Toyota Innova Review
Whenever any family plans to go on a long road trip, the only MPV which features prominently for doing this in is the Toyota Innova. The Innova has been a runaway hit since the time Toyota launched in India. Back in the days when the Qualis was doing great in the MPV segment, Toyota’s decision to call it off and replace with the Innova was not seen as a lucrative move.
The Innova proved everyone doubting its potential incorrect. It offered the best in class comfort, space and performance. In fact, Innova has actually raised and set a new benchmark for all auto makers. The MPV space has seen a slew of launches lately with the Xylo, Tavera, and Aria etc but then none of them have been able to create even a slightest of dent in Innova’s sales figures.
Prices start at Rs.9.6 lakhs (Ex-Showroom Mumbai). The Innova is packed with all the necessary ingredients of a popular and successful MPV. We in this review reveal all of them.
The new look Toyota Innova sports the same family face like its siblings. This replaces the stretched eye styled headlights and gives way to the new age wide body styling. The new headlights run parallel to the radiator grille and wrap around on the edges. The bonnet has got a V – design highlights which runs prominently on the front bonnet. The radiator grille is done in chrome.
The long lines on the side view is similar to the one on the old model except for a few exterior changes such as the ORVMs now come with integrated turn indicators. The multi spoke alloy wheels also look visually different. 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.
Rear view has been retained and has slender and elegant vertical tail lamps. Just above the number plate there is sufficient chrome garnishing with the name of the model encrypted on it.
The Innova is all its years of service has not gone through considerable change in looks but even then it does not look dated as Toyota chose to keep it fresh with small periodic updates. The Innova especially when compared to the Tavera, Evalia looks very upmarket. It is an MPV but even then driving it around won’t look like a VAN driver which happens in the case of Evalia. The Innova has a very balanced design as it sits firm between a VAN and a MPV.
The cabin feel of the Innova is the best available and this can be vouched by many owners. It does not get more spacious and comfortable than this. Great plastics quality, body trims and utility aspect makes the Innova a trendsetter in the MPV space.
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. The same is faced on the Camry. 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.
The Innova has dual zone AC unit with independent controls for each rows. The roof mounted vents are very effective in cooling the cabin sufficiently. It does not take long for the AC to cool the large cabin space irrespective of the temperature outside. The AC unit also comes with Automatic climate controls.
The Innova is totally a passenger’s delight when it comes to comfort. The cabin feels very spacious. It has generous legroom and headroom for all 3 rows of passengers. Even when the vehicle is completely loaded, the cabin does not feel crowded. The faux wood finish of the interiors looks good and subtle. The seats are done in good quality fabric.
There are cup holders on the door trims as well as in the central zone. The rear boot space can be increased by collapsing the third row seats and locking them up. The luggage space is a generous area even with the 3rd row seats. Overall, the Innova has the best cabin feel compared to any other MPV in this category. The comfort offered along with the quality of materials is fantastic.
The Toyota Innova is mainly a passenger’s car than a driver’s car. Driving around a car as big as this was not a smooth experience but then when I exchanged my seats with Arnab (the photographer) I fell in love with the seating comfort.
The seats and the room offered inside are truly fantastic. In fact, I personally prefer travelling in an Innova compared to any other MPVs. Not just families but also fleet operators seem to be extremely satisfied with Innova and its performance. “Sir, Innova jaisa gaadi bana hi nahi hai” (There has been no other car like Innova). They maintain this stand because the passengers always praise the quality of comfort and also this one is low on maintenance so even when the MPV crosses the lakh fugure on the odometer the unnecessary rattles and shivers are not there at all.
It has a D-4D 2.5L CRDi engine which produces a power of 102PS and a torque of 200Nm. This engine may sound noisy in the beginning but then as it picks up pace the sound begins to subside. The transmission case is decent. While driving on hilly regions the engine works without any lag.
The only small niggle was at lower speeds and on the 2nd gear in which the engine dies completely and the driver is compelled to shift it to 1st but then there is too much of power at disposal at this rpm which is not needed. Other than this, it is a fantastic car to drive around. It is the best highway commuter and reaches high speeds at an ease. Also contributing to the handling which doesn’t have body roll is its aerodynamic roof line. The Innova’s design makes it look contemporary and not like a box on wheels.
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.
We got a best fuel average of 15 Kmpl and a worst of 9 kmpl in city conditions. Low consumption is one of the strong reasons the commercial fleet owners still prefer the Innova over other MUVs. The Innova is the best tracking car and has dominantly featured as one of our main tracking vehicles to take motion shots of other cars.
|Power in PS/RPM||102/3600|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||200/3400|
|Dimesions in MM|
|Tyre rating||205/65 R15|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||55|
|Average Mileage in KMPL||12|
|Gross Weight (Kg)||2300|
|Turning circle radius||5.4M|
|Front Fog Lamps||No||No||No||Yes|
|Electrical Adjust ORVM||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Multi Informaton Display||No||No||No||Yes|
|3 Spoke steering wheel||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|4 Spoke Steering wheel||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Leather steering wheel||No||No||No||Yes|
|Wood like finish panel||No||No||No||Yes|
|Driver seat Height Adjust||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|AC With Auto control||No||No||No||Yes|
|2 DIN Audio with DVD||No||No||No||Yes|
|Key less entry||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Air bags||No||No||Driver||Driver +Co driver|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||V X||W8 FWD||Prestige|
|Ex showroom price Mumbai||1432222||1359932||1386478|
|Power in PS/RPM||102/3600||140/3750||140/ 4000|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||200/3400||330/2800||320/2700|
|Ground clearance in MM||176||NA||200|
|Turning circle radius in M||5.4||5.6||5.6|
|Fuel Tank in Liters||55||70||60|
|Seating||8 Seater||8 Seater||8 Seater|
|Mileage in KMPL||14||12||12|
|Dimesions in MM|
|Tyre rating||205/65 R15||235/65 R17||235/65 R17|
|Front Fog Lamps||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electrical Adjust ORVM||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Multi Informaton Display||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Leather steering wheel||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Driver seat Height Adjust||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|AC With Auto control||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2 DIN Audio with DVD||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Key less entry||Yes||Yes||Yes|
The Toyota Innova is a classic example of how an old yet effective design will always have takers. The price difference at which it was launched compared to the current generation model is vast specially as the looks and the feel have been retained but then what connects in case of Innova is the brand trust. Innova leads the Toyota cars when it comes to brand connect.
The Innova has no real time competition. Mahindra Xylo which was introduced as Mahindra’s answer did not get as popular as the Innova reason being the fit and finish offered in a Mahindra is no way close to that offered by Toyota. The used car market is flooded with XUVs which are barely month old. Mahindra also upgraded the brakes in its flagship SUV to counter the constant consumer complaints.
Tata Aria is one refined and smooth product. It has looks which are liked and at the same time hated by many. The only thing that went wrong with the Aria is it’s enthusiastic pricing. It is heard that Tata Motors are working on a new Aria and also a Aria based compact SUV. Chevrolet Tavera on other hand attracts more rural clients than the urban ones.
All these MPVs combinely fail to stand strong against the Innova. The final verdict comes as a no surprise that Innova is the best MPV one can opt for considering all factors. Let’s hope other companies take this up as a challenge and bring something in league with this fantastic MPV.