2023 Toyota Crown Up Close: What Exactly Am I Looking At?

2023 Toyota Crown Up Close: What Exactly Am I Looking At? Some people simply do not want an SUV. They’re happy with their traditional big sedans, and the idea of ​​going for something off-road with a high ride and trucking doesn’t appeal to them. The problem is, these people’s products are disappearing: The Chevrolet Impala is gone, we haven’t seen a Ford Taurus in years, there aren’t another year’s Chrysler 300C and Dodge Charger left, and Toyota is disqualified after 2022.

But Toyota hasn’t abandoned these buyers entirely; Instead, the Japanese automaker decided to try something unusual, bringing us, which we got a closer look at during the 2023 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

2023 Toyota Crown Up Close: What Exactly Am I Looking At?

What the heck is it?

The Crown is not a traditional sedan like the Avalon. If anything, it’s a high-ride crossover coupe. But unlike most crossovers, it’s not a hatchback because it has a conventional trunk instead. It’s just over 4 inches longer than the old Avalon, but shorter and wider and sits on a 1-inch shorter wheelbase, so the interior doesn’t feel quite as spacious. All that long sheet metal has enabled Toyota to hold an impressive trunk space, so you can still pack it full of bags or take the big trip to Costco with the whole family.

The exterior design is unusual, but I love it – it’s the best interpretation yet of the Toyota family look, and it looks sleek and elegant while avoiding the patchy, fish-mouthed look of the smaller sedan. They cleverly mask the height of the car through the use of things like black wheel arch rims, large wheels and tires, so it doesn’t necessarily look like a long commute. The optional two-tone black on the Platinum model is interesting, and I wouldn’t compromise Toyota for offering something extraordinary. Getting creative with paint and color was never something the conservative automaker would normally do, so I applaud any effort to make showrooms look more interesting.

Where the crown falters a little is the interior height, oddly enough. Despite being an outwardly tall sedan, front and rear headroom is narrow thanks to the glass roof and sliding shade panel. My fabric was touching the top of the A-pillar even though the driver’s seat was in its lowest position, and getting in and out isn’t as easy as you might expect, as you actually have to bend under that rear-slanting windshield. The rest of the interior looks top-notch, with premium material quality, sharp designs and modern technology that includes Toyota’s latest multimedia system. There’s decent legroom in the rear, too, although there’s a small tunnel camber in the floor to accommodate the standard all-wheel drive system.

Who is it actually?

The bigger question: Who is going to buy this thing? Traditional sedan buyers won’t necessarily be interested in a crossover, and crossover buyers probably won’t be interested in something that doesn’t have a hatchback. Old customers, who have traditionally bought Avalons, may not be interested in the swoopy design and new tools of Crown technology, but they may already be interested in the 38 mpg fuel economy in its base hybrid form. However, there will also be a high-performance hybrid model aimed at… ardent drivers? All this is somewhat baffling. At least, Toyota has made it relatively easy to operate, keeping buttons and switches rather than operating a full touch screen with a lot of extra controls.

A tiara would be perfect for someone, that’s for sure. But seeing who this person might be still eludes me.

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