Is Toyota Making a Colossal Mistake With the Crown Signia Hybrid?
After a 51-year absence, Toyota returned the Crown nameplate to the U.S. market in 2022 to much fanfare. Though the first Crown to grace our shores after a half-century was a controversial sedan-on-stilts, Toyota is quickly adding to the Crown lineup with a new crossover SUV variant for next year called the Crown Signia. Toyota boasts in a press release that the Crown Signa will mark the brand’s 19th electrified model for sale in the U.S., but that statement requires one heavy-duty disclaimer.
To be clear, Toyota only sells one single all-electric vehicle, its bZ4X, and besides having an unfortunate name, it’s not even a superior EV. The remainder of the brand’s 19 electrified models — save for the hydrogen fuel cell Mirai — are either conventional hybrids or plug-in hybrids (PHEV), with both the Crown and Crown Signia falling in the former category. A few months ago, that decision may have seemed shortsighted. But today? Not so much.
What we know about the 2025 Toyota Crown Signia so far
Not surprisingly, the Signia shares the Crown sedan’s TNGA-K global platform, as well as its powertrain. That’s a 2.5 liter gasoline-powered 4-cylinder, assisted by three electric motors, one of which is mounted at the rear axle to yield standard all-wheel drive. Somehow, the less aerodynamic Signia conjures up a few extra horsepower over the sedan: 243 hp versus 236 hp, to be exact. Fuel economy is estimated to be 36 mpg in combined city/highway driving.
Crown sedan owners have the option to up the ante with a turbocharged 2.4 liter gas engine that, combined with the electric motors, makes 340 hp. It’s unclear at this time whether the Signia will also have this powertrain available, but we have to believe that it will, and Toyota‘s not mentioning it thus far is merely an error of omission.
Externally, Toyota says that the Insignia will sport the brand’s distinct “hammerhead” front end with a monochromatic grill to match the SUV’s five available paint colors. Two trim levels are offered: a base XLE that’s already very well equipped and a Limited, which truly elevates the Signia to near-Lexus levels of luxury. Pricing for the Signia hasn’t been released yet, but the consensus is a starting rate of around $45,000.
Toyota has taken some flack from the automotive press for not at least serving up a PHEV variant of the Signia. However, the production model does have an Eco mode that lets it travel short distances on battery power alone. Considering that Toyota has been selling the heck out of its hybrid vehicles, it’s hard to fault the company’s strategy, even if it eschews virtue signaling.
The Crown Signia will benefit from Toyota’s storied history as the king of hybrid cars
Nearly 25 years ago, Toyota became the darling of eco-conscious consumers and environmentalists everywhere with its revolutionary Prius hybrid. That’s a stark contrast to today, where the brand is facing heavy criticism for not jumping on the EV bandwagon quickly enough. In fact, Greenpeace ranked Toyota in last place in decarbonization efforts among 10 major automakers.
Still, Toyota is definitely playing to its strength with hybrids. For now, that seems like a smart move as both consumers and manufacturers struggle with the high cost of EVs, as well as concerns over the robustness of our nation’s charging infrastructure.
With the Crown Signia, the auto giant will have 19 electrified models
Assuming that your definition of “electrified” stretches to include any vehicle with an electric drive motor onboard, Toyota does indeed offer 19 different models in America. Listed alphabetically, they are:
When will Toyota make another EV?
Earlier this year, Akio Toyoda stepped down as Toyota’s CEO, a move that many attributed to his cautious approach to fully embracing EVs. Perhaps more accurately, Toyoda was unwilling to abandon all other alternatives to a more efficient and low-emissions future besides just EVs.
Since Toyoda’s ouster, the brand invested an additional $8 billion in a North Carolina EV battery plant, per Electrek. That’s at the same time that Ford and other automakers have walked back their own investments in EV production. Though details are vague, Toyota promises multiple new EVs for 2026, with nearly 500-mile ranges, to boot.
Looking even further into the future, Toyota also teased new solid-state battery technology that promises a 900-mile range, coupled with a recharging time of just 10 minutes, according to Yahoo. Toyota may have gotten a slow start with its first EV, the perfectly average bZ4X, but it’s clear that, for better or worse, the brand is now taking EVs more seriously. If previous successes in the hybrid marketplace are any indication, Toyota’s competitors should be plenty nervous.