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The 2025 Toyota Crown Signia Is a Lexus Without the Badge

The Toyota Crown Signia is not for everyone. Toyota expects to sell these in the low tens of thousands annually, which isn’t much when you consider the company moved over 434,000 RAV4s here last year.

That makes the Crown Signia a pretty niche offering, essentially a Lexus for those who don’t want a Lexus badge. None of this is bad. In fact, the Crown Signia is one of the nicest cars Toyota sells. If you don’t need the space of a Highlander and want something nicer than a RAV4 but no less sensible, this is it.

Quick Specs2025 Toyota Crown Signia
Engine2.5-Liter Four-Cylinder Hybrid
Output243 Horsepower / 178 Pound-Feet
TransmissionE-CVT
Fuel Economy39 City / 37 Highway / 38 Combined
Base Price$44,985
On-Sale DateSummer 2024

The Crown Signia replaces the Venza, and it’s the crossover twin of the Crown sedan, itself a replacement for the Avalon. It’s only available in two trims—the XLE costs $44,985 and the Limited is $49,385.And there’s only one powertrain, the classic Toyota hybrid system with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine. Here it makes 243 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, with standard all-wheel drive courtesy of a separate electric motor for the rear wheels.

Mechanically, the Crown Signia is almost identical to the Crown sedan, and inside, there’s no splitting the two. I wouldn’t call it decadent, yet the Crown Signia’s interior is very nice. Especially in this caramel leather. It looks great and everything is very sensible, with just the right amount of tech. Physical climate controls and a real volume knob shouldn’t be considered luxuries, but when you no longer get them in many Mercedes-Benz models, they are.

2025 Toyota Crown Signia First Drive Review

Pros: Luxurious Interior, Quiet And Comfortable Drive, Efficient Hybrid Powertrain

That baby-luxury-car experience continues with the way the Crown Signia drives. It’s quiet, comfortable, and easy. Exactly what you want from a car like this, and even on twisty mountain roads south of San Diego, it feels surprisingly spry. This is the sort of car you could see slipping into your daily life easily. And while it doesn’t feel like a full-on Lexus, it gets remarkably close. Especially when you consider that even fully loaded, the Crown Signia costs hardly more than the average price of a new car today.

The fact that it’s a hybrid is icing on the cake. Toyota’s famous hybrid system is simple, reliable, and efficient, so you should have no trouble matching the 38-mpg combined figure from the EPA. It’s also so well-dialed in that it asks nothing of the driver. You just drive it like any other car while enjoying fuel economy that, while not Prius-esque, is a lot better than most small crossovers.

2025 Toyota Crown Signia First Drive Review 2025 Toyota Crown Signia Interior

The expected hybrid-system drone from the four-cylinder doesn’t quite fit the Crown Signia’s luxury bonafides though, especially under hard acceleration. Yet I still think the fuel economy you get in return for ditching the conventional powertrain is well worth the tradeoff.

Here, there’s the same tech suite all modern Toyota models get, including an infotainment system that’s simple yet effective, and standard driver-assist systems that work. As I’ve said in other Toyota reviews, the company’s new digital gauge cluster is somewhat baffling to configure, but that’s a minor complaint in the big scheme of things.

2025 Toyota Crown Signia First Drive Review

Cons: Occasional Engine Harshness, Premium Price Tag, Having To Explain What A “Crown Signia” Is

It’s hardly the most memorable thing to drive, but there is a lot to like about the Crown Signia. It is, simply, nice. Nice to look at, nice to drive, nice to sit in, and almost certainly nice to live with. The best counterargument to getting one is that, for not much more money, you can stretch into an actual luxury-brand SUV. Hell, even the Lexus NX350h, which uses basically the same powertrain, starts at $46,075. Not to mention a Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD—which in many ways is an anti-Toyota—costs just under $50,000 before federal tax incentives.

So you can see why Toyota doesn’t expect to sell all that many Crown Signias. It does make you wonder why it’s bothering with this model at all, but clearly there are enough eminently rational people in this world who just want a nice Toyota. It’s the same few that bought Cressidas in the 1980s, Avalons in the 1990s, and nearly 30,000 Venzas last year.

2025 Toyota Crown Signia First Drive Review

Toyota launched this car alongside the new Camry, Land Cruiser, and Tacoma Hybrid. It revealed the new 4Runner at the same time, too. To say the Crown Signia was overlooked in this company would be putting it politely. A lot of shoppers will probably do the same. There are simply more exciting, more status-affirming options out there.

Though, I suspect that Crown Signia buyers will be quietly satisfied. They’ve got a great car, and nothing to prove.

Update: The fuel economy ratings have been updated to reflect new estimates from the EPA.

Competitors

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2025 Toyota Crown Signia
Engine2.5-Liter Four-Cylinder Hybrid
Output243 Horsepower / 178 Pound-Feet
TransmissionE-CVT
Drive TypeAll-Wheel Drive
Efficiency39 City / 37 Highway / 38 MPG Combined
Seating Capacity5
Towing2,700 Pounds
Base Price$44,985
On SaleSummer 20224

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  1. Kak_qtml June 21, 2024

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