2023 Toyota Crown Platinum

The new Toyota Crown is a cross between a sedan and an SUV. It has unique styling with a raked roofline and raised ride height. It’s only available as a traditional hybrid and comes equipped with all-wheel drive and a long list of standard features. It’ll be interesting to see if the Crown catches on – will consumers want a sedan/SUV?

Base Price: $52,350
As Tested: $55,052
Horsepower: 340
Mileage: 29 mpg city/32 mpg highway/30 mpg combined

The Crown is new in the U.S. market for 2023, replacing the Avalon. The Crown nameplate has long been available in Japan and other countries and was also in the U.S. some 50 years ago.

The Crown is definitely a head-turner. It stands out with its distinctive looks, sloping roofline, relatively high ride height, and rims on the wheels. I had several people wanting to know what I was driving. 

The 2023 Crown comes in three trims: XLE, Limited and Platinum. Starting prices range from $39,950 to $52,350. These are above average for a hybrid. There’s room for five passengers in two rows of seating. All-wheel drive is standard on all trims.

The standard powertrain is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors, one on each axle. Total output is 236 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is a continuously variable automatic. The top Platinum trim gets a more powerful option, Toyota’s new Hybrid Max powertrain. This has a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors, one on each axle. Total output is 340 horsepower and 400 pound-feet. The standard transmission here is a six-speed automatic.

My Platinum tester has the larger engine. While there’s enough power for everyday driving situations, the Crown is not exactly exciting to drive but it is easy and pleasant. It handles more like a sedan than an SUV. Acceleration is fairly brisk, steering is responsive and the Crown feels planted when cornering. The hybrid braking system has a slight squishy feel. Thanks to the high seating position, visibility is good all the way around. Overall, the emphasis is on a smooth, comfortable ride, much like driving a Lexus, Toyota’s upscale brand, making the Crown a nice cruiser.

Fuel economy is decent but other hybrids do better. EPA ratings for my tester are 29 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with a combined rating of 30. I got 30 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. The lower trims do better at 42 mpg city and 41 mpg highway with a combined rating of 41.

The cabin is attractive but not as nice as the price point may suggest. While most materials are upscale, there are many hard plastics. Seats are comfortable with decent legroom, but the sloping roofline limits headroom for taller passengers. A large touchscreen dominates the dash.

Standard features include keyless entry, push-button start, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth and synthetic leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, infotainment system with 12.3-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, five USB ports, wireless device charging, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Available features include a surround-view camera system, real leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, 11-speaker JBL premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a digital key. 

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, traffic-sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert, pedestrian detection, rear-seat alert, and Safe-exit assist (alerts passengers exiting the vehicle if another vehicle approaches from behind).

Available driver assistance technologies include park assist, and front and rear parking sensors.

The large 12.3-inch touchscreen looks great with its crisp graphics, and the system responds quickly to touch and voice commands. Menus are logically arranged. Handy physical controls let you quickly adjust audio and climate settings.

Trunk space is decent at 15.2 cubic feet. The rear seats fold down to accommodate large and/or bulky items. No power liftgate is available.

The good:

Distinctive looks

Comfortable ride

Standard all-wheel drive

Decent fuel economy

Lots of standard features and tech

User-friendly infotainment system

Standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

The not-so-good:

Mediocre interior for the price

Limited headroom

Costs more than the Avalon, which it replaces

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $52,350. Premium paint is $425. Two-tone paint is $550. Mudguards are $149. Key glove is $20. The Toyota Preferred Accessory Package with all-weather mats is $463. Delivery fee is $1,095 bringing the grand total to $55,052.

Bottom line:

The all-new 2023 Toyota Crown may appeal to those who want a traditional hybrid but can’t decide if they want a sedan or crossover. Many will like the Crown’s distinctive looks and raised ride height, but a relatively hefty price tag may cause potential buyers to look elsewhere.

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