By Veeno Dewan.
The full-size 2023 Toyota Crown is a new hybrid sedan with what seems like SUV pretensions. A replacement for the Toyota Avalon sedan, the Crown’s height is 100 mm taller than the Camry sedan, It sits high and mighty and is fairly large sedan that has almost SUV proportions. In Japan it is actually classed as a Crossover. It rides on as standard 19-inch wheels with optional 21-inch rims and tires. It is a sleek, bold looking car, and even comes in funky two-tone colors. The red and black combo looking particularly striking. For the Canadian market, there is a choice of either a standard all-wheel drive, and a choice of either a 2.5L Hybrid engine with 236 hp or a new more powerful 2.4L Turbo Hybrid Engine option producing an impressive 340-hp.
The Crown line-up starts with a very well-equipped XLE trim at $45,590. The mid-level Limited rings in at $50,990 while the top performance enhanced Platinum is $59,990. The entry XLE and Limited models are powered by Toyota’s ubiquitous 2.5-litre 4-cylinder hybrid engine drivetrain with a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission ). All models of the Crown feature all-wheel-drive and a hybrid system, The $9,000 extra for the Platinum version delivers the new Hybrid Max system, larger 21- inch wheels, more equipment, and that unique two-tone paint option.
As standard features on all Crown models are heated front seats that offer 8-way power-adjustment and driver’s seat lumbar support. The climate control system is a dual zone unit and there is Toyota’s latest infotainment system featuring a 12.3-inch touch screen. There is wireless connectivity for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with over-the-air updates functionality. The Crown Limited model offers upgrades such as a premium sound system, leather interior and a panoramic sunroof. The Platinum sees a power boost thanks to the more performance-oriented Hybrid Max AWD system, upping the standard 236 hp to 340 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. The system incorporates a 2.4L turbo engine, while the front electric motor has a capacity of 61 kW, with the rear motor delivering 59 kW. The CVT is replaced by a more responsive six-speed auto transmission.
The interior of the 2024 Crown Platinum tester comes across as neatly conventional and looks high quality, although there is a lot of plastic trim. Its mostly black, although the leather seats have nice contrast piping. Some small bronze-coloured trim pieces provide a hit of contrast. The big central display units have dual screens and are well integrated. It is nice to see physical buttons for the most used functions such as audio and climate. Ergonomics are good and the controls and display screen infotainment unit is easy to use and intuitive. The rear cabin is well finished and the back seats are comfortable. Generally, there is a good feeling of space, ample leg, and shoulder room, although rear headroom is a little compromised. The trunk space is sized at 433 litres.
On the road Toyota claims a 0-100 km/h time of 5.8 seconds for the Platinum, which is quick for this class. It feels strong off the line with good acceleration to highway speeds and ample power for quick passing when needed. The hybrid drivetrains performance is no doubt enhanced by the omission of the CVT in favour of the Platinum exclusive six-speed automatic in the interest of greater responsiveness. Selecting Sport+ mode, stiffens the suspension and allows for more road feel. However, this is a big heavy vehicle and is not as nimble as you would expect. The trade-off instead is a delightfully comfortable serene ride and an adaptive suspension system that does a great job of ironing out road imperfections and potholes. Handling and braking is very good with no issues. A major highlight is the quiet, calm cabin that’s’ equal to super premium luxury class sedans in my opinion.
In terms of fuel economy, the XLE and Limited trims are rated at an impressive 5.6/5.7/5.7 L/100 km (city/highway/combined), while the more powerful Platinum is rated at 8.1/7.3/7.8 L/100 km.
To sum up, The Crown has many things to like. There is a well- engineered hybrid drivetrain and good as standard equipment list. The distinctive looks, the high driving position, and obvious Toyota quality. are also plus points. Downsides are few; a smallish trunk for one thing and no full All Electric EV version (As yet.). The Crown is a good alternative if you are in the market for a roomy family hybrid but do not fancy a typical boxy SUV. Highly recommended.
2023 Toyota Crown priced from – $45,590 – $59,990.
More info at www.toyota.ca