Crown Sits Atop Toyota Lineup

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CHATHAM, Mass. – It’s back. The Toyota Crown, flagship of the company’s sedan lineup, returned to the American market for the 2023 model year as the peak of the brand’s passenger-car range following a hiatus of 51 years.

I spent a week in a 2024 Toyota Crown Platinum, the top of the three-model range and found the full-size four-door comfortable, quiet, and, thanks to the HYBRID MAX powertrain, very efficient and powerful.

Powertrain at the heart of the Crown

All versions of the Crown sold in the United States feature a hybrid-electric powertrain. The Platinum trim level comes standard with the HYBRID MAX system, an integrated system including electronic all-wheel drive (AWD), direct-shift six-speed automatic transmission and 2.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged internal-combustion engine (ICE).

A front electric motor works with the ICE and combines with the rear eAxle, which is equipped with a water-cooled electric motor powering the rear wheels, to provide the full-time AWD system.

The HYBRID MAX powertrain produces 264 horsepower and 332 pounds-feet of torque. This translates into excellent performance which Car and Driver testing resulted in 0-60 miles-per-hour times of 5.1 seconds.

Drivers can tailor the car’s responsiveness through six selectable drive modes: NORMAL, ECO, SPORT, SPORT+, COMFORT and CUSTOM which allows the driver to choose the systems he/she wants to enhance.

Fuel economy, thanks to hybrid-electric engineering, was striking as the nearly 4,400-pound, 196.1-inch sedan achieved approximately 32 miles per gallon under my aggressive right foot. This bettered the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s rating of 30 mpg overall (29 urban, 30 highway), which would have been an excellent figure for this car.

A universal platform modified for the Crown

All Toyota unibody vehicles, from the Corolla to the RAV4 to the three-row Grand Highlander to the Camry, are developed from the company’s GA-K platform (TNGA-K). In the case of the Crown, a unique characteristic is ride height, some four-inches higher than the mid-size Camry. The height elevates the Crown’s hip, the pivot point between the torso and upper legs, enabling easy vehicle entry/exit.

Like all Crown models, the Platinum grade includes full-time all-wheel drive which adjusts between a 70:30 and 20:80 front-to-rear-wheel power split, depending upon driving situation and drive-mode selection. The Crown’s AWD enhances the drive force of the rear wheels and provides the feel of rear-wheel-drive maneuverability, straight-line stability and responsive acceleration.

The platform was further engineered for handling prowess.

The Platinum comes with an Adaptive Variable Suspension system using variable oil pressure shock absorbers. This system automatically controls the friction within the absorber when turning, controlling the damping force, reducing pitch at high drive torque and minimizing the effects of bumpy roads.

A linear solenoid type actuator is also equipped on the system to minimize body pitch and roll. AVS tuning also changes based on the selected drive mode of NORMAL, ECO, SPORT, SPORT+, COMFORT or CUSTOM, adjusting the damping force and balancing steering response, stability control and ride comfort.

Suspension components include MacPherson-type struts in the front with a multi-link setup in the rear.

The Crown’s handling is bolstered by an electronically controlled brake system featuring Active Cornering Assist (ACA), which engages the stability control to reduce understeer in certain cornering situations, so the driver feels the enhanced agility, not the system’s operation.

Brake system components include 12.9-inch ventilated rotors up front, 12.5-inch solid ones in the rear; power assist; anti-lock (ABS), and an electronic parking brake.

Platinum versions come with 21” alloy Wheels wearing 225/45R21 tires.

The sum of the pieces, along with the engineering details, is a sedan which is a quiet, comfortable, refined place for its occupants to spend a journey of any length while providing the driver with a sure-footed mechanical beast capable of handling anything a paved, and reasonably smooth unpaved road, might throw at him/her.

The Crown is an easy car to drive quickly with confidence despite its size.

Full suite of advanced driver-assistance systems

Adding to the reassurance for the driver in everything from crowded highways to tight parking lots is the comprehensive roster of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), most collected under the umbrella of the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 (TSS 3.0).

These include pre-collision system with pedestrian detection; full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control; land-departure alert with steering assist; land-tracing assist; road-sign assist; automatic high beam, and proactive-driving assist.

Additional ADAS outside the realm of TSS 3.0 include blind-spot monitor; rear cross-traffic alert; advanced parking system; traffic-jam assist; front cross-traffic alert, and lane-change assist.

Cabin filled with creature comforts, conveniences and technology

The new Toyota Crown Platinum is a car of the 21st Century which means it has a 12.3-inch color LCD touchscreen at the heart of the Toyota Audio Multimedia infotainment system. Occupants interact with the system through touch or voice commands (a manual volume/on/off knob, as well).

Connectivity includes wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ as well as over-the-air software updates for mapping and points-of-interest for the cloud-based navigation system.

The audio system features a JBL® Premium Audio System with 11 speakers, including rear subwoofer, powered by an eight-channel amplifier.

Heated/ventilated leather front seats (power adjustable, driver’s with memory); heated leather rear seats; heated leather steering wheel; automatic dual-zone climate control system; wireless mobile-device charging, and a panoramic moonroof are part of the premium/luxury equipment found throughout the interior of the 2024 Crown Platinum.

The price of the Toyota full-size treatment

The three-trim Toyota Crown range opens with the AWD hybrid XLE model at $41,440, then moves to the Limited trim version at $45,950. The top-of-the-line 2024 Toyota Crown Platinum carries a base price of $53,070. The review unit added premium, two-tone paint for $975 and $1,095 for delivery, processing and handling fee, bringing the total to $55,140.

Toyota remains one of the few manufacturers dedicated to providing a thoroughly modern full-size sedan. The 2024 Toyota Crown Platinum is an excellent showcase of the company’s reputation for producing a solid, functional and high-value product.

Next week TBR Drives the 2024 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD High Country large SUV.

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Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.