The Toyota Crown is returning to the United States, bringing with it a pair of new hybrid powertrains. The Crown, which debuted in 1955, hasn’t been sold in the United States in over a half-century. Toyota has used the Crown as a test bed for some of its most innovative and one-of-a-kind technology.
Toyota’s HYBRID MAX system will be used for the first time in this vehicle. The HYBRID MAX, like the i-FORCE MAX, promises a bit more power for those who like the idea of a hybrid but have always found their level performance to be a little underwhelming. Although Toyota did not include a V6 engine as it did in its trucks, the HYBRID MAX system still promises to be powerful. Powertrain options include a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and 340 horsepower. The car also has the extra torque that a hybrid’s motor provides. The HYBRID MAX system is only available on the “Platinum” edition of the Toyota Crown, and the extra power comes at a cost.
According to Toyota’s estimates, choosing the sporty version of the Crown results in a combined 28 miles per gallon. While this is excellent for a performance vehicle, it is significantly lower than that of some hybrids. There’s also a chance that the estimate will fall even lower after the EPA tests the vehicle. If fuel economy is more important to you than performance, the standard Toyota hybrid system may be the best option for you. The XLE and Limited models are equipped with the standard hybrid power train. The Toyota Hybrid System, according to a press release, can achieve a combined 38 miles per gallon thanks to its “newly developed, high-output bipolar nickel-metal hydride battery.”
A stylish interior for technology lovers
The Toyota Crown is larger than other sedans and has a less conventional style, similar to the short-lived Volvo S60 Cross Country, at just over 60 inches high, 72.4 inches wide, 194 inches overall, and a 112-inch wheelbase. Toyota claims to be offering a middle ground between a sedan and a crossover, providing the comfort of a family car but with a higher ride height. The large wheels emphasize the “lift-up” style, with 19-inch multi-spoke two-tone alloy rims available on the XLE and Limited models. The Limited can also get 10-spoke dark metallic alloy wheels, while the Platinum gets “21-inch machined 10-spoke alloy wheels with black accents.”
The XLE’s 8-way adjustable seats are fabric-coated, while the Limited has Softex and fabric-trimmed seating, and those who purchase the Platinum edition get leather. All versions include an adjustable 12.3-inch color MID that can be used for navigation or entertainment. Apple CarPlay®, Android AutoTM, and good old-fashioned Bluetooth are all supported. On the XLE, your music will be piped through a 6-speaker sound system, while the Limited and Platinum editions will have an 11-speaker system. There are numerous charging options throughout the cabin, including USB-A, USB-C, and 12-volt ports. According to Toyota’s press release, wireless charging is also available on the driver’s side via a QI charger.For those who want to cram in as many features as possible, the Limited grade includes a “Advanced Technology” option. Furthermore, both the Platinum and Limited grades have a moonroof, and all vehicles have acoustic glass to keep road noise outside where it belongs.
Not all Crown variants are coming to America
While North America is getting the Toyota Crown for the first time since 1972, not every edition will be available. Toyota is introducing four Crown variants in Japan, each with its own name and some differences from the models that will be available in the United States. Japan will get the “Crossover type,” “Sport type,” “Sedan type,” and “Estate type” instead of the XLE, Limited, and Platinum editions.
Toyota’s powerful new 2.4-liter turbocharged hybrid system makes an appearance in the “Crossover type,” which shares many similarities with the Limited version. Toyota hasn’t released enough information to allow for solid speculation, but the Japanese editions could be the same as the international ones, with a new name and possibly some tweaks. Toyota stated that “the new series will be rolled out in approximately 40 countries and regions,” but it is unclear whether this includes the variants coming to America or if the models arriving in America are slightly different from the Crowns sold in Japan and 39 other countries. In any case, it’s encouraging to see Toyota’s flagship luxury vehicle cross the Pacific.