The Toyota Innova was the king of its segment when it was launched a decade back, and still is today. But ten years is a long life for a car in the automobile world. The Japanese carmaker has finally decided to let the Innova, as we know it, retire, and its mantle be taken over by its successor christened the Innova Crysta.
The Crysta is hotter, more powerful and more indulgent, but there is so much more to it. Here is a list of ten things Autocar India feels you should know about the Toyota Innova Crysta:
1. Grand aesthetics
The current Innova, let’s face it, looks a bit dull. The Crysta, however, looks exciting and aggressive. The fascia of the car is completely new, with stretched-out, multi-element headlights and a three-dimensional grille. And though the sides are decidedly van-like, the car on the whole looks very desirable.
2. Powered by new engines:
A great car needs a great set of engines, and Toyota knows that. The current 2.5-litre unit with a power output of 102bhp will be replaced by a 2.4-litre diesel that will pump out 147bhp. The bottom-end of the rev range in this turbo-diesel is not as good as the current car’s, but the mid-range brings with it a perceptible wave of meaty torque. Highway cruising is set to get so much better.
3. Inherits tried-and-tested formula:
Yes, the Innova Crysta is an all-new car, but its built on the same formula as the current Innova. Toyota has decided to play safe with the Crysta, because why fix what is not broken? This is obvious when you look at the conventional box-section chassis, hydraulic steering and same wheelbase.
4. Automatic transmission is now an option:
The Innova finally gets a six-speed automatic gearbox with the Crysta. As we found out, this gearbox works great with the 2.4-litre turbo-diesel, exhibiting a quick-shifting, responsive character. It works well in both automatic as well as manual modes, adding a dash of convenience whenever you are behind the wheel.
5. Retains hydraulic steering:
The Crysta will not get an upgrade to electric steering. Toyota has decided to retain the hydraulic steering setup, because it is better from a durability and quality point-of-view, especially in rough road driving conditions. Another reason is that the Crysta will be sharing the steering with the Fortuner and Hilux, so it too must receive a hydraulic setup.
6. Larger body, same wheelbase:
The Innova Crysta is longer, wider and taller than the current Innova by 150mm, 70mm and 35mm respectively. The wheelbase, though, is the same at 2,750mm. Due to increased length, the second-row passengers now get more legroom. More space – never a bad thing.
7. More personal-car than people-carrier:
Toyota has designed the car to blur the lines between practical transport and personal mobility. It’s sharper, more aggressive looks, driver-centred dashboard, improved handling, plush cabin and generous equipment list, all come together to ensure that this car is less outstation-taxi and more personal-car.
8. Upgrade to interiors:
The current Innova is comfortable, but its interiors are far from plush. The Crysta, on the other hand, is superb on the inside. The seats are very, very comfortable and plush, there is heightened feeling of luxury, the dash is gorgeous to look at and materials, textures and finish has generally taken a step forward. We especially love the new touchscreen infotainment system and generous wood panelling.
9. Premium value:
With all these improvements and upgrades, the Innova Crysta is going to be slightly heavier on your pocket. Toyota has tried its best to keep costs down (what with the conventional chassis and extensive parts sharing with the Fortuner and Hilux), but do expect a slight jump in prices.
10. Comes with three driving modes:
The improvement in features includes the addition of three driving modes – 'Eco', 'Normal' and 'Power'. The names of the modes are quite self-explanatory, and our Exclusive Drive has proved that they all deliver as promised.
The Innova Crysta will be hitting the roads in the coming couple of months, and that is an exciting prospect indeed. The only looming question is if consumers will be willing to pay 15-20 percent more money for 20-30 percent more car?