Toyota Is Now Moving to Consolidate the Crown Jewels Across the Mid-Size Sector

The Japanese automaker Toyota is busy fighting General Motors for the sales throne across the United States market - and the mid-size crown jewels are all brand new, mostly.
Toyota Camry & Crown & Crown Signia 12 photos
Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation
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Looking back at what happened in America this year so far, Toyota is one of the most prolific automakers on the market – they introduced the Prius 'Hybrid Reborn' in 220-hp Prime plug-in hybrid form, ousted the C-HR in favor of the new Corolla Cross Hybrid, expanded the Nightshade family like there was no tomorrow, revealed the first-ever Grand Highlander, and also premiered the N400 Tacoma and 2024 Land Cruiser superstars.

Even the sports car enthusiasts got something new – more precisely, a trio of special editions: GR86 Trueno, GR Corolla Circuit, and GR Supra 45th Anniversary. The fall season brought out fantastic hints for the truck series – Toyota swapped Tacoma's 326-hp i-Force Max electrified inline-four with the 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Tundra for the 421-hp Tacoma X-Runner concept and the TRD Performance pack that elevates power from 389 and 437 hp to 421 and 469 hp for the full-size pickup truck will be available for purchase starting next year.

Last but not least, Toyota is wrapping up the autumn novelties with the arrival of the 2025 Camry and Crown Signia crossover SUV at the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show (November 17-26). The latter is the first sibling of the S235 sixteenth generation, a model series that was reinvented entirely by the company with big ambitions to make it an expansive family of vehicles. In Japan, they have the genuine 4-door Crown Sedan, but in America, we now have the authentic premium crossover SUV – not just the quirky fastback with CUV DNA that kicks off at $40,050 for the 2024 model year.

The Crown Signia doesn't stray too far away from the norm, though, and it looks like it has some station wagon feelings, too. One thing is sure: Toyota is moving to solidify a new signature mid-size styling for its premium offerings. The regular Crown and the Crown Signia share the 'Hammerhead' fascia between them, but with very few modifications, they also welcome the Camry into the fold. And we should expect to see the 2025 ninth generation surge close to a $30k starting price – it's going to be exclusively sold as a hybrid model from the spring of next year, and we bet it's going to incur a premium over the current $28,855 2024MY Camry Hybrid.

Still using the modular TNGA-K platform just like the XV70 eighth generation, it's pretty clear the XV80 can be treated as a heavily revised model by anyone who doesn't think Toyota is right in dubbing the 2025 Camry a next-generation version. While it features the 5th generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS 5) and is for the first time offered with electronic AWD, the powertrain upgrades are not that extraordinary – the 2024 Camry Hybrid boasts 208 horsepower, and the 2025 Camry will pack 225 hp (FWD) or 232 hp (eAWD) under the hood.

Sure, Toyota did introduce many new stuff – a re-engineered suspension and braking system, standard Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, or the 'Beyond Zero' badge to show its commitment to sustainability. But it also dropped the TRD model or the V6 engine option from the list, and only LE, SE, XSE, and XLE grades will be available during the market launch. If you look closely, the side profile looks almost identical between the 2024 Camry and 2025MY, while the rear LED taillights also sport nearly the same design, only with the red line traced differently. Luckily, the front fascia brings it closer to models like the Prius or Crown – especially the latter when looking at the grille treatment.

Inside the 2025 Camry, there are more significant changes, though. Both the dashboard and center console are brand new and feature a completely different styling – note the creases on the passenger side and the disappearance of the current model's flowing center line. There's also a standard 7-inch digital cluster for the lesser grades and a more extensive 12.3-inch instrument panel for XLE and XSE. The Toyota Audio Multimedia System works with a standard 8-inch touchscreen, but of course, everyone will probably want to upgrade to the 12.3-inch screen to enjoy the standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility on the display with more real estate.

Connectivity is also a top point for the 2025 Camry, and Toyota offers trials or subscriptions for just about everything. Safety is not neglected, either - Toyota's Safety Sense 3.0 has standard perks like a Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, and many more. On the XLE and XSE grades, there's an optional Premium Plus Package, including features like Traffic Jam Assist, Front-Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, the Panoramic View Monitor, and Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking. What more could you want from this mid-size sedan that seems to elevate tradition to all-new heights?

Ultimately, I believe that Toyota is doing a good thing to bring the Camry higher up the specs and closer to the near-premium Crown series. It's also great to see them unify the design, but they better beware. If they all start looking the same, there's a significant danger: Toyota could return to the bland days of old when no one remembered how the Japanese company's cars looked; they only knew about them from the legendary reliability POV.

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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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