Toyota Innova: Old versus new

    The Innova has moved further upmarket, and with no direct competitors, the best way to put the MPV into perspective is to compare it to its beloved predecessor.

    Published On May 03, 2016 12:38:00 PM


    Toyota Innova: Old versus new

    The Toyota Innova – it’s a car that’s been on top of its game throughout its 11-year life cycle, its popularity never waning despite an ever-rising price-tag. The reason for that is primarily down to the fact that it’s just such a rock-solid product. It’s spacious, it’s comfortable, it will take a bashing without flinching, and it will run hassle-free for hundreds of thousands of kilometres. Replacing it, then, was no easy task, but as you’ll have seen in our review, Toyota has more than succeeded on that front. The new Innova Crysta betters its predecessor in almost every area, but with that improvement has come a significant price premium.

    The thing is, many happy Innova customers will be absolutely fine with paying more for the new Crysta, such is the loyalty that’s attached to this brand, and so it’s safe to say, a good chunk of the new car’s sales will be upgrades from the old car. The other thing is, until the Tata Hexa comes along, the Innova Crysta has no direct rivals. In fact, since it’s now priced so far ahead of the other MPVs on sale, the best point of reference is the most familiar one to potential buyers – the old Innova.


    Yes, the Innova Crysta is bigger in almost every dimension than the old car, and that’s not really surprising. This is, after all, an MPV, and the biggest strength of such a car is meant to be space, so naturally, some growth was to be expected. The Crysta is 35mm taller and 65mm wider than the old car, but it’s a more significant 150mm longer. Interestingly, though, the 2,750mm wheelbase has stayed unchanged, leading to longer overhangs, but because this is a body-on-frame vehicle, this hasn’t come in the way of the added interior room.

    What’s also gone up is the kerb weight. Where the old car weighed in at 1,700kg even in top-spec guise, the new one weighs a substantial 1,855kg (the automatic is heavier still at 1,870kg). The wheels have gone up two sizes, from 15 inches to 17 inches, and the 205/55 R15 tyres have made way for chunkier 215/55 R17 tyres. The turning circle diameter, however, is unchanged at 10.8m.


    The identical wheelbase we mentioned earlier should give you a clue about this car’s underpinnings. Toyota says it uses a new chassis, but it’s really the latest, updated version of the company’s long-running IMV platform. It uses body-on-ladder-frame construction, it will also be used in the upcoming Fortuner SUV, and it’s been significantly beefed up compared to the previous Innova for greater stiffness, which explains the added weight. The drivetrain, as before, is a longitudinally mounted engine and rear-wheel drive, with hydraulic power steering, independent double-wishbone suspension with coil springs at the front and non-independent, multi-link suspension with coil springs at the back.

    With the new chassis has come a new family of diesel engines, including an automatic version with a larger, more powerful 2.8-litre motor. For comparison’s sake, however, we’ll stick to the new 150hp 2.4-litre motor that directly replaces the old car’s 102hp 2.5-litre engine. Yes, there has been a massive power bump, and torque too has gone up by a whopping 143Nm to 343Nm. The result of this, in our performance tests, is that the Innova Crysta manual gets from 0-100kph a whole 4.4sec faster than its predecessor, which used to take a leisurely 17.52sec to do the sprint.  There’s a similarly large gulf in in-gear acceleration, with the 20-80kph run in third gear taking 10.58sec in the new car, versus 14.39sec in the old Innova.


    Amazingly, despite the added weight and more powerful engine, the ARAI certified fuel efficiency is better in the new Innova than it was in the old one, though we’ll have to put it through our thorough real-world test to give you a proper diagnosis. Where the old car was rated at 13.3kpl overall, the Innova Crysta has a rating of 15.1kpl.

    Then there’s the actual price of the car. The closing prices of the outgoing Innova stood at Rs 11.3-16.6 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai), which compared to the rest of the MPV segment were on the high side. The new Innova Crysta costs Rs 13.84-20.78 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai), which is a big hike. Toyota hasn’t revealed variant-specific prices just yet, and that Rs 20.78 lakh price will likely be for the 2.8-litre Automatic version, but even with the manual, spec for spec, the Innova Crysta should be around Rs 3 lakh more than the old car.

    The thing is, this is something Innova customers were expecting to happen, and going by the feedback we’ve already gotten since the car was first announced, it seems like many won’t be put off by the MPV’s new positioning. Leaving aside all the parameters we’ve discussed here – more power, more space, better economy and improved performance, there are other factors like interior quality, exterior design and more equipment that help justify the higher price. Overall, the new car is a far more impressive package than the older one, and though you pay a lot for that, we feel many will still find it worthwhile.

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.



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