2012 Toyota Avalon Review

Pros & Cons

  • Seats five adults in comfort
  • good visibility
  • comfortable ride
  • strong and efficient engine
  • reclining rear seats.
  • A bit expensive for its class
  • elevated road noise
  • front seats lack support
  • refined nature leaves little room for flair or personality.
List Price Range
$14,400 - $15,923

Used Avalon for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2012 Toyota Avalon appraisal values can range from $6,398 - $12,400.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2012 Toyota Avalon is a solid choice for a full-size sedan, but some newer and less expensive competitors might be more appealing.

Vehicle overview

For decades, full-size cars were as much a part of the American landscape as drive-in theaters. But just like this icon of the American landscape, only a handful of full-size models remain. Within this group, the 2012 Toyota Avalon continues to be a well-known and respectable choice.

Debuting back in 2005, the current-generation, Camry-based Avalon is one of Toyota's oldest models, even if it underwent a significant design overhaul last year. But there's still a lot to like here, including a spacious cabin, excellent visibility and a refined ride. Also maintaining big sedan tradition is the Avalon's massive backseat, which boasts standard reclining seatbacks, abundant headroom and an available power rear sunshade.

Unlike in years past, however, the Avalon now faces more competent competitors, such as the stylish Buick LaCrosse, the impressively revamped Chrysler 300, the tech-oriented Ford Taurus and the upscale Hyundai Genesis. Compared to these models, the Avalon can come off as less refined and a bit boring due to its conservative styling and overall driving demeanor.

Perhaps most importantly, the Avalon's base price when new starts anywhere from about $3,000-$7,000 above the base versions of its chief rivals. But overall the 2012 Toyota Avalon is still worth consideration given its success in fulfilling the core aspects that most full-size sedan shoppers will be looking for.

2012 Toyota Avalon models

The 2012 Toyota Avalon is a full-size sedan available in base and Limited trim levels.

Standard equipment on the base Avalon includes 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, auto-dimming driver and rearview mirrors, heated mirrors, a sunroof, automatic headlights, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat, a reclining rear seat, leather upholstery, a rearview camera (mounted in the rearview mirror), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a nine-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.

The Limited adds xenon headlights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition/entry, additional power driver seat adjustment, a power passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory functions, a power rear sunshade and a 12-speaker sound system.

A few of the Limited's features, such as the upgraded sound system and heated seats, are available on the base Avalon, while a voice-activated touchscreen navigation system with real-time traffic is optional for both trims.

2012 Highlights

For 2012, the Toyota Avalon is unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive 2012 Toyota Avalon is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

In Edmunds performance testing, an Avalon Limited accelerated to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, a reasonably quick time for a large sedan. The EPA's fuel mileage estimates for the Avalon stand at 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined, making it one of the more fuel-efficient full-size sedans available.


Standard safety equipment on the 2012 Toyota Avalon includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver-side knee airbag. During Edmunds brake testing, the Avalon came to a stop from 60 mph in 129 feet, a slightly longer-than-average distance for this class.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Avalon earned the top score of "Good" for its protection of occupants in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.


Not surprisingly, the 2012 Toyota Avalon is at its best on the open highway. The ultra-smooth V6 engine has plenty of passing power and the suspension swallows up road imperfections without drama. The Avalon is no athlete, though, so those interested in a slightly more involved driving experience should consider the Buick LaCrosse or Chrysler 300. And although it's reasonably quiet as cars go, the Avalon does generate more road noise at highway speeds than most other full-size sedans.


The Toyota Avalon's interior feels upscale and inviting thanks to its glowing gauges, attractive and ergonomic control layout and high-quality materials. Standard wood and metallic accents further the luxury ambience, making the Avalon impressively similar to its upscale cousins from Lexus. That said, the Avalon's competitors have a similar interior ambience.

The front seats are wide and accommodating, and the Avalon Limited offers them heated, ventilated and with a seat cushion length adjuster. The rear seats are very comfortable as well. Legroom is abundant even by full-size sedan standards, and the seatbacks recline, which allows passengers to stretch out on long trips. A 6-footer can sit in back with more than enough knee- and headroom. And with a nearly flat floor, getting three into the backseat on carpool day is no problem, which is a noticeable advantage compared to some of the Avalon's rear-drive competitors.

One minor annoyance is the inability to fold the rear seats down -- the trade-off for the reclining feature. The trunk measures 14.4 cubic feet, which is smaller than what's available in other full-size sedans.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 Toyota Avalon.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Used but looks brand new!
Joseph Iero,04/08/2016
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Bought 2012 CPO Avalon. It has been great so far. Very comfortable, engine responsive and gives good gas mileage. Ave. 25mpg so far. Can probably get 28 or 29 depending on how you drive. The interior is well designed and everything looks and feels like quality. The speedometer would benefit from cleaner markings. (Looks like they remedied it in later years) Not many things I can complain about. If you are looking for a comfortable car that can carry 5 people in comfort and gets great gas mileage, look for one of these. You won't be sorry. Update: The car threw a misfire code while I was on vacation in Florida (1200 miles from home) Shut down the traction control and cruise control. Took it to Lakeland Toyota. They had me up and going in 1.5 hrs., took really good care of me ( better than the Toyota Dealer a half mile from my house) and got me on my way. I can't say enough nice things about how I was treated here. Manny really fixed me up. Thanks again Manny.
John Burke,09/05/2016
Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
after a year, I'm really satisfied with this car. MPG has been super. Overall about 22. Higywayup at 30mpg @ 76 on cruise. Love safety features w/lane departure, emergency braking, distance adjustment on cruise. Pedestrian alert. Very comfortable & suspension adjustment for sporty driving. I'm very pleased. A big step up from '12 model. Have now completed 2 full years with the car. Nothing’s changed. It’s been bulletproof & always a pleasure to drive. Mileage on road went up to 31 last trip. It’s a real cruiser, quiet & comfortable plus you can’t beat the price especially compared to Lexus ES 350.
My new boo!
K. Marshall,09/22/2015
Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
My previous car was a 2006 Ford Five Hundred (large and sturdy), so transitioning to the Avalon took a bit getting used to as the Avalon sets lower to the ground than the 500 and I'm an older driver. I purchased the car used in May 2015 and could not have made a better purchase. She's beautiful and so impressive to look at, her drive is smooth, and the speaker system is out of this world - I have the Avalon Limited with all the convenience features. A bonus for me was she only had 6,600 miles on her - how lucky was I. She handles well and has great acceleration. Some of the categories I can't rate yet (snow traction, active safety, repair frequency) since I've only owned her for 5 months, but when you run her through the car wash, she shines like new money!
Such a Deal!
Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Had owned a certified, pre-owned Lexus es330 and was thinking at 95,000 miles to get an update to 2012 es 350 version but found price too stiff. So began to look at 2012 Avalon Limited from Toyota dealer which also was certified pre-owned and found a beauty last August 2016. Love the clean beige interior color and the crimson mica exterior that literally glitters in the sun. Had only 30,000 miles on it which is for me a sweet spot. The Limited version has all the bells and whistles I wanted on a Lexus es 350 and in addition is roomier and I found more powerful pick up. Though maybe don't get the Lexus cache but get everything and more at a lower price point. Now in July 2019 still really enjoy the car. My only small concern has been realizing how big the car is due to very large back seat area, that I rarely use. So sometimes think might be better to have a smaller car, but not enough to begin looking again.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2012 Toyota Avalon

Used 2012 Toyota Avalon Overview

The Used 2012 Toyota Avalon is offered in the following submodels: Avalon Sedan. Available styles include Limited 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Toyota Avalon?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Toyota Avalon trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Toyota Avalon Limited is priced between $14,400 and$15,151 with odometer readings between 80596 and99498 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Toyota Avalon Base is priced between $15,923 and$15,923 with odometer readings between 45262 and45262 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2012 Toyota Avalons are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Toyota Avalon for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2012 Avalons listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $14,400 and mileage as low as 45262 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Toyota Avalon.

Can't find a used 2012 Toyota Avalons you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Avalon for sale - 5 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $21,571.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 11 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $24,603.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Avalon for sale - 6 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $23,501.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $9,470.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 Toyota Avalon?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Toyota lease specials
Check out Toyota Avalon lease specials