The new SUV that Toyota has been teasing for the past several weeks is finally official just ahead of the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show. Toyota is continuing to expand the Crown lineup globally with the addition of the Crown Signia for North America exclusively with an all-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain.
The Signia is the second Crown variant introduced in North America and at least the fourth globally, joining the slightly high-riding, fastback sedan that debuted in 2022 along with a smaller SUV and a lower profile sedan in Japan. The Signia is on the same TNGA-K platform used for the sedan and is also built at Toyota’s Tsutsumi factory in Aichi Japan.
Design-wise, the Crown Signia looks more like a slightly tall wagon than a traditional SUV. In fact, in profile, it’s not dissimilar to the Volvo V60 Cross Country which is not a bad direction to go. The front end is a bit cleaner than the sedan with slim horizontal running lamps across the top of the corners and compact headlamp units just below. Most of the grille area is closed off with a diamond mesh area at the top and larger air opening at the bottom.
Inside, anyone that has checked out the Crown sedan will instantly feel right at home in the Signia. There are two trim levels on offer at launch, the XLE and Limited. Both get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster displat 12.3-inch center touchscreen with the Toyota Multimedia system. This latest infotainment system that is now proliferating across all new Toyota and Lexus models is a huge improvement from prior systems from the automaker with bright, high-resolution graphics, an easy to use and responsive interface and a fairly robust voice assistant that can perform most tasks including controlling media playback and climate control.
The extended roof should provide a bit more headroom in the back seat of this two-row crossover compared to the fastback roofline of the sedan. With the rear seats folded flat, the Crown Signia offers a 6.5-foot long cargo area, which is better than most crew-cab pickup trucks.
Like other new Toyota and Lexus models, the Signia comes standard with the Safety Sense 3.0 driver assist suite. This includes radar adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and lane centering, blindspot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, and more. The advanced tech package that is available on the Limited trim also adds traffic jam assist, front cross traffic alert and lane change assist.
Under the hood, the Crown Signia continues the other pattern that is becoming increasingly common across the Toyota lineup of going hybrid only. At least at launch, the Signia will only get the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder with the fifth-generation Toyota Hybrid System that we’re now familiar with for more than two decades. On-demand all-wheel-drive is enabled by the addition of an electric motor on the rear axle along with the two motor-generators in the front drive unit.
The full system produces the same combined 236-hp as the same hardware in the Crown sedan. Unfortunately, for now, Toyota isn’t offering the turbocharged Hybrid Max system that is available in the sedan.
While it’s badged as an SUV, the Crown Signia is not going to be the SUV that off-roaders are looking for. This is really more of a daily driver that offers improved traction in poor weather or on dirt roads to the cottage. Toyota is targeting 36 mpg for the Crown Signia, slightly worse than the 41 mpg combined rating of the sedan, but still an excellent figure for a relatively large crossover.
The Crown Signia should arrive at Toyota dealers across North America by summer 2024.