The smooth-riding Avalon could easily pass for a luxury car costing tens of thousands of dollars more. The cabin is vast and quiet and its seamless powertrain serves up muscular performance while squeezing out commendable fuel economy. A 2011 freshening brought a revised interior with an improved control layout and nicer dashboard materials. Conversely, the handling, while secure, lacks agility.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags standard. ESC available from 2000, standard from 2009. Head protection air bags standard from 2005. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking available from 2013, standard from 2017.
Road Test

The smooth-riding Avalon could easily pass for a luxury car costing tens of thousands of dollars more. The cabin is vast and quiet and its seamless powertrain serves up muscular performance while squeezing out commendable fuel economy. A 2011 freshening brought a revised interior with an improved control layout and nicer dashboard materials. Conversely, the handling, while secure, lacks agility. No one will confuse the Avalon with a sports sedan.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.5-liter V6 (268 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Toyota Avalon owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

"screen has gone blank"

Anonymous, SC (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"started to lose functions and display. no bluetooth and iffy USB with iphone 6. Finally quit working alltogether. Toyota said $2500 to replace with refurbished unit. I sent it to tech shop for $500 and it worked sporadically well and again lost bluetooth and USB connections so I finally replaced it with aftermarket Kenwood unit for $1700"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Navigation screen went black"

Ronald W., MI (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Satelite radio does not always work and has to get a refresher signal every 2-3 months"

Bartolomeo C., MO (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"GPS screen had to be replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Navigation system went blank and shut down radio, rear camera as well as GPS"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Toyota Avalon Base 3.5-L V6)

"Sudden internal failure of nav system, camera, radio, bluetooth, etc. Luckily I bought a 7 year waranty and the whole unit was replaced for free ( a $4,000 value)"

Joseph J., CA (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Navigation system went black. Needed to be replaced. I am very unhappy with the new one as it displays all exits when driving on freeway. Takes up half the screen which is very irritating & unnecessary. Will never buy it again on a Toyota car"

Ronald W., MI (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Total power failure in this car erased the navigation settings"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Toyota Avalon Base 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"iPhone and Toyota had a problem with cars made before 2014 - supposed it is fixed now,but anyone before 2014 has to suffer"

Bartolomeo C., MO (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Bluetooth system quit working and would not pair with any phone.. I could not use phone at all. Dealer tried to repair, but was unsuccessful. Entire radio system had to be replaced even though GPS/CD player and radio worked. This would have been a"

Anonymous, SC (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
Radio

"safety recall re sub-woofer"

John R., MN (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"amplifier failed sat"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Intermittent loud static. I have had it repaired 3 times including replacing the rear windshield and it is still doing it"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Toyota Avalon Base 3.5-L V6)
Speakers

"Recall issued by Toyota regarding possible fire if a rear 'unguarded' speaker wire was bumped by luggage in the trunk. Solution not determined"

David R., MS (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The woofer system located in the trunk was recalled because they had incidents of the wires to the speaker causing a fire if cargo in the trunk would bounce against them. Toyota disconnected them but there still has been no fix for the fault for ove"

Robert K., KY (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"recall notice for sub woofer"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Recall regarding possibility of wires fraying and sparking in trunk"

Gary R., CT (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

"Unable to be heard over the Bluetooth connection. The microphone is located in the rearview mirror and the dealer replaced it"

Anonymous, LA (2012 Toyota Avalon Base 3.5-L V6)

"Pretty much useless. I constantly repeat my voice commands and sometimes never get it to do what I ask. I inquired about paying for an updated program and Toyota said $180 for a map update but no program updates to make it work better are available"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Loose left side panel just above the rear bumper"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The plastic strips in the roof came loose"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The trim piece that runs along where roof rack normally attaches came loose. It did not look to be secured very well"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Toyota Avalon Base 3.5-L V6)

"hard rubber-like trim on either side of roof blew off"

R P., LA (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"the plastic is brittle and breaks easily"

Heidi S., AZ (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"paint scratches easily,"

Allan N., MI (2012 Toyota Avalon 3.5-L V6)

"Paint peeling off lower edge of door. Toyota will not help because it says I am over 3 year warranty. Paint should not chip and peel off a car less than 60 months"

Lizabeth C., NC (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The right front panel and front bumper has paint peeling. I took it to the dealer and he pointed out the paint was a slightly different color and had been repainted so can't blame it on manufacturer. The wheels of cast aluminum are peeling which we had the problem with a previous Avalon"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Toyota Avalon Base 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Air leak on the driver's door window. After numerous trips to the dealer they still have not been able to resolve"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"AIR NOISE ON DRIVERS WINDOW SEAL INCROSSWINDS"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"There is a rattle inside the dashboard that comes and goes. Of course it is always gone when I take it to the dealer for other issues. I've given up on this one. It has been there since the car was new!"

Stephen G., MA (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"noise in the front dash"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"THERE IS A DEFINITE RATTLE IN THE PASSENGER SEAT. ASKED THAT IT BE FIXED DURING A OIL CHANGE. NOT FIXED"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Toyota Avalon 3.5-L V6)

"The driver's seat squeaks. It seems the track is slightly bent, and to remedy they wish to replace the entire seat"

Roger W., OH (2012 Toyota Avalon 3.5-L V6)
Wind noise

"Above 45mph you can't hear yourself think. The door and window seals have been adjusted, removed and replaced. Nothing the dealer has done has been able to reduce the cabin noise"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"SIDE MIRRORS WHISTLE"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"A/C was tied to blower problem - otherwise A/C has worked beautifully with no problems"

Janet M., TX (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The front of the car is poorly designed. It allows pebbles to fly through a front air vent duct and into the compressor. When a pebble hits it, it punctures it allowing Freon to escape., The pebble destroyed the compressor"

Roger W., OH (2012 Toyota Avalon 3.5-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"Blower fan stopped working - totally covered by warranty but did require 2 days to repair- rental car provided under warranty"

Janet M., TX (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
Electrical failure

"the Radio was go fuzzy every time the defrost came on, they replaced the back window because the antenna was supposedly the problem"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"The system needed additional coolant on purchase check"

Michael E., AZ (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

"trunk and one door would not open with remote cotrol"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The auto adjust feature no longer works"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Avalon 3.5-L V6)
Gauges

"Instrument lights would unexpectedly go off. Could not see speedometer or other instruments when driving"

Bryan K., CA (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
Headlights

"Low beam went out and it cost over $210 to replace one bulb"

Gary R., CT (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"Tire wear was on even had car aligned & put on new tires"

Stanley L., IN (2012 Toyota Avalon Base 3.5-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"Both Strut bearing and mounts have been replaces due to loud noises"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"The adjustment lever on the telescoping steering shaft would release on its own about every two months. The repair was accomplished with an improved part as part of a recall"

Anonymous, KS (2012 Toyota Avalon Base 3.5-L V6)
Tire wear is uneven

"Car was out of alignment"

Stanley L., IN (2012 Toyota Avalon Base 3.5-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Seat controls - movement

"thigh support switch is loose and support is stuck in extended position"

R P., LA (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"trunk lid is not properly counterbalanced, comes down, sometimes won't raise when unlocked"

William R., FL (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Trunk lid not counterbalanced, drops in slight breeze"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)
Windows

"They fit poorly"

Allan N., MI (2012 Toyota Avalon 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

"On braking at low speeds usually coming to stop brakes would grab and pull to right"

Bill W., WA (2012 Toyota Avalon 3.5-L V6)
Rotors

"Needed turned"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Toyota Avalon 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"Shifting into R causes the vehicle to jerk rather severely"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Toyota Avalon 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Check engine light came on. It was traced to the engine oil pressure control valve. Possible debris"

Anonymous, NE (2012 Toyota Avalon 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Head gasket

"I started getting warning lights and took it to my local mechanics. They ran diagnostics that showed cylinder problems including a "random misfire" they could not locate. They tried several changes to pinpoint the location of the random problem and finally discovered evidence of a "blown head gasket" after some pressure tests. They recommended I take it to a Toyota dealer since it was under warranty. Toyota repaired it at no cost to me"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Toyota Avalon 3.5-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Everything was covered by warranty. Replacement was recommended by the service department. No problem since Service"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Toyota Avalon Limited 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

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