The India-spec Innova was recently displayed at the 2016 Auto Expo. Called the Innova Crysta, this is arguably the most awaited launch of the year, and the big MPV is all set to continue its reign in a more spacious, more powerful, more luxurious and more stylish avatar.
The differences between the current Innova and the new one are immediately apparent and the styling is a huge step up from the current model. The fascia is clearly influenced by recent models like the Toyota Corolla Altis and the new Camry. Road presence is enhanced by the new, large hexagonal grille with two wide chrome slats on the top that flow into the headlamps. The side still retains a van-like shape, but Toyota has now livened that up with tweaks such as the shape of the glass area, which kinks upwards sharply after the rear doors.
The interiors have received a huge upgrade, replete with dual-tone upholstery, generous amounts of faux-aluminium trim and woodgrain on some variants. Higher trims will receive leather upholstery and captain’s chairs too. Other features that make this a more upmarket offering are a dual-zone climate control, LED mood lighting and a cooled glovebox. All variants will receive a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen system, though features such as navigation, voice command recognition, Bluetooth telephony and SD card support will likely only come on top trims.
Where it really gets interesting is in the powertrain department. The new Innova will receive a 45bhp bump in power, owing to an all-new 147bhp, 2.4-litre GD series engine that replaces the current 102bhp, 2.5-litre KD series unit. This will be offered with a five-speed manual gearbox, but there will also be an Innova Crysta variant with a six-speed automatic gearbox. This one, however, will use another all-new diesel engine - a 2.8-litre GD-series motor with an as-yet-unspecified power output. And, to make matters even more interesting, Toyota is seriously looking at bringing in a petrol variant in the light of the recent diesel scandal in New Delhi. This car will use the 2.7-litre, four-cylinder VVT-i petrol motor from the Toyota Prado SUV sold in Indonesia.
We know the Crysta will be a fair bit more expensive than the current car owing to the new equipment, interior, engine and quality levels, but Toyota is still trying hard to keep costs in check. It's aiming for a seriously high amount of localisation, as much as 98 percent, with the new engines too being localised here. The Innova Crysta is sure to benefit from the popularity of its predecessor; in fact, the new suffix 'Crysta' might even be a hint that the old car will continue to be sold alongside at a lower price point. With a new and more powerful diesel engine, the option of an automatic, and the long feature list, the king does not seem to be ready to step down from its throne as yet.