2023 Toyota Crown Déjà Vu All Over Again - Review By Larry Nutson +VIDEO
2023 Toyota Crown
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
THE AUTO CHANNEL
If you follow Toyota or might have been shopping for a car (as in, sedan) perhaps you know the Crown car line reappeared in the summer of 2022.
Toyota’s premium Avalon sedan has been discontinued. Crown, last sold in the US about 50 years ago, now fills that space. Although one might think buyers today only want a utility vehicle, industry forecasters expect the car/sedan market to continue with a decent presence.
Last Fall I took part in a Zoom on-line briefing that detailed the new Crown. This presentation by Toyota product experts was to members of the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Recently I was invited by Toyota to an in-person briefing as well as given the opportunity to drive the new Crown.
Newsworthy is the Crown is the first Toyota sedan to offer Toyota’s HYBRID MAX System. Crown will be available in three grades: XLE, Limited and Platinum. All are hybrid-powered and all are equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD) as standard.
Built on a newly developed chassis based on Toyota’s GA-K platform, Crown has a raised overall ride height. By sitting taller, the Crown offers increased road visibility, along with greater ease of entry and exit.
The fresh and stylish 4-door is coupe-like with its fastback design. It’s not a hatchback. It has a traditional trunk. The Crown sits up tall with 5.8 inches of ground clearance.
XLE and Limited feature the 4th generation Toyota Hybrid System with a 2.5-L hybrid powertrain that delivers 236-horsepower. Completing the package is a nickel-metal hydride battery pack with 60 kW capacity. A CVT connects to an electronic on-demand AWD system.
Platinum HYBRID MAX has 340 net horsepower from its 2.4-liter turbocharged hybrid engine and features a direct shift 6-speed automatic transmission and full-time electronic AWD. The same 60kW nickel-metal hydride battery pack is used. Adaptive Variable Suspension and six selectable drive modes are also equipped.
EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings for the XLE and Limited are 41 mpg combined, with 42 city mpg and 41 highway mpg. For the Platinum the EPA ratings are 30 mpg combined, with 29 city mpg and 32 highway mpg.
Performance wise, acceleration from stop to 60 mph is in 7.6 seconds for the XLE/Limited and 5.7 seconds for the Platinum. I note, this is good performance and quite adequate for the typical average driver in everyday use.
Ever Crown will come standard with Toyota’s new 12.3-inch touchscreen Audio Multimedia System and Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 collision warning, collision intervention, and driving control assistance features.
Toyota gave the 5-seat Crown a nicely quiet cabin, which I noted on my test drive. The high-strength steel platform helps curb vibration. Suspension tuning resists road surface disturbances and tire noise is reduced via strategically placed insulation and thoughtful tire/wheel construction.
Acoustic glass adds a sound-blocking barrier and absorbing insulation and body sealing material are placed throughout the structure, under the carpeting and above the headliner. The materials and their placement were optimized to minimize noise in the frequencies that typically interfere with conversation.
Crown pricing runs $39,950 for the XLE, $45,550 for the Limited and $53,350 for the Platinum, plus a $1,095 delivery and processing fee. More information about the 2023 Toyota Crown can be found at www.toyota.com.
The 2023 Toyota Crown also comes with ToyotaCare, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance, for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 2 years of Roadside Assistance, regardless of mileage. The hybrid battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is transferable across ownership.
Overall, the Crown is a well-balanced sedan that will provide a good driving experience, whether it be in an urban setting our out on the open highway. Along with the quiet and comfortable ride, the interior offers spaciousness with a premium look and feel. Crown’s eye-catching styling is refreshing, in this world of SUVs.
The hybrid (HEV) powertrains are a good choice for someone who wants to reduce their personal carbon footprint by moving away from a traditional pure ICE-powered car but is not afforded by their living arrangements to drive a plug-in electric vehicle that requires at-home battery charging for the best user experience.
© 2023 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy