Update: ‘Price & Release Date’ section updated.
Toyota introduced the very first Crown in 1955 when it was meant for a much wider set of buyers in its home base of Japan. It wasn’t up until the mid-1960s (and later) that the nameplate started drawing the type of clientele that would make this one of the most prestigious cars in the Land of the Rising Sun.
As the new Toyota flagship sedan, the sixteenth-generation model not only has to uphold the Crown’s rich and historically-significant legacy but do so while also competing in a new world where full-size luxury SUVs thrive with little opposition. Looking at Toyota’s 2022 U.S. sales, electrified vehicles made up almost a quarter of the total units sold. Now, let’s shift our focus back to the 2023 Crown Hybrid.
There’s no denying the huge leap of faith that Toyota committed itself to when it laid the foundation for the 2023 Crown Hybrid’s styling. Molded by what the brand calls its “lift-up” design, the resultant outcome is one that will divide opinions. While the top half of the exterior casts the shadow of a sedan on a sunny day, the muscular and raised lower half is more reminiscent of modern crossovers.
Toyota clearly understands the draw of crossovers and that it’s significantly bringing down the demand for typical sedans year after year in most markets. So, it’s understandable why the company chose to go down this particular design path. However, one of the risks associated with amalgamating easily identifiable but juxtaposing design peculiarities of a sedan and a crossover into one car is that the outcome may be perceived as confusing rather than coherent.
Up close, the 2023 Crown Hybrid reveals a slick front fascia with smooth lines across the sloping hood and flared fenders. The slim LED headlamps get eyebrow DRLs while another LED light bar stretches across the top of the main grille. Meanwhile, a massive but recessed air intake is integrated directly into the bumper with gloss black surrounds. A coupe-like roofline is clearly noticeable, and so are the large 21-inch alloy wheels, high-set ground clearance plus black cladding underneath the doors and around the wheel wells.
The wraparound effect at the back of the new Crown Hybrid looks unique, especially when finished in one of the two-tone paint schemes. The rear is also home to a full-width LED light bar, which merges with the Toyota logo in the center. Other obvious styling details include a subtle boot-lip spoiler, easily-legible ‘Crown’ lettering, and a satin silver lower bumper trim.
The 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid sits on the TNGA-K platform, which currently underpins other models such as the Highlander, RAV4, and even the Lexus RX. Not only is the ring frame structure under the body made out of lightweight yet high-strength materials, but its structural rigidity has also been enhanced by combining strong adhesives with different construction techniques such as plate spot and laser welding.
The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system in the Crown Hybrid is fitted with reduced vibrations and enhances comfort, as engineers have used softer bushing in the front MacPherson struts while also coating its coil springs in a special polyurethane material. There’s more structural adhesive used with specially-designed mounting points for the seats to tune out road vibrations. The new Crown’s AVS system is fitted with a linear solenoid-type actuator that minimizes excessive body roll and pitching moments, while the damping force of these variable-rate shock absorbers changes based on the drive mode selected by the driver.
Toyota engineers have revised the TNGA-K platform for the new Crown Hybrid for NVH improvements. Strategically-placed insulation and clever suspension tuning ensure tire and suspension noise is kept at bay, whilst various empty spaces such as the door frames, window openings & wiring harnesses have been sealed. Similarly, vital components like the inner rocker and the bulkhead are connected using a special adhesive to improve NVH levels further.
The engineers didn’t stop there, either. In order to further enhance the sense of tranquility and occupant comfort, they sealed off the space between the engine bay and cabin. The same treatment was performed in the region just above the headliner and underneath the lush carpets. Meanwhile, an acoustic windshield goes hand-in-hand with the well-thought-out placements of various in-cabin trim and materials – all in an effort to keep away unwanted disturbances.
Sitting at pretty much the top of the family hierarchy, the mid-size 2023 Crown Hybrid is still quite a sizeable sedan when placed next to a similar class of vehicle. The new design language of this new-gen model only makes it look even bigger.
|Dimension||Toyota Crown Hybrid Measurement|
|Turning Diameter||19.4 ft.|
|Curb Weight||3,980 lbs. (XLE/Limited)/4,343 lbs. (Platinum)|
|Cargo Volume||15.2 cu. ft.|
|Ground Clearance||5.8 in.|
Interior & Features
Thanks to the 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid’s raised height, ingress & egress will not be a challenge for most buyers. Another positive aspect is the quality of materials and their respective fit & finish – almost stepping on the toes of its Lexus brethren. In fact, one glance at the dashboard and 12.3-inch touchscreen design will remind many buyers of cars from the Lexus stable – which is a great thing. Keeping pace with that is the practical yet plush cabin that blends smooth curves with pleasing lines while still keeping physical controls handy.
The leather upholstery found on the higher variants offers a rich feel, although the Softex and black woven fabric seats of the entry-level variant are a far call from being bargain-basement. The new Crown gets standard 8-way power adjustable front seats, with ventilation & heating functions available as well. Adding to its extensive list of equipment are features such as a panoramic glass roof, Smart Key System, LED ambient lighting, wireless charging, multi-zone climate control, customizable 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Toyota Hybrid System Indicator, and up to 6 individual drive modes.
Toyota Audio Multimedia System
Developed in North America, the new Toyota Audio Multimedia System comprises the aforementioned 12.3-inch touchscreen. It’s capable of receiving Over-the-Air (OTA) updates, along with being easy to use with good-quality graphics and animations. A Drive Connect feature integrates the Intelligent Assistant and a cloud-based navigation system, whilst the infotainment system not only boasts Wi-Fi connectivity but also wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The new Crown Hybrid’s Toyota Audio Multimedia System also provides Connected Services such as Remote Connect, Service Connect, and Safety Connect. While the last two are part of a 10-year trial package, Remote Connect is a subscription service that comes as part of the Advanced Technology package (standard on the Platinum variant). The Remote Connect feature comes along with a Digital Key, allowing users to control various car functions such as locking & unlocking the doors & trunk, energizing the powerplant, and the ability to share the car keys with friends and family – all via the Toyota mobile app.
All variants of the new Crown Hybrid come with the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 (TSS 3.0). This safety suite bunches together several modern technologies such as Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and built-in automatic braking, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) that latches onto the vehicle in front while pairing with Lane Tracing Assist that monitors visible lane markers on the road.
Meanwhile, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist provides the driver with audible and visual alerts (even applying some steering force) if the system detects a lane change without the turn indicators being engaged. However, if the DRCC is already active, it will make the necessary inputs to keep the Crown centered in the designated lane. The TSS 3.0 package also includes Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
The 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid’s safety nest is emboldened by Proactive Driving Assist. Given certain conditions are met, this system works by using a raft of modern sensors (including the DRCC) to keep the vehicle at a safe distance from other road users such as other motorists, pedestrians & even bicyclists. If need be, the system is designed to help the car steer while applying the brakes gently enough to ensure unimpeded forward progress.
On top of all these, the sedan can be had with Toyota’s Advanced Park System. It utilizes multiple sensors and the car’s own computing might to manipulate various controls, allowing the Crown Hybrid to parallel or perpendicular park without requiring major driver inputs. To summarize, the 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid is bristling with several safety nannies to keep its occupants safe.
The 2023 Toyota Crown is a hybrid-only model and available with two powertrains: Fourth-gen Toyota Hybrid System (THS IV) and Hybrid MAX.
THS IV clubs a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated gas engine with two electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear, which results in 236 hp of total power. Hybrid MAX teams up a 2.4-liter turbocharged gas engine with two motors, also located at the front and rear, but with different outputs. It produces 340 horsepower and 400.4 lb.-ft. of torque.
The THS IV powertrain is available in the base ‘XLE’ grade and the mid-range ‘Limited’ grade, while the Hybrid MAX powertrain is available in the top-of-the-line ‘Platinum’ grade. The 2023 Crown XLE and 2023 Crown Limited have an eCVT and on-demand all-wheel drive, while the 2023 Crown Platinum has a direct shift 6-speed automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive. Common to all of them is a nickel-metal hydride battery pack.
Toyota claims the 2023 Crown with the THS IV powertrain can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds and the 2023 Crown with the Hybrid MAX powertrain can complete the same in just 5.7 seconds. Of course, the car needs premium gas (91-octane) to achieve those numbers.
|Aspect||Toyota Crown Hybrid Specification||Toyota Crown Hybrid MAX Specification|
|Engine||2.5-liter naturally-aspirated inline four-cylinder gasoline||2.4-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder gasoline|
|Engine Power||184 hp at 6,000 rpm||264 hp at 6,000 rpm|
|Engine Torque||163 lb.-ft. at 3,600-5,200 rpm||332 lb.-ft. at 2,000-3,000 rpm|
|No. of Electric Motors||Two (front & rear)||Two (front & rear)|
|Electric Motor Type||Permanent Magnet Synchronous||Permanent Magnet Synchronous|
|Electric Motor Power||88 kW (front)/40 kW (rear)||61 kW (front)/58.6 kW (rear)|
|Electric Motor Torque||149 lb.-ft. (front)/89 lb.-ft. (rear)||215.4 lb.-ft. (front)/124 lb.-ft. (rear)|
|Traction Battery Pack Type||Nickel-metal hydride||Nickel-metal hydride|
|Traction Battery Pack Nominal Voltage||230.4 V||230.4 V|
|Traction Battery Pack Capacity [3hr] (Ahr)||5.0 Ah||5.0 Ah|
|Hybrid System Net Power||236 hp||340 hp|
|Hybrid System Net Torque||N/A||400.4 lb.-ft|
|0 to 60 MPH||7.6 seconds||5.7 seconds|
|Fuel Tank||14.5 gallons||14.5 gallons|
|Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined)||42 / 41 / 41 MPG (EPA-est.)||29 / 32 / 30 MPG (EPA-est.)|
Price & Release Date
The 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid’s prices start at USD 39,950 (excl. USD 1,095 DPH fee). Customer deliveries will likely begin in the coming weeks.
|Variant||2023 Toyota Price (excl. USD 1,095 DPH fee)|
|Crown XLE Hybrid AWD||USD 39,950|
|Crown Limited Hybrid AWD||USD 45,550|
|Crown Platinum Hybrid MAX AWD||USD 52,350|
The starting price of the new Crown is under USD 40,000, but buyers will be tempted to check a few options and packages. We played around with the configurator to get an idea. For example, we selected the entry-level XLE variant, chose the ‘Oxygen White’ exterior paint for USD 425, carpet floor mats for USD 179, first-aid kit for USD 25, Toyota puddle lamps for USD 165, and mudguards for USD 149. Combined, the MSRP touched USD 40,893 (excl. DPH), which is USD 943 over the base price of the XLE.
We repeated the same with the top-end Platinum variant – started with the ‘Supersonic Red with Black Bi-Tone’ exterior color worth USD 975, choosing the same accessories as above. The MSRP of the Crown Platinum soon reached USD 53,843 (excl. DPH), which is USD 1,493 over the price of this variant.
With the 2023 Crown Hybrid, Toyota has envisioned a new future for the brand’s (and one of Japan’s) most historic cars. While the world’s markets have seen a lot of change in the years since the Crown’s first claim to fame, Toyota thinks it’s important enough to be brought back to life with a whole series of changes and additions.
2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid FAQs
What is the 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid release date?
The 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid will likely start reaching U.S. dealerships in the coming weeks.
What is the 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid price?
The 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid costs USD 39,950 (excl. USD 1,095 DPH fee) onwards.
Which models are the 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid rivals?
The 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid competes with the Nissan Maxima.
Featured Image Source: Toyota