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If you liked the 2011 Toyota Avalon, you'll like the 2012 Toyota Avalon, too

Toyota's 2012 Avalon is in showrooms now. The American-made luxury car has no significant changes for the new model year over 2011, when it got a complete makeover.


Standard on the Avalon, which starts at about $34,000, is a 3.5-liter 268-horsepower V6 engine that generates 248 lb.-ft. of torque. The new Av is equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Together they deliver 29 mpg on the highway, in comfort. City driving is a much-less-efficient 20 mpg.

The 2012 Toyota Avalon is available as a base Avalon and Avalon Limited. Both have leather-trimmed interior, 8-way power driver’s seat, back-up camera, dual zone automatic climate control with air filtration, moonroof and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Limited grade has 17-inch wheels plus a 10-spoke design on them with mirror finish.

Toyota says the aim of the Avalon redesign in 2011 was to "evoke a time when travel was sophisticated, elegant and comfortable." The Japanese carmaker boasts of the Avalon's "impressive acceleration and merging power."

The 2012 Toyota Avalon’s 106.9 cubic feet of passenger space go well with its large trunk. Space everywhere!

Toyota brags of the car's "premium touch points" and "practical technologies." An available touch-screen navigation system with real-time traffic and Bluetooth hands-free phone capability with music streaming to the audio system are among the 2012 Toyota Avalon’s easy-to-use technologies.

Uphill / downhill shift logic selects the proper gear for driving conditions and helps provide moderate engine braking during downhill driving. The steering wheel has fingertip control switches for Bluetooth hands-free phones, the audio system, climate-control system and vehicle information center.

The Avalon Limited has the same standard features as the base model, plus heated and cooled front seats, an 8-way front passenger’s seat with lumbar support, driver’s seat cushion extension, rain-sensing windshield wipers and Smart Key, chrome outer door handles, outer mirrors have memory and puddle lamps, memory driver’s seat and wood-grained steering wheel / shift knob / rear armrest box lid.

The 2012 Toyota Avalon can be upgraded with a JBL Synthesis sound system and heated front seats, and navigation is optional for both grades. Base grade options also include memory package of outer mirrors and driver’s seat. Base grade customers can get heated seats alone or with a memory package.

The Avalon is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, where the 2012 Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid and Venza also are built.

The 2012 Toyota Avalon’s MacPherson strut coil spring independent suspension marries a sophisticated blend of smooth ride quality and precise driving control. Rack-and-pinion steering combines with front-wheel-drive and optimized steering gear for an easy, natural handling feel.

Front fog lamps, integrated into a trapezoidal front bumper, provide wide illumination.

The Avalon’s rear seating area is configured to seat three passengers comfortably, thanks in part to reclining seats. The back seat has just under 41 inches of leg room.

A power rear sunshade available only on Limited is activated by a one-touch switch that filters sunlight coming through the rear window. The sunshade automatically retracts when the driver selects reverse gear.

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 2012 Toyota Avalon features a standard full-size spare tire on an alloy wheel -- a rarity in any segment.

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

The 2012 Avalon comes with Sirius XM satellite radio capability,USB and eighth-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 steering wheel and display track information.

Seven airbags, including a front knee airbag for the driver, are standard on the 2012 Toyota Avalon.

The car comes in nine colors for 2012. They are 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 with accent-color trim on the vertical surfaces.

Reach TN's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Toyota