Car Review

Car Review : Toyota Crown Signia 2025

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The 2025 Toyota Crown Signia is a somewhat puzzling vehicle. It’s a premium, hybrid-only crossover — that’s not the weird part. Typically something like this is reserved for Toyota’s premium division, Lexus. Luxury buyers typically want a luxury badge, and people who just want a nice hybrid crossover already have half a dozen options from Toyota. So what makes the Crown Signia stand out? Is this fancy new crossover really some hidden gem, or is it simply trying to check too many boxes at once?

This hybrid setup holds the Crown Signia back

The only powertrain you can get in the Crown Signia is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors — one at each axle — meaning the Crown Signia comes standard with all-wheel drive. The engine and motors produce a combined 243 horsepower, which is 7 hp more than the Crown sedan. Oddly, despite the Signia being based on the Crown sedan, it doesn’t come with Toyota’s 340-hp Hybrid Max setup. Toyota says it’s “evaluating the market” as to whether or not it’ll add the Hybrid Max powertrain. (That pretty much means “no.”)

And you know, the Crown Signia would really benefit from having the Hybrid Max setup. The base hybrid is fine when you first set off, but the instant your foot asks for a little bit of power that gurgly little four-cylinder busts through the firewall with a tenacious (and irritating) rattle, instantly making this could-be Lexus feel super cheap. All that clatter brings no extra grunt either; the Signia lacks passing power once you’re up to speed. It’s also really loud inside, with lots of road and wind noise.

In all its applications, the Hybrid Max powertrain is quieter and smoother, not to mention more powerful. No, it might not be able to match the Signia’s estimated 38 mpg combined rating, but a nearly $50,000 crossover ought to be nicer to drive. The steering, braking and throttle tuning all have a more luxury feel, which only amplifies this engine’s harshness. The chassis is tuned for a comfortable ride as well.

This Signia’s interior is nice, but it’s nothing new

Inside, the Crown Signia is identical to the Crown sedan. Everything from the windshield pillar rearward is a carbon copy. That means the controls are mostly physical and logically laid out, everything is easy to reach, and the trimmings are of a higher quality than those in your average Toyota.

Since this is an SUV, you’d be right to expect more in the way of interior storage — or even a place to put your sunglasses. That said, the Signia is more wagon-shaped, and when viewed as a V90 Cross Country rival, it starts to make a little more sense.

Much like the Volvo, one of the Signia’s high points is its seats. They’re supportive, ventilated and heated, and they’re probably the best of any Toyota product right now.

The Crown’s tech will be familiar to the Toyota faithful, too. Every Signia gets two 12.3-inch displays, a configurable one for the instrument cluster that can show you lots of different information and another in the center stack that handles the infotainment. The screens are bright, crisp and easy to use. Top-spec Limited models get an uprated JBL sound system, and every new Signia comes with lane keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition, pre-collision warning and automatic high beams.

One big question remains

Who is this car for? Toyota says this is for a more mature customer — someone more accomplished and worldly. But wouldn’t those people just spring for a Lexus? The Crown Signia Limited I drove starts at $49,385 including destination, and a Lexus NX hybrid can be had for very similar money. I asked Toyota why this doesn’t fully go the premium route, and the company said some people just don’t want a Lexus badge.

OK, then. To the tens of people who fall into that very specific niche, enjoy your Signia. To everyone else, the Lexus dealer is next door.

 
 
 

 
 
 

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