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The 2023 Toyota Crown replaced the aging Toyota Avalon in 2023 as the head of the Toyota sedan table. After years of disappointing sales, the Avalon had fallen behind its closest competition. In introducing the Crown, Toyota had hopes of returning to the top of the full-size sedan pile. So far, however, the new Toyota car’s sales aren’t quite what the brand had hoped.

The Toyota Crown is underselling the Avalon it replaced

A red 2022 Toyota Avalon parked by the waterfront
2022 Toyota Avalon | Toyota

So far in 2023, the Toyota Crown is desperately underperforming compared to the Avalon’s 2022 figures. July was the Crown’s best month yet, moving 2,060 cars. That’s over 100 models more than the Toyota flagship’s previous high of 1,920 in April.

Contrasting those numbers with the Avalon, however, shows that the car remains a disappointment for Toyota. In July 2022, the Avalon sold 2,374 units, according to Good Car Bad Car. And while that was a sales high for the year, it followed two months of 2,000 sales or more.

From January to July 2022, Toyota sold 10,114 Avalon models. Contrast that to 2023, and the Crown has sold just 8,215 models during the same period. Critically, the Crown wasn’t available in January and sold just 58 models in February before picking up steam in March. Average sales per month do balance the Crown’s numbers, but it’s still scarcely on par with the Avalon’s 2022 performance.

The Toyota Crown is an unusual replacement for the Avalon

The front bumper area on the 2023 Toyota Crown
2023 Toyota Crown | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Toyota introduced the 2023 Crown with a lot of hype, highlighting a hybrid-only lineup, elevated ride height, and modernized styling. It came with a radical two-tone paint job, massive 20-inch wheels, and a sleek, curvy design. All of these things were in stark contrast to the Avalon, which was a low-slung festival of angles and aggression by the time it left the market.

However, many of the Avalon’s negative reviews decried its low ride height and difficult seating position. Despite Toyota’s efforts to aim the Avalon at a younger market with a bold design and spicy TRD trim, most Avalon models went to drivers who were 45 or older.

The Crown was the answer to the Avalon’s toughest criticism

A view of the front interior in the 2023 Toyota Crown
2023 Toyota Crown | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

That target audience meant that things like seat comfort and ingress/egress difficulty were important factors. Factors that made compact crossovers, and even more spacious competitors like the Nissan Maxima and Hyundai Sonata bigger draws.

The Crown, theoretically, was an answer to those ills. Its elevated ride height and seating position does make getting in and out an easier task. But the two-tone styling is also a wild look seemingly aimed at…well, we’re not really sure who, honestly.

You can get the Toyota Crown car without the big black stripe over the hood, roof, and trunk, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find any marketing materials showing it in such a guise.

Is the Toyota Crown a rare mistake from Toyota

Considering the quality, comfort, and enjoyable drive from the Hybrid MAX powertrain, it’s hard to call the Toyota Crown a failure. However, its bizarre styling is a mismatch with the typical Toyota full-size sedan market. Plus, the new Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata are more striking and spacious for less money.

Overall, the Crown isn’t a failure, but it’s not exactly a boon either. Its only real selling point is the ride height. And there are dozens of crossovers to cover that arena. Perhaps sales will pick up as it finds a new audience. For now, though, the 2023 Toyota Crown is a bit of a letdown.

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