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 AvalonBrowse Used Listings||2012 Chevrolet ImpalaBrowse Used Listings||2012 Ford TaurusBrowse Used Listings||2012 Hyundai AzeraBrowse Used Listings||2012 Volkswagen PassatBrowse Used Listings|
|19 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Gas V6||Gas V6||Gas V6||Gas I5|
|Large||Large Cars||Large Cars||Large||Mid-Size|
|4-Door Sedan (Natl)||4-Door Sedan LS Retail||4-Door Sedan SE FWD||4-Door Sedan||4-Door Sedan 2.5L Manual S PZEV|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sdn|
|Automatic||Automatic||Automatic w/manual shift||Automatic w/manual shift||Manual|