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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Subtle polish given to Toyota’s legendary Crown

TNGA underpinned, the Crown's updates are mainly reserved for the interior with a choice of three engine options provided.

Not offered locally since the 1960s, but renewed in Japan for a fifteenth generation two years ago, Toyota has given its iconic, flagship Crown sedan a surprise mid-life update largely on the inside.

Previously equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system positioned on the dashboard, the new 12.3-inch display has been relocated to sit above the air vents in a freestanding design, with the centre facia itself being new and doing without the digital climate control panel in favour of a more conventional setup with dials as opposed to touch sensitive buttons.

In addition, the Toyota Safety Sense suite of safety and driver assistance system has been revised to include Curve Control and a unique Driver Attention system that will gradually apply the brakes and decrease speed if the detected condition of the driver worsens over a certain period.

With two new colours; Precious White Pearl and Emotional Red as well as newly designed 18-inch alloy wheels being the sole exterior updates, the Crown’s trim levels consists of four basic grades; B, S, G and G Executive as well as three sports designations; RS-B, RS and RS Advance with a safety focused C Package being offered on the S.

Underneath the bonnet, a choice of three engines are available; the familiar 180kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo, a 2.5-litre hybrid that produces 166 kW and the flagship 3.5-litre hybrid V6 that pumps out 264 kW. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard on the former with the latter pair getting a CVT, which on the V6 comes in the shape of the same Multi Stage system as the Lexus LS 500h that combines a torque converter four-speed automatic with a CVT for an effective ten-speed configuration.

Despite being rear-wheel-drive, the four-cylinder hybrid can be specified with all-wheel-drive across all models with these adding a Four suffix to their respective designations.

Now on sale in Japan, the Crown is priced from ¥4 899 000 (R750 672) to ¥7 393 000 (R1 132 827) and won’t be offered in any but its home market.

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