Kia Carens vs Toyota Innova Crysta: Space And Practicality Compared

Published On Mar 24, 2022 By Tushar for Kia Carens

The Kia Carens may not be an Innova Crysta rival in price, but it may well be an alternative in capability 

Kia Carens vs toyota innova crysta

Many have tried to end the Toyota Innova’s dominance in the MPV space but it’s seemingly an order too tall. The Kia Carens, then, seems to have the makings of a strong challenger, even though it may not be a direct competitor to the Innova Crysta. After all, its prices end where the Toyota’s begin! Nonetheless, we couldn’t help but wonder if it could match or even beat the Innova Crysta on the space and practicality front. 

So can the Kia Carens be considered as an alternative to the Toyota Innova Crysta or is there a relative compromise for the cost savings?

Looks

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

We’ll leave the opinion of which one looks better, to you, but neither one of these cars are subtle with their styling cues and that’s largely down to how their headlights are designed. Many found the Carens’ design to be a touch polarising but that is a sentiment we experienced even when the Innova was rebirthed as the Crysta and it is a look that will grow on you with time.

FYI: Yes, the vehicle pictured with the Carens is the pre-facelift Innova Crysta (which doesn’t get the new grille or dual-tone alloy wheels), as the latest version was unavailable for shoot. 

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

The one advantage you get with the Innova Crysta is greater road presence. In part, that’s down to the 17-inch’ alloys vs the 16-inchers on the Carens but the Innova is also, for the most part, a larger car. Save for the wheelbase, it’s bigger on all counts vs the Carens.

Dimensions (mm)

Kia Carens

Toyota Innova Crysta

Length

4540

4735

Width

1800

1830

Height

1708

1795

Wheelbase

2780

2750

It also has some of the SUV factor with its taller stance and higher bonnet line, while the Carens tries to blend some SUV appeal into its looks with body/wheel arch cladding and roof rails. If you like aggressive designs, you’d probably tilt towards the Toyota.

Headlights

  • Innova Crysta - LED projector low beam | Halogen high beam

  • Carens - LED low beam and high beam

But while the differences in dimensions may seem large on paper, in reality, put the cars next to each other and they do look like they come from the same segment.

Boot Space

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta
kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

This similarity is also reflected in the boot space. With the last rows occupied and the backrests reclined to a comfortable angle (neither upright, nor too laid back), both cars have space for one large suitcase and a small trolley bag. The Carens offers some additional storage under the boot floor too.

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta
kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

With the last rows folded away, both have acres of space for the family’s weekend trips. A key difference is how the seats fold away, though. The Innova Crysta’s third row folds up to the sides while Carens’ fold flat into the floor - the latter being a better solution with regards to the driver’s rearward visibility.

Getting In

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

  • Getting into the Kia Carens is easier as the floor height is lower i.e. it’s friendlier for elderly passengers.

  • The Carens also offers an electric release to tumble the left middle-row seat, which is very convenient. The Innova Crysta offers a one-touch tumble forward lever which is quite handy in itself.

Third Row

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

Both cars offer enough space for 6ft tall users to sit in each row. 

Kia Carens

  • Offers more headroom vs the Innova

  • Underthigh support is decent as the seat base curves upwards

  • Frontward view is more open/clear as the seat back height is low in all rows

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

Toyota Innova Crysta

  • Offers more space under the middle-row seat to tuck your feet in

  • Offers better overall seat comfort and support for larger occupants as the seatback is taller and wider

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

  • Toyota says you can seat three people here but it’s not suitable for three adults, even though you do get proper headrests and 3-point seatbelts for all. Kids, however, can manage.

Third Row Storage & Amenities

Kia Carens

Toyota Innova Crysta

2 x type C chargers

No charging points

2 x 1 litre bottle holders

2 x 1 litre bottle holders + 1 cupholder (right bottle holder is ventilated but not cooled)

2 x reading lights

No reading lights

2 x roof AC vents

2 x roof AC vents

2 x phone/tablet slots

2 x phone storage recesses

Second Row

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta
kia carens vs toyota innova crysta
 

Kia Carens

  • Offers more headroom vs the Innova Crysta in the middle-row as well. The difference is even more noticeable here

  • Those with an average build will find the overall seat comfort decent

  • View out is very airy as the window is enormous!

Toyota Innova Crysta

  • Offers better overall seat comfort and support for larger occupants as the seatback is taller and wider

  • Headroom is fine for those up to 6ft tall. Any taller and you’d tilt towards the Carens. The Kia subsequently feels more accommodating if you wear a turban.

  • Seat is set taller so you’re seated higher than in the Carens.

  • All things being equal, the Innova Crysta offers a little more knee room in the middle row

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta
kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

Second Row Storage & Amenities

Kia Carens

Toyota Innova Crysta

2 x type C chargers

1 x USB + 1 x 12V socket

1 x fold-out tray with cupholder (left side only)

2 x fold-out tray with cupholder

2 x Seatback pockets

2 x Seatback pockets

2 x roof mounted AC vents with blower speed control 

2 x roof mounted AC vents with blower speed control and auto mode

Roller window sunblinds

Blue ambient light with brightness control

2 x 1 litre bottle storage space in each door

3 x 1 litre bottle storage space in each door

Cooled centre storage with space for 2 x 500ml bottles

Boss lever on left side to adjust front seat from behind

Knick-knack storage slot under door armrests

1 x phone storage slot behind front armrest console

First Row

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta
kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

Kia Carens

  • It has an MPV-like driving position thanks to the low window line and the manner in which the dashboard cocoons around the driver.

  • The front passenger’s seat offers a little more knee room than the Innova Crysta.

Toyota Innova Crysta

  • The driving position is much taller here and feels more commanding.

  • The dashboard juts out in the middle for the front passenger, so users who are exceptionally tall may find their knees touching the dashboard, even with the seat pulled all the way back

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta
kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

First Row Storage & Amenities

Kia Carens

Toyota Innova Crysta

2 x 1 litre bottle storage space in each door + an umbrella holder + 1 x 500ml bottle

3 x 1 litre bottle storage space in each door

Pop-out cupholder for front passenger in front of AC vent

Flip-out cupholders in front of side AC vents

Pop-out ticket holder for driver

1 litre bottle storage in the middle

Storage tray under front passenger’s seat

Knick knack storage in the centre console

Space for a 1 litre + 500ml bottle in centre console

Dual glove boxes with upper cooled-glovebox

Armrest with storage underneath

Armrest with storage underneath

1 x USB + 1 x type-c charger + 1 x 12V socket

1 x 12V charging socket

Quality

Both feel well built on the inside with appreciable fitment quality. The Kia Carens uses more leatherette touches on the door armrest and centre armrest, while the Innova Crysta gets velvety (almost suede-like) fabric on the door pads and even sunvisors. Both use hard plastics only but the ones on the Innova Crysta feel tougher and more durable.

Features

Vehicle

Kia Carens 

Toyota Innova Crysta

Touchscreen

10.25”. Offers great touch response and resolution. Purple font colour may not be to everyone’s liking though

8”. Average resolution and touch response. Looks aftermarket and dated at that. The interface is easy to understand but the overall screen quality is acceptable at best for a car at this price

Speakers

8-speaker. BOSE music system offers better sound quality and you can enjoy loud music with them too. 

 

However, the same system sounds better in the Seltos, largely because of the car’s size and speaker placement

6-speaker. Sound quality is decent but nothing remarkable. The sound system blares quite a lot with loud music

Android Auto/Apple CarPlay

Yes

Yes

Smart-Key with Push-Button Start

Yes 

Yes

Cruise Control

Yes 

Yes

Ventilated Seats

Yes

No

Powered-Driver’s Seat

No 

Yes

Air-Purifier

Yes

Available as an accessory

Wireless Phone Charger

Yes

Available as an accessory

Ambient Lighting

64 colours

Blue only

Sunroof 

Yes

No

Tilt & Reach Steering Adjustment

Yes

Yes

One-touch operation for all power windows

Driver only

Yes

Auto-Dimming IRVM

Yes

No

Soft-close tailgate

No

Yes

Paddle-shifters

Yes (7-speed DCT turbo-petrol and 6-speed AT diesel)

No

Safety Features

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

Vehicle

Kia Carens

Toyota Innova Crysta

ABS with EBD 

Yes 

Yes

Airbags

6 as standard

3 as standard, 7 on top-spec

Stability Control

Yes

Yes

Rear Camera

Yes, better resolution and with dynamic guidelines

Yes, average resolution and static guidelines

Parking Sensors

Front & Rear

Front & Rear

TPMS

Yes

Available as an accessory

ISOFIX

Yes

Yes

Hill-Start Assist

Yes

Yes

Connected Car Tech

Yes

Yes

Ease Of Driving & Ride Comfort

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

While we won’t be comparing the driving performance of these cars as they’re in different specifications (Test Carens = Petrol DCT | Test Innova Crysta = Diesel AT), the Carens is the easier daily driver. It’s easier to maneuver in traffic due to the slightly smaller size and importantly, the considerably lighter and quicker-responding steering.

The Innova’s steering is quite heavy and needs some effort to use, especially for u-turns.

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta

Both cars offer good comfort over bad roads but behave very differently. In the stiffer-set ladder-frame Innova Crysta, you will feel some side-to-side tossing over uneven roads and you’ll constantly feel some dawdling in the cabin, even on smooth highways. That said, this behaviour becomes less noticeable as you load the car up with more people. 

In the Kia Carens, there’s more vertical movement you’ll feel as you go through potholes and ruts. The suspension isn’t soft standalone, but it is softer than the Innova’s and subsequently dives through the surface changes before recovering quickly.

Verdict

kia carens vs toyota innova crysta 

So can you consider buying the Kia Carens over the Toyota Innova Crysta? Yes, you absolutely can. It isn’t a compromise in terms of space, practicality, usability, features or quality vs the Toyota and actually outperforms the Innova Crysta on some counts, while being significantly cheaper to buy.

The Innova Crysta’s time-tested reliability, longevity and Toyota’s aftersales support are its trump cards against the Carens. Being a rear-wheel drive car, it also offers benefits if you expect a lot of uphill driving, especially with people on board.

So, while the Innova Crysta is still an excellent buy for the whole family, the Kia Carens manages to offer so many of its qualities while asking for significantly less money, making it the winner in this comparison.

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