Think Toyota Crown, and you immediately think of a midsize luxury sedan that has become a household name in the Philippines. In fact, your parents, lolos, or even your titos might have ridden in one back in the day.
Sadly, the Crown was discontinued for the Philippine market as it was replaced by the Camry in the early 2000s. The Crown continued to live on in other countries such as China and Japan and kept its reputation as a luxury four-door saloon.
But with the market leaning towards high-riding vehicles, the Crown had to adapt and transform itself into something new for its latest generation. That's what Toyota did for the 16th generation Crown as it's now available not just as a sedan, but as a crossover. Now, instead of offering the all-new Crown in just one body style, it's actually available in different styles.
Starting with the Crown Crossover, it combines the very best of a traditional sedan and a high-riding SUV. It has a coupe-like four-door body that is complemented by a tall ride height and large alloy wheels. Style-wise, the Crown Crossover comes with a pair of sleek LED headlights, blacked-out accents, SUV-like body cladding, thin LED taillights, and a fastback-style hatch.
But if you want your Crown to look different, Toyota has two more body styles available. Finished in red is the Crown Sport Type which appears to be inspired by the 'Crossover EV' concept Toyota revealed late last year. For those who prefer a more wagon-like vehicle, there's also the Crown Estate Type which looks like a larger and more spacious version of the Crown Sport.
Moving inside, the Crown features a redesigned dashboard that blends the old with the new. The cabin comes with a two-tone gray and tan finish that highlights the vehicle's sophistication. Meanwhile, the center console gets a new high-tech electro-mechanical gear selector along with a sleek automatic climate control panel.
The in-car entertainment comes in the form of wide touchscreen infotainment. While specifics were not mentioned, the system most likely comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite navigation, as well as other useful apps. Complementing the touchscreen is a digital instrument panel for the driver. As an homage to Crowns of yesteryear, the steering wheel features the vehicle's signature logo for all to see.
Powering the new Crown range is a choice of two powertrain options. First is a 2.4-liter turbo-hybrid that Toyota claims can deliver powerful torque even at low RPMs. It also comes with the latest eAxle electric powertrain that provides high-driving torque and a nickel-hydrogen battery pack, a first for Toyota.
There's also a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter hybrid powertrain that also comes with the new bi-polar nickel-hydrogen battery pack. Toyota says that the electrified powertrain provides class-leading fuel efficiency and quietness for a smoother and more relaxing driving/riding experience. Power outputs were not revealed for the 2.4-liter and 2.5-liter powertrains, however.
With the Toyota Crown now available in different body styles, Toyota says the nameplate is now ready for a new generation of car buyers. But will diehard fans and purists approve of the Crown's evolution? Let us know in the comments what you think.