2023 Toyota Crown Platinum Review
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First Drive: 2023 Toyota Crown Platinum Review

Toyota’s sedan lineup gains a new model with the full-size 2023 Toyota Crown, sporting bold two-tone looks, standard all-wheel drive, and a new 2.4L Turbo Hybrid Engine making an impressive 340-hp.

The 2023 Toyota Crown is expected to arrive in Canadian showrooms in early 2023. 

Key Features:

  • Impressive Hybrid Drivetrain
  • Distinctive Styling
  • Serene Cabin

Direct Competitors:

  • Lexus ES 300h
  • Honda Accord Hybrid
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid

Toyota is already the only car company in Canada selling a full range of models spanning compact cars, through SUVs, sedans, minivans and trucks, yet it appears as if they’re trying to map uncharted territory with the brand-new Crown model. 

Determining competitors for this new Toyota isn’t easy since there aren’t many sedans left on the market to begin with, but this one’s also a jacked-up, hybrid, all-wheel-drive one, with a paint scheme unlike anything else for sale in today’s Canadian market.

2023 Toyota Crown Platinum | Photo: Jeff Wilson 

Price: range-topping Crown Platinum sedan starts at $59,990

The Crown line-up starts with a decently-equipped XLE trim at $45,590. From there, the mid-level Limited rings in at $50,990 while the range-topping Platinum we drove is $59,990. The move from XLE to Limited nets the typical upgrades of a premium sound system, leather interior and a panoramic sunroof. 

While all models of the Crown feature all-wheel-drive and a hybrid system, the $9,000 jump to the Platinum gets Toyota’s new Hybrid Max system, larger wheels and that unique two-tone paint option.

At the high end, this pricing puts the Crown above other hybrid sedans like the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota’s own Camry Hybrid, and aligns it closely with the Lexus ES 300h’s pricing, although none of those cars offer all-wheel-drive or the Crown’s elevated ride height.

Toyota Crown interior: quality without flash or pretension

Even the entry-point XLE trim comes with Toyota’s latest infotainment system featuring a 12.3-inch touch screen. It’s a slick, contemporary system offering wireless connectivity for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as over-the-air updates for the system, meaning owners won’t need to visit the dealership to update their systems.

2023 Toyota Crown Platinum | Photo: Jeff Wilson 

The cabin of our Platinum tester was finished in black leather with subtle contrast piping. In typical Toyota fashion, it was carefully assembled with tight tolerances, despite a notice on the dashboard asking for forgiveness due to the car’s pre-production status. 

Soft-touch materials cover any touchpoint a driver or passenger is likely to contact, but despite some small bronze-coloured trim pieces, there’s nothing overly lavish about the Crown’s cabin. It’s quality without flash or pretension, here.

The heated and ventilated front seats offer good comfort without being overly firm or featuring wild bolstering. That, combined with the Crown’s SUV-like ride height will surely be appreciated by older buyers who will find the Crown easy to get in and out of. 

2023 Toyota Crown Platinum | Photo: Jeff Wilson 

The rear seat shape is comfortable, but headroom is surprisingly limited for such a sizable sedan. What little hair your five-foot-nine writer has left was brushing the ceiling in the back. 

Performance: taking Toyota’s new full-size hybrid sedan to the road

XLE and Limited versus the Platinum

XLE and Limited models are motivated by Toyota’s familiar 2.5-litre 4-cylinder hybrid drivetrain with all-wheel-drive that activates the rear wheels only when the fronts slip. Our Platinum tester receives the new Hybrid MAX system that combines a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder with a hybrid set-up and full-time all-wheel-drive. 

Crown Platinum replaces CVT with a more dynamic six-speed automatic transmission

Combined, the system delivers 340 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, the latter reaching between 2,000 and 3,000 rpms. Unlike the XLE and Limited models that deliver their power through a CVT, the Platinum uses a six-speed automatic in the interest of greater responsiveness. 

2023 Toyota Crown Platinum | Photo: Jeff Wilson 

Toyota claims a 0-100 km/h time of 5.8 seconds for the Platinum, which is quick but not scintillating, and suits the rest of the driving experience fine. The Crown offers decent acceleration to get up to highway speeds with minimal fuss, and cruises happily once there, allowing decent punch available for passing when needed. 

Driving impressions: how does the Crown sedan perform?

Handling and braking are similarly competent, with the car keeping its composure when asked to make emergency maneuvers, but never offering up the sort of playfulness found in truly sporty sedans.

Instead, the test drive showcased that Toyota’s engineers were more interested in making a serene cruiser than a corner-carver, and to that end they have succeeded tremendously. The Platinum’s adaptive suspension does an exceptional job of filtering out minor road imperfections, and consumes large potholes with ease, a fact made all the more impressive considering the Crown’s over-sized 21-inch wheels leave precious little tire sidewall to help with absorption. 

2023 Toyota Crown Platinum | Photo: Jeff Wilson 

Extensive sound deadening and acoustic glass create an impressively serene cabin making the new Crown as quiet and peaceful as premium-brand machines costing twice as much.

The XLE and Limited trims are rated at an impressive 5.6/5.7/5.7 L/100 km (city/highway/combined), while the more powerful Platinum consumes at a higher rate of 8.1/7.3/7.8 L/100 km.

Verdict: is the new Toyota Crown worth it?

Filling the gap in Toyota’s line-up vacated by the Avalon sedan, the Crown is likely to find itself appealing to mature buyers that associate a sedan format with more style and prestige than an SUV. 

Those buyers are likely to appreciate the Crown’s height that’s nearly 100 mm taller than the Camry for ease of ingress and egress, and the simple, clean interior design should help mitigate the style and tech overload so many cars force upon us. Meanwhile, the Platinum trim’s sublime ride and sound suppression should be appealing to buyers old and young.

The Crown’s class-of-one styling (especially in the Platinum tester’s two-tone red and black), and giant 21-inch wheels are going to be a tougher pill for Toyota’s conservative buyers to swallow. But those who do, will be rewarded with an efficient, well-built and comfortable sedan. 

The 2023 Toyota Crown is expected to arrive in Canadian showrooms in early 2023. 

Ready to buy a used hybrid sedan?

View all our used hybrid sedans here. Every vehicle has completed a 150 Point Inspection, comes with a no-charge 30 Day / 1,500 km warranty, and is covered by our 7-Day money back return policy.

Also take a look at these 10 Best AWD Sedans in Canada: Cheap & Expensive Models.

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