Toyota Crown hybrid SUV to slot above the Venza/Harrier – Report

It is reported on Japanese media outlets that an all-new Toyota Crown is in the pipeline, and this next-gen model will take the shape of an SUV. The brand and price positioning of the Toyota Crown SUV would go above the Toyota Venza (marketed as the Toyota Harrier to JDM) which is the most upscale monocoque SUV in Toyota’s home country.

Last month, Japanese publication Chunichi Shimbun, based in Aichi Prefecture, where Toyota is headquartered and manufactures the Crown, reported that the company will discontinue the luxury sedan. TMC is all for leveraging the Crown nameplate’s popularity but feels the need to respond to the changing customer preference of SUVs over sedans. Hence the Crown SUV would serve as the current Crown sedan’s replacement in 2022.

Toyota Crown SUV rendering BestCar
The Toyota Crown SUV would slot above the Toyota Venza/Toyota Harrier in Japan as the brand’s poshest monocoque utility vehicle. Rendering source: BestCar

The speculations about the next-gen Toyota Crown have been raging since the regional newspaper’s report went online. Japan’s popular scoop magazine Best Car has quickly rigged up a rendering of a potential Toyota Crown SUV, to make things interesting. We would love to see a rear-wheel drive affordable luxury SUV from Toyota making it to the U.S. showrooms that could be fit for customers who can’t afford or want a Lexus SUV.

Being the longest-running model in Toyota’s history, the Crown is an automotive legend in Japan. It has been in continuous production since its introduction in 1955. Toyota introduced the current, fifteenth-gen Crown in (June) 2018, and it would be putting it out of production unusually early into the lifecycle in 2022 if the report turns out to be true.

Should a Toyota Crown SUV see the light of the day in two years, expect it to also have a RWD drivetrain layout. Like the Crown sedan, it would feature Toyota’s hybrid drive.

Toyota has converted two of its global nameplates Corolla and Yaris into crossover variants this year. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if other four-door cars (regional and international) transition during the model cycle to take the form of crossovers through this decade.