When Toyota announced the Avalon full-size sedan was to be discontinued, it seemed like a sign of the times. Sedans are dead, aren't they? But then news broke that the famous Toyota Crown nameplate could be making it stateside and all didn't seem so bad.
The Crown is now confirmed for the US and the automaker says that the striking styling and elevated ride height reimagines the concept of a full-size sedan. Two hybrid powertrains include one with 340 horsepower, and all models come with electronic on-demand all-wheel drive. Inside, there is a spacious cabin filled with Toyota's latest technologies.
See trim levels and configurations:
Recently revealed, the official release date of the 2023 Toyota Crown is still unknown. It's likely that the sedan will go on sale at the end of 2022 as a 2023 model.
While the price of the 2023 Toyota Crown hasn't been confirmed, it's rumored it will be more expensive than the Avalon as it will appeal to a more luxury-focused audience. Indications at this stage are that the Crown will start at an MSRP of around $50,000 but could reach as much as $70,000. For reference, the 2022 Avalon starts at $36,825 and tops out at $44,150 in Limited Hybrid guise. When it arrives, the Crown won't really have rivals but will forge a new segment in the American motoring scene.
At the $50,000 mark and above, it's worth looking at what else one can get, however. If you want more of a traditional SUV, a top-spec Highlander comes in at around $50k but isn't as luxurious as the new Crown. Traditional rivals Honda and Mazda have no equivalent to the Crown, and the Koreans have all but given up on large sedans. In price terms, the full-size Crown will be equivalent to mid-size German sedans like the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series.
The exterior design of the Toyota Crown crossover sedan hasn't been a secret after patent images leaked out of the Japanese Patent Office that correlate with the brand's official teaser imagery. Is it a sedan? Yes. Is it a crossover? Yes. Is it a four-door coupe? Also yes. Confused yet?
The all-new Toyota Crown uses traditional sedan styling elements up front and has a low roofline in relation to that of the hood. But at the back, the sloping roof appears to be more coupe than sedan. Toyota sayd the ride height is just below that of an SUV, however, and there's black body cladding around the wheel arches. Despite the liftback-like rear design, there is a more traditional trunk lid as you'd get with a normal sedan.
The design of the front takes inspiration from the likes of the bZ4X electric SUV but retains the low gaping air intake of the Avalon. LED headlights and full-width LED taillights are also present, and the top two trims have a panoramic moonroof.
Base models have 19-inch alloy wheels but the top-spec ones ride on 21s. Exterior color options for the Toyota Crown include Black, Oxygen White, Magnetic Gray, Heavy Metal, and Supersonic Red. A controversial two-tone paint option is available that pairs black with several shades, including Bronze Age.
To replace the Avalon, the Crown's external dimensions are sizable. It's 194 inches in length, 72.4 inches in width, and 60.6 inches in height. As for the wheelbase, that is 112.2 inches. Although the Avalon is almost two inches longer, its height is substantially lower at 56.5 inches. The Crown's dimensions should free up an abundance of interior space.
A curb weight in the region of 3,700 lbs would make sense given the Crown's platform and size.
The Toyota Crown's engine is is one of two four-cylinder units, and each is supplemented by electric power. The lower two trims each have a 2.5-liter engine that has two electric motors as part of the THS (Toyota Hybrid System). Toyota has not indicated specs for this base powertrain, but if the Avalon Hybrid's powertrain is anything to go by, expect around 215 horsepower. An electronic on-demand AWD system is standard, as is a continuously variable transmission.
The Hybrid Max engine equipped to the Platinum grade sounds a lot more exciting. It pairs a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-pot with a front electric motor and a rear wheel e-axle with a high-output water-cooled electric motor. Toyota quotes a figure of 340 hp which is more than the current Avalon V6. A more advanced AWD system pairs with the Hybrid Max, and a direct shift six-speed automatic transmission replaces the CVT used for lower grades. Toyota says that the front-/rear-wheel-drive force ranges between 70:30 and 20:80 depending on the situation. The result is greater feel as associated with a RWD car but also good straight-line stability and responsive acceleration.
Toyota makes no mention of 0-60 mph sprint times but we wouldn't be surprised if the Hybrid Max model slips below six seconds here.
We don't know exactly what the base Toyota Crown's gas mileage estimates would be yet, but the this model shouldn't be too far off the Avalon Crown's 43/44/44 mpg city/highway/combined, although the greater ride height may negatively impact efficiency. An EV Mode will enable electric-only driving for short distances.
Toyota estimates that the Hybrid Max powertrain will return 28 mpg combined.
Some bold claims have been made about the new Toyota Crown's interior, with the Japanese automaker saying it has a "first-class cabin". The company says that the TNGA-K platform and strategically placed insulation lowers noise levels inside, as does the acoustic glass and a sound absorbing pad between the engine bay and cabin. That's especially important in a four-cylinder car.
The interior design isn't quite as forward-thinking as the exterior, but it has an upscale look. All models come with the new Audio Multimedia system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen interface, a 12.3-inch multi-information driver's display, and smart features like over-the-air updates, a cloud-based navigation system, and voice recognition. All models have wireless device charging, and the Platinum enjoys a top-view camera system.
In any large sedan, seat comfort is a priority. The Toyota Crown's seats are heated in front on all models, with the base model settling for a combination of cloth and SofTex upholstery. The Limited and Platinum add front-seat ventilation, rear-seat heating, and leather upholstery.
The Toyota Crown's trunk space should be substantial considering the car's size, but the specific specs haven't been shared yet.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Toyota Crown: