2012 Toyota Avalon vs. Its Competition

2012 Toyota Avalon
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

Palatial rear-seat space and smooth powertrain performance define the Avalon, and on those points it's the best of a class of big front-drive sedans.

The new Volkswagen Passat has equivalent rear-seat space and better handling, plus 43-mpg highway fuel economy in its turbodiesel TDI version, but the Avalon comes across as more upscale and more comfortable.

The Hyundai Azera will be replaced by a new model for the 2012 model year, and styling gets much more daring, along the lines of the latest Sonata.

Chevrolet's Impala is due for a redesign as well, but gets a new V-6 this year in advance of the new 2014 model.

Ford's Taurus lacks the rear-seat space of the Avalon, but its styling is more assertive, and so is performance from its turbocharged SHO model.

2012 Toyota Avalon2012 Toyota AvalonBrowse Used Listings2012 Chevrolet Impala 4-door Sedan LS Retail Angular Front Exterior View2012 Chevrolet ImpalaBrowse Used Listings2012 Ford Taurus 4-door Sedan Limited FWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 Ford TaurusBrowse Used Listings2012 Hyundai Azera2012 Hyundai AzeraBrowse Used Listings2012 Volkswagen Passat2012 Volkswagen PassatBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.0
A classy, comfortable near-luxury sedan, the 2012 Toyota Avalon has a more modern look but traditional big-car handling and smooth performance.
6.6
The 2012 Impala has a dated design and lacks excitement, but a stronger, smoother powertrain should make its simple layout and excellent interior space more palatable.
8.0
The 2012 Ford Taurus is handsome, safe, and well-equipped, but it's not as big inside as its big-car exterior suggests.
8.6
With real design appeal, confident performance, and a true luxury-car ambiance, the new 2012 Hyundai Azera brings far more sophistication to the showroom, but doesn't lose its carry-over attributes of comfort and value for the money.
7.8
A massive rear seat and better-than-hybrid highway fuel economy mask the slight loss of refinement and nimble road feel in the 2012 Volkswagen Passat.
MSRP From    
$33,195$25,760$25,555$32,000$20,590
Gas Mileage    
19 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas I5
EPA Class    
LargeLarge CarsLarge CarsLargeMid-Size
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan (GS)4-Door Sedan LS Retail4-Door Sedan SE FWD4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan 2.5L Manual S
Drivetrain    
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
55555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
4 Door Sedan4 Door SedanSedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sdn
Transmission    
AutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomatic w/manual shiftManual