The 2023 Toyota Crown is a lifted Japanese luxurious sedan

Name it the return of the prodigal automobile: Toyota’s flagship is coming again to Canada, completely as a premium hybrid

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I actually by no means thought we’d see at the present time. In truth, most of us old-timers — and, I’ve acquired to let you know, that more and more self-evident self-deprecation hurts — had way back given up asking when Toyota Canada would lastly carry its flagship again to Canada.

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Properly, the reply, it appears, is later this 12 months, as Toyota has made it official, its top-of-the-line Crown will lastly make a reappearance on these shores after an absence of, get this, 47 years. For these barely out of diapers — and when you’re 64, that’s just about anybody beneath 50 — the Crown has lengthy been Toyota’s flagship, and was a part of the corporate’s preliminary invasion of North America, circa 1965.

However, the 1973 oil disaster — sure, there was one earlier than our present malaise — made the sale of all massive vehicles, a Japanese import no much less, very troublesome. It is usually the longest-running sedan nameplate in Toyota’s historical past — solely the Land Cruiser is older — and was powered by the primary V8 Toyota ever produced.

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That’s to not say that the event of the Crown has stagnated. Certainly, it’s now in its 15th era, this newest by far essentially the most superior but. Actually, it’s, with some vaguely SUV-ish styling cues in an in any other case conventional sedan silhouette, essentially the most distinct. Ditto for is shades-of-Subaru Sport-Utility-Sedan-elevated again-SUVish trip peak, which Toyota formally calls its “crossover-like trip peak.” In different phrases, the suspension has been jacked up, Toyota seemingly satisfied that the attract of SUVs is just not their rugged and sensible silhouettes, however quite the hole between the highest of the tires and the underside of their fender flares. We will see.

The Crown actually has all of the technological items to be a hit. Solely obtainable with hybrid powertrains, the bottom model — in XLE and Restricted trims — will probably be Toyota’s now-ubiquitous 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle hybrid. Formally dubbed THS IV — as in, we will presume, Toyota Hybrid Synergy; fourth era — it mates fuel engine and twin electrical motors to a newly-developed high-output “bipolar” nickel-metal-hydride battery for an astounding 6.2 L/100 km gasoline financial system. Not unhealthy for one thing that Motor1 says is 4,930 millimetres lengthy and rides on a 2,850-mm wheelbase (this final an identical to the final Lexus GS bought in Canada).

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Should you’re (solely) barely much less involved with gasoline consumption, however unwilling to sacrifice efficiency, Toyota has one thing it’s calling Hybrid Max at your disposal. Marrying an all-new 2.4-litre turbocharged 4 to a rear “e-Axle,” the mixture is claimed to be good for 340 hp. Basically the identical powertrain is used within the upcoming Lexus RX500h efficiency luxurious SUV, solely it’s good for 367 hp in luxurious SUV guise.

However don’t be too jealous but; Toyota says its specific model of the Hybrid Max is tuned to hit most torque between 2,000 to three,000 rpm, and, if true, mixed with that rear e-Axle, the Platinum model of the Crown ought to boast some critical low-rpm throttle response.

Good factor, then, that it is usually imbued with the most recent in Toyota AWD methods, Digital On-Demand All-Wheel Drive. Within the case of the two.4L-powered Platinum, that is an E-4 Superior system which suggests it will probably break up the obtainable twist wherever between 70-30 and 20-80 front-to-rear. Not like the bottom E-4 system — which defaults to being a 100-0 front-driver however can ship some of its torque to the rear — the extra highly effective Hybrid Max powertrain all the time sends not less than a few of its energy rearward.

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In different phrases, it’s not simply one other slip-and-grip AWD system. The truth that the rear electrical motor is all the time on obligation is made potential, says Toyota, as a result of the rear e-Axle is water-cooled, the fixed energy distribution to the rear producing “the texture of rear-wheel-drive maneuvrability.”

The bottom E-For system, then again “supplies traction when wanted in slippery situations.” Reinforcing that Hybrid Max actually is the premium powertrain on this lineup is the actual fact it is usually mated to a direct-shift six-speed computerized transmission with a brand new multi-plate moist clutch, whereas the bottom THS IV hybrids use Toyota’s conventional constantly variable transmission (eCVT).

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As for the distinctive raised chassis, it, like so many different massive Toyotas — from the Camry and Avalon to the Lexus RX and NX — rides on the acquainted Toyota New International Structure platform, Ok model. On this case, there’s a brand new multi-link rear suspension system throughout all mannequin grades, to which the top-of-the-line Premium version provides Adaptive Variable Suspension, tuned, says Toyota, for the “excessive output” of the mixture of the two.4L engine and the rear e-Axle. Ditto, one presumes for the 21-inch “dubs” adorning the Hybrid Max-powered Platinum (lesser XLE and Restricted model trip on 19-inch tires).

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Inside, heated entrance seats make the usual tools record, whereas ventilated variations render the Restricted and Platinum grades that little bit extra particular. The entrance seats are eight-way adjustable, and dual-zone local weather management air con is customary all through the lineup. Ditto wi-fi telephone charging and USB-A and USB-C ports. The panoramic moonroof, nonetheless, requires an improve to Restricted or Platinum worth factors.

Toyota’s newest Multimedia system additionally makes the grade, a 12.3-inch touchscreen dealing with the visible interface duties whereas an Clever Assistant reads verbal instructions led by the “Hey Toyota” awakening slogan, very similar to within the just lately launched BZ4X.

2023 Toyota Crown Platinum
2023 Toyota Crown Platinum Picture by Toyota

Like most trendy choices, over-the-air updates can be found for the cloud-based navigation system and you’ll dictate “free-form” textual content messages due to voice management. It’s additionally price noting that base XLE fashions get a six-speaker audio system however each Restricted and Platinum variations improve to an 11-speaker JBL Premium Audio System with a rear subwoofer and an eight-channel amplifier. All three grades profit from wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Toyota appears particularly happy with the Crown cabin’s quietude, the engineers learning noise transmission paths across the door frames, window frames, and even the wiring harness. Even the inside rocker and bulkhead are linked by sound-absorbing adhesives, says the corporate.

Costs for the brand new Crown are but to be launched, however we do know it is going to be in Toyota dealerships this fall.

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