The Toyota Crown Majesta was a Toyota’s full-sized premium luxury vehicle had semblance to the Jaguar XJ, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, Volkswagen Phaeton, Maserati Quattroporte and BMW 7 series. Although, the Crown Majesta shared the stretched variant of the UZS platform series with the smaller Toyota Crown and Lexus GS (Toyota Aristo), it was still an independent separate model with exclusive styling and interior package.
Initially, the Crown Majesta was launched a solid alternative to the smaller Toyota Crown, but later in 1991, the Crown Majesta came out as a more contemporary alternative to the Toyota Century for the Japanese Domestic Market. However, the Century has recently made its debut in many Asian countries like China. When compared to its competitors like the BMW 7 series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Crown Majesta was a perfect blend of performance and design. In Asia, the Crown Majesta had to compete with Nissan Fuga and Hyundai Equus.
After the cessation of Toyota Celsior in Japan, the Crown Majesta became the flagship mainstream vehicle of Toyota, a bit expensive than other Toyota’s models excluding Century.
First Generation (S140 Series; 1991-1995)
In October 1991, Toyota launched its first Crown Majesta in Japan. It was a 4-door hardtop having great resemblance with the smaller Toyota Crown and the larger Toyota Celsior. The car was offered in two engine variants including: the 3.0-L 2JZ-GE engine that it shared with the Toyota Aristo, Toyota Supra and Toyota Soarer, producing 226 bhp (169 kW; 229 PS) and the 4.0-L 1UZ-FE similar to the Celsior, generating 256 bhp (191 kW; 260 PS). 4WDi-Four was introduced in 1992. Other features offered include GPS navigation system, electric power steering, four-wheel steering and a Head-up display.
Second Generation (S150 Series; 1995-199)
In September 1995, Toyota launched the redesigned model of the Crown Majesta. Vertical tail lamps were introduced in contrast to the horizontal tail lamps of Toyota Crown same as Lexus LS. Other changes were made in the shape of dashboard, rear window, tail lights and trunk lid. The straight-6 engine was dropped from the lineup.
HID headlights and a renewed front grille were offered in 1997. VVT-i technology was added on the V8, mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The previously introduced four-wheel steering (4WDi-Four) was also discontinued.
Third Generation (S170 Series; 1999-2004)
The third generation Crown Majesta was an entirely redesigned version where a 4-door hardtop was dropped and replaced by 4-door sedan. The car received a DVD based GPS navigation system, a foot rest for rear seat passenger and the vertical tail lights got wider.
Fourth Generation (S180 Series; 2004-2009)
On July 6, 2004, the entirely redesigned fourth generation Crown Majesta was introduced. With the introduction of the Lexus brand in Japan in 2006, the sales of the Toyota Celsior were discontinued in Japan. At that time, the Crown Majesta had just been able to replace the Celsior in the Japanese market in spite of customers’ strong objections.
The engine of the fourth generation Crown Majesta was upgraded to the 3UZ-FE similar to the USA-spec Lexus LS. The transmission was also upgraded to a 6-speed and the previously dropped 4WDi-Four also made a come back in high end models.
Other features offered include rear-view camera and parking assist technology. With 6-speed transmission, supercharger was offered as optional. Air suspension and G-BOOK was introduced in the 2006 model year as standard.
Fifth Generation (S200 Series; 2009)
On March 28, 2009, the fifth generation Crown Majesta was launched. The company set the sales target of 1000 units per month. The 1UR-FSE engine was added in the fifth generation model taken from the GS and LS.