June 16, 2024
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The Toyota Crown Signia for 2025 is Lacking a Clear Identity

If you’ve ever gazed at a Toyota SUV and desired a touch more luxury in your life, while also feeling that Lexus was a tad too posh for your taste, then I have some fantastic news for you: the upscale 2025 Toyota Crown Signia might just hit that very specific sweet spot!

Full disclosure: Toyota extended an invitation for me to visit Coronado Island in San Diego, California for an action-packed trip test driving four new or updated Toyota models in just two days. The event was meticulously organized, although I must admit I was particularly captivated by the ducklings and flamingos frolicking in the pond outside the hotel.

Photo: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

In the United States, the Crown nameplate may not be familiar unless you’re a true automotive enthusiast, but in Japan, it holds a prestigious status. Introduced by Toyota in 1955, the Crown sedan stands as Toyota’s longest-running nameplate. While the U.S. did see some Crown imports for a while, they fizzled out by 1972. Over the years, in Japan, the Crown has built a reputation as a distinctive and luxurious sub-brand of Toyota, synonymous with sophistication and grace, favored by government officials and dignitaries. This sub-brand has allowed Toyota to venture away from its usual design aesthetics and production objectives, a crucial point I will touch on shortly.

In 2022, Toyota stirred the waters with its announcement of producing four distinct Crown models, with the initial one being a lifted, upscale sedan that could easily pass off as a crossover in North America. While the Crown Sedan and Crown Sports models won’t make it to the U.S., the second Crown offering, known as the Crown Estate in Japan, will make its way to American shores as the 2025 Crown Signia SUV.

2025 Toyota Crown Signia

Photo: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

The Crown Signia marks Toyota’s latest addition to its lineup, filling the void left by the departing Venza in the mid-size segment. While not a direct replacement, the Crown Signia will offer more power and a higher price point than the outgoing Venza. It rides on the same TNGA-K platform as the Crown Sedan, albeit with different underpinnings.

For the 2025 model year, the Crown Signia will come in two trims, XLE and Limited, both equipped with a hybrid powertrain. A 2.4-liter inline-4 engine is paired with a 230.4-volt Bi-Polar NiMH traction battery capable of storing energy for later use, along with a hybrid transaxle comprising two electric motor-generators, a planetary gear, and a reduction gear. This setup delivers 240 combined horsepower and showcases Toyota’s advanced powertrain technology for a more efficient and lighter vehicle. Anticipate around 38 miles per gallon combined, similar to the Venza.

2025 Toyota Crown Signia

Photo: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

Both XLE and Limited trims boast on-demand all-wheel drive and offer three drive modes: Normal, Eco, and Sport. Despite its SUV moniker, the Crown Signia sits slightly lower than expected, with 6.7 inches of ground clearance. Nevertheless, it retains the ability to tow up to 2,700 pounds.

Being a luxury-adjacent vehicle, standard features include leather-trimmed seats, a digital gauge cluster, piano key controls, a top-of-the-line infotainment system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a telescoping steering wheel, and a hands-free liftgate. Additionally, a five-seat configuration with a fold-flat second row creates a vast 6.5-foot-long cargo area in the rear.

2025 Toyota Crown Signia

Photo: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

The XLE base model of the Crown Signia starts at $44,985, inclusive of mandatory destination charges. This trim includes 19-inch machine-finished alloy wheels, heated and ventilated power front seats, heated rear outboard seats, and a six-speaker audio system. For $49,385, you can opt for the top-tier Limited trim, which adds 21-inch alloy wheels, a fixed glass panoramic roof, an 11-speaker JBL sound system, digital key functionality, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. An additional $1,865 Advanced Technology Package includes a panoramic view monitor, lane change assist, traffic jam assist, front cross-traffic alert, parking assist with automatic braking, mirror puddle lights, and more.

Contrasting the somewhat polarizing styling of the Crown sedan, the Crown Signia exudes a more conventional outward appearance. Undoubtedly an SUV, it boasts a sleek silhouette and an eye-catching color-matched webbed grille, a design element beginning to permeate Toyota’s lineup.

Within, the Crown Signia offers a roomy and plush interior. The front houses a user-friendly command center with minimal physical buttons. A notable feature that brought delight to many on my trip was the upright Qi charging pad, reminiscent of a cup holder. Apparently, inserting your phone into

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