Few vehicles have dominated their segments as much as the Toyota Innova did in India. Ever since its launch more than a decade back, the Innova overcame all odds including multiple upward price revisions, a slew of competitors aimed squarely at it, modest power output and sparse equipment list to become India’s most-loved Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV). If Toyota hadn’t stopped production, the Innova might have continued its joy run for a few more years, we bet!
After ruling the MPV segment for a 11 whole years, the second generation Innova, now with the ‘Crysta’ suffix, has replaced the ageing first generation model. After showcasing the vehicle to the public at the Auto Expo in New Delhi earlier this year, Toyota announced the prices of the Innova Crysta yesterday with bookings and test drives at dealerships starting immediately afterwards.
Based on an all-new International Multi-purpose Vehicle (IMV) platform, the Innova Crysta has underwent a complete transformation inside and out compared to its predecessor. One quick look is all it takes to realize the Crysta is far more sharper, modern and imposing than the vehicle it replaces. Much of that is due to that striking front end that feature a new dual-slat chrome grille, large swept-back projector headlights and the massive air dam in the bumper. The profile is characterized by a strong shoulder line that clearly splits the sheet metal and the windows. Talking of the windows, the sharp upward kink at the rear gives the Innova Crsta an unique identity. The long rear overhang gives it a proper ‘van’ look while the interestingly-styled taillights are sure to split opinions either sides.
The interiors, as we said before, are a massive step forward from the ageing cabin of the old Innova. Following the same ‘retro’ theme that debuted in the new Corolla, the Innova Crysta finally gets a cabin befitting its price tag. The flowing dashboard design and the dual-tone colour theme are impressive and so is the feature list. A host of ‘first in class’ features including automatic LED projector headlamps, interior ambient lights, cooled glove box, one touch tumble second row seat, easy slide front passenger seat and rear automatic air-conditioning with digital display make their way into the Innova Crysta. Some of the other features in the flagship ‘ZX’ variant are a 4.2-inch TFT Multi Information Display, 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, keyless entry and go and reverse parking sensors and camera.
Standard safety feature on all trim levels include driver and passenger airbags, driver knee airbag, Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), three point seat belts for all occupants and ISOFIX child restraint system. The top-end ‘ZX’ variant has seven airbags, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Hill-start Assist Control in addition.
Replacing the crude and modest 2.5-liter diesel engine from the old Innova are a pair of new-generation 4-cylinder diesel engines from the ‘GD’ family. The smaller 2.4-liter unit is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and produces 148 horsepower and 343 Nm of torque while the bigger 2.8-liter mill generates 172 horsepower and 360 Nm of torque. Mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission, the latter is available only in GX and ZX variants while the former is available across the range.
Available in six variants with two powertrain options and two seating configurations, the Innova Crysta’s prices have seen a significant upward revision as well. While the base ‘G’ variant starts at INR 13.83 Lakhs, the top-end ‘ZX’ retails at INR 20.77 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai. That’s a whopping 6 Lakh Rupees between the base and top variants and a solid 2-3 Lakhs higher than the outgoing Innova. But then, with Toyota’s brand reputation and Innova’s legendary reputation for reliability, we have no doubt that the Innova Crysta is going to enjoy the success its predecessor had.
Having said that, Toyota has left the INR 8 – 13 Lakh price bracket wide open for its competitors to enjoy. Does that mean the Avanza is on its way here to occupy the space the Innova originally did in 2005? We have our fingers crossed.