Toyota is known world over for its epitome of perfection, precision and quality. The Japanese manufacturer entered the Indian market by providing luxurious mid-segment cars such as the Corolla and luxury car models such as the Land Cruiser and the Camry. Toyota hit its stride with the Qualis, an affordable multi-seater that rivalled the Mahindra Bolero’s popularity. While the Qualis was a great car, it lacked a certain refinement and class to make it a class leader. Toyota tweaked the formula and launched the class leading Innova in 2004.
Within few years of launch, Innova revolutionized the Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) segment becoming one of the world leaders. This point is further reinforced when competitor vehicles like the Mahindra Xylo, Maruti Ertiga, Renault Lodgy and Honda Mobilio, are still benchmarked against Innova, proving its supremacy. Crucial factors decisive of the same are world class interiors, fuel efficiency and so on. A decade later with the newest launch of Innova Crysta, it’s the right time to look through the magical journey of Innova to give answers, as to why it is still the most preferred car of the decade.
The Innova changed the perception towards people-movers or MPVs by replacing the boxy, utilitarian designs of the competition with a curvaceous body that made the car appear more premium and exclusive. The overall design of the car did not change much since its inception, with the car only getting a facelift midway through its production life. The Innova has been designed to exude a stance that is both powerful and elegant while also carrying a form that is timeless (countless 2005 models still driving on road). This can be seen from the use of chrome on the grill as well as the swept back headlights and the inverted seven shaped tail lights. The MPV is quite large, with an overall length of 4.5 meters, which is further accentuated by the large front and rear windshields. The large size of the vehicle could be intimidating, especially during parking, but this particular obstacle can be overcome by just getting accustomed to the vehicle.The aging of the car is timeless with countless ’05 models still visible on the road.
Toyota brought its expertise with creating luxurious interior spaces to the Innova, immediately creating a precedent for other MPVs to follow. Coming in either 7 or 8 seater versions, Toyota’s engineers have managed to make even the third row seats comfortable and spacious, a feature others are still trying to get right. The 7 seater comes with captain seats in the middle row, bringing an executive touch to a car that is meant to move families.
Additionally, the Innova comes loaded with features designed to make long distances as comfortable as possible. There are rear AC vents and a touchscreen integrated audio system on offer along with airbags and ABS. The Innova’s popularity as a fleet vehicle in just about every cab service is a classic example of passenger comfort being catered to.
The powerful and reliable 2.5 liter powered D-4D engine is the backbone behind the world renowned durability of the car. It is mated with a 5 manual gearbox transmission. With a torque of 200 nm and 102 PS power it’s one of the most powerful engines powering a passenger vehicle. The fuel efficiency is also made a priority, despite the powerful engine, giving a decent mileage of 10-12 kmpl and 15 kmpl on the highway. The suspension has been set up to absorb the bumps and potholes of the Indian roads, that this car encounters on the long distance journeys it is used for.
Price and Variants
The model has had a couple of face lifts over the past few years, with subtle changes in aesthetics and design, retaining the base model. It’s available in different variety: E, G, VX, G X& ZX, with each gradient surpassing the other in all aspects. Primarily available in diesel, it can be made to order in the petrol variety. Although positioned in the MPV segments, the price of Innova has increased over time but remained. The price ranges from 9.77 lakhs to 16.79 lakhs (ex-showroom prices). In the used car segment, the prices range from 3.25 lakhs – 14.8 lakhs.
The MPV segment over the years has been ruled by the classic Innova despite stiff competition from other manufacturers. This just proves standing testimony to the ever growing loyal customer base across the world. The subtle face lifts over the years have been an attempt to catch up with the trends and aspirations of the new market. Innova has become synonymous with the term family cars and continues to do so with addition of new varieties and upgrades over the years. The tagline behind quality revolution is justified by the models and variants included by Toyota. Surely, Innova is still the winner across all segments, and this fact is accentuated by the recent launch of Toyota Innova Crysta considering the ever growing popularity of the previous-gen Innova.