The Innova Crysta is currently the default choice for anyone looking for an automatic diesel MPV. We question if the Tata Hexa could change things.
‘I am looking for a large family vehicle. I’ll be driving the car myself and specifically want an automatic. The car will see use in town and also on driving holidays outside. I’ve shortlisted the Toyota Innova Crysta but the Tata Hexa has caught my eye too. Is it a worthy alternative to the Innova? Do let me know your thoughts.’
We’ve received queries like this with reasonable frequency over the past few months. Sure, not every potential Innova buyer with the resources is interested in the Hexa but there are many who find themselves drawn to the big Tata. It’s a confidence boost as good as any for the team at Tata.
To put your doubts to rest, we’ve brought together the fully loaded diesel automatic versions of the Innova Crysta and the Hexa. On paper, the Hexa XMA has a significant price advantage (Rs 17.57 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi, versus the Innova Crysta 2.8 ZX AT’s Rs 21.4 lakh), but it’s the Innova that has the larger and more powerful engine. There are a whole host of differences elsewhere too. Read on for the full picture.
The look of things
A large part of why the Hexa is getting the attention is for the way it looks. Longer and wider than the Innova Crysta, and suspended on large 19-inch rims, the Hexa has loads of road presence. The SUV-like details in its thick cladding and generally robust look only add to that.
The Crysta looks imposing in its own right thanks to the large grille and big swept-back headlamps, and even the kink at the D-pillar brings in a dose of style. However, the overall shape and silhouette are traditional MPV. Also, the wheels look too small for Innova’s vast body. Furthermore, Toyota recently downsized the wheels to 16 inches (the test car had 17-inchers) because the earlier car’s lower tyre profile made it prone to punctures.
If it’s the Hexa’s exterior design that got you interested in the first place, the cabin will keep you content too. Black is the dominant colour here and the dashboard design exudes understated elegance. Detailing is nice; there are plenty of soft-touch plastics and even the chunky switchgear adds to the feeling of quality. It’s a huge step up for Tata, but the used and abused press car we drove showed more signs of wear than the Innova Crysta with similar mileage.
The Toyota also gets dark interiors while the dashboard looks elegant. Faux wood and chrome find use in the Crysta but certain plastics are not in keeping with the price tag. But there’s no denying everything seems to be well built with precise panel gaps and a sense of durability.
Innova’s dash is elegant in design. Plastics look long-lasting rather than rich.
Front seat comfort is really good on both cars but there are differences. For one, the Hexa’s cabin is higher set, so ingress and egress isn’t as convenient as in the Innova. On the positive side, you get a more commanding view of the road from the Tata’s perch. The Tata and the Toyota both offer second row captain seats in their top variants (the Hexa can be had with a bench, too), and passengers will be comfortable in both thanks to the generous legroom. One irritant in the Innova is that if you recline the seats, the lower portion of the backrest protrudes into your lower back and that’s uncomfortable if you want to sit back and relax. What’s nice, however, are the picnic tables for those seated here. For a large family, though, the bigger point of interest will be the reasonably convenient access to the Innova’s third row. The one-touch mechanism to tumble the middle row seats forward is very convenient and space at the back is quite good too. It’s not half as easy to clamber into the back of the Hexa and it’s down on headroom to the Innova too, thanks to a hump on the roof. The Hexa does offer more kneeroom and it’s got the larger windows which translate into an airier feel in the cabin.