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A brief history of the Toyota Crown in Singapore

A brief history of the Toyota Crown in Singapore

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SGCM_editorial

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Two decommissioned Toyota Crowns remain in Singapore and they will be replaced by Hyundai Sonatas upon request.

 

blogentry-129174-0-34715100-1541580401.jpgConsidered the “King of the road” in Singapore from the 1980s even up till 2006! You could look anywhere on the road and spot a Toyota Crown Taxi (or more) with ease.

Here’s a brief guide on the evolution of the Crown over the years!

 

1970s – Toyota Crown S120

 

The crown gained popularity with taxi companies in Singapore along with the Nissan Cedric and Isuzu Florian. Modifications were done to these cars to lower operating costs over comfort. If you’ve ever sat in one of these, you’ll never forget the noises and vibrations that come along with the ride. At times, you would feel like you might not get to your destination in one piece!

 

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1980s – Toyota Crown S130

 

NTUC-Comfort were the biggest players in the taxi industry with an estimate of 6300 cars (most of them Crowns) on the road. In 1988, The Crown was the first Toyota to come with an airbag! Air-conditioning that used to be a luxury were also fitted into most taxis.

 

1990s – Toyota Crown S130 receives a facelift

 

The Crown sedan received a minor facelift but retained its S130 roots. This model gained the most popularity in Singapore and featured iconic round headlights and chrome bumpers. It was fitted with a 2.4-liter diesel engine and was an extremely fast car. If your taxi driver was feeling a bit heavy footed that day, you would have one fun ride!

 

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2000s – Toyota Crown Comfort

 

Featuring smaller exterior dimensions but a more spacious and as its name suggests, comfortable interior, The Crown Comfort received much popularity in Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. This model would be the last of the Crowns that would touch Singapore roads. Hyundai Sonatas started to dominate the taxi industry as more Crowns were decommissioned and scrapped.

Millennials won’t understand the thrill of taking a ride in a Crown was equivalent to a ride at Universal Studios Singapore. It’s been one hell of a journey Toyota Crown! You’ll be missed!

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I am sorry whoever wrote this article was full of factual errors. 

 

1st, none of NTUC Crowns had airbags (single or dual) in sg market. Back in 1988, driver's airbag as we know it today was already invented but it was a very expensive safety device that was an optional item in a handful of super lux cars of that era. It is impossible for a taxi model to be equipped as such.

 

In fact CDG repeatedly ordered Crowns and even the NF Sonata with special airbag delete option to keep their cost down. It wasn't until much backlash from the public that CDG relented and imported the i40 with just one airbag. It wasn't until the current Prius and Ioniq that CDG taxis had a full suite of 6 or more airbags like they were supposed to.

 

And actually we didn't have any Crown Comfort taxis in sg. HK market and JDM yes. The Comfort trim level featured a 4AT with a column mounted shifter similar to those 1970s American big sedans. It has a driver's airbag and a full climate control vs our simple local fitted manual aircon. 

 

And becos of the above setup, the front seats are actually bench seats instead of buckets. 

 

And I have no idea why would anyone consider the Crown taxis as fast cars. The engine was loud but weak and the gear ratios were super short to keep the engine boiling to compensate for the lack of power. 

 

You felt like u were going fast only becos of the zero sound insulation and wobbly soft suspension. 

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Cheefarn is absolutely spot on. And it's common to see these Crown taxis running on an array of mix-and-match tyres as the taxi companies replaced worn tyres individually instead of as a pair.

 

You end up with a 4 different tyres on a taxi - 1 each of Golden Coin, Westlake, Hankook, & Chaoyang tyres

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