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Toyota has an iconic sedan lineup, which includes the Corolla, Camry, and Crown. In an SUV-centric world, these sedans still sell very well. While all three models have been around for a long time, many people might not know that their names mean the same unique thing. 

Names for Toyota Corolla, Camry, and Crown are different words for ‘crown’

Front angle view of silver 2023 Toyota Crown sedan, showing that its name means the same as Corolla and Camry
2023 Toyota Crown | Toyota

Most automakers put considerable resources and time into deciding the names for their vehicles. This is because the names can have a significant impact on what cars consumers choose to purchase. It also influences the identity and image of the vehicle — and the car brand as a whole. 

And for the Toyota Corolla, Camry, and Crown, their names have the same special meaning. They are variants of the word “crown.” Toyota follows this naming tradition for all three sedans.

Naming tradition of the Corolla, Camry, and Crown

Side view of red 2023 Toyota Corolla compact sedan
2023 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

The Crown midsize luxury sedan was the first of the three models. It debuted in 1955, marketed as a premium executive car. It was also the first Toyota vehicle exported to the United States — from 1958 to 1972. Following that time period, the automaker discontinued the Crown in the American market for over a half-century — only for it to return as an all-new model in 2023. 

The Corolla compact sedan followed in 1966. Corolla means “little crown” in Latin. Also, a secondary meaning of the word corolla for the compact sedan is the ring of petals that surrounds a flower. You could say that the Toyota Corolla is a “little crown of flowers.”

The Camry midsize sedan arrived in 1982 — and continued the naming tradition. Its name comes from the Japanese word kanmuri, which also means “little crown.” Although, as the larger vehicle, the “little crown” for the Camry is bigger than for the Corolla.

So, with the names for the Crown, Corolla, and Camry meaning the same thing, Toyota created the automotive version of the “triple crown” — but with horsepower instead of horse racing. 

Other Toyota models follow a ‘royal’ naming scheme

Front angle view of black 2023 Toyota Camry, showing that its name means the same as Corolla and Crown
2023 Toyota Camry | Toyota

Along with the Corolla, Camry, and Crown, other Toyota models follow a “royal” naming scheme. This includes the Toyota Avalon midsize sedan. Avalon is the mythical island from the legends of King Arthur. Toyota discontinued the Avalon in 2022 — with the Crown replacing it in the American market. 

There’s also the Scepter, which is the previous name for the Camry sold in Japan. A scepter is an ornamental staff that’s utilized as an accessory to a crown. 

What does the Toyota name mean?

As far as Toyota — it’s named after the automaker’s founder, Kiichiro Toyoda. Initially, the car brand went by the name Toyoda. However, during a public relations campaign prior to the company’s founding in 1937, it changed its name to Toyota.

One of the reasons for the change is “Toyota” is a voiceless consonant sound in Japanese language. It sounds clearer than the voiced consonants in “Toyoda.” Also, the name has an auspicious meaning in traditional Japanese culture with jikaku — or the strokes needed to write Japanese characters. To write “Toyota” (トヨタ), one must make eight strokes in jikaku. This number of strokes has connections to prosperity and good fortune. 

Whether you’re driving the Toyota Crown, Corolla, or Camry, you can bask in the royal implications of the name — and hope that good fortune comes your way.