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You might have never heard of the Toyota Crown, but believe it or not, it’s the brand’s longest-running nameplate. The Crown dates back to 1955, but it was only available for the Japanese domestic market until now. The Crown now takes the top sedan spot in Toyota’s lineup, replacing the Avalon full-size sedan.

However, one important thing to note is that the Toyota Crown is only available as a hybrid. Additionally, there are two different hybrid powertrains to choose from. Here’s a breakdown of whether it’s worth upgrading to the Hybrid MAX powertrain.

The Hybrid Max badge on the 2023 Toyota Crown Platinum
2023 Toyota Crown | Toyota

What engine is in a Toyota Crown?

The turbo engine in the 2023 Toyota Crown
2023 Toyota Crown | Toyota

The base powertrain in the 2023 Toyota Crown is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s mated to a 40-kW electric motor. This combination is found in the XLE and Limited trim levels and is good for 240 hp and an EPA-estimated 42 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. As we can see, this setup is great for those needing a solid commuter and not a lot of power.

During our time spent with the Toyota Crown Limited at a drive event, the base engine moved the car along nicely to get up to speed. However, its power output felt a little weak compared to the Hybrid MAX powertrain.

That powertrain can be found solely in the top-trim Crown Platinum. We recommend this configuration if you like the ability to pass slower cars and get onto the freeway easily. The Hybrid MAX consists of a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine that’s mated to a larger 58-kW electric motor. The setup provides 340 hp and an EPA-estimated 29 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

On the road, the Hybrid MAX setup moves the Crown with plenty of gusto. The power picks up quickly and smoothly thanks to a seamless transition between the gas engine and electric motor. Its six-speed dual-clutch transmission shifts smoothly as well. If you’re looking for power, this is the setup to get.

How much more does the Toyota Crown Platinum cost than the Limited trim?

A zoomed-out rear exterior view of the 2023 Toyota Crown
2023 Toyota Crown | Toyota

Of course, it always comes down to price. As such, the 2023 Toyota Crown XLE trim level starts at $39,950, while the upper-trim Limited starts at $45,550. For that extra $5,000, you’ll get the same base powertrain but extra features like a heated steering wheel, an upgraded JBL sound system, and a leather interior.

Opting for the Premium trim level raises the bottom line to $52,350. For the extra $6,800, you’ll get larger 21-inch wheels and tires, an adaptive suspension, and the Hybrid MAX powertrain.

Is the top-trim Crown Platinum worth the extra cash?

If you’re shopping for a 2023 Toyota Crown, we recommend opting for the Platinum trim despite its more expensive price tag. Although the additional features compared with the Limited trim are few, they are important.

The Hybrid MAX powertrain makes driving the car fun while returning good fuel economy figures. Also, the adaptive suspension is comfortable and sporty at the flick of a switch in the center console. Ultimately, if you’re not the type to go for the highest trim level when shopping for a specific make and model, it may be worth it if you’re checking out a Toyota Crown.