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2023 Toyota Crown Debuts As Half Sedan, Half Crossover

Toyota has introduced the Crown, which will replace the Avalon as the brand's next-generation full-size car, but it's not exactly a sedan this time. In fact, the Crown takes the shape of a lifted sedan, with black plastic body cladding to attract crossover fans. It even borrows some styling cues from the bZ4X electric SUV, while also stealing from the Lexus playbook on the inside.

In the US market, the Crown is a fairly new nameplate that's unfamiliar for most, but it's been around in Japan since 1955, when it became the company's first mass-produced car ever. Since then, the Crown has gone through sixteen generations, but this is the first Crown to arrive on US soil in several decades. It was the first Japanese car ever sold in America when it came in 1958, but it was last seen here in 1972.

The Crown will offer two powertrains when it comes on sale, and they're both hybrids. XLE and Limited have Toyota's new fourth-generation hybrid system, combining a 2.5 liter four-cylinder with two electric motors. This setup comes with a fully electric mode for short trips, which brings 38 mpg combined. This powertrain comes with a CVT transmission, and makes 236 horsepower.

Meanwhile, the range-topping Platinum trim gets an all-new Hybrid Max system, which takes two electric motors and pairs them with a punchier turbocharged 2.4 liter four-cylinder. Horsepower is bumped up to 340, but fuel efficiency is downgraded to 28 mpg. Instead of a CVT, Platinum owners get a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

All-wheel drive is standard on all Crowns, but the Platinum is the first Toyota to ever offer an E-Four Advanced layout, transferring 80% of power to the rear wheels for better acceleration and AWD stability.

Those who think that Toyota's vehicles are boring will be proven wrong with a quick look at the Crown's exterior. The quirky lifted sedan body style makes a statement with black plastic cladding around the wheel wells and bumpers, and a small gloss black flourish on the doors. The gloss black continues at the front, where it conceals the large lower grille and meets the bumper with a thin chrome line. The headlights are also reminiscent of the bZ4X electric crossover. At the back, a thin taillight bar is the main attraction, and the entire rear fascia is covered in gloss black on the Platinum trim.

The lower-end XLE and Limited trims have a monotone paint job and 19-inch two-tone wheels, but the Advanced package upgrades them to 21 inches on the Limited. The high-end Platinum adds a two-tone look to the exterior, riding on 21-inch, 10-spoke wheels with black detailing.

Inside, the Crown's more premium placement in the lineup is much more evident. The base XLE includes black faux leather seats and upholstery, while the Limited and Platinum benefit from authentic leather materials. They also include a standard panoramic moonroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. All trims include dual climate control and Qi wireless charging. The dashboard looks very similar to sedans from Lexus, with a panel that houses the digital instrument cluster and 12.3-inch infotainment system. The latter comes with Toyota's latest infotainment, alongside wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 4G WiFi hotspot, and Toyota Safety Sense 3.0.

Expect the 2023 Crown to reach $40,000 territory when it arrives later this year, but official pricing will be announced closer to launch.


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