Toyota Crown

Automakers shift gears as sedan sales slide

Roseville, Calif.- It’s no secret that sedan sales are sliding in the wrong direction. So, why did Toyota get rid of the Avalon sedan and quickly replace it with another sedan?

For the record, the Japanese automaker says the 2023 Toyota Crown is not a replacement for the Avalon, which debuted nearly 30 years ago. Discontinued after its 2022 version, the Avalon was a roomy, premium sedan that never quite found a niche.

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It’s easy to figure out why Toyota shelved the Avalon – lack of sales. It hit rock bottom last year with all-time low of 12,215. And the two previous years, sales were under 20,000. The Avalon never really caught on; it’s highest sales year (95,318) came 17 years ago. What makes sense here is that even though the Avalon was a premium sedan, if people wanted an upscale sedan, they could purchase a Lexus.

The Crown and the Avalon are nearly identical in size, with the one main difference being the new sedan is around 3.6 inches taller. The Crown is an all-wheel-drive hybrid that goes for around $3,000 more than last year’s Avalon.

The Crown has a spacious interior and is nearly large enough to qualify as a large sedan. But it’s true lure will likely be fuel economy. The hybrid base model gets 41-42 mpg.

Performance & Test Drive

However, the problem with the Crown’s base engine is overall performance. It utilizes three electric motors that combine with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine to generate 236 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. Sure, the gas mileage is wonderful, but it only goes 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds.

For drivers seeking more performance, the zippier engine is the turbocharged 2.4-liter, four-cylinder that pairs with a single electric motor to produce 340 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. It goes 0-60 mph in 6.0 seconds, which is significantly quicker than most of the competition. The downside is the fuel economy (29-32 mpg) is far less than the base model Crown.

We test drove the turbo Crown and were pleased with its performance and overall driving acumen. The steering is responsive, it corners well and has strong gripping power. The combination makes for a fun, confident, sporty ride.

Standard driver safety assistance features include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, traffic-sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, safe-exit assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and park assist.


  • Performance: three electric motors, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 236 horsepower; electric motor, turbocharged 2.4-liter, four-cylinder, 340 horsepower;
  • Mileage estimate: 41-42 mpg; 29-32 mpg
  • Price estimate: $39,950 to $52,400
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 2 years/25,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited; battery


There’s nothing too splashy regarding the Crown interior, which is rather simplistic. It has a standard 12.3-inch touchscreen that requires a learning curve before its mastered. We like that it incorporates some physical controls that are straightforward – easy to see and use. The Crown has an excellent voice recognition system that can control functions like the climate temperature and ask pertinent questions.

The seating is fine up front and the rear seats are spacious. We did think the raised seating position and sloped roofline make the cabin somewhat tight. Cargo area is solid at 15.2 cubic feet of capacity and there’s 60/40 split fold-down rear seats if more space is needed.

Will the 2023 Toyota Crown become a suitable replacement for the aging Avalon? While the Crown has some solid upside, we don’t believe its sales will match Toyota’s expectations.

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