A Good Toyota Crown Alternative Is Hiding Under the Same Umbrella
The 2023 Toyota Crown is one of the newest vehicles in the Japanese auto giant’s lineup, and it brings many features to the table. That said, this unique full-size sedan sits in a strange spot in terms of segments, so finding a worthy alternative can be tough if car shoppers want something similar but different. However, a good 2023 Toyota Crown alternative is hiding in plain sight.
The Toyota Crown is rather unique
Toyota recently replaced the Avalon with the Crown. But the new full-size sedan is unique to the segment. Besides sporting a higher ride height than traditional sedans, the Crown switches things up under the hood. The Avalon had a regular gas-powered engine, whereas the Crown has only hybrid powertrains.
On top of that, the Crown’s hybrid powertrains are traditional rather than plug-in hybrids. That helps make this car fuel-efficient but also cheaper than other cars with excellent fuel economy.
That’s another reason why finding a worthy Crown alternative is challenging. There just aren’t many full-size sedans with hybrid powertrains around $40,000.
But a good Toyota Crown alternative lurks in the Lexus lineup
The Toyota Crown’s higher ride height helps make the case that this car isn’t a full-size sedan as much as a crossover SUV. Consumers who agree with that assessment might consider a small hybrid SUV, and one of the better options is the Lexus NX 350h. Lexus is Toyota’s luxury arm, so Toyota fans who choose a Lexus vehicle would remain loyal to the brand.
And though the NX 350h is a crossover SUV, it’s not that different from the Crown. Both powertrains are fuel-efficient. The Toyota gets 42 mpg combined, whereas the Lexus gets 39 mpg. Both have similar passenger headroom, legroom, shoulder room, and hip room. And both have comparable starting prices.
The most significant advantage the NX 350h has over the Crown is a liftgate cargo area, whereas the sedan has a trunk. That leads to a big disparity in cargo capacity. Users get only 15.2 cubic feet of space in the Crown’s trunk. Conversely, the NX 350h provides 22.7 cubic feet behind the back row and 46.9 cubic feet with that row folded flat.
A brief comparison of the 2023 Toyota Crown and the 2023 Lexus NX 350h
In terms of pricing, the Lexus NX is slightly more expensive. It starts at around $42,000, while the Crown starts at $40,000.
Under the hood, their base models have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, but the Crown has two electric motors compared to the NX 350h’s three. So the standard Crown makes 236 hp, while the standard NX produces 240 hp. Both have all-wheel drive.
As for their body dimensions, the two vehicles have some similarities and differences. The Crown is 60.6 inches tall, shorter than the NX’s 65.4 inches. But the Toyota measures 196.1 inches in length, over a foot longer than Lexus SUV’s 183.5 inches. The two have similar widths of 72.4 inches for the Crown and 73.4 inches for the NX 350h. And they have comparable base curb weights of 4,250 pounds for the Crown and 4,080 for the NX.
In addition, the two include many of the same advanced driver-assistance features. However, the NX presents a more appealing overall experience and boasts the cachet of a Lexus. That helps explain why U.S. News gave the NX 350h a higher overall score of 8 out of 10 than the Crown’s 6.