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Toyota announced the 2023 Crown’s return to the United States as the outgoing Avalon sedan’s replacement in 2022. The newest generation Toyota Crown, produced exclusively with AWD hybrid drivetrains, began arriving at U.S. dealers earlier this year, after a 50-year hiatus, amid mixed reviews from the nation’s automotive critics. One of the most stinging reviews calls the 2023 Toyota Crown “big, cramped, confused, and weird.”

A gray 2023 Toyota Crown shows off its high-riding full-size sedan profile in a photo shoot.
2023 Toyota Crown | Toyota

A harsh look at the 2023 Toyota Crown

Motor1 got an early look at the 2023 Toyota Crown before its U.S. market release, and based on first impressions, it’s doubtful their name is on the list of Crown owners. While the author admits that being over 6 feet tall leads to issues that shorter people won’t experience, the feeling that the Crown was “like wearing shoes that are a half a size too small” resulted in a “claustrophobic experience.” 

The Crown’s exterior is larger than the discontinued Avalon, with an extra half inch of ground clearance and its four-inch taller roofline. While this should equate to more headroom, the Crown’s front seats stand high off the floor, resulting in a headroom difference of only 0.8 inches in the Crown’s favor in front and no difference in the back seat. Front seat legroom measurements are identical, but rear-seat legroom favors the Avalon Hybrid by 0.4 inches. 

The Crown’s ergonomics are confusing because it doesn’t take advantage of the larger interior space, especially in the driver’s seat. The front passenger seat provides “more vertical travel and a lower overall H-point” than the driver’s seat.

Despite the reviewer’s issues with the Crown’s dimensions, the review notes satisfaction with the sedan’s stability at highway speeds, noting a ride with “expansion joints and other surface changes rarely registering in the cabin.”

Does the 2023 Toyota Crown fit in today’s market?

Toyota’s decision to bring a large sedan into the U.S. market that favors midsize to large SUVs and shunned somewhat similar models like Kia Stinger and Nissan Maxima is weird. However, with a lack of comparable sedans in the market, the Toyota Crown sits poised to fill the gap if anyone is interested. 

The 2023 Toyota Crown provides three trim levels, XLE, Limited, and Platinum. The two lower levels feature a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine paired with two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors powered by a small nickel-metal hydride battery to produce 236 net horsepower. While the horsepower number isn’t impressive on paper, it feels more powerful when driving, likely due to the enhanced torque provided by the electric drive motors. 

The Crown XLE MSRP starts at $41,045, including destination charges. After that, the price bumps to $46,645 for the Limited and peaks at $53,445 for Platinum. The top-grade Platinum model comes with a 340-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain that includes two electric motors also, plus “adaptive dampers, 21-inch wheels (optional on the Limited), automatic parking, and two-tone paint.” 

Motor1 says, “the smart money goes for the $46,645 Limited” version as it adds “leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, a JBL audio system, a fixed glass roof, and LED headlights.” Both lower grades earned an estimated 41 mpg combined city and highway, while the more powerful Platinum is only good for an estimated 30 mpg combined.

Ultimately, either powertrain propels the Toyota Crown forward proficiently, and the 13.8:1 steering ratio combined with McPherson struts up front and rear multi-link suspension transfer steering inputs to the roadway quickly. But even with the Platinum’s adaptive dampers, Motor1 says, “the Crown feels more top-heavy than anything else.”


Grading Safety in the 2023 Toyota Crown