Toyota Innova Crysta is now the most powerful MPV in India
Will get 3 Airbags and ABS as standard equipment. This Innova is all new. It’s an all-new generation based on an all-new platform has all-new features and all-new driving dynamics.
Toyota introduced the Innova in 2005 and it has been soldiering on unchanged ever since. Sure, the Innova got itself new lights and new grilles along the way. But you catch the drift. When Toyota introduced the Innova in 2005, the Qualis was doing pretty well. Besides, those days it was extremely common to have two to three generations of the same car being sold under different names. But Toyota simply pulled the plug on the tried, tested and successful Qualis and replaced it with the new Innova. We call that confidence. For a body-on-chassis construction, the Innova has always been a good drive, and rather comfortable for passengers. However, Toyota had tuned the suspension for a bit of firmness so there wasn’t too much roll.
For the Innova Crysta, though, the suspension’s much softer. Which is great for passengers, but the Crysta has slightly more roll than the original Innova. The Innova Crysta is based on Toyota’s IMV platform that forms the basis for the Fortuner, Hilux and a lot of heavy-duty utility vehicles and pick-ups, which benefit from the tougher, more durable body-on-chassis set-up. But for what’s designed to be a people carrier, we think the Innova has way more potential to be much better if it were a monocoque. Of course, that means developing a new or a different platform, but there is potential.
The wheelbase of the Innova Crysta has not been increased and it still stands at 2750mm. I, a six footer, was extremely comfortable in the rear seat and if I were to be ferried around in the car, I would have been a happy lad. Toyota has also provided foldable seat back tables, which gives you room for a small laptop and a cup holder, something similar to a tray, which we see in aircrafts. The second row has been well thought over and the conveniences for the people seated in there make it an ideal place to be. The third row might seem a little cramped for a person of my size. I could do short distances seated behind, no problem, but for a longer journey, I would jump out at the first chance I got.
The six-speed automatic in the Innova Crysta is a torque-converter. Not a quick-thinking dual clutch. It’s very quick and extremely effortless. You floor the throttle and the venerable MPV just goes. But because the transmission isn’t that smart, the revs stay too high and the engine becomes incredibly loud. The only time the engine’s quiet is when you are off throttle. But if you want quick overtakes or just go a bit faster, the Innova Crysta auto is one loud beast. The manual is quieter. If you start the engine, you will see the gear-stick shudder. This Crysta isn’t as fast and effortless as the auto, but doesn’t make a racket when you want to accelerate. It could have done with a sixth gear. But more essential was a dead pedal. We are surprised Toyota has not provided one for the new Innova Crysta.
On the mileage front, the car returns a decent 15-odd Km/l, which is good for a car that size, but when you call it premium, there needs to be something more on offer. Toyota is bringing in an automatic variant, but it's available only in the 2.8-litre variant. It is more powerful and churns out a hefty 171 bhp, which in turn comes mated to a 6-speed sequential shift gearbox. There is a bit of lag, in the initial few gears, but as the torque kicks in, things start to look good. The Innova Crysta has a strong mid-range and this makes it quite nice to drive both in the city and highway driving conditions. The gearshifts are smooth, but, when you put your foot down on the throttle, the engine growls before settling into a nice little grunt. But the gearbox works well in both the manual and automatic modes and the overall experience is quite a treat
The tyre size too has changed and there are 17-inchers on this one and this means that there is a lot more grip on offer. The suspension set up is on the softer side and the Innova Crysta soaks in all the undulations of the road with ease. You don't bounce around in the car and even if you cross the three digit mark on the speedo, the passengers inside are calm and collected. It's only when you drive around the ghat section, do you feel the heaviness of the Innova Crysta? There is some evident roll and this is when you start thinking why the folks at Toyota didn't think of using a monocoque, rather than a space frame chassis.
The cabin is more like the ones you see in executive cars and it's far more refined than what we've ever seen in an Innova. Yes, the addition of the nametag - 'Crysta' - is all about giving that premium look and experience, which its predecessor lacked. It gets a 4.2-inch TFT Multi Information Display, which basically gives you all the information - right from which radio station is playing, to navigation display, Bluetooth and even fuel consumption. There's also a 7-inch touchscreen system, which comes with a DVD player and this adds to the premium quality of the cabin. There are a few bits, which could have been worked on, like the hard plastic, used on the glove box, which doesn't really go well with the rest of the well finished cabin. Features like Navigation, a Push Start/Stop button, steering mounted audio controls, cruise control and leather upholstery, all find their way into the Innova Crysta.
The first Innova was a decent looker. Then they started blinging it up too much. The Innova Crysta is a mix of subtle cues and bling. It’s not a cohesive design. But it’s distinct enough to not have anyone confuse the older Innova with the newer Innova Crysta. It’s also instantly recognisable as an Innova too.
You can opt for one of the three driving modes - 'Eco, Normal and Power' and the gear shifts are altered, according to your preference. Cross the 3500 rpm mark and the engine makes itself audible, with an unmissable groan, but Toyota claims it has worked on NVH levels.
Toyota has packed in a whole bunch of safety features as well, in the top-end 'Z' variant and it starts with 7 airbags on offer (driver, front passenger, driver knee, front side and curtain shield airbags). The company will launch the car with three airbags (front driver, front passenger and driver knee), as part of standard equipment and ABS, with EBD as well, which certainly puts a smile on our face.
The Innova Crysta is a huge leap, in terms of design, refinement and even drivability. Mind you, all this comes at a price. Yes, the new-gen Innova will be pricier and this means you'll have to shell out 15 to 20 per cent more for it. Prices might start at around 12 lakh and go all the way up to the 20 lakh mark and yes you might drop your jaw for a while and wonder if you should shell out that kind of money; but the answer is a simple one- yes, you should. It's in a different league altogether and it has grown and how. It's more than a people mover now and that's what makes it interesting.
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