'If it isn’t broken, don't fix it', that’s the philosophy of most auto manufacturers in India. However, that’s not the case with Toyota. Qualis was withdrawn to pave way for the Innova, when it was at its peak; a bold decision that shocked many. The replacement for Qualis, the Innova was much upmarket, modern and more importantly substantially costlier than the outgoing Qualis. Rest we all know is history!
Toyota Innova ruled the MPV segment for the past 11 years without any significant changes. Circa 2016, Toyota axed the Innova and here comes the all new MPV from Toyota, the Innova Crysta. The car has been developed ground-up from scratch. As the Toyota ‘tradition’, the new Crysta is way modern, stylish, feature rich and obviously pricier than the outgoing Innova. Let us dig deeper to find more about the new star in the MPV segment.
The new Innova Crysta is larger, sharper and edgier than the old model. The front resembles the Toyota Highlander with chrome grille and sharp looking projector headlamps with integrated DRLs.
There’s no escape from the MPV look, the side profile definitely belongs to a true blue MPV and Toyota thankfully has not fiddled with the same to pump in an artificial SUV feel (if you want an SUV, you always have the Fortuner). 17-inch wheels, clean lines, and the stylish rear windows are the highlights on the sides. The rear gets - an inverted tail lamp with L-shaped silhouette, aero stabilizing wings, shark fin antenna and integrated spoiler add to the aerodynamics of the car. The car is instantly recognized as an MPV, but Toyota has infused oodles of modernity into the design without going overboard.
The major selling factor for the old Innova was its classy and practical interiors. Toyota has further upped the ante here as well. You get truckloads of space, features, and the interior quality is simply top-notch. Sit inside the Innova and except for the height, it is hard to believe it's an MPV. The interior definitely belongs to a premium sedan in the Camry/Accord range!
The car has a stylish and classy layered dashboard. Unlike the old Innova, the interiors are mostly finished in black with the right mix of wood, piano black and brushed steel elements. Innova Crysta gets a feature rich leather-wrapped steering wheel. The buttons, knobs, and levers have a premium feel. However, we spotted some cheap, hard and scratchy plastics at some places.
You can literally walk into the cabin. The driver gets a nice commanding driving position but the height of the dash may create visibility problems for short drivers. The steering has tilt and telescopic adjustments. The instrument console is finished in blue and white; the dials gets a 3-D effect which looks cool and classy. The console also gets a 4.2-inch MID which throws out a lot of useful information. The central console is dominated by the 7-inch color capacitive touchscreen with SAT-NAV. The car gets 6-speakers and the sound quality is best described as mediocre.
The front and middle passengers have oodles of legroom and shoulder room. Please note that the wheelbase of the new and old Innova remains the same and hence the interior space also remains similar; all the doors get wide and deep door pockets. Crysta gets bigger captain seats than the older model and you can opt for the 7-seat or the 8-seat variant. The third row can be best termed as useable and can be accessed by the one-touch tumble of the middle seat. Two full-size adults can sit but only when limited to short trips. Children would fit in comfortably. Also, the car gets blue ambient lighting and looks cool and suave.
Innova Crysta is one of the safest cars (and the best MPV) in India to travel in. The car is based on the Global Outstanding Assess (GOA) body for added safety in case of unforeseen collision, which significantly reduces passenger and pedestrian injuries. Dual front airbags and driver side knee airbag are standard across the variants. The top-trim ZX variants get 7 Airbags with protection even to the third row. The car gets Vehicle Stability Control, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Hill-start Assist control.
Handling and Ride
The old Innova was undoubtedly the best handling car in the MPV/SUV class, also offering decent ride comfort. Toyota has softened the ride further on the new Crysta. Ride quality is better than the old Innova. However, the 17-inch wheels (with low profile tires) definitely eats into the ride comfort. The car is not as sharp and composed as the Old Innova but has great straight line stability enabling you to munch miles. The brakes do a pretty decent job; however, Toyota doesn’t offer rear disc brakes even on the top trim, which is a glaring omission.
Engine and Performance
Innova Crysta is offered in diesel as well as petrol variants and finally, you can have the Innova with an automatic transmission box.
Diesel: Customers can choose between the large 2.8 Liter 1GD-FTV motor and the comparatively smaller 2.4 Liter 2GD-FTV motor. The 2.8-Litre motor dispenses 172 bhp and a turning torque of 360 Nm and gets a 6-speed auto gearbox with sequential shifts. The car also come with three power modes-
- Normal mode
- Eco mode
- Power mode
The large 2.8-Litre engine has sufficient power to make it a quick and matured intercity cruiser but it's not the place to look for hair-raising acceleration. The car builds-up speed pretty quick and more importantly keeps the speedo past triple digits with ease. The engine simply hums at 1650 rpm when you are doing a 100 kmph! The auto box is an old school but reliable torque-convertor machinery and it takes its own sweet time to shift cogs.
The smaller (in comparison to the 2.8-Litre) 2.4-Litre unit generates 148 horses and 343 Nm torque. For a quick comparison, the Old 2.5-Litre D4-D engine generated only 101 bhp and 200 Nm torque, what a jump in power and torque! This engine is mated to a 5-speed manual box. The throttle responses are instant and seamless. The 2.4-Litre Innova will eat other MPVs and even some of the premium sedans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner neat and clean.
Petrol: The petrol powered Innova is equipped with a 2.7-Litre dual-VVTi motor which develops 163 bhp and 245 Nm. Customers can choose the 5-speed manual or 6-speed torque convertor auto box for transmission.
Toyota has never shown any mercy to Indian consumers when it comes to pricing and the ‘tradition’ continues. Innova Crysta is priced at a premium right from the lower variants, making it inaccessible for the ‘Average Joe’ fleet operator.
Diesel starts at 13.75 lakh for the 2.4 Litre GX MT petrol all the way up to 20.95 lakh for the top end 2.8 Litre ZX AT diesel (All prices ex-showroom Mumbai)