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A Japanese Flagship Comes Stateside As An SUV-Like Hybrid

On sale since 1955, the Toyota Crown is a giant star in Japan and one among Toyota’s longest-running merchandise. However whereas acquainted throughout Asia and one of many first merchandise the automaker imported right here, the massive Crown hasn’t been bought within the U.S. since 1972. This fall, nonetheless, a hybrid-only Crown will return stateside as Toyota’s most luxurious mannequin It’ll even be the primary to get the automaker’s performance-oriented Hybrid Max engine.

Toyota hasn’t but introduced pricing, however this new Crown may be very completely different from earlier variations or the soon-to-depart Avalon. Whereas a sedan with a fastback design, it could even be referred to as a crossover for its greater floor clearance, 4 inches greater than the Camry. 

It’s resultingly tall: The Crown’s total top is 60.6 inches to the Camry’s 56.9, but it surely’s nonetheless shy of full crossover top: the Toyota Venza is about 5 inches taller at 65.9.

1972 Toyota Crown
The final time the Toyota Crown was bought within the U.S. was in 1972, and it regarded like this. The mannequin has remained a conservative sedan ever since. Toyota


2023 Toyota Crown
Till now, anyway. The fifteenth-generation 2023 Crown appears dramatic, notably on this two-town black-and-red scheme. Scotty Reiss

Designed and constructed and in Japan, the U.S.-model Crown received’t have the Maserati-esque entrance grille badge seen on world fashions. As an alternative, it has a singular entrance grille and facia anchored by a standard Toyota oval. The entrance is marked by a flat entrance grille with a diamond minimize sample however no perforations as is typical of inside combustion engines; as an alternative it has small, horizontal air intakes above and under the grille. 

Its silhouette is coupe-like, the roof line swooping towards the rear, which is outlined by a large, vertical trunk spanned by a lightweight bar and the Crown identify spelled throughout the rear. If shoppers love crossovers however nonetheless need crossover coupe sleekness, the Crown will present.

At its reveal, Toyota showcased the Platinum trim in a two-toned purple and black paint scheme, although Crown will probably be out there in 8 colours together with Heavy Metallic black and Bronze Age bronze.  

2023 Toyota Crown dashboard
A slick and minimalist cabin places all of the visible info on large, shiny screens however fortunately nonetheless contains bodily controls for a lot of capabilities. Toyota’s new infotainment system can be optimized for voice command. Scotty Reiss

A Triple Crown of Trims

The brand new Crown will probably be out there in three trims and with two four-cylinder engines: a 2.5-liter hybrid producing 236 horsepower is commonplace within the XLE and Restricted trims, and these are estimated to return about 38 mpg mixed. The Platinum trim will carry the primary ever Hybrid Max, a performance-tuned motor that ought to produce 340 hp from 2.4 turbocharged liters. Energy by no means comes and not using a value, and this engine is estimated to get about 28 mpg.

All fashions are all-wheel drive (AWD) and have a shift by wire digital gear selector, now with a diminutive palm-sized shifter; the XLE and Restricted fashions have a repeatedly variable computerized transmission (CVT) whereas the Platinum has a extra performance-focused direct shift 6-speed transmission. There are three drive modes within the XLE and Restricted trims: Regular, eco and sport. The Platinum Hybrid Max mannequin provides sport+, consolation and customized modes permitting drivers to place all 340 ponies to work.  

To counter the driving dynamics that greater floor clearance can generate, and to create a extra sedan-like drive expertise, Toyota added an adaptive suspension system and energetic cornering help for extra driving management and luxury. We weren’t allowed to drive the brand new Crown, however previous Japanese-spec fashions have been identified for his or her easy and opulent rides.

2023 Toyota Crown Limited front side
2023 Toyota Crown Limited front
2023 Toyota Crown Limited Rear
2023 Toyota Crown Limited rear side

Setting the Stage for an Electrical Crown?

Toyota has been gradual to the totally electrical sport, solely simply introducing the bZ4x crossover earlier this 12 months. However final doesn’t imply worst, and with the introduction of the Crown, it seems that Toyota is poised for a extra studied entree to the electrical automotive market. 

Toyota defines hybrid as a part of its electrification technique, however the Crown carries earmarks extra typical of totally electrical vehicles: The dimensions, form and top of the chassis, the flat entrance grille and the comparatively flat rear ground with solely a small driveshaft tunnel are particulars generally seen on electrics. 

Luxurious Particulars, Together with Some that Migrate from Lexus 

Sitting within the driver’s seat, the luxurious particulars of the Crown are obvious; Toyota’s leatherette, referred to as SofTex, covers the seats (with a faint bronze-colored distinction piping on the Platinum mannequin we noticed) in a sublime channel stitched sample, and soft-touch supplies cowl all surfaces. A brand new minimalist design for the middle console and dashboard add to the magnificence. And a few first-time options for Toyota make their manner from Lexus. 

In the event you’ve been within the Lexus NX or LC 500 currently, you’ll acknowledge the gear selector, a small, palm-sized shifter that simply pops the automotive into gear. You’ll additionally acknowledge the park help button tucked simply behind the gear selector. This characteristic expenses the automotive with discovering a parking spot and maneuvering into it; all the driving force must do is management braking and acceleration. This characteristic is restricted to the Platinum trim, nonetheless. 

Toyota additionally added a digital key choice that permits homeowners to make use of a sensible cellphone to unlock, begin and drive the automotive, no bodily key. This setup additionally permits homeowners to assign, and revoke, the important thing for others to drive. 

2023 Toyota Crown back seat
The Crown combines “Crossover coupe” and sedan strains, however in contrast to some autos in each classes, there’s loads of room within the again seat. Toyota
2023 Toyota Crown forward cabin
Ahead passengers are handled to loads of legroom, and the complete cabin is brightened by a dual-pane glass roof. Toyota

Fashionable Multimedia 

Anchoring the brand new look is a single panel dashboard into which Toyota’s new multimedia system and driver info display screen are built-in, creating a sublime and trendy really feel. The digital driver’s show and infotainment system had been redesigned final 12 months for the debut of the Tundra and Sequoia with a much more user-friendly perform, over-the-air updates and “Hey Toyota” voice-activated help. 

The multimedia system is commonplace, as is the upgraded Toyota Security Sense 3.0 driver help and security system. TSS doesn’t characteristic any new capabilities, however has enhanced the present system with extra precision, particularly in lane departure warning and help, adaptive cruise management and adaptive excessive beam headlights.

2023 Toyota Crown trunk
The fastback strains recommend that the Crown is a hatchback, very similar to crossover coupes just like the BMW X4 or hatchback sedans just like the Audi A5 sportback. In reality, it’s obtained a traditional trunk within the mildew of Tesla’s fastback sedans. Toyota

A Roomy, Snug Again Seat and a Massive Trunk

The luxurious continues within the backseat, which is vast and comfy. Rear seat passengers will discover air vents and USB-C ports for charging gadgets. Regardless of the coupe-like form of the Crown, there’s loads of headroom for an average-height passenger. 

The coupe form, nonetheless, may lead patrons to assume that it is a hatchback with contiguous passenger-cargo area. It isn’t. As an alternative, and a bit just like the Tesla Mannequin 3, the Crown has a standard trunk, which is sort of giant, although the rear seats fold to create further linear cargo area. 

In all, Toyota brings some nice new particulars and luxe options to its top-of-the-line mannequin, a pure re-introduction of the Crown identify. The promise of Hybrid Max will little question delight the extra lead-footed drivers on the highway, and for many who need higher gasoline economic system, Toyota delivers its at all times dependable hybrid system, now in a extra luxe atmosphere.

Costs will probably be introduced nearer to the Crown’s on-sale date, however count on it to achieve sellers within the fourth quarter. The automaker says the brand new Crown just isn’t particularly a alternative for the outgoing Avalon, however it is going to sit on the prime of its automotive lineup, so count on costs to begin someplace north of $50,000.

2023 Toyota Crown
2023 Toyota Crown
2023 Toyota Crown console
2023 Toyota Crown decklid

This text, 2023 Toyota Crown: A Japanese Flagship Comes Stateside As An SUV-Like Hybrid, initially appeared on Forbes Advisor.

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