After a half-century hiatus, Toyota’s oldest nameplate returns to North America this yr. Making its debut Thursday, the brand new 2023 Toyota Crown is a really completely different automobile than the sedan that is developed over 15 generations within the firm’s homeland of Japan, standing fairly actually head-and-shoulders above the remainder of Toyota’s sedans with its taller, crossoverlike proportions.
The Crown’s footprint is a contact bigger than the present Camry and barely smaller than the Avalon, measuring 194 inches from bumper to bumper with a 112.2-inch wheelbase. With the Avalon gracefully bowing out of the lineup this yr, that makes the Crown the automaker’s new flagship sedan. Nevertheless, the Crown’s 60.6-inch roofline places it round 3.7 inches taller than the Camry, with very completely different proportions than something we have seen earlier than from Toyota’s designers. Representatives of the model inform us many of the Crown’s verticality comes from the “lift-up” proportions of its physique and never from considerably elevated floor clearance.
Elevating the roof allowed the Crown’s designers to boost its seating place to a extra crossover-like peak, as properly, hopefully combining the acquainted driving dynamics, silhouette and discrete trunk of a sedan with the ahead visibility, confidence and straightforward step-in entry and exit of a small SUV. However with so lots of at the moment’s SUVs already boasting very car-like highway manners, Toyota could also be splitting hairs over perceived driving expertise benefits.
The Crown’s dealing with division is staffed by a MacPherson strut suspension up entrance and a multilink setup for the rear wheels with normal 19-inch wheels for decrease grades and elective 21-inchers for the Restricted trim. The highest-spec Platinum grade makes these 21s normal gear and upgrades the suspension with normal adaptive dampers.
340-hp Hybrid Max
Two powertrain choices can be found to Crown consumers, and each are hybrids with normal digital all-wheel drive. The bottom setup for XLE and Restricted grades is the two.5-liter Toyota Hybrid System, which mates the automaker’s bread-and-butter gas-electric hybrid setup on the entrance axle with a second electrical motor on the rear axle for on-demand all-wheel drive. That is similar to the setup you may discover within the present RAV4 Hybrid, however tweaks to the battery and different methods place the Crown’s output at 236 horsepower and its estimated financial system at round 38 mpg mixed.
Choosing the Platinum grade additionally swaps the powertrain for the automaker’s new Hybrid Max system. This upgrades to a 2.4-liter turbocharged gas-electric hybrid system with a six-speed computerized sending energy to the entrance axle and water-cooled electrical motor powering the rear axle for extra performance-oriented, full-time all-wheel drive. With all the pieces working in live performance, the Hybrid Max system peaks at 340 hp and, with an excellent proper foot, delivers as much as 28 mixed mpg based on Toyota’s inner estimates.
The Crown is constructed on Toyota’s New World Structure Okay (TNGA-Okay), which additionally serves as the bottom for the Camry, RAV4, Highlander and Sienna. This implies the chances of seeing a Polestar 2-battling, totally electrical model of the tall sedan are slim to none. This appears like a little bit of a missed alternative to flex the E-TNGA devoted electrical structure used on the new BZ4X, however it’s possible the Crown’s growth predates that platform.
One other missed alternative is the dearth of a plug-in hybrid model of the Crown. An even bigger battery and a pair dozen miles of EV vary in the beginning of every day would add a little bit of future-proofing as governments push for totally electrical fleets over the subsequent decade. It will additionally assist the Crown function a gateway for consumers on the fence about plugging in as Toyota makes its personal sluggish transition to electrification. Toyota will not touch upon future merchandise, so who is aware of? Perhaps there is a Crown PHEV on the drafting board ready to debut.
Related multimedia tech
The Crown’s cabin is house to the most recent technology of Toyota’s dashboard tech. Twin 12.3-inch screens are normal — one forward of the driving force serving as a user-customizable digital instrument cluster and a second, central touchscreen that is house to Toyota’s Audio Multimedia infotainment software program. We have seen this method earlier than inthe place its built-in knowledge connection permits for over-the-air software program updates, subscription-based distant companies, managing a number of Toyota consumer profiles and related vacation spot search. There’s additionally the “Hey, Toyota” hotword recognition that enables customers to provoke searches with the sound of their voice.
Under the shows are bodily controls for the local weather methods (thanks for that!), a deep pocket for wirelessly charging a telephone and two USB type-C ports for charging different passenger electronics. Two extra type-C ports may be discovered on the second row and a USB type-A port is positioned inside the middle console for media playback or normalor connectivity.
The Crown may even come normal with the automaker’s Toyota Security Sense 3.0 driver support suite. Its pedestrian detection system now consists of recognition of motorcyclists and guardrails. In the meantime the precollision system can now detect and mechanically brake to keep away from accidents when turning throughout an intersection. Radar adaptive cruise management and lane tracing help additionally declare upgrades for this technology. Low-speed security is enhanced with an ordinary backup digicam or a 360-degree digicam system that is elective for Restricted grade and normal on Platinum.
The 2023 Toyota Crown is an attention-grabbing train in defying and mixing courses with its mixture of sedan and crossover traits, however it additionally feels oddly timed. It is a sedan launching as new automobile consumers shift to SUVs and a hybrid hitting the highway because the business creeps towards a tipping level for full electrification. We’ll have to attend to see how properly consumers obtain the Crown when it goes on sale close to the top of this yr. Pricing and remaining gasoline financial system are anticipated to be introduced nearer to that launch window.