2023 Toyota Crown Limited - Review by Bruce Hotchkiss + VIDEO
A Blast From The Past But Much Better Looking!
Special Correspondent, West Coast Bureau
THE AUTO CHANNEL
Many years ago when I was an apprentice auto mechanic we had a customer who had a Toyota Crown station wagon. It had a big lump of an overhead cam six and a 4-speed manual transmission. My job was to do a tune-up which included a valve adjustment. I thought the Crown was ugly but I kind of liked it anyway. That 2.6-liter six was smooth and it had good torque.
The new Crown doesn't have a lumbering I6 under the hood (thankfully) and it is way better looking. In fact, I think the Crown is the best-looking Toyota right now.
There are two different hybrid powerplants available in the Crown. The Hybrid XLE and the Limited model tested use a 2.5-liter four combined with two electric motors (one front, one rear) for a combined power output of 236 hp. A Platinum version combines a turbocharged 2.4-liter four with two electric motors for 340 hp. AWD is standard on every model.
The XLE and Limited have an CVT while the Platinum uses a 6-speed automatic.
The just under two ton Limited gets to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, the higher horsepower, but heavier Hybrid Max Platinum does it in 5.7 seconds. These times are from Toyota.
I'm on the fence about the 21" wheels and tires. The standard is 19". The bigger wheels and tires are part of an Advanced Technology Package. What bigger tires have to do with technology is beyond me, Panoramic View Monitor and Digital Key maybe but tires? Frankly for the $2,950 I'd pass.
I really wish auto companies would stop making gear selection so complex. Once upon a time there was a shift lever with PRNDL; it was one lever. The Crown's system isn't the most complicated I've encountered but there are at least two controls, a lever for Reverse and Drive, and a button for Park. Yeah I know, I'm old.
One upside and one downside of the 5.8" of ground clearance is that the Crown's front seats were at butt level but on the other hand the visual is that it sits too high. I'll take the visual just so I can get in and out smoothly.
The monochromatic interior had subtle white accents that I liked. There was too much hard plastic though; so many other vehicles use soft vinyl that the hard stuff stood out.
The instrument cluster was fairly standard for a hybrid - Speedo on the right (and a digital readout dead center), with a gauge on the left to let you know just how economical your driving is.
There was plenty of room in the rear seat for adults but once again the center seat would be the last place I'd want to sit. There is the almost required fold-down center armrest that turns the Crown into a four-passenger car.
There is 15.2 cubic feet of storage in the trunk and that can be increased if the rear seats are folded down.
Fuel economy is as high as 42-mpg city and 41-mpg highway. I didn't see that but I did see just shy of 38-mpg of mixed use. That's darn good.
The 2023 Toyota Crown Limited is a very nice car. As I said, I think it is one of the best-looking Toyotas in a long time. I think it would be a perfect vehicle for someone with an active lifestyle who doesn't want a SUV. It's got AWD, it's frugal, and it's roomy. It would look perfect with a ski rack on top.
Toyota must expect dog owners to flock to the Crown because they list a whole slew of dog oriented accessories available. Good for you Toyota.
Now let's talk about price. The 2023 Crown Limited starts at $45,550. Add $425 for the Supersonic Red paint, $2,950 for the Advanced Tech Package, and $1,095 for delivery and you have a total of $50,020. A no-cost option built into every Toyota is their famed reliability.
A Crown XLE starts at $39,950, and the top Crown Platinum at $52,350.
If you're interested head on over to your local Toyota dealer and have a look.