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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

2023 Toyota Crown: An Old Name with Lexus Luxury

Toyota has not used the Crown name here in the US in my lifetime, but they are betting on this larger fastback sedan capturing some new buyers who may not have ever considered the now discontinued Avalon.

This new large sedan from Toyota does not follow the conventional formula for large, luxurious sedans, and we like it. Sitting up slightly higher than the Avalon did, with a higher ingress/egress h-point, the Crown gives off strong crossover vibes. Add to that the sweeping fastback style roofline and you get a vehicle that Toyota hopes appeals to a broader range of customers and captures some of the magic of modern crossovers and SUVs while still providing the fuel economy of a modern sedan.

Fuel economy is the name of the game with the base powertrain. Standard in the XLE and Limited trims, the 2.5L Dynamic Force 4-cylinder engine makes a modest 236 horsepower but gets an astounding 41 mpg combined fuel economy rating from the EPA. Toyota mates the hybrid powertrain to an ECVT for smooth power delivery, though we have yet to drive one and test that for ourselves.

The Platinum trim is more luxurious while also being more exhilarating to drive. Using a 2.4 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, this HybridMAX that is standard in the Platinum boasts 340 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Platinum models are also AWD thanks to the electric drive motor, but power is routed through a 6-speed automatic transmission versus the ECVT of the others. Fuel economy numbers do take a hit thanks to that increase in power, claiming only 30 mpg combined from the EPA’s ratings.

Inside, we get Lexus quiet. It was a nice reprieve from all of the noise of the auto show going on around me. Materials give a nice feeling of upscale class without hitting you over the head with bling. I really liked the subtle use of the gold metallic accents to break up the large areas of dark surfaces in this Platinum model. The rest of the interior felt reminiscent of other Toyota models we have been in lately, which is not a bad thing. If you have driven a Toyota or Lexus lately, getting in this will be quite familiar and easy to adapt to.

The back seat headroom was a little tight due to the roofline, but there is a nice cut-out in the ceiling for additional headroom if you lean your head back to just in front of the rear window. Comfort in the rear seat was as you would expect from a modern sedan, with plenty of legroom for me to sit behind myself without any issues.

Yes, from our quick tour of this 2023 Toyota Crown at the Houston Auto Show, there is a lot to like with the replacement for the Avalon. It is everything you would expect in a modern Toyota with unconventional looks and efficient hybrid powertrains to help set it apart from the pack.

2023 Toyota Crown Specs:

  • ALL- Hybrid Powertrains

  • XLE & Limited

    • 2.5L Dynamic Force 4-cylinder Engine

    • 236 Horsepower

    • Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive

    • Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission

    • EPA Fuel Economy 42/41/41 (city/hwy/cmb)

  • HybridMAX in Platinum

    • 2.4L Turbocharged 4-cylinder Engine

    • 340 Horsepower

    • 400.4 lb-ft of torque

    • Full-time Electronic All-Wheel Drive

    • 6-speed Automatic Transmission

    • EPA Fuel Economy 29/32/30 (city/hwy/cmb)

  • 15.2 cubic feet of trunk space behind seats

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