Students of automotive history will know that the Toyota Crown has been at the top of the desired size in Japan since the 1950s, and has not been part of the Big T’s U.S. portfolio since it was replaced by the Corona in 1973. Our very own Murilee can list this tree in great detail, which is one of the many reasons we appreciate her rambling.
Now the crown is back in the country. It technically replaced the Avalon, a four-door hybrid (car? SUV?) with a traditional sedan trunk opening on the frame, 4 inches taller than the Camry. If Toyota wanted to challenge the classification by bringing the Crown name back to the U.S. for the first time in five years, it certainly succeeded.
There will be three trim levels, all familiar to Toyota loyalists – XLE, Limited and Platinum. The first two motors are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with nickel-metal hydride batteries and three electric motors that act as dance partners. This setup is good for a claimed 236 horsepower, and combined with the CVT under driving conditions makes 40 mpg. Because of the placement of these motors, these crowns are all-wheel drive.
Platinum models come with that nasty all-caps HYBRID MAX powertrain that we’ll never take advantage of again. Here we find a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed wet-clutch transmission that doubles as a hybrid system consisting of a battery and two electric motors, the latter of which is liquid. Cool on the rear axle. Toyota says these gubbins make 340 horsepower, but fuel economy drops to around 28 mpg on the combined cycle.
A sleeker hybrid system consistently sends power to all four wheels, while XLE and Limited trims can be front-wheel drive under certain conditions. Since the Hybrid Max’s rear motor generates power via water cooling, the Platinum trim can send up to 80 percent of the power to the rear wheels for tail maneuvers on loose surfaces.
But what about its appearance? what, indeed. Using the TNGA-K platform, the Crown appears to be trying to combine the ride comfort of a sedan with a crossover-like ride height. If you want to mention Subaru Legacy SUS or AMC Eagle Sedan in the comments, we won’t stop you. Measured with a tape measure on the crown, the overall height is 60.6 inches (compared to 56.9 inches for the Camry), the length is 194.0 inches, the wheelbase is 112.2 inches, and the width is 72.4 inches.
For reference, the 2022 Highlander is listed as 68.1 inches tall, 194.9 inches long (112.2 inches w/b) and 76.0 inches wide. If you notice it has the same wheelbase as the Crown, give yourself a gold star. Both cars are built using the TNGA-K skeletons that currently support many Toyota vehicles from the Venza to the Sienna and from the RAV4 to the Camry. Old Avalon also used it. The Crown’s interior will be familiar to anyone who’s driven a new Toyota recently, which isn’t a bad thing.
Although Toyota has been mum on pricing, it’s due to go on sale this fall. For what it’s worth, the 215-horsepower Avalon Hybrid currently starts at $37,850, so we’d expect the Crown to start at over $40,000.
Become a TTAC insider.Get the latest information newFeatures, TTAC Needs, and All the Truth About Cars Subscribe to our communication.