Toyota Crown Sport PHEV.
Toyota has just launched a new PHEV version of the Crown Sport SUV in Japan.
The Crown Sport is part of that new extended Toyota Crown family, which includes the raised Crown sedan and Crown Signia SUV we are getting in North America. But also a more formal fastback Crown sedan, and this 5 seater “Sport” SUV mode we are not getting over here. (Although, who knows? I never thought the Signia would make it to the US either…)
It is an obvious choice for Toyota to offer their PHEV powertrain in the Crown Sport, and something they should do here as well.
As expected, the Crown hasn’t been a hit in the US. A strange-looking raised sedan without a hatchback didn’t have much of a chance to begin with. It only sold 2165 units in the US last year. Which is pretty bad, but still better than some other sedans. Including the Lexus ES, and the Acura Integra (That’s pretty sad…). It also sold more than double the amount of the Acura TLX or Volvo S60. I guess, depending on how you look at it, it’s not that catastrophic…
At least the Crown Signia, replacing the Venza, should do much better. And I think it would be even more popular with a PHEV option. Since Toyota has been pushing Hybrids more than ever these days.
The Crown Sport PHEV uses Toyota’s familiar 2.5 Liter Parallel PHEV hybrid system with AWD. The EV range is rated at 56 miles in the optimistic local test cycle. That could still mean a very decent 40-mile EPA rating.
Toyota only has a few years of pushing Hybrids and PHEVs in the US. As their new generation of EVs will be ready soon the giant company will then switch to convincing the world to buy full EVs.
I really think the PHEV option on the Crown Signia would be a good idea in the US. And would actually be a great competition to the Tesla Model Y with buyers not ready to get into a full EV. Around 40 miles of electric range is plenty for most people to almost never use gas except for longer trips.