Toyota has another winner in its stable of fine cars. The debut of their Crown semi full-size sedan may be the best alternative to buyers who prefer an AWD sedan to an SUV and an EV.
The Crown replaced the long-running Avalon full-size sedan. And Toyota included added incentives such as AWD for Snowbelt driving and a hybrid powertrain for miserly fuel economy no SUV can match. Added to this, Crown has an eye-grabbing exterior design with a pleasing, classy leather interior.
Crown is offered in XLE, Limited and Platinum that we were privileged to test.
Crown has a pleasing and comfy interior. With a raised stance (5.8 inches of ground clearance) and doors that open wide, ingress/egress is easy and similar to most crossover’s or SUVs.
A standard 12.3-inch touchscreen is streamlined across half the dash and includes the digital gauge cluster. It serves a host of functions such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto connectivity, rearview camera with surround and revolving views, navigation, JBL audio, HVAC selections to supplement the traditional array of switches, and some voice control that includes asking questions similar to an Alexa home assist system.
Heated front seats (and steering wheel) are nicely supportive and comfy. The console houses a slim 6-speed automatic gear selector that is supplement with paddle shifters. They’re joined with a wireless phone charger and mode switch for Custom, Sport, Sport Plus, Normal, Comfort and Eco modes. The cupholders even have removeable partitions and Crown’s center console box/armrest lid opens from both sides for driver/passenger access.
Crowns’ gauge cluster includes a power gauge in place of a traditional tachometer and it shows when the hybrid system is operating most efficiently and when heavy throttle is less efficient. Toyota designers thought of everything and included all the latest technology including Safety Sense 3.0 that offers radar cruise control, lane departure alert w/steering assist, lane tracing assist, proactive driving assist, advanced park (Crown parks itself), blind spot monitor and more.
Heated rear seats are equally as comfy as the fronts with decent leg room (38.9 inches) and ample head room for two adults. A third passenger would have to be a youngster with short legs as the transaxle hump is somewhat high.
Crowns’ trunk is spacious and is rated at 15.2 cubic feet that has 45.5 inches of loading depth. Flip the 60/40 rear seatbacks and loading depth extends to 77 inches. Beneath the trunk floor is a space saver spare tire along with a tray for small item storage.
With the Platinum trim model, it comes with a 2.4L turbocharged Hydra Max 4-cylinder that produces a combined 340 net horsepower and 400.4 lb/ft of combined net torque. So powered, Crown gets most impressive EPA mileage estimates of 29 city, 32-highway mpg.
The XLE and Limited produce 236 net horsepower with a CVT automatic transmission. When coupled to the conventional 6-speed automatic, the Crown Platinum can do 0-60 in a quick 5.7 seconds. There’s certainly no want for power as equipped. And in Sport and Sport Plus modes, acceleration is even quicker and instantaneous with no discernible turbo lag.
Shod with tall 21-inch Bridgestone tires and adaptive suspension, Crown rode quietly and smoothly with excellent road manners. In tight turns or curves, it remained planted with virtually no discernible body lean.
As the top-line model, Crown Platinum had a base price of $52,350 with only two options of premium paint ($425) and two-tone paint ($550). Those took the bottom line to $54,420 with delivery. The XLE carries an MSRP of $40,050 while the Limited’s is $45,650.
Crown comes with a 3 year/36K general warranty and a 5/60K powertrain. Hybrid batteries are covered for 10 years or 150K miles and includes complimentary scheduled maintenance and roadside assistance for two years or 25K miles.
Added to this, the Institute for Highway Safety awarded Crown a top safety pick.
Toyota’s Crown is a crown jewel as it has something for everybody who doesn’t want an EV or an SUV. It’s a compelling compromise, along with Toyota’s quality build.