In America, the Toyota Crown Estate is called the Signia SUV
Wagons are scary! Here, have an SUV
The Toyota Crown is a bit of an odd duck: a jacked-up, full-size sedan with a weird front fascia and available two-tone paint. So how’s Toyota going to make the Crown more palatable as it expands the nameplate in America? Ah, yes. Turn it into an SUV.
Debuting at the Los Angeles auto show this week, the new Crown Signia SUV is effectively an Americanized version of the Crown Estate (read: wagon) Toyota debuted in Japan. It looks pretty good, with a cleaned up front end and handsomely sculpted sides. And it’s hard to argue with the functionality of a big ol’ boot – though, again, don’t call this one a wagon. It’s an SUV. Honest.
To that end, it’s worth noting that the Crown Signia comes with on-demand all-wheel drive as part of its standard hybrid powertrain. The combination of a 2.5-liter I4 engine and electric motor delivers 243hp, and Toyota says the Crown Signia should return 36mpg combined.
The base Signia XLE rides on 19-inch wheels while the Signia Limited gets 21s, and every version has Toyota’s latest safety suite included, with helpful features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist… you know the drill.
Softex faux-leather seats come on the Signia XLE but the Limited swaps those out for actual cow hides, and the top model gets a panoramic sunroof and high-end JBL stereo, too.
Every Crown Signia has a pair of 12.3-inch screens up front – one for the gauges, one for infotainment – and despite its SUV status, this Crown only seats five passengers. Need a three-row? Try the Grand Highlander.
Look for the US-spec Crown Signia arriving at Toyota dealers next year, where it’ll likely be priced in the mid-$40,000 range, slightly above the Crown sedan. And given the popularity of SUVs in America, this’ll likely be the breadwinner of the pair.
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