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Toyota Innova Hycross Review: The Best Innova Yet?

Published On Nov 18, 2023 By Rohit for Toyota Innova Hycross

With the newest generation, the popular Toyota MPV has got a dash of SUV-ness while also switching gears from what it’s always been known and bought for. With two versions now on sale, which one should be your pick?

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol vs hybrid

One of the longest and most popular nameplates from the MPV category in India has been the Toyota Innova. Towards the end of 2022, we got the third-generation model called the Toyota Innova Hycross. The new MPV gets many firsts including a new strong-hybrid powertrain and a front-wheel drivetrain (FWD), all of which promise for it to deliver a more premium experience over the second-gen Toyota Innova (called the Innova Crysta). But does it stay true to its promise? Let’s find out by comparing both the versions of the Hycross (petrol and strong-hybrid) in this review.

Big On Visual Appeal

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol vs hybrid

First things first- the Innova Hycross is the biggest Innova till date. It has heaps of road presence and is even bigger than the Innova Crysta on all dimensions save for the height. Up front, both the petrol and hybrid versions of the Innova Hycross get multi-reflector LED headlights and the same big grille. However, the major differences are the absence of LED DRLs, fog lamps, and chrome elements on the Hycross petrol.

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol vs hybrid

In profile, the Hycross petrol gets the basic details right including body coloured door handles and alloy wheels (16-inch units). The Hycross hybrid, on the other hand, comes with the ‘Hybrid’ badge below the ORVMs, chrome window beltline and door handles, and rides on bigger 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels.

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol vs hybrid

At the back, both get a chunky bumper and a flat-ish tailgate, sporting wraparound LED taillights. While the petrol version of the MPV gets just the ‘Innova Hycross’ badge, the Hycross hybrid also features a chrome strip connecting the taillights and the variant and hybrid monikers.

Different Takes For The Cabin

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol cabin
Toyota Innova Hycross hybrid cabin

If you see the cabin of the Hycross petrol and hybrid back to back, that’s when you will realise how different the two are. Where the Hycross petrol has an all-black cabin theme, the hybrid variants get a black and tan interior.

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol

The petrol-only Innova Hycross is only available in the base GX trim. Hence it gets dull black plastic on the dashboard and door pads with contrasting silver elements and black fabric upholstery. But given its price positioning, the feel and fit and finish (including the flimsy stalks and poor quality of the cup holders) of this variant are a bit of a let-down.

Toyota Innova Hycross hybrid

On the other hand, the dash design of the Hycross hybrid is a lot cleaner and more modern than what has been the case on Toyota cars till date. Toyota has made use of soft-touch leatherette materials for most of the touchpoints in the front row, including the centre portion of the dashboard as well, giving a premium and comfortable experience inside the cabin. Here also you will notice the silver accents running around the centre console, door pads and on the steering wheel. That said, we still do feel that Toyota could have scored much better in terms of making its cabin perfect by using high-quality plastic while also improving on the appointment levels of some of the panels in the centre console and of the steering-mounted controls.

No Dearth Of Space Or Practical Bits

Toyota Innova Hycross 8-way powered driver seat

The seats in the Innova Hycross are supportive and comfortable, even for longer distances, and the driver seat gets 8-way power adjustment as well. While the passenger seat isn't powered, it’s a happy trade off for seat ventilation. In the Toyota MPV, you sit high up and find the ideal driving position is easy, thanks to the tilt and telescopic steering wheel. The Innova Hycross hybrid even gets electric seat adjustment with memory function for added convenience.

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol second-row seats

But what sets the Innova Hycross apart from the average MPVs in our market is the second row experience, which has plenty of room to offer to average-sized adults. That said, the second row of the Hycross petrol doesn’t fold at the touch of a button. It can only be reclined and pushed forward. But, if you can look beyond that, there’s a lot of space for you to get into the last row.

Toyota Innova Hycross hybrid second-row seats

The second row in the Hycross hybrid gets the most talked-about feature and the USP of this new Innova: the ottoman seats. The seats effortlessly slide rearward, granting ample legroom, and recline almost completely. Furthermore, the calf support smoothly shifts forward, perfect for a nap or comfortable lounging while enjoying a chauffeured ride. Other highlights in the second row include a flip-up table–which really should feel a little sturdier–cupholders in the door pocket, USB ports, sunshades and roof-mounted air con vents.

Toyota Innova Hycross hybrid third-row seats

When it comes to the third row of both the Hycross petrol and Hycross hybrid, it is capable of comfortably carrying a family of eight people. You can even recline the seats and 3 normal-sized people can be seated easily for short journeys. In the Hycross hybrid, you can adjust the ottoman seats to a more conservative yet comfy setting, enabling the third row to easily hold two adults. Legroom is good, suitable for a 6-footer, and the seats can recline. Even the under thigh space, usually a compromise in the back row, is decent. Long trips with six adults are doable, but fitting three in the rear bench is snug due to limited width. Getting into the third row is a task as the second row seats need to be slid ahead manually while the seatback has to be reclined (which takes a little time owing to electric adjustment) to create some room for entry. Still, Toyota deserves praise for providing a headrest and 3-point seatbelt for the middle passenger in the last row.

Toyota Innova Hycross 1-litre bottle holder

Being a popular people mover that it is, the Innova Hycross doesn’t fall short by even a bit when it comes to practicality. All four doors get 1-litre bottle holders, and third row passengers have been provided with dedicated cup holders as well. There’s another pair of cup holders up front (one in front of the first-row AC vents and the other in the centre console), and a storage area under the front armrest too.

Toyota Innova Hycross storage area on the dashboard

If you want to store your other knick knacks like a smartphone or wallet, there are large door pockets on offer and even a big storage area on the dashboard. That said, the driver might have to struggle a little to reach any of these spaces.

Toyota Innova Hycross 12V charging socket in the third row

Charing options are plenty with one Type-C port and USB port for the front passengers along with a 12V power socket, and two Type-C ports in the 2nd row. Those in the third row are only given a 12V socket.

Stack Your Bags

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol boot space
Toyota Innova Hycross hybrid boot space

Both versions of the Innova Hycross can take in small- and full-sized trolley bags with the third row in use. Upon folding down the last row, the Toyota MPV has more than enough space to swallow up three trolley bags and one soft bag with room to spare for a couple of additional soft bags as well.

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol storage space in boot

One small advantage that the Hycross petrol has over its hybrid counterpart is that it gets some extra storage space in the floorboard to house a few lightweight or laptop bags. This area in the other version of the MPV is taken up by the batteries for its strong-hybrid setup. Loading up items in your luggage in the Hycross hybrid isn’t much of a problem thanks to the flat floor created by folding down the last row of seats.

What Tech Does It Get?

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol 8-inch touchscreen
Toyota Innova Hycross petrol all four power windows

One department where the Innova has improved significantly with its third-generation model is the set of equipment. Speaking of the Hycross petrol first, it gets an 8-inch touchscreen system with wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, all four power windows, a 4-speaker music system, and a 4.2-inch coloured MID. That said, we feel Toyota should have equipped it with auto AC, cruise control, and a 360-degree camera given its price proposition.

Toyota Innova Hycross hybrid 10-inch touchscreen
Toyota Innova Hycross hybrid panoramic sunroof

But if you really want to taste what premiumness feels like, opt for the Hycross hybrid to get the full benefits in terms of features. It is equipped with a 10-inch touchscreen unit, dual-zone climate control, ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof and a digital driver’s display.

That said, we would have liked it even more had Toyota polished the feed of the 360-degree/ reversing camera and provided a more lag-free interface for the infotainment unit. In terms of equipment, the Hycross hybrid should have also gotten wireless phone charging as part of the features list and seat ventilation for the middle row seats.

Safety’s No Worry Either

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol reversing camera

In case you pick the Hycross petrol, its safety net includes dual airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability control, ISOFIX child seat mounts and reverse camera. It doesn’t get reverse parking sensors though.

Toyota Innova Hycross hybrid front camera and parking sensors

Customers buying the Hycross hybrid get six airbags and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) including adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, rear cross traffic alert and a blind spot monitor.

A Change In Heart

Toyota Innova Hycross 2-litre petrol engine

With the generation upgrade, the popular Toyota MPV shifted bases as it became a petrol-only offering for the first time. Let’s first talk about the Hycross petrol. It gets a 2-litre naturally aspirated engine rated at 173 PS and 209 Nm. It can be had with a CVT gearbox only. Although it isn’t among the most enthusiastic engines out there, it is sufficient to get the job done. The CVT responds well and the engine handles high speeds comfortably on highways. Patience is needed for overtaking at triple digit speeds. However, aside from that, there are few flaws with this engine. On steep inclines, the noise from the CVT revving the motor is the only bothersome aspect, but the car performs well overall.

Toyota Innova Hycross strong-hybrid powertrain

The higher-spec variants are provided with a strong-hybrid unit, including a 2-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine paired with a 168-cell Ni-MH Battery Pack and an electric motor. Together, they produce a total power output of 184 PS. The engine generates 188 Nm of torque while the electric motor delivers 206 Nm. This power is directed exclusively to the front wheels through an e-Drive electric transmission.

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol vs hybrid

The driving is effortless with easy controls, great visibility, and an automatic transmission, making it suitable even for inexperienced drivers. It offers different drive modes—sport, normal, and eco—that slightly alter the throttle response. While it's engaging to drive, it's not particularly sporty. It's more enjoyable for relaxed highway cruising and calm city driving, rather than providing a thrilling experience on twisty roads.

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol

When compared to the old Innova (Crysta), both drivetrains are a step up in terms of refinement, both in terms of engine performance and city and highway abilities. However, they do give up some ground to the Innova Crysta in terms of ruggedness in the form of a body-on-frame construction and rear-wheel-drivetrain (RWD) configuration. So the Innova Crysta might still be a better fit for hilly areas and rough roads.

A Well-insured Ride Quality

Toyota Innova Hycross hybrid vs petrol

The suspension is finely tuned: effectively managing surface shocks without excessive noise. On the highway, it feels planted and confident even at triple-digit speeds. With all seats occupied, the ride handles various roads well, smoothing out even rougher bumps. On highways, it maintains stability without feeling overly soft. With fewer passengers, the low-speed ride might be slightly firmer, but it's not a significant issue. This trade-off that is ideal for carrying passengers is something your passengers will appreciate in the long term.

Our Takeaways

With the Innova Hycross, Toyota has given its popular MPV a touch of SUV in multiple aspects taking the premiumness quotient up a few notches. The new Innova Hycross thus takes the already strong points of the Innova Crysta even higher, although it isn’t as rough and tough.

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol

The Hycross petrol, although basic in nature, is for those who are in need of a big MPV that can carry seven on board in a comfortable manner and gets the job done. Given its basic nature, you might have to spend some extra money to spruce it up to bring it at par levels.

Toyota Innova Hycross hybrid

If you manage to extract the premium from your wallet for the Hycross hybrid, it has plenty more to offer including upmarket looks, a very efficient powertrain and a rich features set. Its second row experience is unmatched at this price point. Add to it the reliability and low service cost factors of owning a Toyota and it only sweetens the deal.

Toyota Innova Hycross

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
GX 7STR (Petrol)Rs.19.77 Lakh*
GX 8STR (Petrol)Rs.19.82 Lakh*
GX (O) 8STR (Petrol)Rs.20.99 Lakh*
GX (O) 7STR (Petrol)Rs.21.13 Lakh*
VX 7STR Hybrid (Petrol)Rs.25.97 Lakh*
VX 8STR Hybrid (Petrol)Rs.26.02 Lakh*
VX(O) 7STR Hybrid (Petrol)Rs.27.94 Lakh*
VX(O) 8STR Hybrid (Petrol)Rs.27.99 Lakh*
ZX Hybrid (Petrol)Rs.30.34 Lakh*
ZX(O) Hybrid (Petrol)Rs.30.98 Lakh*

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