The Hybrid Sedan That Thought It Was a Crossover

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While the Toyota Crown is not a recognizable name to most Americans, it is still a very popular vehicle in Japan and other overseas markets. Although available in the US for a short time until the 1970s, Crown has survived sixteen generations in the home market since then, with the most recent iteration being introduced in 2018.

Now the Crown is back in the Toyota America lineup, but that’s not what we expected.

The U.S.-bound 2023 Crown is a mid-size sedan lifted with BZ4X-inspired styling cues and a Lexus-style interior. It even comes with a two-tone paint job in the top trim levels and your choice of two Toyota hybrid systems. But as strange as it may seem, the new Toyota Crown has luxury, amenities and even a little bit of power.

All Hybrids All Time

Toyota offered two different powertrains for the Crown at launch. The XLE base and Limited mid-range trim come as standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired to Toyota’s fourth-generation hybrid powertrain technology. That setup includes two electric motors with a dedicated EV mode for short-haul, low-speed travel, returning up to an estimated 38 miles per gallon combined. An electronic continuously variable transmission is the only gearbox option.

The high-end Platinum model boosts power slightly with the new Hybrid Max powertrain, which combines a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine with two electric motors. That gives the most luxurious Crown a total output of 340 horsepower, but this version only returns a combined 28 mpg the manufacturer estimates. And this trim ditches the eCVT, in favor of the old-school six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

Toyota Crown 2023
2023_Toyota Crown_Platinum_003

All three versions offer standard all-wheel drive, but the Platinum model’s Hybrid Max powertrain introduces the E-Four Advanced all-wheel drive system for the first time in Toyota’s lineup. This unique layout transfers as much as 80 percent of the available power to the rear wheels, which gives the Platinum Crown a more dynamic edge.

And there are more adjustments to the suspension. Whereas the XLE and Limited grades use traditional front struts and a rear multi-link suspension setup – common across the board for Toyota’s TNGA architecture – the Platinum uses standard Adaptive Variable Suspension, which Toyota says minimizes body roll and improves agility. There are also two additional driving modes in Platinum, including an Individual setting for extra customization.

Choose Your Crown

That said, there are ways to customize the new Crown’s exterior. Standard shoe on the Crown XLE and Limited models are two-tone 19-inch alloy wheels, while the Advanced package available on the Limited adds custom 21-inch alloy wheels for these trims. But it’s the Platinum Crown that packs the most unique style cues; The two-tone paint pictured here is exclusive to the top-end model and comes with standard 21-inch, 10-spoke wheels with black accents.

The Crown’s interior is much more eye-catching than the exterior, with the base XLE opting for black Softex faux leather throughout. The Limited and Platinum models, meanwhile, sport genuine cowhide leather with standard heating and ventilation in the front seats, heating in the rear, and a standard sunroof.

2023_Toyota Crown_Platinum_017
Toyota Crown 2023
Toyota Crown 2023

The latest iteration of Toyota’s infotainment system is also finding its way, with a 12.3-inch touchscreen adorning the dashboard. Apple CarPlay wireless and Android Auto are present, as is 4G wi-fi capability. Each version of the Crown will also be equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 suite.

Toyota has yet to announce pricing for the 2023 Crown, but expects more details in the months ahead as the Crown sells them.


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