2023 Toyota Crown Revealed As Funky Lifted Sedan With Hybrid-Only Power

Reveal / 23 Comments

The Avalon suddenly looks quite ordinary by comparison.

Ever since the news emerged that Toyota would be bringing the legendary Crown nameplate to the United States, there has been much speculation about what form the model would take. Knowing that the Avalon full-size sedan would be discontinued, another large sedan to replace that seemed logical. And, while the dramatic new Crown can be categorized as a sedan, these pictures prove that it's far from traditional. An SUV-like ride height, two-tone paint on some models, and a coupe-like roofline combine for a car that makes quite a visual statement. Other than its unique design, the new Crown arrives with two hybrid powertrains, an expansive and luxurious cabin, and a choice of three trims.

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Unique Styling

The Crown looks a lot like recently leaked patent images. The front is dominated by a gaping intake with attractive LED headlights above that. The hood sits high yet the roofline appears low. From the side, the sloping roof is a clear departure from the boxier Avalon, but there is actually a traditional trunk lid and not a hatchback-like liftgate. A set of 19-inch wheels on the base trim are replaced by 21s on pricier models. At the back, there is a super slim full-width light bar. Go for one of the top two trims and you'll get a panoramic moonroof.

Dimensionally, the Crown is two inches shorter in length than the Avalon, but at 60.6 inches, its over four inches taller. Supersonic Red, Bronze Age, and Heavy Metal are some of the available colors, and a polarizing two-tone paint job is available. Black wheel arch surrounds are another hint at a rugged edge that isn't often associated with a large sedan. This is more of an aesthetic choice than anything else as we simply can't see the Crown chasing Land Cruisers along muddy trails.

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Toyota

Typical Toyota Interior

Being a large sedan, interior comfort, materials, and technology will all need to be at a high standard. Based on these first pictures, the interior design is typically Toyota conservative, which may come as a disappointment after seeing the adventurous exterior. Toyota says it has paid much attention to noise insulation. All models have acoustic glass and there is also a sound absorbing pad positioned between the engine bay and the cabin.

Three trims - XLE, Limited, and Platinum - are available, with the base model coming with SofTex/fabric seat upholstery, heated front seats, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Here, the sound system has just six speakers.

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Next is the Limited. It adds leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, an 11-speaker JBL sound system, and rear cross-traffic braking. Finally, there's the range-topping Platinum. It not only has the more powerful powertrain which we'll get into shortly, but comes with an adaptive variable suspension, six selectable driving modes, and the option of bi-tone paint.

Underpinned by the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform shared with other Toyotas like the Avalon and Highlander, the manufacturer promises agile handling and a quiet ride. The car has a newly developed multi-link rear suspension, while the adaptive variable suspension of the Platinum grade has variable oil pressure shock absorbers.

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Toyota

Hybrid Power Only

If you were expecting the Crown to have a soulful V6, you might be disappointed. Two four-cylinder engines are offered but both are supplemented by electric motors, starting with the 2.5-liter version. It's boosted by two electric motors but Toyota has not supplied specifications for this model. However, based on the Avalon Hybrid, we expect about 215 hp. An electronic on-demand AWD system is standard, and this powertrain uses a continuously variable transmission.

The Hybrid Max powertrain in the Platinum is far more powerful. It uses a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine, a front electric motor, and a high-output water-cooled rear electric motor. Producing 340 hp, it's comfortably more powerful than the Avalon V6 so we expect a 0-60 mph time of close to five seconds. This engine has a direct shift six-speed automatic transmission, and its more advanced AWD system apportions the driving force anywhere between 70:30 and 20:80.

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Gas mileage figures are yet to be confirmed by the EPA, but the Avalon Hybrid's 43/44/44 mpg city/highway/combined gives us an idea of what to expect from the less powerful hybrid. Toyota claims a combined figure of 28 mpg for the Hybrid Max.

Expected to go on sale later in 2022 as a 2023 model, Toyota has yet to share the price of the Crown. Positioned as Toyota's range-topping sedan with more than a hint of SUV about it, we expect it to start at around $50,000. The question is whether buyers will choose the Crown over a traditional SUV, or over similarly priced German mid-size sedans like the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series. Although the design will split opinion, we find the new Crown to be a refreshing departure from blocky SUVs and hope that it succeeds.

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