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For the longest time, Toyota’s rival to the Nissan Maxima was the Avalon, but now the Toyota Crown is here to play. So how does the Maxima compare to this Toyota newcomer? We did some digging to find out.

A 2023 Toyota Crown Platinum trim driving down a street at night.
2023 Toyota Crown | Toyota

Toyota Crown vs Nissan Maxima: performance and efficiency

While both the 2023 Toyota Crown and Nissan Maxima are their brands flagship models, what each model packs under the hood couldn’t be more different.

The base engine in the Crown is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid that offers 236 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. It propels the Toyota sedan to 60 mph in a pedestrian 7.6 seconds, however efficiency is strong at 42 mpg city and 41 mpg highway.

The Maxima bests the Crown on base power with its standard 3.5-liter V6. The biggest Nissan sedan churns out 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque and gets to 60 mph in just under six seconds. However, the Maxima is far from a fuel-saver at 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

While base power tips toward the Nissan, Toyota’s new flagship has another trick up its sleeve.

With the Crown Hybrid MAX, a 2.4-liter turbocharged hybrid drive system makes 340 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Even with this improved performance, the Crown bests the Maxima at the pump. At 29 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, the Toyota packs both a bigger punch and a more efficient drive.

Even more convincing is that the Toyota comes standard with all-wheel drive no matter which engine provides the power. The V6 Maxima may best the base Crown, but there is no all-wheel drive to be found anywhere.

A white Nissan Maxima poses against a dark background.
2023 Nissan Maxima | Nissan

Features and technology put the Toyota Crown ahead of the Maxima

Both the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Crown offer feature-rich experiences, but the Crown holds a clear advantage over its Nissan counterpart. The Crown has both wireless Apple CarPlay and a wireless charging pad, while the Maxima doesn’t. And with a 12.3-inch central infotainment display and available digital instrument cluster, the Toyota newcomer outstrips the aging Nissan for in-car tech.

Comfort features are similar in both models, with heated and cooled seats, panoramic roof glass, and available heated rear seats in both the Nissan and Toyota.

Ride quality and dynamics are better in the Nissan Maxima

Front angle view of silver 2023 Toyota Crown midsize sedan
2023 Toyota Crown | Toyota
Related Grading Safety in the 2023 Toyota Crown

Grading Safety in the 2023 Toyota Crown

Splitting the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Crown on driving dynamics is a matter of preference above anything else. The Maxima is clearly the better handling vehicle, with sharp steering response and limited body roll. However, that can lend itself to a harsh ride on rough roads, so there is a compromise.

On the other hand, the Crown is a floaty, comfortable place to be on any road, even with the adaptive suspension of the Hybrid MAX. For comfort, the Crown is clear winner, though someone looking for an engaging four-door may prefer the Maxima instead.

The Crown shows its generational advantage

Truthfully, comparing the 2023 Toyota Crown to the Nissan Maxima feels like an unfair test. The Crown is Toyota’s shiniest new toy, boasting the brand’s best features and updates. The Maxima is at the end of its current life cycle, with a new model soon to come, according to Car and Driver.

That said, the Maxima still holds some advantages for shoppers that want a performance-focused fullsize sedan. However, the Crown’s comfort and tech make it a better value for the same $40,000 price tag.