Reclining rear seats; seats five passengers in comfort; efficient and strong powerplant; comfortable ride; good visibility.
Refined nature leaves little room for personality or flair; slightly expensive for its segment; front seats lack support; elevated road noise.
2012 Toyota Avalon is the company’s flagship passenger vehicle with smooth handling and quality craftsmanship, which make it a desirable choice amongst full size rivals. It is a solid choice for a large sedan; however some less expensive and newer rivals may be more appealing. The 2012 Avalon delivers comfort in a variety of ways. It’s physical comfort you’re seeking, you will appreciate its smooth, responsive ride and voluptuous interior. If comfort means staying ahead of the curve, you will welcome its technical innovations such as touchscreen navigation. And if you define comfort as peace of mind, you will be happy about its long list of safety features. Comfort can mean different things to different people. Happily, the Avalon offers comfort in a variety of ways.
The Toyota Avalon is basically a large vehicle developed and designed in United States by the Japanese automaker, Toyota. It is the flagship sedan of the company in Canada, United States, the Middle East and Puerto Rico and was also designed from 2000 till July 2005 in Australia, when it was replaced in 2006 by Toyota Aurion. The first Avalon rolled off the assembly line in 1994 in Georgetown, Kentucky. The 2nd generation Avalon was introduced in the year 1999 in Japan and United States. In the new millennium, it was the first Toyota vehicle to be equipped with a non-touchscreen navigation system. The company sold Avalon as filling a gap left by the Toyota Cressida’s discontinuation in 1992 in American market. The Cressida was a higher-level rear wheel drive midsize car with a straight-six powerplant. The Avalon is front wheel drive vehicle propelled by a V6 powertrain.
The Toyota Avalon was offered with front bench seat for full 6-passenger seating, and its column shifter was the first feature in American Toyota car since the 1982 Corona. The XLS models were identical to XLE models of other Toyota vehicles, while the XL models were identical to LE models of other Toyota cars. For 1997 models, antilock braking system was standard, torque increased to 290 newton meters and power rating increased to 150kW. In 1998 a mid cycle refresh was made with minor upgrades to the rear and front fascias, while for 1998, its structure was customized for enhancing safety, whereas the front seat mounted side airbags became standard.
The 2nd generation Toyota Avalon grew bigger in almost all respects and was motivated by a 3.0 liter 1MZ-FE V6 powerplant featuring a VVT-i, shared with Lexus RX300, Toyota Sienna, Toyota Highlander and Lexus ES, generating 157kW and 298 newton meters of torque and mated to four-speed automatic transmission and was still based on stretched Camry platform. It was offered in two different trim levels, which include the upscale XLS and the basic XL. Standard equipments include 4-wheel disc ABS, electroluminescent Optitron gauges, 15-inch alloy wheels and front torso side airbags. Optional features include a navigation system, a JBL audio system, a front row bench seat, enabling up to 6 passengers, a distinguishable attribute of large sized vehicles and Vehicle Stability Control. Larger 16-inch wheels, passenger’s and driver’s power seats and dual climate control were also available.
For 2006 model year, the company expanded the availability of Vehicle Stability Control to Touring and XL trims. The 2007 model had the navigation system made optional for Touring trim and a tire pressure monitoring system standard across all trims. Rear taillamps gain subtle tinting, while the front fascia is revised with a more stunning grille; XL trim levels get a black grille. Other enhancements include chrome exterior door handles for Limited trim, a six-speed automatic transmission, a built-in remote key, restyled alloy wheels for the XLS and Touring trims, Bluetooth integration with all JBL Synthesis audio systems and upgraded rear brakes. Touring trim levels feature a color keyed grille, all models now have a standard in-dash six-CD changer and “Limited” and “XLS” models get a chrome grille. Limited and XLS leather seats now provide a Dark Charcoal color, while the Cocoa Bean Metallic replaces Indigo Ink Pearl exterior color.
A more substantial, wider grille ties into state-of-the-art projector headlights, working with a wide, undisturbed front hood for emphasizing the 2012 Toyota Avalon’s wide stance and suggesting a lowered center of gravity. The headlights fuse halogen or HID low beams with multi reflector halogen high beams and use light pipes for creating a signature, night-time appearance. The front foglights, now incorporated into a trapezoidal front bumper, offer a wider angle of illumination. It is improved by redesigned rocker panels, glare-resistant outer mirrors with incorporated turn signals and additional use of chrome trim. Dual exhaust pipes are incorporated into cutaway trapezoid shape of lower bumper for a contemporary image. Taillamps have been redesigned for reducing turbulence at the back, helping to create a lower coefficient of drag.
For several years, large vehicles were as much a part of American landscape as drive-in theaters. Within this group, the 2012 Toyota Avalon continues to be a respectable and well-known choice. Introduced in the year 2005, the present, Camry based Avalon is one of the oldest models of the company, even if it underwent a significant design overhaul in 2011. However, there is still a lot to like here, including excellent visibility, a refined ride and a spacious cabin. Maintaining big sedan tradition is its massive rearseat that boasts abundant headroom, an available power rear sunshade and standard reclining seatbacks.
Unlike in years past, the 2012 Toyota Avalon now faces more competent rivals, including the impressively redesigned Chrysler 300, the stylish Buick LaCrosse, the upscale Hyundai Genesis and the tech-oriented Ford Taurus. Unlike these models, it can come off as a bit boring and less refined because of its overall driving demeanor and conservative styling. Probably most significantly, the base price of Avalon when new starts anywhere from about $3,000-$7,000 above base versions of its chief competitors.
The 2012 Toyota Avalon is a large saloon offered in the base and Limited trims.
The base Avalon comes standard with foglights, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, rearview and auto dimming driver mirrors, automatic headlights, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, an eight-way power driver seat, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, a reclining rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a nine-speaker sound system with satellite radio, a six-CD changer, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack and a rearview camera (mounted in the rearview mirror).
Opting for the Limited trim level will get you automatic wipers, xenon headlights, additional power driver seat adjustment, keyless ignition/entry, heated and ventilated front seats, a power passenger seat, a power rear sunshade, a 12-speaker sound system and driver memory functions. A few of the Limited’s features, like heated seats and the upgraded sound system, are offered on the base Avalon, while the touchscreen voice activated navigation system with real time traffic is optional for both trim levels.
Motivation for the front wheel drive 2012 Toyota Avalon comes from a 3.5 liter V6 engine, which is good for pulsating 268 horsepower with 248 pound feet of torque. The engine is mated to six-speed automatic transmission and accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in the time range of 6.8 seconds, which is reasonably fast for a full size saloon. The estimated fuel economy for Avalon is 28 mpg highway, 19 mpg city and 23 mpg in combined driving.
Standard safety features on 2012 Toyota Avalon include stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front seat side airbags, active front head restraints, a driver side knee airbag and side curtain airbags. In brake testing, the Avalon came to a stop in 129 feet from 60 miles per hour, a little longer-than-average distance for this segment. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave its top score of Good for its protection of passengers in side impact, roof strength and frontal offset tests.
The interior of 2012 Toyota Avalon feels inviting and upscale, with its attractive and ergonomic control layout, high quality materials and glowing gauges. You have worked hard. Why not enjoy a few of life’s rewards now? The refined Avalon makes it possible. Its spacious and hushed cabin is brimming with luxury features, including leather wrapped steering wheel, rain sensing windshield wipers and heated and ventilated front seats. The available voice activated touchscreen DVD navigation system assists you along the way. After all, you have earned it. In Avalon, you will never look at luxury the same way again. You will relax in leather trimmed upholstery. The steering wheel features climate and audio controls, while the rearview mirror integrates a backup camera along with a HomeLink universal transceiver. With reclining rear seats and nearly 107 cubic feet of interior space, the luxurious interior of Avalon is as expansive as your new idea of comfort.
The accommodating 2012 Toyota Avalon makes it easy to ride in complete comfort. The power seats enable you to adjust the angle, height, the lumbar support and rake. On Limited trim level, the driver’s lower seat cushion even extends for added thigh support. The front passenger and driver side power mirrors are as refined as they are versatile. The mirrors on all models provide standard integrated turn signals, feature driver’s side auto dimming, are foldable and heated. On Limited, the mirrors are auto dimming on both sides; provide puddle lamps and even a memory function for two drivers’ settings. The comfort of Avalon Limited is further improved with standard leather trimmed front seats, which are ventilated and perforated, so you can precisely control the built in cooling fans and heating elements.
Not surprisingly, the 2012 Toyota Avalon is at its best on the open highway. Step on its accelerator and you will immediately become better acquainted with improved lumbar support of driver’s seat. Its Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-I) optimizes efficiency and power, providing the Avalon an EPA-estimated 20 city/29 hwy mpg rating. The 6-speed automatic gearbox helps optimize fuel economy and offers an engaging driving experience. Uphill/downhill shift logic selects the proper gear for driving situations and helps offer moderate engine braking during downhill driving. The MacPherson strut coil spring independent suspension offers a sophisticated combination of precise driving control and smooth ride quality, while the rack and pinion steering fuses with optimized steering gear and front wheel drive for an easy, natural handling feel. Considering that this group of customers continues to grow by the day, other automobile manufacturing companies should notice that the 2012 Avalon alone provides a contemporary option engineered specifically for them, and does so unapologetically.