Thursday, 25 July 2024

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.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

The current state of the full-size sedan is a curious one.

The status symbol everyone wanted in past generations, over time it has been relegated to the backburner as SUVs became the dominant force in the auto industry.

While luxury brands still offer high-end full-size sedans at astronomical prices, non-luxury brands are slowly bowing out of the full-size sedan market. One exception, for the short term, is Volkswagen, which still has the Volkswagen Arteon available (at least until 2024, which has been announced as the final model year).

I tested the 2023 Volkswagen Arteon, specifically a SEL Premium R-Line model, and I’m back with a full report on what this unicorn of a vehicle has to offer to car buyers still in the sedan market, who are resisting the move to SUVs.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

Reaching the 40-year mark is a major achievement for any vehicle, and the Nissan Maxima reaches that ripe old age in 2021, leading the way as the Nissan brand’s flagship sedan.

Currently on its eight edition, the last major upgrade to the Maxima came in 2015, but for 2021 there is a limited-production 40th Anniversary Edition with some attractive design additions.

Even after all this time, and despite tough competition, the Maxima remains an attractive full-size sedan with a level of sportiness rarely found in the segment.

I recently tested a 2021 40th Anniversary Nissan Maxima and I’m back with a full report.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

With the rise of SUVS, the sedan is a vehicle type that has had its obituary written by many, but that’s a bit premature. While it’s true that many sedans are ceasing production or being converted into SUVs, the ones that have remained are still very strong.

Toyota is arguably the leader for the sedan, primarily through its strong-selling Camry. But at the top of their sedan arsenal is the Avalon, a full-size sedan — that rare breed of vehicle which is truly a dying breed.

Hybrids are an even rarer vehicle type to find in the full-size sedan realm, outside of luxury models, making the 2021 Toyota Avalon hybrid an extremely unique offering. There are some vehicles — including the Honda Accord hybrid and Hyundai Sonata hybrid — that come close in size to the Avalon hybrid, but lack the sophistication and performance it offers.

I recently sent time in a 2021 Avalon hybrid, and here is a full report.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

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