalon sedan.

Driving the Avalon

Driving Impressions As one might expect, the 2012 Toyota Avalon is in its element when cruising broad expanses of smooth, straight highway. A compliant ride takes precedent over quick reflexes, but most...

Avalon buyers will likely find the car more than exceeds their performance expectations. Steering response and brake feel are strong, but again they do not promote the same type of driving excitement one gets from driving a Chrysler 300C or Ford Taurus SHO. The 2012 Toyota Avalon sedan's front seats are soft and wide without much in the way of lateral support. In back, the Avalon sedan delivers head and legroom in spades, and features a class-exclusive reclining rear seatback. While a relatively low center tunnel makes 3-across seating at least a short-term possibility, the two outboard spots are clearly the locations of choice. One caveat: Because the seatbacks don't fold flat and trunk capacity is a mere 14.7 cubic feet, the Avalon's cargo-toting skills are relatively modest.

Optional DVD-based Navigation system
The 2012 Toyota Avalon sedan brings a new-generation DVD-based navigation voice-activated system that features a larger than normal LCD touch screen with improved graphics, more intuitive controls and an overall higher degree of user-friendliness.

Reclining rear seatbacks
Included on both 2012 Toyota Avalon sedan models, the 60/40 split seatback offers five positions of manually adjustable recline that adds even more long-distance appeal to the Avalon's exceptionally accommodating aft quarters.

2012 Toyota Avalon Details
Interior

To list the 2012 Toyota Avalon's interior attributes would take up more space than this review allows. Suffice to say a well-isolated cabin is at the top of the list, as is the lovely soft-touch padding on just about every surface. An Optitron electroluminescent gauge cluster is entertaining as well as easy on the eyes, and a reconfigured center stack plays home to the available DVD-navigation with its 7-inch LCD screen. With leather seating standard, even the least expensive Avalon sedan feels like a 5-star luxury car, and by opting for the available heated and cooled seats, some may feel they've gotten a Lexus at a Toyota price, and they just might be right.

Exterior

Last year's mild makeover brought a slightly more modern feel to the Toyota Avalon's nose and taillights, but the rest of the car remains ultra conservative and slightly dated. The 2012 Toyota Avalon sedan features bulging halogen/HID headlights and LED-infused taillights with plenty of chrome touches all over the car signaling its near-luxury intent. Both the base and Limited cars ride on 17-inch wheels and tires, but the Limited gets a handsome set of 10-spoke mirror-finish rims befitting its higher pecking order status.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Toyota Avalon sedan boasts an impressive features roster that includes a full array of power assists, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, wood-grain trim, power moonroof, 9-speaker premium audio system with XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB/Aux/iPod inputs, a rearview monitor, power front seats, class-exclusive reclining rear seatbacks, seven airbags and Toyota's comprehensive Five Star Safety System with new brake override circuitry. The Avalon Limited adds a 12-speaker/660-watt JBL Premium Synthesis audio system, full climate-controlled front seats, enhanced perforated-leather and wood-grain trims, 4-door Smart Key with Push Button Start, a power rear sunshade, full HID headlights and more. All 2012 Toyota Avalon sedans include electronic traction and stability control, front side-impact and full-length side-curtain airbags, as well as a driver's knee airbag.

Optional Equipment

The extras list for either version of the 2012 Toyota Avalon sedan is a short one. Key enhancements for the standard Avalon include the same 660-watt JBL premium audio system that comes in the Limited – with or without a DVD-based navigation system that trims the disc count in the CD changer from six to four. Also on offer are heated front seats, alone or as part of a package that includes a driver-seat/power-mirror-memory system and an 8-way power passenger seat. Save for a dealer-installed remote engine starter that also can be fitted to the base Avalon, the Limited limits its options to the aforementioned DVD-based navigation system.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Toyota Avalon sedan's sole engine/transmission combo – Toyota's 3.5-liter V6 and a 6-speed automatic transmission – delivers an impressive combination of swiftness, smoothness and economy. Although the engine's 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque are hardly the stuff of legend, it features efficiency-boosting VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) on both the intake and exhaust side. Coupled with a responsive multi-mode 6-speed automatic transmission, it helps this roughly 3,600-pound sedan impressively sprint from 0-60 mph in less than seven seconds.


3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29

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2012 Toyota Avalon Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 514 Ratings for the 2005 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Marvelous vehicle

By on Thursday, November 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "For traveling this car is hard to beat."

Cons: "Wish it had electric retractable side mirrors."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"What an elegant operating and riding car! Stylish, yet conservative. Incredible amount of room inside and be rear leg room in rear I have ever seen. New Avalons are shorter and take away space at rear seat. The reclining rear seats and heated front seats are awesome. Fuel mileage is terrific for a large car. (over 30 mpg on highway) Sound system is super."

Close to Perfect.

By on Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Lovely car to own and drive."

Cons: "Bring back ambient lighting."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is my second Avalon. Toyota is very near creating the perfect luxury sedan at an affordable price. Interior ambient lighting should be brought back. Some electronic link issues with Bluetooth need to be perfected. Automatic wiper function is less then perfect. When fully loaded with luggage and guests, it is not a very good ride Other than these small details it is a very enjoyable and lovely car to drive and own."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great car and great value

By on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Still looks like new!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Same car as a Lexus only $20K cheaper! Very satisfied!People can't believe it is a 2006, looks like new."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Six years and still happy.

By on Monday, October 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Economical, comfortable and reliable"

Cons: "Highway road noise, lack of "sportiness""

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I purchased this car brand new six years ago and it has served me well. Although not quite as sporty looking as the Lexus ES, it is the same car without the insulation....and the price tag. I got the Limited package and everything has worked flawlessly through the years. The only maintenance I have done is the obvious, service the fluids regularly and buy tires. After 82K, I've not even had to have a brake job....though it will come soon. Without getting into the minutiae, the Avalon has adequate power and gets great gas mileage. (29 mpg on long trips) It is not as quiet as it's Lexus counterpart, due to less insulation, but the ride is still comfortable. I gave it a six for driving dynamics because it drives...like you would expect a front wheel non-performance sedan to drive, sluggish when cornering and light on the back end and a noticeable lag when punching the accelerator to the floor. My grown son told me when I bought it, "It's a nice car but it ain't very sexy!" It all depends on what your looking for. I found comfort and reliability in an economical package."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

A joy to drive, great preformance.

By on Thursday, October 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

2007 Toyota - Avalon A real joy ride!

"Beautiful ride inside and out. Great accelerations with a smooth ride. Lots of room in car and truck. Great gas mileage."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

2007 Toyota - Avalon A real joy ride!

Best car we have ever owned!

By on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,265

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great mileage, comfortable ride, great leg room."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Single owner. Complete maintenance records. Voice activated Nav system, 6 CD in-dash w/AM/FM radio. Tires and brakes rated in the Green at last (July) inspection. Tried to upload photo; but after downsizing it three times, the system still would not take it. Sorry!"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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