2024 Toyota Crown Dresses Up Full-size Sedans with Hybrid Power and Future-tech Styling

All automakers are facing the challenge of how to keep their sedans relevant.  It’s a crossover world, ya’all.  So, to stand out from the boring three-box masses, they must innovate without squandering the handling and comfort for which sedans are known.  When Toyota replaced its long-standing Avalon full-size sedan, it could have just given us another.  Instead, we drive the 2024 Toyota Crown Platinum.

Classic Future-tech Style

One thing for sure; the Crown looks nothing like an Avalon!  Instead, it looks like a new Prius, classic Celica, and RAV4 crossover had relations.  The sleek fastback look is hybrid future-tech, but black paint on the hood, roof, and decklid infuse a splash of sport.  Pinched beneath its hammerhead prow are eight LED headlamps over a wide expanse of mesh grille.  It doesn’t look like that large of car…until you realize its riding on 21” wheels.  I especially like the rear view with black facia, thin taillamps, and chrome detailing.

Exterior styling won’t be everybody’s vision of a full-size hybrid thingy, but almost everybody will find comfort inside.  You first notice stepping in at a higher elevation, which drivers young and old should appreciate.  It all feels very grown-up Prius once planted in the plush heated and ventilated front seats.  There’s a flatscreen gauge cluster, 12.3” infotainment screen, deep console, and wrist-flick gear selector.  Everything looks and feels like it came from a Lexus, including the bronze accents on the dash and doors.

With the Platinum package, there’s much more to like.  Settle under the panoramic glass roof, crank up the saturating JBL audio system, and refresh thyself with dual-zone automatic climate control.  A heated steering wheel and heated rear seats add luxuries.  Tap into wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and wireless device charging while staying safe with Toyota’s comprehensive crash avoidance systems that include automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, lane change alert, and front/rear cross-path detection.

Smooth Turbo-Electric Power

All Crowns are hybrids and come with all-wheel-drive, but the Platinum is especially potent.  Its Hybrid MAX system with a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, batteries, motors, and six-speed automatic transmission puts 340 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque to the road.  Swift turbo and electric torque ushers it from 0-60 mph in a scant 5.7 seconds, but if you’re expecting Prius fuel economy, you’ll be disappointed because the Crown is a very full-size car posting 29/32-MPG city/highway.  If that bothers you, choose the less potent XLE or Limited trim to enjoy 42/41-MPG city/highway.  Unfortunately, there’s no plug-in version.

Over the recent holiday, I drove the Crown a couple of hours to take my parents to lunch.  On the open highway, the big car was whisper quiet, rode smooth, rumbled over rough pavement with aplomb, and offered seamless power from the turbo and electric motors.  I wondered what my nearly 70-year-old mother would think of the Supersonic Red paint with black accoutrement.  Surprisingly for a woman who drives a Chevy Equinox, she liked it.  Which means, Toyota designed a car that’s flamboyant enough for younger buyers, but also appealing to older buyers.

Toyota took a risk with the Crown’s styling and all-hybrid powertrain, but mostly nailed it.  A very reasonable $40,350 base price rises to a loftier $56,183 with all of the luxuries.  If you don’t love your full-size sedan with the Crown’s overt styling, also consider the Lexus ES, Dodge Charger, and Nissan Maxima.  And, if you still feel like you need a crossover, check out the upcoming 2025 Toyota Crown Signia.

Storm Forward!

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