We all are well aware of what the Toyota Innova is by now. You might be reading this article sitting in a back of the very same vehicle too. The car has already entered the fleet market and is the requirement of customers from taxi companies. Despite only one person, the Innova comes to pick you up and you wish you had something smaller that could get you home 10-15 minutes earlier, but you prefer comfort over everything else.
The MPV is a 7-seater vehicle which is made on a ladder-on-frame chassis by the company for almost a decade now. The Crysta is the new addition to the name Innova and it has been on sale for quite some time now. We tested the petrol version and we found quite an handful as the petrol economy wasn’t that low as expected but it was something one could certainly do with if the everyday run of the vehicle is very low. The car was reviewed extensively by us and we made sure we also get our hands on the popular diesel with the automatic gearbox as well.
The exterior is quite busy at the front and the side profile is quite clean but it is the stance that makes the vehicle look intimidating. Small wheels in large well wheels is something that isn’t pleasing. Rear continues to get busy because of the large tail-lamps, chrome and busy sheet metal design in the form of curves and cuts and large bumpers that give it the bland MPV look. Nevertheless, as a complete package in terms of design, the Innova Crysta is surely a notch up and looks premium from the outside.
Interior is not much of a change when it comes to the quality of materials. They are better in Fortuner but not here. Here, the interior design has been made more appealing at first glance. There aren’t any soft touch materials or feel good plastics around. The curvature sees the focus towards the driver. The fonts continue to remind how childish it looks to make it simple and reader friendly but it isn’t shouting quality. Touch-screen has the same problem as the resolution and fonts can turn-off a customer who is paying big bucks. The steering wheel also looks dated.
The dials is an incomplete job despite they are all new as they look outdated but have all the stats and fuel parameters for you to see. A/C is a chiller but the sound system for a car of this size and price is average. Space in all three rows is good in every area be it shoulder, knee, head and leg room. Feature list is the same as the petrol as you get navigation, connectivity options for your mobile phone, steering mounted controls, ECO and Power mode, dead pedal, lot of storage space for knick-nacks, dual glovebox and fully electric ORVM.
The car continues to get a manual operated IRVM which is downright shocking. The ORVM aren’t heated either. Cup holders in front of the A/C can chill your drinks. Other features include, tilt and telescopic steering, power seat for driver, Safety kit includes ABS and EBD with 7-Airbags. What we don’t like is the door locking noise which is downright cheap for a car of this size and price.
Engine and Gearbox
The diesel engine makes 174 PS of power and 360 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to an 6-speed sequential gearbox. The shifts are smooth and seamless. upshifts are fast but downshifts are slow. The NVH level are quite high in the cabin. Low speeds is when you can hear the engine and at high speeds is when tyre and road noise creep in.
The four-cylinder motor is almost European smooth and Toyota’s engine are getting better in terms of character as well. The ECO and Power make a huge difference in how much the power is delivered and also the same is seen when the gearbox is shifted in Sports mode. We got a fuel-efficiency of 11.45 km/l from the MPV. The power bump is welcome in the Innova 2.8 as well in the 2.4 variant.
Highway stability is good upto a speed post 160 km/hr, the car does feel floaty and the front becomes very light and un-nervy. Ride quality is fantastic, steering is precise and feelsome and the MPV does feel much better to drive than its costly sibling, the Fortuner. All of this is thanks to a lower center of gravity on offer which plays a huge role. Brakes are good with enough stopping power and a good pedal bite on offer.
Toyota Innova Diesel Review,Verdict
Toyota now says that their cars are not boring. To certain extent yes and no is the answer to the statement. The car being sold in the fleet market in abundance robs it of the feel good factor which is working against Toyota. However, that also attracts a certain set of audience which just loves the brand for what it offers.
Maximum reliability and bomb proof car inside out appeals to some. In our conditions where cars like these are required as well, Toyota does well, especially with the Innova. Toyota has to come a long way to offer, atleast, the demanding Indian consumer a bit more punch and fun with their cars. However, there is no stopping the Innova for now and if there is something that can, it is on its way and there is something that already exists.
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