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It’s easy to mistake Toyota’s new hybrid-only Crown sedan for a crossover SUV thanks to its raised frame. However, it’s no mistake that the Crown replaced Toyota’s former flagship large sedan, the Toyota Avalon. With burgeoning hybrid technology, we expect advancements with each new model along with the typical price increase, but is the new Crown better than the discontinued Avalon in every way? Here’s one way in which the Avalon rises above the Crown.

2022 Toyota Avalon

When Car and Driver reviewed the 2022 Toyota Avalon, it listed the base XLE MSRP at $37,920 and noted that in its last production year, Toyota removed optional all-wheel drive (AWD) as well as the TRD trim. Additionally, Toyota limited the Hybrid XSE model availability to its Nightshade appearance package. The upside is that all Avalon trim levels get “a new rear-seat reminder feature” and upgraded driver-assistance features with “more advanced camera- and radar-based collision avoidance systems.” 

The gas-only Avalon XLE earned Car and Driver’s pick among its other trim levels based on “its generous list of standard features,” like:

  • Heated power side mirrors
  • LED headlights
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Adaptive cruise control

The 2022 Avalon offered two drivetrains. The gas-only version featured a 3.5-liter V6 with 301 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic transmission that gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The Avalon Hybrid used a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and two electric motors to produce 215 hp with an EPA-estimated 43 mpg combined rating. The price difference between the Avalon XLE and the Avalon Hybrid XLE was only $1,000. 

2023 Toyota Crown

The 2023 Toyota Crown comes in XLE, Limited, and Platinum grades, all featuring Hybrid AWD drivetrains, and the base model XLE pricing starts at $39,950. The XLE and Limited use a 2.5-liter four-cylinder based hybrid system and CVT producing 236 net horsepower to get an EPA-estimated 42 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. Platinum models start at $52,350 and feature a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain with a six-speed automatic transmission producing 340 net horsepower and an EPA-estimated 29 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. 

The Toyota Crown’s standard features include the following:

  • Eight airbags
  • Toyota Safety Sense 3.0
  • Safe Exit Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 12.3-inch multimedia display

How was the Avalon better than the Crown?

A side profile shot of a silver-gray 2022 Toyota Avalon Hybrid full-size sedan model
2022 Toyota Avalon Hybrid | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

While its price was the Toyota Avalon’s most significant advantage, it also carried a slight fuel economy advantage in its Hybrid form. However, the Avalon Hybrid XLE wasn’t much less expensive than the Crown XLE with AWD. So, ultimately, the Toyota Avalon is gone, and the new Crown is here to stay, at least for now. 

Reviewing the 2023 Toyota Crown, Car and Driver says that every trim level provides “a more luxury-oriented experience” compared to other Toyota sedans. The reviewer recommends the Crown Platinum with the “more powerful Hybrid Max powertrain” over the more fuel-efficient XLE or Limited models. 

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