Ever since its inception in 2003, Toyota has placed 4.3lakh
Innova MPV’s on Indian roads transporting families, employees, children and
their cargo for business as well as leisure. Such is the impact of this vehicle
that whenever you plan a trip, Toyota Innova is the first taxi you think about.
In fact in some cases you cancel your taxi provider if he cannot arrange an
Innova. It is a fantastic multi-purpose vehicle transforming long journeys
comfortable and joyous with family and friends.
So strong was the product from the beginning that Toyota
barely made any changes to the Innova. However after such long years of service
and the changing market demands, Innova had to freshen up to keep the buyers
attracted. Toyota has given the new one minor improvement both on the inside
and outside. The front grille has been changed entirely. It is bigger and sinks
further lower down the face with chrome detailed horizontal slats. The bonnet
too gets redesigned creases looking more modern. The front bumper has been changed
for a sharp and rakish appeal with new fog lamps neatly tucked enveloped in
Notice the new graphics on the side of the vehicle, are only
available on the top ‘Z’ variant. They look okay but best just avoid them. The
side rail running low on the side profile get a splash of chrome and run a bit
lower than the previous models, probably for a sportier stance. A fat chrome
strip runs through the middle of the rear tailgate and the rear tail lights
also get a slight bit of rework. But apart from the splashing of chrome and
tiny changes here and there, not much has changed. And frankly there is not
much need to change the Innova until a completely new model arrives next year.
The interior has been designed as well. More goodies to be
found here, new finish and new seat covers. Our test variant had everything you
need like USB, AUX-in, Bluetooth connectivity and automatic Climate control.
The built quality is as solid as a tank. The fit and finish is well put
together and expect less squeaks and rattles even after years of service. The
media system gets a touch screen interface sitting in the middle of the
dashboard, which also doubles up as a reversing camera. The Corolla sourced
steering has mounted controls for added convenience to the driver.
Apart from the visual changes, the rest of the vehicle is
essentially the same. The engine is a 2.5 litre common rail turbocharged diesel
unit pushing a hundred ponies and sufficient torque for most purposes. The gear
ratios are short, good for everyday traffic use but insufficient for highway
cruising. You do feel a need for a sixth cog or taller gears to silence the
engine. Although the throws on the gear stick are long and annoying. The Innova
handles nicely for a vehicle of this size. It feels easy and very car like in
terms of driving dynamics. The ride quality is excellent and body roll well
tamed. Long journeys are comfortable even for the third row of passengers.
The tiny upgrades on the new Innova add up to add more
favours for this mile muncher, but also to the price. Other competitive
products are priced substantially lower, but lack on built, space and comfort.
Another advantage is the fantastic fuel efficiency that it returns. Expect an
acceptable 12kmpl efficiency figure from the 2.5 litre engine. The Innova is
spacious, quiet efficient, built strong and the way we see it, justifying its
higher price tag against the competition. It still rules the roost in the MPV
segment as the most satisfying choice for a people carrier.
Toyota Innova specifications
Common-Rail, Turbocharged diesel
100.6 bhp@ 3600rpm
200 Nm@ 1200-3600rpm
Brake: Front/ Rear
Fuel Tank Capacity
Tyres: Front/ Rear
Double wishbone/Four link with lateral rod
Ventilated Disc/ Drum
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