The Toyota Innova has been the Japanese automakers most successful product to date in India after taking over from the Qualis, its predecessor. Since it began sales in 2005, the Innova had remained pretty much the same until the showcase of the Innova Crysta at the Auto Expo 2016.
The new generation Innova is almost an entirely new car except for the remnants of the body shell. Built to meet the demands of the new age Indian car buyer, the Innova Crysta looks and feels more premium than the outgoing car.
The Innova Crysta looks boxy as compared to the Innova. The twin horizontal slats on the radiator grille blend into the wrap around rectangular double-barrel headlamps. The lower half of the hexagonal grille gets thin black slats and is flanked by the fog lamps housings on both sides. The headlights are projector units, and there is an addition of DRLs in this new version. The side profile, thanks to the roofline, gives the car a much sleeker appearance. It also gets a prominent shoulder-line, flared wheel arches and large 17-inch wheels to make it look its part like an SUV rather than an MPV. The third row quarter glass window is slashed by the thick D-pillar and may make the last row feel a bit stuffy. The tail lamps get the signature kink seen on modern Toyotas like the Prius which was also present at the Expo.
The interior seems to be a miles ahead of the outgoing Innova. The dash gets driver-centric contours and is dressed in black with a classy metallic strip defining its outline. The instrument cluster is new and blue-lit. The two dials read out revs and speed while the multi-function display in the centre gives away all other related information. The digital display at the top centre of the dash continues to read out time, temperature and other bits. The touch-screen infotainment system on the dash doesnt feel like a retro-fit and is intuitive to use. The new steering wheel gets metal highlights and steering mounted controls.
Space has been the Innovas forte and the Crysta takes it a level further. Longer, wider and taller than the outgoing car, the Crysta offers comfortable seating in the first and second row. While the third row seating is still a bit low for long hauls, it is one of the better places to be in within the segment. The top-spec car now gets power seats and climate control with separate zone for rear passengers continues to cool the barge.
*Engine and gearbox=
The decade-old 2.5-litre turbo-diesel engine has finally been replaced by an all-new 2.4-litre diesel unit producing 147bhp and 343Nm of torque. Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, the engine sends power to the rear wheels. Toyota also offers the Innova Crysta with a six-speed automatic transmission option but that comes only with the new 2.8-litre four cylinder turbo-charged diesel. The 2.8-litre mill develops 174bhp of power at 3400rpm and 360Nm of torque from as low as 1200rpm. ABS and EBD is standard across all variants along with dual front airbags and knee airbags. The automatic transmission car gets ESP and hill-assist for driver aids.
*Price and competition=
The Innova Crysta ideally competes with the Mahindra XUV 500 and the soon to be launched Tata Hexa. The pricing though, indicates that Innova Crysta demands a chunky premium over its competition, something the buyers would pay for an equally reliable and better equipped car.
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