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2012 Toyota Avalon

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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 565 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

Lexus quality at a Toyota price

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,800

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: "quality, dependability, drivability, performance"

Cons: "None"

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

"Our second Avalon my wife has an 2006 LTD with 149K miles you couldn't pry it away from her. She says when ready she will buy another one but hoping I sell her mine but doubtful :-). Toyota rates MPG at 19 /26. I get 25-26 city and 31/32 Hwy consistently. Best car ever owned 2nd to none. I especially like the timing chain feature in lieu of a timing belt."

So good, I got another one!!

By on Monday, January 04, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Traded for another one w/lower miles and different trim ie Limited

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
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Rear room, low cost of mntnce, engine, reliability"

Cons: "No AUX or Bluetooth with this year model"

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

"4 years ago, 01/2012, the 06 Avalon XLS was purchased used w/130k miles. I recently traded it in (w/176,260 miles, trade offer was $4100 from dealer) for another 06 Avalon but this time the Limited trim. I don't have the navigation option, but that is fine. So as you can see, the 06 Avalon still had good value 10yrs later w/high mileage. Depends on the dealer too. Anyways, it is true about the reliability as you can see with the mileage and that is why I had no problem getting another one recently with 95k miles to start out with. The Avalon is truly a beast of a car, sorry to sound trendy with using the word "beast" but it is. The ride is luxurious and the engine is smooth and quiet and I would confidently say that this engine is the best V6 out there. This car can really move and merge. It responds to you. Very low in cost maintenance. Only wear and tear stuff. I only had to change the alternator (@175k miles), get 1 new battery, and the ignition coils, (3). You can actually do some yourself, well the front bank ones. That's the other beauty about owning an Avalon, a lot of easy DIY work. The car is 10 yrs old, but its aged well. You won't standout unless you sort of change the look like with tint and of course rims, classy rims though, but other than that or if any cons, its mostly personal preference, like for me, I wish this model/year had the AUX or Bluetooth, but I have my other tech stuff to use, but still. 08 and up I believe have these features, but that could easily be added if I wanted it. Oh, may I please add that the AVALON has the most ridiculous rear room ever. At 6'0 and with a wife that is 5'11, long trips do not hurt at all, no seat adjustments needed, sometimes she rides in the back to use the reclining rear seat, and now my daughter does it too, lol. Best family Sedan to have for room and comfort!!!!!! I will stick with the 3rd Generation Avalons."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I love my Toyota Avalon

By on Friday, December 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,631

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Easy to drive. Not tiring to drive. Good road car"

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

"This is my second Toyota Avalon XLS. I love to drive it and the feel of it. My passengers are always impressed with the roominess of the back seats and they love to ride in my car. My car is 9 years old and I haven't had any real issues. This year there has been parts to be replaced CV boot and alternator. Maybe time to replace, maybe."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

GREATEST FWD TOYOTA sedan has ever built

By on Tuesday, December 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very spacious, Quiet cabin and a great performer"

Cons: "None really."

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

"I'm the second owner, and I absolutely love the car. It can keep going and going. The only reason I'm selling is because I want a RWD Lexus. The car is great on gas (The best I got was 29.9 MPG). Absolute joy to drive. Very torquey motor. I surprise plenty of German sedans with the acceleration. I never had an issue with the car. Just preventative maintenance and the car keeps running. The car is great for local and long distance drives. The car has more seating space and legroom than cars costing twice the money. The money I spent on maintenance in the last 6 years on the car is a fraction of what my wife spent on her European in 2 years. 2GR-FE motor is great and will keep running. A well maintained Toyota will run for hundreds of thousands of miles with little expense. Can't say the same for the European cars I've (or my wife has) owned."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Great vehicle

By on Friday, September 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This is one of the best cars I have ever owned for comfort and reliability. If I had to find one point they could improve "a little" it would be to make the seats a little plusher, but I'm picking. This is a great car especially the comfort in the back seat, or so I am told by my guests. Lots of legroom and can actually recline the back seat. Bill"

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

AVALON - Touring

By on Thursday, September 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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: "Reliability is solid"

Cons: "Resale value stinks"

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

"I purchased my Avalon, Touring back in July, 2005. I purchased the car for my wife who only drives it occasionally. As such, its current mileage is 8,100 (yes, 8,100 total miles). Well, the car is still in mint condition as it sits in my garage the majority of time. However, when I looked at KBB.COM, I was surprised to see that my car was only worth about $11k. All in all, it still like the cat, however, the resale value stinks as the car sticker was $35k new."

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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