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Classy 2023 Toyota Crown marks triumphant return for a classic nameplate Featured

Posted On Sunday, 05 November 2023 22:29 Written by
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Toyota returns the Crown nameplate for 2023, in a model that takes the place of the Avalon in its lineup. Sharp two-tone paint schemes are offered on the Crown, making it stand out among the competition. Toyota returns the Crown nameplate for 2023, in a model that takes the place of the Avalon in its lineup. Sharp two-tone paint schemes are offered on the Crown, making it stand out among the competition. Photo courtesy of Toyota

Revisiting the past with new car name launches can be a mixed bag. On one hand it helps create more buzz since the name is recognizable. On the other, it may seem like a brand is running out of new ideas.

One new vehicle that harkens back to long-gone days is the Toyota Crown, a historic nameplate that comes back to life in 2023 to replace Toyota’s Avalon in the full-size sedan category.

And while it has nothing in common with the Toyota Crown that first came to the U.S. in 1958 and was sold through 1972, the name is a strong one, evoking royalty and leadership.

I recently tested the 2023 Toyota Crown — which is one of the few vehicles still for sale in the large sedan category — taking on rivals such as the Volkswagen Arteon, Volvo S90, Nissan Maxima and the Kia Stinger.

Toyota fans who are seeking a bit of luxury, but don’t want to step up to a Lexus sedan, will welcome the Crown as a worthy replacement for the Avalon.


Its striking looks and design are the teaser to get your attention, then the performance and tech/safety will garner even more positive feedback.

Read on for my full take on this reborn classic nameplate from Toyota.

LOOKS

The design of the 2023 Toyota Crown will be an immediate topic of conversation for anyone who sees it. Put simply, it’s hard to find anything else like it on the road.

The two-tone design comes in various color options. My test vehicle featured a combination of bronze and black paint, and there is also a black and red version sold.

Black paint covers the Crown’s hood, roof, trunk and rear, with bronze covering the rest of the vehicle.

Literally everywhere I went while driving the Crown, people asked me about this car. In traffic, pedestrians and other drivers were turning their heads. The looks just drew people in, and people were quite surprised when I told them it was a Toyota, as this definitely won’t be confused for a Camry or Corolla.

A set of bold, 21-inch, 10-spoke wheels help to enhance the overall visual appeal. I understand that some people will not like the unique design on the 2023 Crown, but I’d bet a good number of dollars that the majority of people who see it will give a thumbs-up.

The Crown features quad LED headlights and LED daytime running lights that function automatically, and a fixed-glass panoramic roof.

The length of the Crown is a healthy 196.1 inches, wheelbase is 112.2 inches, and its height is 72.4 inches. Overall curb weight is just over 4,300 pounds.

The Crown is also raised a bit higher than a traditional sedan, but not quite at SUV level height.

Moving inside, the 2023 Toyota Crown continues to show royal levels of classy design and features.

The quality is high-end, definitely an upgrade from the Avalon, yet still totally different from what you’ll find in a sedan from Lexus (Toyota’s luxury brand).

It offers leather seating, a heated leather steering wheel, heated and ventilated leather front seats, and heated rear seats.

The Crown offers a roomy feel for all passengers, and nice touches such as a hidden armrest in the rear seat that houses rear cup holders.
The vehicle features well-designed controls and a large, clear touchscreen. It’s a quick learning curve to perform vehicle controls by voice and touch.

Small storage spaces are ample in the Crown, but cargo capacity is limited, with 15.2 cubic feet of space in the trunk..

HOW’S THE RIDE?

There are two hybrid power plants offered on the 2023 Toyota Crown. 

I tested the higher-end option, a Hybrid Max 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged offering that features an electric motor and delivers an impressive 340 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. It was paired with a 6-speed automatic transition, and had full-time all-wheel drive (all Crown trim levels come with AWD).

The two lower trim levels feature the base hybrid engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder offering which delivers a significantly lower number of 236 horsepower and also includes three electric motors. This version is paired with a CVT transmission.

If it’s acceleration you seek, the Platinum trim with its bolder engine is going to get you 0 to 60 in roughly 5.5 seconds, but that number grows to around 7.5 seconds if you choose the lower trim levels (XLE and Limited).

When you go to shift gears, you’ll notice the shifter is unique in design, and it may take some time to get used to how it operates.

The Crown features an adaptive suspension that improves the overall drive quality and road composure, and offers drive modes including: Eco, Normal, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Custom. The Sport modes are the most fun of course, but will lower fuel mileage.

The Crown features a mostly smooth and quiet ride, but moves fast when you need it to. It also handles well in turns and is great at highway passing and merging onto freeways.

Most Toyota models aren't known as performance leaders in their segment, but the Crown shines in this area, making it an outlier for the brand, and you will definitely enjoy driving the Crown each day.


TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

The 2023 Toyota Crown features a strong infotainment system centered around a 12.3-inch screen and user-friendly touch controls.

Voice commands were responsive, as the vehicle understood me instantly for navigation, phone and audio commands.

The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (via wireless connection), features satellite radio, and the Crown features an 11-speaker JBL sound system with subwoofer that is decent but not spectacular in sound quality.

In addition to the 12.3-inch touchscreen, there’s also a helpful 12.3-inch multi-information display directly in front of the driver. You get wireless phone charging with a convenient charger located up front in the center console. There are also well-placed climate controls in the form of physical buttons below the touchscreen.

Toyota also delivers excellent safety features, as per usual, on the Crown.

Its Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 system features: Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, and Road Sign Assist.

The Crown’s Panoramic View Monitor on the Crown looks sharp, and shows the area all around the vehicle from a bird's eye view using 3D imagery. It’s especially beneficial in tight parking situations.

The Proactive Driving Assist is effective and reliable, even on curvy roads. You must keep hands on the wheel, but it handles turns well and stops when needed on its own. Emergency braking is also quite effective, and blind spot warnings show up in the side mirrors.

Other optional tech include an Advance Park system, which lets the vehicle park itself in both parallel and perpendicular parking scenarios.

Also, safe exit assist warns you if traffic is approaching when you are about to open a door from the inside.

MPG

The official fuel mileage on the 2023 Toyota Crown is 29 city/32 highway/30 combined.

In real world testing, I averaged 26 mpg, a few shy of the listed numbers.

And the best news is for those who choose the base engine, which features mileage of 42 city/41 highway/41 combined, tremendous mileage from a vehicle this size.

There’s a big difference between the two engine options in terms of mileage, but there’s also a big difference in power. So you’ll have to choose what is more important to you.
 

PRICE

The 2023 Toyota Crown I tested was priced at $54,638. Its base price starts at about $41K. This is slightly higher than the Avalon’s starting price in previous years, and reflects the luxurious upgrades on the Crown compared to the Avalon.

Three trim levels are offered: XLE, Limited and Platinum, with the biggest change being the engine upgrade on the Platinum trim.


BOTTOM LINE

The 2023 Toyota Crown is a successful return for a historic nameplate for the Toyota brand, delivering a unique design, excellent drive quality, premium feel, superb fuel mileage, and more.

Those who love the reliability of Toyota and prefer larger sedans should be enthused about the Crown as a strong replacement for the Avalon. 

And the Crown should win some fans just based on looks alone, with its ultra sharp paint scheme offerings. Buyers looking for high-end sedans would be wise to include the Crown in their test drives. 

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu



Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2023 Toyota Crown  
  • Price as tested: $54,638 (starts around $41K)
  • Best feature: Unique eye-catching design, strong tech and safety features, performance
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Sedan buyers seeking a bold new alternative with a sharp design, lots of space, and excellent power 
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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