The new Innova is more expensive than the old one, with the top-end model costing over Rs 20 lakh
For over 10 years Toyota had been following the ‘don't fix what's not broken’ philosophy with the Innova.
Though it received cosmetic updates time and again, the car mostly remained the same old MPV. But now, Toyota has totally overhauled the Innova and presented it to us in the form of the Crysta.
We took it for a spin in Goa to see if the new Innova is worth its legacy and here is what we think.
The Toyota Innova is a common name in India. Rightly so, because of the fact that there are not many cars which can provide the kind of comfort and reliability that Innova does. So, will the new car stand true to all our expectations? Let's find out.
The Crysta is distinctively different from the old Innova. It looks much more premium, and hence, it can even snatch buyers from the luxury sedan segment.
The front of the car is stretched-out and is wider than before. It gets a twin-slat grille with big wrap around multi-element headlamps. The lower portion of the grille has a gloss black finish and the fog lights come integrated with the turn indicators.
When viewed from the side, it looks like a typical van. Toyota has done a brilliant job with the C-pillar and window design which adds flair to the overall profile. The seventeen-inch alloys are another attraction point.
At the rear, the car features an integrated spoiler and flush fitting taillamps which make the Innova Crysta appear presentable. The overall design of the car remains like that of a van, but the clever design elements provide it with a more desirable appeal.
Innova owners are mostly chauffeured and so the interiors are really important. Toyota has kept the same in mind and has done a thorough job.
Sitting in the Innova reminds one of being inside a modern lounge. The seats are comfortable and long journeys won't be a problem.
The first thing you notice with the design is the new-age dashboard. It features a single aluminum strip which runs across the dashboard. It looks good as the dashboard is wide. The plastic quality used on the lower half of the dash does leave one disappointed.
Another vital aspect of the centre console is the 4.2-inch TFT screen which sits right in middle of the dashboard. It resembles a tablet, giving out details such as navigation, audio, telephone and others.
The steering wheel comes wrapped in leather and has a good grip. There are buttons for almost everything on the steering wheel, so you never have to take your hands off it.
The instrument cluster has a 3-D layout, which is simply brilliant. There is a screen in the center of the two dials and displays information such as fuel consumption, cruising range, average speed, and for some odd reason, even features a compass.
The car also lets you play highway fuel efficiency games. You can set a target and the screen tells you how well you have fared.
The Innova has enough storage space with two gloveboxes for knick-knacks. The car has twenty one 1-litre bottle holders to keep you more than hydrated always.
Speaking about the second row, the seats are very comfortable and have been designed considering long journeys in mind.
There is also a tray attached to the front seats which can be used by the second-row passengers for laptops or refreshments.
Cup holders are placed on the sides of the seats and can be folded when not in use.
The rear passengers can also slide the co-passenger seat to increase legroom with a lever placed on the seat. The room in the second and third row is ample. The Crysta is longer, wider and taller than the current Innova by 150mm, 70mm and 35mm, respectively.
The lounge lighting is present for the rear passengers as well. There is a screen for the rear aircon vents too, which makes the rear cabin a pleasant place to be seated in. What is disappointing about the cabin is the overall insulation of air and noise.
There was a constant hum and woosh noise that we could hear and it did become annoying after a while.
Engine and performance
After a long wait of 10 years, the Innova has finally a couple of new engines. First is the 2.4-litre 2GD-FTV engine which develops an impressive 150PS of power and an even more impressive 343Nm of torque.
It comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission. This engine is very refined and has a good amount of power.
The other engine is a bigger 2.8-litre engine which has come straight from the Fortuner. It produces 174PS power and 360Nm torque. It is mighty powerful and comes mated to a six-speed automatic torque converter. This engine enhances the car’s appeal to a wider audience.
Floor the pedal and the Innova is launched with a loud engine noise. Get to a steady speed in the mid range and the engine will quiet down. Both the engines get a Power and an Eco mode that play with the ECU map settings, depending on how you want to drive the car.
These engines are powerful and much better than the ones present in the older Innova. But, the best way to enjoy a journey is not with a manual, rather with an automatic. Just put it in the D mode and relax.
Ride and handling
Toyota has stuck to the ladder frame. The Innova is meant to carry up to seven people and does the same with utter ease. The suspension soaks in bumps and potholes with ease and the 17-inch tyres work brilliantly.
The double wishbone suspension set-up copes very well even on terrible roads, but the 1.9-tonne weight does become obvious at higher speeds.
After a thorough inspection, we believe that the new Innova was worth the wait. It looks a lot better, rides well, and has powerful engines on offer as well as a long list of features.
But these updates come at a cost. The new Innova is more expensive than the old one, with the top-end model costing over Rs 20 lakh. But for that kind of money, you get a whole lot of features, space, premium and power.