Mahindra Xylo Vs Toyota Innova: The Great Divide

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Mahindra Xylo Vs Toyota Innova: The Great Divide - CarTrade

author image Aditya Chatterjee
Saturday 21 September 2013

Mahindra Xylo Vs Toyota Innova: The Great Divide

Being a country dominated by large families, MPVs provide the perfect solution to buyers that need more space. Back in the day when options were far and few, Toyota Innova emerged as the country’s true luxury MPV, offering comfort, luxury and performance. It has proved to be the benchmark in this segment.

Automakers tried to enter this space with a variety of offerings but then very few have made it to the top. However, Mahindra is one Indian automaker that has bucked this trend. The Xylo, launched in 2009, marked its presence in the MPV segment with impressive sales. It was commendable to see how an Indian company without any foreign collaboration brought out a product to challenge an already famous model, the Innova. 

Mahindra Xylo

Presently, the segment has become diversified with compact MPVs like the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Chevrolet Enjoy. However, the Innova continues to lead this space as a result of Toyota’s extensive sales and service network. Even Mahindra’s have raised the ante against the competition by increasing its presence throughout the country with its vast after sales support.
The battle in the MPV space is more intense than ever before with the entry of new players. On the pinnacle of this battle lies two contenders and we decided to pitch them against each other.

Both these cars are different when it comes to individual characters. The Innova looks more like an executive MPV compared the Xylo which commands a more robust appeal on the road. The Innova is more of an urban transporter while they Xylo does not have any set definitions. It looks like a highway cruiser but at the same time its tall looks are more than ready to take uneven surfaces.

The new Innova comes with a familiar face with all the models especially the SUVs. The minimalistic yet stylish design of the Innova score more in premium looks. The headlights stretch their way to the side. The radiator grille gets a chrome outline. The lower section of the bumpers also look decently carved with mild contours.

The Mahindra Xylo slashes premium appeal with its raw design. It does not boast of smooth curves or lines because this one looks like a rough and tough MPV. Mahindra’s design team seems were not much impresses by the plain serene looks of a typical MPV and thus the Xylo gets a sporty and aggressive design trim which also shouts of the potential it has. The toothed radiator grille paired with the evil raised eye brow lines of the headlight make the Xylo look sporty.

The Innova is 4585mm in length which is more than that of the Xylo but then in width and height, Xylo takes on the lead with 1850mm and 1895mm. The increase in dimensions makes the Xylo look a bigger car than the Innova.

The side profile of the Innova looks very simple with minimal design. The front and rear doors are large and it helps in easy ingress and egress. The door handles are body colored and the top of the line variant also comes with side skirts. The greenhouse area is superb and as a result helps in an amazing visibility for the passengers inside.

Mahindra Xylo looks impressive with its tall stance. It has a very well defined and strong shoulder line which flows under the windows. The flared wheel arches give it a very sporty character. Also aiding it is the integrated footstep which is very strong. The cabin is located at a height so the footsteps are indeed useful. Xylo also comes with 6 spoke alloy wheels. The 215/75 R15 tyres look a lot meatier compared to the one on Innova.

The rear section of the Innova is very elegant with subtle design lines. The top of the line V variant gets a dash of chrome on the rear tail gate. The rear bumper looks very much like that of a sedan with a bare minimum design. The Xylo on the other hand looks macho with its integrated rear spoiler located at a great height.

The vertically elongated tail lights fit nicely under the smoked pillars. The rear bumper of the Xylo is very chunky and provides an easy access to the loading area. The Xylo has a ground clearance of 186mm which is 10mm more than that of the Innova.

The overall image of these two vehicles is very distinct. The Innova looks very subtle and balanced while the Xylo looks aggressive and masculine.



Interiors are the most important when it comes to MPVs as it is the only space where passengers spend the maximum time. Among the aspects that score maximum points, space, comfort, luxury and features followed by convenience lead the chart. The Innova’s interiors are a favorite among many because of its plush appeal but then the one on Xylo follows a close second.

The multi layered dashboard of the Innova looks premium with the different colors used on the trims. The instrumental panel has been designed very neatly. It features the essentials such as speedometer, tachometer and engine temperate. The MID (Multi Information Display) gives information about the present gear engaged, distance to empty, outside temperature and the average fuel consumption.

The steering wheel feels should have been a tad smaller as this one is on the larger side. On the top of the line V variant, it has controls mounted on it to shuffle Bluetooth and media options as well as controls to operate the MID. The entertainment system in the Innova is a 2DIN unit. It a 6” Touch screen display with Bluetooth connectivity. It has 4 speakers mounted on the door and 2 tweeters mounted on the front dashboard.

Mahindra Xylo does not score in offering a plush and premium feel. The plastic quality too feels underwhelming. The fit and finish of the dashboard lacks quality. The dashboard is done in a uniform chocolate brown shade and does not have any engagement with the passengers. The instrumental panel on both the cars is very basic and displays only the essentials.

In the Innova, the Bluetooth audio system works fine as it easily pairs with mobiles. The music playback quality is decent. The unit on Mahindra Xylo does not play music via Bluetooth and can be only used for telephony. Also, it is not at all convenient to use since the unit can only receive phone calls but making an outgoing proved to be extremely difficult because the VCT function fails to pick audio commands.

The seating comfort is Innova’s selling point. It is unparallel to anyone. The front row seats are cushioned very well and so are the other rows. The lumbar support is adequate. One does not feel congested inside the cabin as the headroom and legroom space is sufficient. The AC unit is also effective in cooling the cabin generously.

The seats in the Xylo are finished in Italian leather. They are decent in comfort if not as much as in the Innova. The under thigh support is missing. Also, the other issues in these seats are they don’t have a supporting back design and instead are very flat. They lack cushioning. However, the area where the Xylo scores more over the Innova is in the roominess of the cabin. It is taller and wider than the Innova so obviously the space inside is of great proportions.

While the Innova has cup holders on the door trims as well as in the central zone, the Xylo too has cup holders beside the gear stick. On the Innova, all door pockets provide provision for a bottle and miscellaneous articles which in the case of Xylo is only on front door pockets.

The rear door pockets of the Xylo miss on a bottle holder. The luggage space is a generous area even with the 3rd row seats in the Innova while the space in the Xylo is not much since the Innova is longer.

Clearly, the Innova scores more when it comes to comfort and luxury. The quality of finish is impressive especially when you compare it with the competition. The Xylo does try to make it with its generous space and features but even then it follows the Innova and not stand beside it.



While a major share of attention is given to comfort and luxury, a fair amount of importance is given to performance and mileage as well. The Innova comes with a bigger 2.5L engine which produces a peak power of 102PS at 3600 rpm and a torque of 200Nm at 3400 rpm. The Xylo’s mHawk engine has a displacement of 2179cc. It produces a peak power of 120PS at 4000 rpm and a greater torque of 280Nm between 2400 to 2800 rpm. Both engines are metted with a 5 speed manual transmission.

The Innova’s engine has a very linear power delivery. It does not rattle at all. The suspension setup appeared rigid. It is great on uneven road surfaces too because of its higher ground clearance. This one took the streets of Mumbai with good confidence. The transmission had it been smoother than the present unit would have been helpful.

The unit on the Innnova produces lesser power than that of the Xylo. At high speeds it is very stable and the vehicle doesn’t lose on control even while turning at high speeds. The initial lag is evident as the engine feels to lazy in the initial engine speeds. It is post 3rd gear when the engine starts delivering.

The torque output is impressive as even on hilly terrains there is no need to downshift. Mid range torque is the best asset of this engine. The quality of braking is impressive. It takes its own time but then after crossing the mid range value reaching triple digit speeds is not difficult. Steering the Innova is easy as it has a shorter turning radius than the Xylo.

Mahindra Xylo’s action starts as soon as one hops and climbs on the driver’s seat. It is situated at a great height. Leaving the sarcasm aside, the tall position in the Xylo makes one feel very capable. The upright driver’s position is very enthusiastic. The Xylo is the only MPV which has some SUV genes in it and indeed since it comes from the house of SUV legends.

The mHawk unit has a very strong growl. Even at lower engine speeds, it is not lazy to haul the vehicle. The gear shifts however are not very smooth to operate especially when compared to the Innova. The impressive bit in the Xylo is its potential to deliver a strong torque from pre mid range till the peak limit.

Having a taller ground clearance has its share of pros and unlike the Innova the Xylo can go anywhere possible. This gives the Xylo a clear advantage over the Innova. Xylo’s suspensions are more inclined towards a softer ride and thus it takes on hard road surfaces with great ease.

Even the 215/75 R15 tyres stick to the road and grip well. Among the downside, it’s a tall vehicle meaning great headroom and space inside the cabin but then its handling is compensated cause of the same. The amount of body roll experienced on corners is too much and is very discomforting and precious little can be done to avoid it. At triple digit speeds, the Xylo does not feel stable and feels all over the road.

The mHawk engine is a very good unit but then unfortunately it is not properly supported by the overall infrastructure of the car. The Innova returned a mileage of 16 Kmpl while the Xylo was close behind with a best mileage of 15.5 Kmpl.

Technical Specifications
 Make Toyota Mahindra
 Model Innova Diesel Xylo
Variant 2.5G H9
Engine type 2KD-FTV Mhawk
Engine Displacement 2494/4 2179
Power in PS/RPM 102/3600 120/4000
Torque in Nm/RPM 200/3400 280/2400-2800
Transmission 5/M 5/M
Dimensions in mm    
Length 4585 4520
Width 1760 1850
Height 1760 1895
Wheel base 2750 2760
Ground clearance 176 186
Minimum Radius 5.4 5.5
Gross weight Kgs 2300 1830
Tyres 205/65 R15 215/75 R15
Fuel Tank capacity in Liters 55 55
Features EV G GX VX H8
Airbags NO Single Dual NO Optional
ABS+EBD+Brake asst NO Yes Yes Optional Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear De-Fogger No No Yes No Yes
Rear Wiper and washer No Yes Yes No Yes
Front Fog lamps No No Yes No Yes
Seat material PVC Fabric Fabric High PVC Fabric
Power windows NO Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power steering Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
AC with Heater Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear AC Vents NO No Yes Yes Yes
Tilt steering column Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electrically adjustable ORVM NO Yes Yes NO Yes
Integrated 2DIN Audio NO No Yes NO Yes
Steering mounted audio control NO Yes Yes NO Yes
Ex Showroom Price Mumbai 10,18,051 12,26,972 14,32,222 8,47,189 9,64,172
Mahindra Xylo Competitors
Tata Motors
Variant G H9 Pure
Ex showroom price Mumbai 10,82,434 9,25,522 10,37,834
Engine Displacement/No. of Cyl. 2494/4 2179/4 2179/4
Power in PS/RPM 102/3600 120/4000 140/4000
Torque in Nm/RPM 200/3400 280/2400-2800 320/2700
Turning circle radius 5.4 5.5 5.6
Fuel Tank  in Liters 55 55 60
Seating  8 Seater 8 Seater 8 Seater
Mileage in KMPL 15 12 12
Key Features      
Tubeless tyres Yes Yes Yes
Ski rack Yes Yes No
Rear Wash and wiper No Yes No
Digital Drive Assist system Yes Yes Yes
Mobile charging point Yes Yes Yes
Flat bed seat No No No
Arm rest for driver and co driver Yes Yes Yes
Height adjustable driver seat No No No
Intellipark reverse assist Yes Yes Yes
Engine Immobiliser Yes Yes Yes
Rear AC Venta No Yes No
Power steering Yes Yes Yes
Tilt steering No No Yes
Keyless entry Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes
Rear Defogger No No Yes
2-DIN Audio system No Yes Yes
ABS No Yes No
Airbag No 2 No

The Toyota Innova has served for a long time now and just in few weeks an updated version will hit the Indian markets. Amazing comfort and a reliable engine are its unique selling points. Toyota’s strong after sales network too backs its strong image in India. 

So that makes the Innova the ultimate MPV in India? In terms of comfort…Yes! But then something that escapes public attention is the slow increase of its prices. A fully loaded 2.5VX Diesel variant is priced at Rs. 14,27,646 (Ex-Showroom Mumbai). Since time of its launch till the present, it has not gone through any significant change but then the price rise has gone up steadily which makes it the most expensive MPV in its segment. Thus, the premium comfort and other pros come at a price.

The Mahindra Xylo, which is the desi contender to this title made a solo entry without any legacy attached like the Qualis which made people believe in the Innova. The Xylo may not have been as successful as the Innova but then it has improved a lot from its previous generation. Features like Voice assist and Cruise control make it a tech savvy MPV for sure. There are three main drawbacks in the Xylo which are seating comfort, handling and body roll. However, the Xylo H9 BS4 Rs.10,45,330 (Ex-Showroom Mumbai).

The price difference is too much especially for an MPV. It effectively means that for the price of an Innova, one can get a fully loaded Mahindra Xylo along with a Hyundai i10. The Xylo attracts consumers who can compromise on comfort and luxury but then needs a spacious MPV at a lesser price. It comes across as a sturdy vehicle. With Mahindra’s extensive dealership network it is not difficult to get it serviced at any part of the country. The Xylo if improved on those three drawbacks can be a killer package and prove to be a very aggressive contender.

Mahindras who are the Maruti Suzuki of the SUV/MPV market have come a long way and have always evolved with time. They are the ones to break the “technology-comes-at-a-price” myth. For them, giving a stiff competition to the international players is a compliment by itself.

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