Apart from the Philippines and Japan, the Toyota Crown has always been popular in China. It’s no wonder they were the only market that still sold the Crown in left-hand drive configuration up until its discontinuation last year. Fortunately, the Crown isn’t dead in China. Instead, it’s been turned into two models, one of which is a crossover called the Crown Kluger. Yes, there's now a Crown SUV. 

We’ve had an early preview of the Crown Kluger thanks to leaks on the internet. Looks like a re-styled Highlander, right? Well, that’s because it is based on the new Highlander, which coincidentally also made its debut at the 2021 Auto Shanghai. Aside from the Highlander, Toyota says the name combines the essences of three other models – the Crown sedan, the Land Cruiser, the RAV4.

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Like the previous Crown models, the Crown Kluger does not wear a Toyota badge upfront. Instead, the Crown’s signature logo is fitted in the center of the mesh grille. The automaker also tweaked the bumper, featuring a large center intake to give the crossover a distinct look over the Highlander. Keen-eyed readers would also notice that the center caps feature the Crown logo rather than a Toyota badge.

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It’s only at the back will customers see the Toyota logo and name for the first time. To match the updated front end, the rear bumper of the Crown Kluger has been restyled. The lower half features black cladding contrasted by a silver trim piece for a more upscale look and finish.

Inside, the cabin of the Highlander has very much been carried over to the Crown Kluger – from the design of the dashboard to the large center infotainment system and even the climate control below it. The only difference would be the Crown logo on the steering wheel, replacing the Toyota logo.

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Since the Crown Kluger is based on the Highlander, it also rides on the new TNGA-K platform. As denoted by on blue glow on the Crown logo and badges, this crossover is a hybrid. Under the hood, it’s powered by the same 2.5-liter mill in the Highlander, rated at 240PS. Four-wheel drive comes standard on the model as well. A non-hybrid variant is available as well.

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As much as we want to see the Crown name make a return in the Philippines, the Crown Kluger SUV is a China-exclusive model. So the chances of it arriving here are slim to none. Also, we're sure some fans of the luxury sedan will have something to say about the Crown Kluger. More details about the model will be announced when it officially goes on sale later this 2021.

But what about the other Toyota Crown model? It’s a minivan called the Crown Vellfire. Yes, the same Vellfire from Japan.