2025 Toyota Crown Signia: First Drive

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Call it an SUV, a wagon or a crossover, the 2025 Toyota Crown Signia – Limited trim shown – offers a nice but not terribly exciting ride in a modern, stylish package/all photos courtesy Toyota

Toyota’s 2025 Crown Signia, a midsize five-seat hybrid, is neither the largest nor the fanciest set of wheels in the automaker’s gas-electric stable. But it just might fit the bill for those who find the full-size Sequoia or midsize Grand Highlander hybrids too big or too pricey and the RAV4 and outgoing Venza hybrids too small or unpolished.

The Signia, which replaces the Venza, is a tall, wagon-like version of the Crown sedan that debuted in 2023 . It shares most of its parts with that model but starts at almost $45,000, about $4,000 more than the base Crown sedan. There won’t be a turbocharged performance-oriented Signia version like the top-of-the-line Crown Platinum sedan, at least not for the 2025 model year.

Toyota calls it an SUV, but we think the Crown Signia is more wagon-like albeit with a slightly raised stance.

It is pricier than most of its likeliest competitors but offers a roomy cabin, good looks and great fuel efficiency in exchange.

With its standard electronic all-wheel drive, we expect the Crown Signia to compete against the slightly smaller Subaru Outback as well as various trim levels of other midsize SUVs, including the Kia Sorento and Honda Passport. It may be a bit pricier than those, but as a hybrid it also is a lot more fuel-efficient, which could make up for the price difference over time.

It isn’t terribly powerful, but we found the Signia to be a comfortable, nicely equipped, mostly quiet, highly efficient and quite competent daily driver and long-distance cruiser that’s up to most tasks you’d care to throw at it.

Trim Levels, Prices, and Packages

XLE

The base Crown Signia XLE starts at $44,985 including Toyota’s $1,395 destination fee,. It uses the fourth generation of Toyota’s standard hybrid drive system, configured for electronic on-demand four-wheel drive. Other standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels; LED headlights, running light and taillights; fabric and imitation-leather upholstery; heated and ventilated eight-way power-adjustable front seats; a heated leather steering wheel; a leather shift knob, two-zone climate control; a heated, flat-folding 60/40-split rear seat; a customizable 12.3-inch driver’s information screen;  a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen; a six-speaker audio system; wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility; wireless phone charging; five USB ports; heated and power-folding exterior mirrors with turn signal and blind spot warning lights; a hands-free (kick sensor) power liftgate, and the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 package of safety and driver assist technologies.

Limited

Toyota Crown Signia front view

The Limited starts at $49,485 and builds on the XLE with 21-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, driver’s seat memory settings, a digital rearview mirror, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a panoramic glass roof, and an 11-speaker JBL audio system.

For an additional $1,895, the Limited can be upgraded with an optional Advanced Technology Package that adds to the standard safety and driver assist systems with front cross-traffic alert, lane change assist and front and rear parking assist with automatic braking. Traffic jam assist is included in the package with a subscription to Toyota’s Drive Connect suite of connected car services. Also included are a panoramic 360-degree camera system with overhead and curb views, and power-folding exterior side mirrors with puddle lights and automatic tilt-down when the transmission is shifted into reverse.

Unlike some new Toyotas, the Crown Signia won’t have a two-tone paint option among its five exterior color choices. Standard exterior colors are black and dark gray. The others – red, white and bronze – are $425 options. There will be two interior color scheme choices: tan or black.

The Signia’s Engine and Performance

The Crown Signia gets the basic Toyota HEV all-wheel-drive system with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and two small electric motors – one for each axle.

It isn’t intended to be a performance vehicle, so its suspension is tuned for comfort. It is more at home cruising on the open highway than being pushed on twisty roads. It is a fairly well-balanced vehicle, though, and handles mountain roads with aplomb – and little bothersome body roll –  until pushed to the limits of its all-season tires. There are three driver-selectable drive modes –  Normal, Eco, and Sport – but not much difference in handling no matter the mode. Sport provides quicker throttle response while Eco slows it down and puts some limits on climate control system output in order to improve fuel efficiency.

Toyota Crown Signia

The 240-horsepower hybrid system delivers 178 pound-feet of torque from the gas engine. The electric motors provide additional torque  – up to 134 lb.-ft. to the front wheels and 89 lb.-ft. to the rears. The on-demand all-wheel drive system is biased toward front-wheel drive, so the rear motor powers the rear wheels only when extra oomph or traction is needed. Among likely competitors, only the V-6 powered Honda Passport offers more horsepower.

The Signia powertrain provides okay-but-not-outstanding grunt for passing and climbing hills and can manage a Toyota-estimated 0-60 mph sprint time of 7.1 seconds on flat ground. That’s almost half a second quicker than Toyota claims for the sedan with the same powertrain and may just reflect a real-world adjustment as some buff books have timed the sedan at 7.2 seconds.

We were able to tht a Crown Signia Limited on a recent jaunt that combined freeways, country roads and some steep mountain twisties and found it to be quiet and comfortable for the most part – it can get a bit loud inside when the gas engine has to work hard at peak demand and a buzzy whine permeates the otherwise hushed cabin. On the twisties we missed the adaptive suspension that is standard in the Crown sedan’s Platinum trim, but overall found the ride quality to be good except over badly potholed asphalt. Braking is nicely linear without the mushiness sometimes felt in hybrids. Steering is responsive but could be a little quicker and, as with many electrically assisted setups, doesn’t relay a ton of road info to the driver.

Efficiency

Toyota estimates the 2025 Crown Signia will earn a 38-mpg combined city and highway fuel-economy rating, although it might be higher. The company originally estimated a 38-mpg combined rating for the Crown sedan, but the Environmental Protection Agency’s official rating came in at 41 mpg.

In our 235-mile Southern California drive we achieved an overall 36 mpg in a Signia Limited without babying the throttle.

Competitively, the Crown Signia’s fuel efficiency look to be near the top of the class, trailing only the 2024 Toyota Venza39 mpg combined rating. The all-wheel-drive Kia Sorento hybrid is rated at 34 mpg combined, the Subaru Outback at 29 mpg combined and the Honda Passport gets just 21 mpg combined. The Honda and Subaru are not available as hybrids.

Crown Signia Interior

The 2025 Toyota Crown Signia’s cabin mirrors that of the Crown sedan, although the SUV’s 60/40-split rear seats are more bench-like than the sedan’s back seat.

Crown Signia front interior

Overall, the Crown Signia offers a more upscale version of the standard Toyota interior – bordering on Lexus-like. It is roomy, comfortable, and quiet except when the 2.5-liter gas engine is winding up.

The 2025 Crown Signia is as much as 5 inches longer than its likely competitors and has a longer wheelbase – which tends to soften the ride and create more interior space. But it also is lower and narrower than its competitors, negating the spatial benefits of the longer wheelbase.

While fairly roomy in the second row, the Signia has the least rear head- and legroom of the competitive set. Up front, it beats both the Honda Passport and Kia Sorento in front legroom but trails the segment-leading Subaru Outback. The Signia has the least front headroom of the pack. All of those measurements except rear legroom, though, are within 1.5 inches from model to model.

Infotainment and Connectivity

The 2025 Toyota Crown Signia’s dash is dominated by a pair of 12.3-inch screens – like Kia and Hyundai EVs except not under a single pane of glass. There’s a multi-configurable digital driver’s information screen to the left with a digital touchscreen for the infotainment system dominating the center of the upper dash.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, wireless phone charging, three USB ports in front and two more for the rear seating area, plus a 12-volt accessory port in the center console all are standard equipment.

The Toyota Connect suite of car tech is provided on a free trial basis with paid subscriptions required after the trials end. 

Safety and the Signia

The 2025 Toyota Crown Signia SUV hasn’t been crash-tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but the Crown sedan, which uses the same platform, received a Top Safety Pick+ designation from the IIHS, the institute’s highest honor.

The Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 suite of advanced safety and driver-assist features comes standard on all Signia models, and includes front-collision mitigation with vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian detection; lane-departure alert with steering assist; full-range cruise control; lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams. A blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is also included.

The optional Advanced Technology package for the Limited adds a front cross-traffic alert, lane-change assist, front and rear parking assist with automatic braking, and Toyota’s subscription-based Traffic Jam Assist system that provides for automated steering, braking, and acceleration at speeds of under 25 mph under certain traffic conditions on limited-access roads. Traffic Jam Assist requires a subscription to the automaker’s Drive Connect package of connected services after a one-year free trial.

Cargo and Towing

The Crown Signia’s cargo floor measures a full 6.5 feet in length when the rear seatbacks are folded flat. With the seats up, total cargo bay capacity is 25.8 cubic feet. Drop the rear seats and that swells to 68.6 cubic feet. Either way, it is the least cargo capacity among competitors.

The Signia also is rated to tow up to 2,700 pounds – think small utility trailer. But that, too, is less than most of its all-wheel-drive competitors provide. The Honda Passport is top of class at up to 5,000 pounds. The all-wheel-drive Sorento hybrid is rated at up to 4,500 pounds. And the Subaru Outback, depending on trim level, is rated at 2,700 to 3,500 pounds.

Crown Signia cargo

Our Last Words

The new 2025 Toyota Crown Signia hybrid SUV should appeal to drivers who prefer wagon- or crossover-like functionality wrapped in a stylish, upscale and fuel-efficient package.

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