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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 524 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
    9.3/10

agreat car

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

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: "most miles on this car is road miles"

Cons: "none"

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

"bought this car new. It has been maticulasly maintained,has new tires /80,000ile warranthy-michelones, car is in show room condition"

very nice ride comfortable

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "all the bells and whistles.fun to drive."

Cons: "high cost, tire wear."

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

"purchased car 7/17/2012. At 36000 had to replace tires, at 41000 had to replace battery. That's a little soon to me for a $42000 vehicle.I've owned the car 2yrs 6months. Other than that,the car is great, rides and handles and has plenty of power. Other than the cost,it's a heck of a great car."

Almost excellent

By on Thursday, January 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 147,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Gas mileage, mechanical quality, spacious & roomy"

Cons: "Headlight problems, radio reception, door locks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Great car for my family - one 6'5", one 6'7", one 5'9" and one 5'5". Roomy, comfortable even with tall people in front and back. Excellent mileage (29-31 mpg overall), no mechanical problems and interior has held up well. Gentle on tires (running same Michelin tires as original) and only on 3rd set. Rotors tend to warp easily and electronics have been disappointing, but the Nav system works well. All 4 electronic door locks failed within a month of each other, radio reception poor (no external antenna) and known headlight problem Toyota refuses to recall. (High beam bulbs explode if used for more than a limited time.)"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

A Lexus but cost less!

By on Saturday, December 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,450

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Everything about this car is amazing! We love it. We had a 2002 Avalon and drove it until it had 196,000 miles. We loved it too and wanted to get another newer model. We test drove the new 2015 XLE but didn't like it as much as the 2002 XLE. The 2015 is smaller and felt cramped compared to the 2002. The ride was much stiffer and I could feel every road bump through the steering wheel. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great car, but it just wasn't the same. We then noticed a used 2012 Limited that was very well maintained. We test drove it and fell in love with it. The 2012 is the same size as the 2002 but rides and handles a bit better than the 2002. The 2012 also gets great mileage. On trips so far we average 30 to 31 MPG and it's rated at 28 Highway. We highly recommend this vechicle to anyone. Oh, by the way if you haven't guessed, we purchased the 2012 Avalon Limited. We will keep it until it gets 196,000 miles too!"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

super vehicle

By on Friday, December 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,300

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "mostly all positives"

Cons: "needs more road feel in steering,but this is minor"

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

"Great car on all levels.too bad Toyota ruined Avalon In 2013. Car is now smaller,and looks like a poor copy of a Camry.Avalon should be changed to either Camalon,or Avray in name."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Drove Cadillac forforty years. I really enjoy this

By on Monday, November 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,500

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: "Fair price, good value for a car"

Cons: "Hoped it would hold value better"

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

"I really enjoy driving this car. I had to replace the battery, but that is expected when you live in Florida. Very reliable and comfortable."

7 people out of 12 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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