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After a five-decade hiatus in the North American market, Toyota is finally bringing back the Toyota Crown nameplate to replace the outgoing Avalon. Despite being a sedan, it has an SUV-like design and a choice of two hybrid systems. Also, performance is not a problem, with the powertrains having impressive output figures. That said, depending on your circumstances and what you like, you could end up sorely disappointed in the 2023 Toyota Crown.

2023 Toyota Crown Specs

A white 2023 Toyota Crown driving down the road.
2023 Toyota Crown | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

According to Toyota, the 2023 Toyota Crown is available in three trims, including the XLE, Limited, and Platinum. All three trims feature AWD systems, with the big full-size sedan having 5.8 inches of ground clearance.

Under the base XLE trim’s hood, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 184 horsepower. It combines with electric motors for a 236-horsepower output with the same system provided in the Limited trim. Notably, these two trims feature Electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmissions.

On the other hand, the Platinum trim combines a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a single electric motor. The system puts out a combined 340 hp and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Overall the Crown is pretty highly rated by reviewers, including Car and Driver, which ranks it at the top of the full-size sedan segment. However, nothing is perfect. Here are four reasons you may find it disappointing.

1. The screens

The Crown’s interior includes a 12.3-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard and a digital gauge cluster, none of which are particularly impressive. The gauge cluster is relatively dim and can be hard to read in bright sunlight.

As for the infotainment screen, Cars notes that most of the screen’s real estate is wasted and still a step behind what you get from Toyota’s competitors.

2. The performance isn’t what you expect, given the Crown’s aggressive styling

The 2023 Crown is easily one of the most aggressive-looking cars in its market segment, especially with its sports car styling. Naturally, potential buyers would assume it’s as fast as it looks and expect aggressive cornering and great feedback from the steering wheel.

They would sadly be mistaken as Toyota tuned the suspension for comfort, so you might not have as much fun with it. That said, the adaptive dampers in the Platinum trim help improve the driving thrill, although not enough to compete with the likes of the Nissan Maxima or Kia Stinger.

3. Minimal Headroom

One central selling point for the Crown is its elevated cabin giving drivers the feel of being in an SUV. However, combining a steep windshield and a coupe-like design severely limits headroom. It can be a dealbreaker for taller drivers and front passengers, given their heads will likely brush consistently on the ceiling.

Also, with the car’s sloping roofline, headroom is worse in the backseat, and even average-sized passengers might have difficulty getting comfortable.

4. Powertrain noise

While the two lower trims aren’t exciting to drive, they’re certainly not slow and should have more than enough power to merge onto highways when necessary. However, the ECVT transmission drones under pressure, with the noise quite evident in the cabin.

With the Platinum trim, you get reduced noise from the six-speed transmission. However, it’s still loud enough to be noticeable.

Why the 2023 Toyota Crown may still be a good bet for the right buyer

If you’re not tall enough to be bothered by the headroom issue, the 2023 Toyota Crown features fantastic styling both inside and outside the car. The interior even comes with high-quality materials and an impressive layout for the controls, complete with physical buttons.

Next, the hybrid powertrains offer excellent fuel economy no matter what trim you pick.

Also, while you get lower fuel economy with the Platinum trim, you get more performance in return. The car is even expected to get from 0-60 mph in about 5.7 seconds, with the AWD working full time. With the other two trims, the AWD only activates when necessary.

Lastly, the Crown is competitively priced in the full-sized sedan segment with a $39,950-$52,350 MSRP.


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