Please Tell Us Your City

location icon
    location iconClose
      Sorry!! No Matching Results found. Try Again.

      Toyota Innova Hycross Review

      Vikrant Singh

      Vikrant Singh

      Why would I buy it?

      • Spacious, feature-rich interiors
      • Good road presence
      • Pampering ride quality 

      Why would I avoid it?

      • Fit and finish need improvement 
      • No diesel option 
      • Tedious last-row ingress

      Engine and Performance

      Toyota Innova Hycross Right Front Three Quarter

      The version we have is the hybrid. And the first thing that strikes you about it when you start rolling and begin ambling around at slow speeds is the quietness, effortlessness, and ease with which the Hycross moves. It defies its size and weight. And that is one of the big benefits of having a proper, full-blown hybrid.

      Toyota Innova Hycross Engine Shot

      Even when the Innova shifts from EV-only mode and the engine cuts in, it retains the characteristics of an unhurried but potent mover. Drive it with a light but progressive throttle, and it should blend into your daily commute seamlessly, never feeling wanting or slow.  

      Toyota Innova Hycross Right Rear Three Quarter

      It does become loud when you floor the throttle wanting faster acceleration or a higher turn of speed. Now this might seem bothersome in the beginning, but one does get used to it because even though the two-litre is loud when revved, it doesn’t sound harsh. 

      Toyota Innova Hycross Right Side View

      But, once you hit your desired speed - say 100kmph or 120kmph - and ease off the throttle, the high rpm noise dies out. Then on, all the Hycross needs are gentle prods to its throttle as it settles into an effortless, quiet and relaxed cruise. 

      Furthermore, the throttle response is alert and easy to modulate. And while the new Innova hybrid might not pin you back in the seat with its fierce acceleration, it never feels lethargic, underpowered or underwhelming. 

      Ride and Handling

      Toyota Innova Hycross Right Front Three Quarter

      The hybrid powertrain’s mile-munching ability gels well with the Hycross’ dynamic abilities too. Being a monocoque brings with it a host of benefits. The body is stiffer, and the car is lighter, and this allows the suspension to balance the ride and handling characteristics significantly better than a ladder frame chassis. 

      In the case of the Innova Hycross, it has translated into a plush, well-damped setup with handsome amounts of travel. So be it low-frequency, high-amplitude undulations one experiences on highways or high-frequency, low-amplitude inconveniences, like broken roads or a series of plastic speed-breakers, the ride on the Innova stays flat and settled. There’s no pogoing, no harsh thumps, and no more of that typical body-on-ladder jiggle. Plus, the ride remains calm and comfortable no matter which row you are seated in. 

      Toyota Innova Hycross Left Side View

      Unfortunately, we didn’t have any twisty roads on our drive route. So, a verdict on the new Innova’s quick direction-changing abilities will have to wait. What we can get behind, however, is its straight-line stability and planted feel. It doesn’t have the most feelsome steering, but the steering response is accurate and reasonably quick. Moreover, it manages to convey a sense of surety which is confidence-inspiring, even at 100kmph and beyond. 

      There’s nothing to complain about its braking either, with the Hycross tracking straight and offering both a good bite and linear progression under hard braking. If at all, the sponginess associated with regenerative braking - typical of hybrids - is something one will have to get used to. 


      Toyota Innova Hycross Front View

      Toyota says the new Innova follows SUV design cues now instead of being an unabashed MPV. And it shows especially when viewed from the front. The drawn-down bumper, the squared wheel arches, and the prominent haunches, all make it look aggressive and modern simultaneously. It’s a nice-looking design from the rear, too, with a flat, buff tailgate and integrated tail lamps. Now the wheels might look small for the overall size and presence of the car in profile, but it isn’t a big dampener. Plus, we like the chrome wheels. 

      Comfort, Convenience, and Features

      Toyota Innova Hycross Dashboard

      The new Innova is longer, and it sits on a longer wheelbase. Plus, it’s a monocoque, and that means there’s more space all around. Upfront, the driving position feels more SUV than car, with a high dash and clear sight lines on the bonnet. One also sits higher on the Innova. Plus, with nicely designed A-pillars and large usable ORVMs, visibility is good all around.  The driver’s seat is a comfortable place to be in too. The seat is large, well-cushioned, and supportive. Plus, there’s enough and more elbow room and space to wiggle around in the foot well too.

      Toyota Innova Hycross Second Row Seats

      But it’s in the second row that the spaciousness of the new car really comes to the fore. The ingress height hasn’t come down even though it’s a monocoque compared to the older Innova, but the flat floor is a welcome change. And the longer length and wheelbase free up loads of knee room. So much so that Toyota has been able to fit Ottoman seats with an adjustable footrest to pamper its occupants. Even in terms of head and shoulder room, there’s no dearth of space. 

      Toyota Innova Hycross Third Row Seats

      The last row, meanwhile, has its hits and misses. Accessing it requires some patience, given there’s no one-touch operation and how long it takes for the electrically assisted backrest to tip forward. However, once you are seated, you realise you aren’t sitting on the floor. The thigh support is acceptable. There’s decent head and knee room. And, the backrest adjusts a good amount making for comfortable seating, even for longer journeys. 

      Toyota Innova Hycross Bootspace

      Now, we don’t agree with Toyota’s claim of the last row being a three-seater even though it does offer three headrests and three three-point seat belts. It can accommodate two adults quite comfortably. But, three is pushing it; unless getting into each other’s armpit hair is the plan. The boot, by the way, even with all three rows in place, is still good enough to haul some carry-on luggage.

      Toyota Innova Hycross Instrument Cluster

      Feature-wise, this top-spec ZX trim comes with climate control with separate temperate and blower adjustments for the front and second-row passengers. It has powered and cooled front seats along with powered Ottoman captain seats in the second row. There’s a panoramic sunroof, a large touchscreen multimedia system, connect app, and cup and bottle holders for passengers in all three rows.  

      In terms of safety, apart from ABS and ESP, the top-spec Hycross also gets six airbags and driving aids. The driving aids, which is limited to the ZX Optional trim, include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, auto high-beam assist, lane keep assist and pre-collision system. But not everything is perfect with the new Innova Hycross. The quality levels for a car that will cost over 30 lakh are poor at best. Be it the plastic or fit and finish at places. There’s also no soft-touch plastic on the rear doors. 


      Toyota Innova Hycross Right Rear Three Quarter

      So, who should buy the new Innova Hycross? And who should steer clear of it? 

      Let’s say, you want a car which will mainly be used in the city; one that will ferry you to office and back on weekdays and then take the extended family out for weekend dinners. For that, the new Innova Hycross with its hybrid powertrain is a fantastic fit!  It is spacious, it is feature-rich, it is comfortable, and it’s easy to drive. Also, if used sensibly, it can be quite efficient in the city. Joys of a hybrid, if you will. But, let’s say you use the car primarily for long-distance driving; you live in the hills and run your car loaded more often than not; you want something that also doubles up as a workhorse instead of just being a pampering set of wheels. 

      Well then, you might want to think twice about the Hycross. Its monocoque construction, front-wheel drive layout, and of course, the lack of a diesel engine do limit its usability and effectiveness in such scenarios. Having said that, one can’t argue with the fact that it is significantly better - on almost all counts - than Innovas of yore. 

      Picture by Kapil Angane

      Toyota | Innova Hycross | Toyota Innova Hycross | Innova Hycross ZX (O) Hybrid 7 STR