Hey guys, its been quite some time I wrote anything about the Innova. Since I had nothing much to say about the car, I thought of this awkward comparison between my Punto and the Innova. For this comparo, I have been judging and driving both the cars back to back for the past 3 days.
Since, there are numerous pics in my ownership threads of both the cars, I wont add to many pics in here. Those who feel that this comparo is weird and waste of time --->
or Looks :
Well, people say looks are subjective. I agree. I have been an SUV fan and I like big/huge vehicles. The Innova is BIG but errr... it just does not cut in. It does not have the presence nor the image of a big vehicle. It is not sporty nor is it brawny. It is a typical mini van which looks like it is meant to ferry a family in decent comfort. And does a family man care about looks? Heck, no. It serves the purpose. Clearly, the japanese Toyota has given priority to function over form.
It's the opposite when it comes to the Italian Fiat. Functionality be damned, the car should look sexy... I have never been to Italy but I just admire them for the sense of style and aesthetics that they have. See any Italian car and they look drop dead gorgeous - FIAT, MASERATI, ALFA ROMEO, FERRARI and LAMBORGHINI. Yes, please ignore certain models of LANCIA! Ok, now coming to the Punto, this timeless design was sketched way back in 2007 but still looks oh-so-good. It is a clean design with the right amount of muscularity and stance. I feel sorry that the car had to be raised for the Indian roads. There are no confusing creases and cuts, it's just a simple and classy looking car. I have seen very few people complaining about the way the Punto looks. Innova - 0
Punto - 1 Engine and performance :
The Innova comes with a 2494 cc D-4D engine which produces 102PS @ 3600 rpm and max torque of 200 NM @ 1400-3400 rpm. The Punto has the National engine - 1248 cc Multijet engine with 93 PS @ 4000 rpm and max torque of 209 NM @ 2000 rpm. Yes, you read it right... The 8 Lac Punto makes more torque than the 15 Lac Innova!
But point to note here is - how and when is the torque produced. If you notice, the Innova attains it's peak torque a whole 600 rpm before the Punto. And that matters a lot in the city. In real world conditions, especially in the first two gears, the Innova feels much more responsive and sprightly when compared to the Punto. On a drag race, the Innova will leave behind the Punto, atleast for the first few seconds.
But things change when both the cars reach 3rd gear. This is where now Punto shows it's true colors. Performance from here onwards is strong and you can expect a pull which will bring it closer to the Innova which was leading till now. By the time you reach 100-110 kmph, the Innova gets bogged down in 5th gear whereas the Punto still pulls easily in 4th or 5th gear. The Punto climbs all the way till 140-150 kmph easily whereas the Innova struggles beyond 120 kmph.This is because of the superior aerodynamics and power-to-weight ratio of the Punto.
So overall Punto wins this round. Innova - 0
Punto - 2 Space and comfort :
The cabin of the Innova is leagues ahead of the Punto. Be it the space or the quality of plastics used, the Innova has an edge. But surprisingly, the front seats of the Punto feels more spacious than the Innova's. In the rear seats, there is no comparison. Innova is business class and the Punto is economy! Innova has the advantage of the 3rd row too. Boot space is obviously more in the Innova as it has the flexibility of folding the 3rd row. Even Punto's rear seat can be folded, but because of the enormous width and height of the Innova, it is a no brainer that the Innova comes out as a clear winner in this one.
BUT, when we talk about comfort, we also need to check the seats. The front seats of Innova are not as good as the one on the Punto. My Innova has rear bench seats which again is not as good as the one in the Punto. But Innova comes with an option of captain seats in the rear and they are supremely comfortable. Punto has a clutch foot rest which is a boon on long drives. The Innova lacks this. So this one goes to the Innova... Innova - 1
Punto - 2 Reliability and ownership -
Even a kid knows that Toyota is the epitome when it comes to reliability. My 1.1 Lac driven Innova has had no issues other than general servicing and some worn parts. BUT, Toyota's A.S.S. is damn expensive. The oil change is every 5000 kms and servicing costs and spare parts are very very expensive.
Comparatively, Punto has it's service only once in 15000 kms. Servicing charges are cheap and even parts are cheap. Reliability is not bad, though not as good as Toyota either. I have had a bearing failure within 12k kms.
A.S.S. experience depends. Right now, FIAT is giving me better service than Toyota. But that is my personal experience. If we go by user reports across the country, then it is quite evident that Toyota is far better than Fiat when it comes ownership experience. So i give it to the Toyota here. Innova - 2
Punto -2 Ride and handling :
When compared to other UVs, the Innova has a great ride and handling combo. The ride is flat and cushioning always. But due to the small tyres, it can get a bit choppy and hard at slow speeds in potholed roads.
Punto is known to be the leader when it comes to ride and handling. The handling is amazing to say the least, stability at high speeds is perfect and the suspension soaks up all the bumps without transmitting anything inside the cabin.
No doubts about it, Punto is the clear winner when it comes to ride and handling. But when compared to the UVs, the Innova is the best. So let's give this a tie... Innova - 3
Punto - 3 Features :
My Innova has AC, rear AC vents, power windows, electric ORVMs and power steering in the name of features! All these are standard even in a 3 Lac hatch, so nothing extra ordinary here.
Punto has all of the above plus Automatic Climate control, Blue&Me, My Car, MID, etc. I am not mentioning the small extras like flip key, mood lighting, automatic door lock, speed sensitive audio, etc. Punto does have rear AC vents but it is under the front seats and pretty mediocre, not like the one in the Innova.
My Innova does not have a USB facility and steering mounted controls which the Punto has. But the new facelifted Innova has these, so I'll let it go!
Even though the Innova is much larger than the Punto, both the car comes with 15" alloys. So, Punto wins in this round. Innova - 3
Punto - 4 Safety :
Innova has seatbelts, 2 Airbags with ABS
. That's about it. I feel it is not good for a 15 Lac van.
Punto has a 5 star crash test rating. Apart from the above, it also has rear fog lamps, ABS
If it matters, build quality and sheet metal strength of the Punto is far superior. Innova feels flimsy and tinny in comparison. The bumpers are wafer thin in comparison. Innova - 3
Punto - 5
So, in the end, it is the Punto which I feel is more value for money when compared to the Innova. Some may have expected this! There maybe some Toyota fans who may feel that Toyota is asking a premium which is justified but sadly, I dont feel the same. I dont understand the logic behind paying a huge sum and then being deprived of a powerful engine and features and living with an expensive A.S.S., all for the brand value. Adios.