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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 534 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

The nicest and most comfortable vehicle

By on Friday, April 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very comfortable."

Cons: "Small access hole from the rear seat to the trunk."

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

"This is the nicest driving, nicest riding, most comfortable car I have ever owned. Our model has the V6 engine which is crazy powerful. Gas mileage for the V6 averages about 27 hwy."

my 2nd Avalon

By on Friday, April 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

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: "quiet, comfortable for long trips, great value"

Cons: "wind & road noise could be better"

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

"I am in my 70's and have had several new cars. I have had a Avalon 2005 and put 127,000 on it before selling it myself in one day and currently have a 2011 with 41,000 miles. Never a problem with either and I will be getting a 2015 or 2016 soon. The Avalon is the best overall car I have ever had. economical, very dependable & comfortable, very little depreciation. For us it is a prefect car."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

A very nice quality automobile

By on Thursday, April 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"only problem I've had was early on with air conditioning. Computer malfunction that seems to have corrected itself"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Wonderful Large Sedan

By on Monday, March 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

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
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Excellent smooth, quiet ride, overall reliability"

Cons: "Not the most 'sexy' look."

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

"Purchased new. At the time, also drove the slightly smaller Infiniti, Lexus and Acura models. Only model to compare in the 'ride quality' area was a 3 year old Jag XJ8. Only serious reliability/quality issue was the high tail light. Went out just after warranty expired and cost $800 to replace. They had to remove the back seat, and ever since the rear window blind hasn't worked properly. Ride is still exceptionally smooth, engine power more than adequate, road noise a little higher than when new, but body and leather interior still in excellent shape. Will be replacing soon, and will be considering a Venza as the replacement."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

By far, the best car I have ever owned

By on Sunday, March 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very solid and comfortable and unbelievably reliab"

Cons: "None I can think of"

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

"I have owned a lot of cars over my lifetime and this is the best car ever. The ride, the handling, the interior, the room, the reliability, are all superb. I can't tell you how many times I have offered someone a ride and after a few minutes, they ask "Say, what kind of car is this?" They are always impressed. Bought it new and have never had to get anything fixed (I regularly have the car serviced). I have usually kept my cars in warranty but this one is so good that when I try out a new car I always prefer this one -- particularly with the new Avalon which seems to have shrunk in size and has a smaller interior. The only thing is lacks is Bluetooth and that doesn't particularly bother me. When I sit in traffic and look around I almost never see a car that I would prefer over this one."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best Car I've Owned

By on Thursday, February 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Big comfortable, reliable, reasonable."

Cons: "Nothing"

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

"I waited 7 years for the new 2013 model, truly disappointed so much I'm probably leaving TOYOTA after buying 3, looking at Audi's, BMW's. New design outside & inside disappointing. They have CHEAPENED the interior, the front looks like a GIANT CARNIVORE, actually stupid, with no bumper to protect you & yours. Rides in my opinion like a cheap car, no longer plush & comfortable. I've been looking since December 2013, my wife keeps saying about each car I look at, it's not as comfortable or as large as this one, keep it."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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