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Toyota Crown 2024: the new queen of a distant land

2023-12-22

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I have an idea! It's clear that the sedan market is declining, and most major players have exited the scene. Why not offer a new car in this segment? I would have liked to be a fly on the wall to hear the conversation that took place among the top executives of the brand when it came time to put the Crown on the table. It takes audacity and perhaps a bit of madness as well to propose a new car when SUVs are clearly dominating. Moreover, the Crown theoretically falls into the same category as the Camry. Why would they want to offer two cars in the same segment?

 

You'll understand that the arrival of the Crown has raised a whole bunch of questions for us. In the automotive journalist niche, it's a real thrill because we love this kind of car, but is it a good decision from a commercial point of view? It will take a year or two before we can answer that question, but I sincerely believe that Toyota made the right choice with the introduction of its new midsize sedan. It has character, it's different from everything currently on the market, and it's a Toyota, one of the most powerful names in the industry. It's clear that Toyota did not design this car with the intention of making it a mass-market model. It's the kind of car that manufacturers usually use to test new technologies or new concepts. Thus, sometimes we end up with pleasant surprises, and the impact is not too significant if it's a flop. In the case of the Crown, I think it's a success all around. In my opinion, the Japanese manufacturer's sedan will be much more popular than one might imagine.

 

Range and Price

 

The range of the 2024 Toyota Crown is limited to two versions since last year's XLE model has been removed from the market. It all starts with the Limited model, which offers comprehensive standard equipment and a rather interesting look. In short, one clearly doesn't get the impression of dealing with an entry-level version. Its price is also impressive because the Japanese manufacturer's sedan starts at $54,871.50 before options. It's not cheap, but I promise you that this car will give you value for your money. Moreover, if you thought the base version was expensive, wait until you see the price of the Platinum version. The latter costs $64,571.50. Part of what justifies this bill is what's under the hood.

 

Category and Competition

 

Let's not kid ourselves; midsize sedans are becoming increasingly rare. There are still a few models available on the market, but they belong to big names that have survived thanks to the strength of their reputation. Moreover, Toyota already offers a popular car in this niche: the Camry. Therefore, the Crown is the first new car that a manufacturer has introduced in the segment in many years. I'm eager to see how things will evolve because the success of the Crown could set the tone and allow other manufacturers to re-enter the segment.

 

Rivals: Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry

 

Design and Technologies

 

The Toyota Crown stands out. It's a car with a unique and highly provocative design. Let's say that Toyota has done excellent work in terms of design. It's both modern, elegant, and muscular. It offers bold design elements and very flamboyant two-tone finishes. In short, it's a car that grabs attention for all the right reasons.

 

Regarding the interior, if one overlooks the somewhat dull materials, you'd almost think you were in a Lexus. The dashboard is very modern, and the display of the digital dashboard is rather attractive. The car also comes equipped with a 12.3-inch screen as standard for the multimedia system. Not to mention the suite of Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 safety technologies.

 

Performance

 

One of the best decisions by the brand was offering the Crown as a standard hybrid car, much like the Prius. The first engine option combines a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 2 electric motors for a total power output of 236 horsepower. This is paired with a CVT transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard. The average fuel consumption for this engine stands at 5.6 L/100km in the city and 5.7 L/100km on the highway, which is less than a subcompact car. On the other hand, the Platinum version is paired with a turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and two electric motors. Here, we're talking about a total power of 340 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, which is seriously impressive. It comes with a traditional 6-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. This version is slightly more fuel-thirsty with a consumption of 8.1 L/100km in the city and 7.3 L/100km on the highway, but it's capable of reaching 0-100 km/h in under 5.8 seconds, which is very fast.

 

Weak Points

 

The interior lacks color. Good luck finding one with vibrant interior options.

 

Strengths

 

It's a one-of-a-kind car that turns heads wherever it goes. Its hybrid powertrains are efficient, and the Platinum version offers impressive performance.

 

Signature Element

 

Its eye-catching design and hybrid powertrains make it a particularly interesting model in its segment.

 

Final Thoughts

 

The Toyota Crown is proof that there's still hope for sedans and that the popularity of SUVs might just be a phase. In any case, Toyota took quite a gamble with a car like this.

 

Jean-Sébastien Poudrier

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