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2023 Toyota Crown, a Costly Bet On An Abandoned Space - Review by Thom Cannell +VIDEO


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Thom Cannell
By Thom Cannell
Senior Editor, Michigan Bureau
THE AUTO CHANNEL


Avalon, Toyota’s premium product is gone, replaced by the Crown. Globally, Crown is a well-known product, and was sold in North America 50 years ago. But, with the demise of Avalon and Toyota’s commitment to the sedan market, a federalized version arrives in early 2023. Our information on all-new Crown came from a recent MAMA (Midwest Automotive Media Association) event sponsored by Toyota.

What you need to know prior to any testing by our staff is that every Crown is equipped with All Wheel Drive and features a hybrid power train in one of two flavors. One is a 4th generation Toyota Hybrid System similar to Camry or RAV4 with a 2.487-liter powertrain that delivers 184 horsepower and 163 lb.-ft. of torque. This THS powertrain fits into the XLE and Limited models.


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Crown also comes in a performance model, HYBRID MAX, with a 264 hp/332 torques powertrain that combines with an adjustable suspension. Yes, a really sporty Toyota sedan, one that has street cred, not just applique.

If you’re wedded to fuel economy, both XLE and Limited should deliver excellent results as the EPA estimates are 42 City / 41 Highway / 41 Combined. More power requires greater energy and the Crown Platinum HYBRID MAX will hit respectable numbers of 29 / 32 / 30 overall, with a 0-60 time under 6 seconds.


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There are, under the hood, other significant differences. While both use a newly designed nickel-metal hydride battery pack with 60 kW capacity, XLE and Limited use an electronic on-demand AWD system and are equipped with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) which accounts for some of the fuel economy difference. Platinum HYBRID MAX uses a completely different system, its full-time electronic AWD mated to a direct-shift 6-speed automatic transmission (we asked Toyota why a 6-speed when 8- and 10-speeds are common, and currently have no explanation).

Visually, Crown is very contemporary without extremes and seems to share some attributes with the just-introduced new Prius. It’s sleek, with a fastback hatch with capacious 15.2 cubic foot trunk. There is, notably, a difference in both ride height and vehicle height that many on the target 45+ age demographic will appreciate, a 4-inch higher “H” or hip point that Toyota promises allows you to “Neither drop into or jump up into,” which for many means far greater ingress and egress comfort. Something to think about.


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There are many more features to talk about, Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, how the wheels, both 19” and optional 21-inch fit nicely into wheel wells, the optional full-length dark stripe, differing versions of LED headlamps, 12.3-inch infotainment screens and more. Those can wait for test drives.


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