2023 Toyota Crown Platinum Review – Eating (Some) Crow


2023 toyota crown platinum review eating some crow

I was a tad harsh last year after I drove the 2023 Toyota Crown for the first time. I got a Platinum trim for testing months later – and while I stand by what I wrote regarding lower trims, the Platinum offered a more pleasant experience than I’d had during my first drive.

Well, mostly more pleasant. There’s still a tiny bit of baking to do.

The Platinum trim gets a hybrid setup that mates a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with two electric motors for a system total of 340 horsepower. The transmission is a six-speed automatic.

2023 toyota crown platinum review eating some crow

As I wrote previously, the Platinum’s powertrain is the one to have if power and acceleration matter to you. At least at urban and suburban speeds. You don’t buy a large sedan to blow people’s doors off – and if you did, you’d be buying a Stellantis product with the letters SRT affixed somewhere. You buy something like the Crown for comfortable cruising with a spacious cabin.

Which the Crown has – it’s comfortable inside, though I still don’t love the shifter design, and the wireless phone charging pocket doesn’t always keep one’s phone in place as it’s supposed to. And yes, even on the Platinum, the materials still look and feel a bit cheaper than they should.

2023 toyota crown platinum review eating some crow

On the other hand, the Crown’s raised ride height made entry and exit easy.

The biggest beef I had with the Crown Platinum involved some hybrid powertrain transitions that were a bit clunky – unusual for a Toyota hybrid.

2023 toyota crown platinum review eating some crow

Ride and handling were generally bright spots. Again, this is not intended to be a sporty ride, but the Crown handles well enough in urban environments – and it’s much more engaging than the Avalon that once occupied Toyota’s large sedan slot. The ride was generally pleasant, even occasionally on the stiff side – never soft or a snooze. Credit the adaptive variable suspension.

I really do like Toyota’s new infotainment interface – it’s such an improvement over the previous system and it’s pretty easy to use. Toyota also gets props for integrating the infotainment screen into the dash instead of tacking it on. Speaking of the dash, the gauges are large and easy to read.

2023 toyota crown platinum review eating some crow

Platinum trim means platinum pricing – while the Crown bases under $40K, the Platinum starts at $52,350. That price gets you a 360-degree camera, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking assist with automatic braking, keyless entry and starting, LED headlights and daytime running lights, 21-inch wheels, panoramic fixed-glass roof, 12.3-inch screens for the gauges and infotainment, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, JBL audio with subwoofer and amp, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, and wireless phone charging.

Standard is Toyota’s Safety Sense 3.0 advanced driver-aid system, which includes pre-collision with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist, lane-tracing assist, automatic high beams, and road-sign assist.

2023 toyota crown platinum review eating some crow

Options on my test unit were limited to premium, two-tone paint and mudguards. There were separate charges for premium paint and the two-tone setup – which, I should note, looked good.

The Crown’s fuel-economy numbers are listed at 29 mpg city/32 mpg highway/30 mpg combined.

2023 toyota crown platinum review eating some crow

I’d still love to spend some more time with the lower trims to see if I’d take a softer stance than I did a year ago. The Platinum, however, was good enough to make me reconsider things a bit after a week with the car. I still take issue with some of the powertrain transitions and there are some design choices that don’t quite work. That said, the Platinum-trim Crown addresses many of the complaints aimed at the Avalon.

2023 toyota crown platinum review eating some crow

There’s still work to be done here, but if Toyota can smooth out some of the powertrain issues and make a few tweaks, the Crown could win over some folks.

Meanwhile, I apparently have some crow to eat.

[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/TTAC.com]

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