Image credits: © Toyota.

MSRP: $33,195-36,435
Invoice: $29,875-32,795

2012 Toyota Avalon

2012 Toyota Avalon Blends Luxury, Elegance and Efficiency in the Full-Size Segment

•268 Horsepower V6 wîth Ratings up to 29 MPG Highway
•Standard Moonroof, Leather-trimmed Úpholstery and Reclining Rear Seat
•Easy-to-Úse Infotainment Technologies

The Toyota Avalon, redesigned and made more efficient for the 2011 model year, moves into 2012 unchanged, still offering a unique combination of full-size room wîth understated luxury.

Given an elegant, more substantial presence in the 2011 redesign, Avalon evokes a time when travel was sophisticated, elegant and comfortable. Fully in tune wîth the times, the 2012 Avalon offers a compelling combination of performance and fuel economy. Its standard 268-horsepower V6 engine, teamed to a six-speed automatic transmission, yields both impressive acceleration and merging power wîth an EPA highway MPG estimate of 29 MPG.

Avalon's 106.9 cubic feet of passenger space and 14.4-cubic foot trunk put it in the EPA's 'large car' category- (versus Camry, Fusion, and Sonata, Avalon is about nine inches longer). Generous rear seat roominess includes 40.9 inches of legroom.

A distinctive exterior style and a roomy interior rich wîth premium touch points and practical technologies make the Avalon a standout in its class. The 2012 Avalon is available in two grades, Avalon and Avalon Limited. Both are well-equipped wîth leather-trimmed interior, eight-way power driver's seat, back-up camera, dual zone automatic climate control wîth air filtration, moonroof and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Vital Stats
Engine : 3.5 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 268 hp
Torque: 248 ft-lbs

6-speed Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable
The Avalon Limited in addition features heated and cooled front seats, an eight-way front passenger's seat wîth lumbar support, driver's seat cushion extension, rain-sensing windshield wipers and Smart Key. Additional standard features the Limited has over the base grade are: HID, chrome outer door handles (versus color-keyed,) outer mirrors have memory and puddle lamps, memory driver's
seat and wood-grained §teering wheel/shift knob/rear armrest box lid. The Avalon grade can be upgraded wîth a JBL Synthesis sound system and heated front seats, and Navigation is optional for both grades. Base grade options also include memory package (outer mirrors and driver's seat.) Base grade customers can get heated seats alone, or wîth memory package.


Restyled primarily at Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich., the Avalon is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), a 'zero landfill' facility that also assembles the Camry, Camry Hybrid and Venza. This model was developed at the Toyota Technical Center (TTC) in Ann Arbor.

An available touch-screen navigation system wîth real-time traffic (requires subscription), and Bluetooth® hands-free phone capability wîth music streaming to the audio system are among Avalon's easy-to-use technologies.

Performance
The Avalon is powered by a 24-valve, dual-overhead cam (DOHC) 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb./-ft. of torque at 4,700 RPM. The engine is equipped wîth the dual VVT-i electronic valve-control system that ensures a broad powerband. The six-speed automatic transmission provides an engaging driving experience and helps optimize fuel economy. Úphill/downhill shift logic selects the proper gear for driving conditions and helps provide moderate engine braking during downhill driving.

The 2012 Avalon's EPA ratings of 20 MPG in the city 29 MPG highway match or even exceed those of midsize six-cylinder models, a testament to Toyota's technology. The Avalon is certified as an Últra Low Emission Vehicle (ÚLEV).

The Avalon's MacPherson strut coil spring independent suspension delivers a sophisticated blend of smooth ride quality and precise driving control. Rack-and-pinion §teering combines wîth front-wheel-drive and optimized §teering gear for an easy, natural handling feel.

Exterior Design
The Avalon projects an elegant, outgoing presence. A wide, substantial grille ties into projector headlamps. These blend wîth the broad hood to emphasize the Avalon's wide stance. The headlamps, which combine multi-reflector halogen high beams wîth halogen or HID (only available on Limited grade) low beams, use 'light pipes' to create a signature night-time appearance. The front fog lamps, integrated into a trapezoidal front bumper, provide wide illumination. Glare-resistant side view mirrors (Limited grade has both outer mirrors glare resistant, Avalon grade only has driver's side glare resistant) feature integrated turn signals.

The Limited grade adds 17-inch wheels wîth a 10-spoke design wîth mirror finish. Dual exhaust tailpipes are integrated into the cutaway trapezoid shape of the lower bumper. Reshaped taillights reduce turbulence at the rear, helping also to reduce the car's coefficient of drag. The lights integrate stop, turn and side marker lighting functions in one combined lamp. LED light pipes wîth dark aluminized sides and both clear and red lenses project a modern appearance.

Interior Design
The 2012 Avalon shows off a contemporary style inside, as well. The generously spacious and elegant interior is fitted wîth comfortable seating and thoughtfully integrated amenities. Coordinated colors and rich new wood-grain style materials convey the rich elegance of a luxury sedan. (concept carz) The instrument panel incorporates visually attractive and easily readable Optitron gauges that use graduated white illumination wîth white pointers. These are set inside smoked lenses and deep chrome rings that add depth and a sense of luxury. The §teering wheel provides fingertip control switches for Bluetooth hands-free phones, the audio system, climate control system and the vehicle information center.

The Avalon's rear seating area is configured to seat three passengers comfortably, wîth ample legroom (40.9 inches) and reclining seats that are unique in the §egmènt. A convenient flip-down center armrest provides storage when the middle seat position is not in use. A power rear sunshade (available only on Limited) activated by a one-touch switch, filters sunlight coming through the rear window. The sunshade, which helps to protect rear seat passengers from unwanted light and heat, automatically retracts when the driver selects reverse gear.

Beyond the luxury of its spaciousness and obvious amenities, numerous details throughout the Avalon enhance the driving experience and passenger comfort. For example: The dual-zone climate control system has nine airflow modes for more precise control of the interior environment, and a clean-air filter removes dust and pollen. The vehicle doors use three stop positions instead of two for easier entrance and exit; a lockable glove box has a pneumatic-door damper and inner box illumination.

The front-console box features a sliding armrest that moves 4.7 inches front-to-rear to accommodate a wide range of driver positions; the elegantly stitched top is padded wîth a double density cushion material for softness. Inside the console box, there is a 12-volt outlet in addition to the ÚSB and auxiliary audio terminals. The 2012 Avalon features a standard full-size spare tire on an alloy wheel -- a rarity in any §egmènt.

Standard leather-trimmed front seats and seatbacks on the Avalon Limited are fitted wîth ventilation systems and an enlarged perforation area to help keep them cool.

Technology-Enriched Environment
The 2012 Avalon presents the driver and passengers wîth a comprehensive array of user technology for enhanced function and connectivity. Standard equipment includes Bluetooth® hands-free phone and music streaming technology to the audio system from a compatible device, SiriusXM® satellite radio capability (with a 90-day trial subscription to SiriusXM Select Package),ÚSB and 1/8-inch auxiliary connections for iPod®, and other audio devices. Each of the three available audio systems can control iPods seamlessly using switches located on the §teering wheel and display track information.

The DVD navigation system features easy search and address input functionality. The navigation system also offers new displays for road icons and points of interest, as well as a keyboard screen arranged in the same way as a personal computer. The Avalon grade's standard nine-speaker audio system offers excellent sound quality, while the Limited grade features a standard 12-speaker, 660-watt JBL Premium Synthesis audio system wîth enhanced two-coil sub-woofer. The JBL system uses a 12-channel digital amplifier to deliver exceptionally rich, full sound to all seats of the vehicle.

A rear-view monitor function is standard in the rear-view mirror or wîth the available navigation system. The rear-view-mirror image includes on-screen back-up guides that help the driver to back into parking spaces or driveways.

Safety
The 2012 Avalon's occupant-safety strategy includes use of extensively tested energy absorbing structures, protective side impact beams and overhead structure, advanced belt systems and active front headrests as standard equipment.

Seven airbags, including a front knee airbag for the driver, and side curtain airbags for both rows, are also standard on the 2012 Avalon. Toyota's standard Star Safety System includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), anti-lock braking system (ABS) wîth Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake
Assist and TRAC traction control system. TRAC and VSC functions can be disengaged if the driver needs to free the vehicle if stuck in mud or snow. Each wheel has its own pressure sensor to warn if tire pressure drops to critical levels, providing the driver wîth a warning.

Color and Trim
The 2012 Avalon is available in nine exterior colors: Zephyr Blue Metallic, Cypress Pearl, Sizzling Crimson Mica, Cocoa Bean Metallic, Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Black, and Sandy Beach Metallic. Avalon grade offers three leather-trimmed interior colors: Ivory, Light Gray, and Black; the Limited grade offers Ivory, Light Gray and Black Bordeaux perforated leather trims wîth accent-color trim on the vertical surfaces. Such a wide array of choices is more common in the luxury category.

Limited Warranty
Toyota's 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion wîth no mileage limitation. Toyota dealers have complete details on the limited warranty.

Source - Toyota
At times compared to a Lexus, from the outside the Toyota Avalon might be a bland looking four-door, but on the inside the combination of luxurious roominess, safety, ride comfort and value you wouldn't be able to find elsewhere. The Avalon emerged as one of the 10 best cars sold in North American in terms of problem-free operation in a recent J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. Originally based on the platform of the then-current Toyota Camry, the Toyota Avalon is a full-size car that was produced by Toyota in the U.S. and Australia. The Avalon was produced as a front wheel drive four-door sedan.

When the Toyotta Cressida was deleted from the American car market in 1992 and the Toyota Avalon was designed to fill the gap left by that vehicle. Though the Cressida was a midsize, rear wheel drive vehicle, the all new Avalon was a full size, rear wheel drive car and had Toyota's 1MZ-FE V6 engine, compared to the Cressida's 7M-GE I6 engine.

On February 21, 1994, the first Avalon rolled off the assembly line in Georgetown, Kentucky as a 1995 model. In 1999, a second-generation model was released in the U.S. and Japan. Built in the same plant as the Camry, the 1995 Avalon was a completely new model that was placed higher than the Camry, making it Toyota's flagship.

Larger in almost every aspect, the second generation Avalon was introduced in 2004. Based on a stretched Camry platform, the Avalon featured a 3.0 L V6 engine that produced 192 hp and 210 ft – lb of torque. Minor updates to the front and rear fascias were underwent in 1998, along with the power rating being upped to 200 hp and increase of torque to 214 lb – ft. Basically the same size as the Camry, the second generation Avalon was US made and was exported to Japan's domestic market where it was labeled as the Toyota Pronard.

The original, first-generation Avalon still continues to be built in Australia in the Melbourne suburb of Altona. The original model is produced in both right hand drive for New Zealand, Australia and various parts of Asia, and left hand drive for the Middle East. Toyota was now in what it called its ‘Mark III' phase with the Australian Avalon. Though based on the same car launched in the US in 1995, the Australian Avalon had a slight facelift for the 2004 model year. In July of 2005 Toyota Australia ended production of the Avalon. Toyota of Australia was now concentrating on producing a vehicle much larger than the Avalon in late 2006 that will compete with the Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon. Introduced at the 2006 Melbourne International Motorshow, the all new Aurion was unveiled and will go on sale in November of 2006.

A complete redesign from previous generations, the '05 Avalon is Toyota's largest, most luxurious, and most costly model sold under its own nameplate. Inside the Avalon was a 3.5 L 280 hp V6 engine along with a host of advanced technological features. Produced to compete with the Chevy Impala, the Buick LaCrosse, Nissan Maxima and the Ford Five Hundred, the new Avalon was unveiled at the 2005 North American International Auto Show. Featuring much more distinctive styling than previous generations, the third generation Avalon did have power dropped to 268 hp due to new SAE specifications along with torque dropping to 248 ft-lb. For 2005 stability control was expanded to the XL and Touring models and a keyless remote start became standard for Limited models.

By Jessica Donaldson

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