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2023 Toyota Crown Review Highlights:

  • 2023 Toyota Crown: $39,950 – $52,350
  • Pros: The Toyota Crown can achieve good fuel efficiency numbers for a full-size sedan. The Hybrid MAX engine is perky and worth the upgrade.
  • Cons: The Crown’s exterior looks are polarizing, and it’s pricey compared to its competitors.

Although you may have never heard of it, the Toyota Crown has been around for over 50 years – in Japan. Technically, the Crown did show up on U.S. shores back in the 70s, but for 2023, it’s back in a new way. It replaces the Avalon as the king of the Toyota sedans, but it also straddles the line between being a car and an SUV.

The 2023 Toyota Crown carries some interesting proportions, including a lifted ride height, but it works. I drove the full-size sedan around for a week, and I’ll admit that I was initially skeptical about whether or not it was a good replacement for the Avalon. But after my time with it, I’m convinced that it could be ushering in a new way we look at large sedans.

How does the 2023 Toyota Crown drive?

A side view of the 2023 Toyota Crown
2023 Toyota Crown | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Driving the 2023 Toyota Crown is a serene and comfortable experience. The cabin is well sealed from the outside noise, and the JBL sound system fills the environment with plenty of clear sound. My tester was the top-trim Platinum with the large 21-inch wheels, so I could hear a fair bit of road noise at every speed, but it wasn’t overbearing.

The Crown’s steering is light, which contributes to a low steering effort at slower speeds and parking lot situations. However, the car’s turning radius isn’t that great, so pulling into tight parking spots can take a couple of tries. Fortunately, the front and rear parking sensors, as well as the clear panoramic view monitor, helped a lot.

Getting in and out of the Crown is made easy due to its heightened ride height. Once you’re in, the car is very comfortable with its supportive seats and spacious front and rear seat areas. Although, the middle rear-seat occupants may have a hard time as there is a hump on the floor and a low roof line to deal with.

Regarding driving dynamics, the Toyota Crown’s Hybrid MAX engine is the way to go. The turbocharged 2.4-liter hybrid powertrain is only available in the Platinum trim, but it’s worth the upgrade. The gas/electric engine is mated to a dual-clutch six-speed transmission that provides smooth and quick shifts. Also, the engine itself is potent and provides plenty of torque off the line and through the RPM range.

However, I did notice a slight shudder when the car would idle forward. My best guess is that’s the nature of the dual-clutch transmission, which acts a little like an automated manual transmission with its clutch packs.

Which trim level is right for you?

Shopping for a 2023 Toyota Crown is easy because there are only three different trim levels to choose from:

  • Crown XLE: $39,950
  • Crown Limited: $45,550
  • Crown Platinum: $52,350

The full-size sedan comes in three different trim levels, but we recommend opting for the highest trim. The Platinum trim costs more than equivalent competitors like the Kia Stinger and Nissan Maxima, but it’s well-equipped and has a hybrid powertrain.

The Toyota Crown has plenty of tech-savvy features

The Toyota Crown comes with a lot of tech-savvy features that trump anything the previous Avalon had to offer. There is a dual 12.3-inch screen setup – one for driver information and the other for infotainment. The infotainment system offers the latest Toyota interface, which uses a few icons on the left side of the screen, making it easy to navigate.

To make things even easier, saying, “Hey Toyota,” and then giving a command makes adjusting climate controls and inputting addresses to navigate to a snap. Other features include a wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a panoramic sunroof, heated front and rear seats, and an advanced park feature that steers for you when parallel parking.

Additionally, a JBL premium audio system with 11 speakers is available, and an adaptive variable suspension is standard on the Platinum trim.

The Crown is more fuel-efficient in its base form

The Hybrid MAX engine in the 2023 Toyota Crown
2023 Toyota Crown | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The Toyota Crown XLE and Limited trim levels are powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s mated to a pair of electric motors and a CVT transmission. Together, the all-wheel drive combination is good for 236 hp and an EPA-estimated 42 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.

The up-level Crown Platinum is powered by a Hybrid MAX turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with two electric motors for an all-wheel drive configuration as well. However, this setup forgoes the typical CVT in favor of a six-speed dual-clutch transmission with snappy smooth shifts.

The EPA estimates that the Hybrid MAX setup can get up to 29 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. In my week of testing, the Crown averaged a combined rating of 26.2 mpg, which is lower than the EPA’s combined estimate of 30 mpg.

How is the Toyota Crown’s cargo space?

A full trunk in the 2023 Toyota Crown full-size sedan
2023 Toyota Crown | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Although the Toyota Crown looks like an SUV with a hatchback, it’s not. Instead, the Crown has a traditional trunk with 15.2 cubic feet of cargo area. That area extends with the rear seats folded, and I was able to fit a lot of different types of boxes and suitcases in it when I tested it out. The Crown may not be an SUV, but it can store a lot of stuff.

How safe is the Toyota Crown?

Neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA has rated the 2023 Toyota Crown, but I imagine that it would take top honors with ease. Buyers can rest easy, though, knowing that the Crown comes with a myriad of safety features, including:

  • Toyota Safety Sense 3.0
  • Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane tracing assist
  • Proactive driving system
  • Rear seat reminder
  • Safe exit assist
  • Eight airbags
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Advanced park assist

Does the Crown come with a good warranty?

The 2023 Toyota Crown is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, which covers nearly everything beyond the normal wear-and-tear and maintenance items. There is also a powertrain warranty for up to five years with no mileage limit, and the hybrid components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles.

The battery itself has a warranty for 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. Toyota also covers all of the factory scheduled maintenance for the first two years or 25,000 miles.

The editors at MotorBiscuit award the 2023 Toyota Crown with a rating of 8.4 out of 10

A rear view of the 2023 Toyota Crown full-size sedan
2023 Toyota Crown | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The editors at MotorBiscuit give the 2023 Toyota Crown an overall score of 8.4 out of 10. The full-size sedan provides a fresh new take on the full-size sedan segment. Its exterior aesthetics may be weird, but they grow on you. Also, the higher ride height differentiates the Crown from its rivals, as do the hybrid powertrains.

Ultimately, the 2023 Toyota Crown presents a good alternative to a compact SUV with its surprisingly ample cargo and passenger space. It may have been 50 years since we last saw the Crown, but this new arrival could have what it takes to make it a king in the category.