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The 2023 Toyota Crown Reinvents a Legend

toyota crown platinum
The 2023 Toyota Crown Reinvents a LegendToyota
  • The new Crown will be offered with two hybrid powertrains and standard all-wheel drive. Base Crowns use a 2.5-liter I4 mated to an eCVT and a pair of electric motors to deliver 236 hp combined.

  • Climbing up the market, Toyota’s showing off a new system called Hybrid Max with the Crown, making 340 hp with a turbocharged 2.4-liter I4. The Hybrid Max powertrain is certainly quieter and smoother than the base hybrid.

  • If the Crown’s styling will be polarizing, so will its price, starting in base trim at $41,045. That’s well above the current Avalon's starting point of $37,920.


Toyota’s Crown sedan introduced the United States to Toyota back in the 1950s. While this little Japanese sedan lived in the shadows of American icons of the era, it laid the groundwork for every Toyota you see today. Its time in the US might not have been a resounding success as the company decided to stop importing the Crown in the 1970s, but the Crown chugged along in Japan in perpetuity. Eventually, the Crown became an oddity looked at from afar in the US by folks who want what they can’t have. That time has officially come to a close, and the Crown is back in the US as a wholly rethought idea of what a sedan should be in 2022.

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Simply put, the Crown is a full-size sedan that fills the void left by the departing Avalon, and it's offered with two hybrid powertrains and standard all-wheel drive. Base Crowns use Toyota’s tried and true 2.5-liter I4 that mates with an eCVT and a pair of electric motors to deliver 236 hp combined. Climbing up the market, Toyota’s showing off a new system called Hybrid Max with the Crown, making 340 hp from its turbocharged 2.4-liter I4. The Hybrid Max powertrain uses a six-speed automatic transmission to manage the engine’s power and sees a more powerful pair of electric motors. This extra power comes with a significant punishment in fuel economy, with the base hybrid system boasting 41 mpg combined and the Hybrid Max powertrain offering 32 mpg combined.

But the Crown represents a new take on a traditional sedan, and it's more than a three-box sedan with a hybrid powertrain. The Crown’s Chief Engineer Akihiro Sarada says through a translator the development team started from a clean sheet with the intent to build an innovative design that was comfortable and still drives like a sedan. That new design clearly bridges the gap between crossovers and sedans.

Styling might be the Crown’s most polarizing point. Its presence in person gives a similar feel to a lowered BMW X6 or Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. The Crown's fender and lower body cladding reinforce its hybrid leanings, and its design is radical enough that there’s also a more traditional sedan making its way to the Japanese market.

If you’re wondering if it drives like a crossover, the answer isn’t as clear. The Crown offers a high seating position with a commanding view of the road like you’d expect from a crossover. But it also has the same headroom problem you might find in a sedan. If you’re opting for a Crown with a panoramic roof and are over six feet tall, your head will probably meet the sunroof shade. Reclining the seat absolves some of these issues, but that might not be your ideal seating position.