2023 Toyota Crown Platinum AWD - Bottom Line Review

2023 Toyota Crown Platinum AWD - Bottom Line Review
2023 Toyota Crown Platinum AWD: introducing the flagship executive sedan for active living in spirit.

BEYOND THE MARSH OF ARTHURIAN REPOSE: Only the name of a mythical resting place for a legendary monarch who wielded a magical sword was befitting a flagship large passenger car whose five generation reign met its demise. Bowing to the regal rise of active lifestyle motoring, behold the coronation of the first sport active sedan derived from crossover utility vehicle, the 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid Max Platinum AWD .


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WHAT: 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid MAX Platinum AWD S235 grand touring crossover executive sedan succeeds the out of production XX50 Toyota Avalon front drive flagship sedan. Overseas markets also offer a the S236 Crown Sport SAV, S232 Crown Sedan. The forthcoming S238 Crown Signia SUV is set to replace the Toyota Venza in North America for the 2025 model year. The entire new Crown family is constructed on the automaker's modular TNGA-K platform, also underpinning the likes of the Toyota Highlander, Lexus ES and Lexus RX models.

WHAT PROPELS IT : Time to clarify some Toyota powertrain lingo. Hybrid Synergy DriveTM (Gen. 4 + E-Four) propulsion, is the ubiquitous traditional battery powered regenerating single traction motor side by side with internal combustion engine which apply torque in parallel CVT to drive the front axle.(E-Four supplements with a separate rear axle motor)

Hybrid MAXTM employs battery supplied electric motors at each axle. The regenerative slowing front motor is located between the ICE engine and planetary automatic transaxle, acting in supplement or solely. A separate water-cooled motor inverter acts full time on the rear axle via direct drive, with the system automatically varying torque split.

Hybrid Synergy Drive has been developed for maximum efficiency, while Hybrid MAX is designed with an emphasis on greater performance. In the case of the 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid lineup, the Crown XLE and Crown Limited trims include standard Hybrid Synergy Drive E-Four, while the Crown Platinum(tested) trim, exclusively, is propelled by the Hybrid Max powertrain.

2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid MAX Platinum performance specifications:

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP): $54,569 = as tested 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid MAX Platinum AWD ($41,045 XLE Hybrid)

Curb Weight (pounds): 4,343 lbs.

Powertrain - petrol: Hybrid MAX transverse turbocharged 2.4L 16V DOHC I-4 + 2 PSM electric traction motors

Horsepower petrol / Torque (pound - feet): 264 hp / 332 lb-ft @ 2000 r.p.m.

Horsepower NET HYBRID (kilowatts) / Torque (pound - feet): 340 hp (254 kW) / 400 lb-ft @ 2000 r.p.m.

Drivetrain / Final drive ratio: E-front axle MSG to 6-speed automatic multi-clutch plate planetary gear transaxle, E-rear axle MSG, full time all-wheel drive - 70:30%- to 20:80% F:R e-axle torque split

Drive Modes: (6) Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S, Sport S +, Custom

Fuel Economy - EPA urban / highway / observed combined (miles per gallon): 29 / 32 / 27 m.p.g.

Range (maximum): 464 miles (14.5 gallons)

Performance: 0-60 miles/ hour: 5.2 seconds; Top speed: 130 m.p.h.

Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2023 Roadblazing.com


  • +1 More emphatic torque; Multitude of drive modes; Pronounced gear shifts,(Sport S, Sport+ modes)
  • -1 Long throttle step-in; Fuel economy less than advertised;(though still competitive) Piped into cabin by audio system exhaust growl under throttle; No offroad / trail or regenerative drive mode(s)

2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid MAX Platinum battery electric specifications:

Powertrain - electrified (includes MG 1 PMS (regen.) 6 kW (8 hp) starter generator)

Front E-Motor: water cooled MG 2 PMS 650VAC (front): 45 kW (61 hp), 215 lb-ft;(in series between engine and transaxle)

Rear E-Motor: water cooled MG 3 PMS 650VAC (rear): 44 kW (59 hp), 124 lb-ft

Battery - electric propulsion / weight: compact bi-polar NiMH, 230 VAC, 5.0 Ah, 1.2 kWh capacity / N.L.

Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2023 Roadblazing.com


Toyota has radically rethought its flagship car. The 2023 Crown cuts a profile of an athletic fastback executive sedan with an activity theme lift. The available two tone dark glass roof Bronze nose-to-tail wide black stripe finish of the tested Platinum trim is reminiscent of Nissan's last iteration Maxima.

With a bit of synchronicity the new new Toyota Crown adopts some latest generation Prius birthmarks such as a tall beltline, low greenhouse fighter jet profile, wedged sloped hood, considerable wheel arches, a long raked backlight, front super slim LED lighting with full slim rear raceway tallight bar, and darkened formidable rear bumper cover with center license plate bowl. With fewer aero constraints than the Prius, the Crown has a more formidable middle front fascia darkened lattice imprint solid grille, with lower matte metallic character line. Full dark body cladding runs the entire bottom perimeter including the wheel arches. A mid door crease widened a the 2nd Row, is filled with a dramatic piano black insert. Fully darkened pillars, along with the C to D pillar glass and the arched rear quarter panel emphasizes the floating roof fastback theme.

Owing to the dramatic sloping rear backlight and deep rear deck, the 2023 Toyota Crown's trunk overhang is super slim. In Platinum trim, the entire trunk lid to upper rear bumper cap, which wraps around to the rear quarter panels, is in a dark glass roof matching piano gloss black finish. Ambitiously, the purely decorative lower rear fascia simulates a matte metallic bash plate. The diamond cut alloy wheels are stunners.

"Floating" split nose to hood wrapped with inboard lateral boomerang directionals / DRLs banded with lower segmented LED headlights; Darkened lower airdam louvers in metallic frame; Front & rear lower valances banded in piano black with lateral winglets; Piano black window frames + sailpanel mirrors + side pillars + wheel arches;  Body colored front door handles;  C-pillar embedded rear door release levers.

WHY: Successor to the prim and proper Avalon drops stiff upper lip in favor of active living ambitions.

WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since late Spring 2023

WHERE: Toyota new vehicle dealers

WHERE MADE: Tsutsumi, Toyota Aichi Prefecture, Japan

WHERE TO: All-wheel drive, with just the barest ground clearance lift, all-season road tires and no snow mode, trail mode or differential lock, implies inclement weather, on road go.

HOW ROADWORTHY: Propelled by the potent HybridMax powertrain, the 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid MAX Platinum AWD is the performance model of this touring sedan litter. Take off is a bit dulled owing to long throttle tip-in. The fore and aft electric traction motors obviate any turbo lag, and the torque remains impressive through the mid acceleration band. In Sport Plus drive mode, one senses the six speed almost but not quite prepared to chirp the tires during gear swaps. However, as a true grand touring machine it never threatens to overwhelm the grip. Insofar as athletic sounds what the ears detect is a composed audio track, though a large wheel and rubber contribute to some pattering on uneven roads.

  • +1/- Still not fans of the center console joystick drive mode selector when attempting to select neutral for a tunnel car wash conveyor.
  • -1 Annoying instrument cluster warning to "Depress Brake Pedal Firmly" to actuate engine idle start/ stop.

HOW LIMBER: Struts fore and quad links aft locate 21" inch wheels, amidst relatively stiff springing. The result is noticeably less undulation or dive than experienced in the Toyota Avalon, despite a substantial mass increase. Drive mode dependent damping varies from supple firm to fairly taut. Not surprisingly given their size, there is some wheel crash thud over large expansion gaps.

Body stability is sufficient to move with verve through cloverleafs with verve and only a subtle sliding sensation at the rear. A hefty winding helm, without being too taxing, is engaging, even as the steering rack barely registers what the Goodyears underfoot are doing. More than two tons are slowed by discs at the corners, and in a page from the last Avalon TRD, front twin piston calipers impart firmer brake pedal responsiveness.

2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid MAX Platinum chassis specifications:

Suspension: F: Strut, lower A-Arm, R: 4-link, F+R: coil springs, anti-sway bars, e-variable dampers

Brakes: F: 2-piston floating caliper, 12.9" in. vented rotor, R: 1-piston floating caliper, 12.5" in. solid rotor

Tires / Wheels: 235/50-V Goodyear Eagle Touring A/S M+S / 21" diamond cut alloys, doughnut spare tire

Ground clearance: 5.8" inches

Approach / Departure / Breakover angles (degrees): 13.9o / 19.3o / 15.5o

Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2023 Roadblazing.com

HOW FAR: 27 combined miles per gallon; 464 miles maximum range(14.6 gallons 87 RON unleaded fuel).

The Toyota Crown Hybrid Max Platinum is no mere mild hybrid as most of the premium competition includes in its executive sport sedan.

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HOW BIG/ LITTLE: A lifted 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid MAX Platinum AWD sedan, with a sport activity motif, concedes the limousine qualities of its Avalon XX50 predecessor. Higher ground clearance required lower roof height to qualify as a fastback sedan. Consequently, seat cushions have sunk almost to sport car depth, which has the added effect of blocking 2nd Row foot space. The panoramic roof makes shaves already precious headroom. The dash is shallower but the center console has risen above hip height and widened. The slimmer greenhouse and thick "C" pillar presents more blindspots. The deep dashboard and generous cargo space consume what could have been more passenger space.

2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid MAX Platinum dimensions / 2020 Toyota Avalon Touring:

Wheelbase (inches): 112.2" / 113.0"

Length x Width x Height (inches): 196.1" x 72.4" x 60.6" / 195.3" x 72.2" x 57.5"

Ground clearance (inches): 5.8" / 5.3"

Headroom, Row 1, 2 (inches): 38.2", 37.5" / 37.4", 37.5"

Legroom, Row 1, 2 (inches): 42.2", 38.9" / 42.1", 40.3"

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet): 15.0 cu. ft. / 16.1 cu. ft.

Curb Weight (pounds): 4343 lbs. / 3704 lbs.

Towing rating, Roof support rating (pounds): N.R. lbs. / N.R. lbs.

Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2023 Roadblazing.com

HOW USEFUL: Trunk = 2 full size cases and two carry-ons; Luggage liftover a bit high; 60/40% split folding rear seat backs expand to immense home improvement store shopping spree load space.

  • +1 Dual side lateral action center console storage bin lid (ala Lexus)
  • -1 A trunk rather than a hatchback cargo bay
  • -1 Tall trunk load liftover sill
  • -1 Sparse door pocket space for an active lifestyle vehicle
  • -1 Wide second row seat bench elevated center perch

HOW SAFE: IIHS 2023 Top Safety Pick Plus = 8 airbags, Rear camera w/ fixed gridlines, Sonar park audible park assist

Driver assist technology: STANDARD Toyota SafetySense 3.0 = Pedestrian & daytime cyclist detection braking; Forward collision avoidance braking; Blind spot &rear cross traffic warning; Lane departure; Road edge & Sway Warning, Lane Keep Assist; Adaptive cruise control - partial, Automatic High Beam headlights; 2nd Row occupant minder.

  • AVAILABLE: Optional:(included on tested 2023 Crown Platinum) Blind spot & Rear Cross-traffic warning; Active parallel + perpendicular park assist; 360o Surround cameras + Perimeter Scan; Fore and aft sonar audible park warning; Digital rear view mirror
  • -1 annoying "Sit Up, Face Not Detected" driver attention monitor instrument cluster warning

HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY:  To go along with the sporty fastback look & active living mission, the 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid MAX Platinum AWD interior is no longer the Avalon's living room suited for retiree lounging. Instead it's dual cowl cockpit dual deep 2nd Row bucket theme is less airy, more intimate. Lexus influences exist more in features than presentation, with such niceties as automatic heated + cooled front seats and heated steering wheel.

Toyota's flagship sedan has made the jump to complex fully variable instrument panel and a reliance on a large, though, pleasantly integrated, infotainment display. What few center stack switches remain are simply too dim and small for the AARP to endorse. configurable. Perhaps the thinking with the all-new 2023 Toyota Crown is that the newfound occupant with machine intimacy means that the infotainment wake-up phrase "Hey Toyota" isn't necessary to wake up a dozing denizen of septuagenarians. Overall, Roadblazing.com editors eyes spy many influences from the newly youthful fifth generation Toyota Prius, particularly in switchgear and cabin panel shapes.

Leather auto heated + cooled 1st Row 8-way power sport bucket seats; Auto heated leather tilt + telescoping steering wheel; Power windows w/ full auto operation x 4; Keyless approach access, push button ignition; 2-Zone automatic climate control; Thick padded front and rear door armrests; √ Enhanced cabin insulation + acoustic glass; Glass roof, front power open; Tilting wing mirrors while backing

  • +1 Impressive front seat torso support
  • -1 Seat cushions a bit hard

Cool Gizmo(s): 12.3" inch Multi Information Display dual side variable information, drive mode influenced TFT instrument cluster + navigation map migration; Toyota Connected Wake Up query powered by Google browser; Cockpit overhead touch trace activated 1st & 2nd Row LED lighting

Details Done Right: Bronze cabin panel accents + seat contrast stitching; Dense pile carpet; Red mid dash lateral ambient light line; Tight mesh headliner + upper cabin pillars; Piano gloss black center console bezel; Tight pebble grained soft mid dash and upper door panels

Nearly Non Descript: -1 Outboard driver's side dashboard switches obstructed; No glovebox liner.

HOW CONNECTED:  √ Toyota Connected center dash tablet 12.3"-inch landscape oriented, capacitive touch LCD infotainment screen (replaces SE, XSE 8.0" touch screen); Drive Connect "Hey Toyota" system voice interaction; Bluetooth hands-free communications x 2 phones; GPS HDD cloud Navigation w/ 3-D map, voice guidance, Google POI data, OTA updates; SMS voice to text messaging; Wireless Android Auto / Apple CarPlay phone projection; USB-A x 1,USB-C x 4, 12V x 1, Qi wireless inductive charging pad (lower center stack open shelf)

  • +1 New Toyota Connected infotainment user interface enhances intuitive voice command functions; Bluetooth handsfree connection for two phones simultaneously
  • +/- When is a tablet style infotainment screen too large?
  • -1 Non-concealed forward center console wireless device storage shelf

HOW ENTERTAINING: 800 watt, 11-speaker, 8 channel JBL Quantum-Logic DTS + Clari-Fi premium audio -speaker, 240 Watt HD Radio streaming audio = more than adequate (240 watt, 6 speaker 4-channel streaming audio + HD radio on XLE, Limited)

HOW "APP" -LICABLE:  √ wireless Android Auto / Apple Car Play smart phone projection; Toyota Apps; Digital Key

By Subscription (trial): ♦ Sirius XM radio (3 mo.); ♦ WiFi by AT&T (2 GB trial); ♦ Toyota Connected Services (3 yrs.)

HOW MUCH: $54,569 = as tested 2023 Toyota Crown Hybrid MAX Platinum AWD M.S.R.P($41,045 XLE Hybrid)

WHAT'S MISSING: Exterior elegance, interior plushness, more occupant headroom, a Less than Lexus price.

ANY COMPETITION: Lexus ES 250 AWD: true luxury name plate, much less power

BOTTOM LINE: Coronation of the hybrid active executive sedan for the adventurous in spirit.