Toyota INNOVO CRYSTA : A grand family car

By for Toyota Innova Crysta 2016-11-09 12:16:09.0
1 people found it helpful. 46 ViewsWrite Review
5 ⁄ 5
  • Appearance
  • Performance
  • Comfort
  • Value For Money
  • Fuel Economy
  • Overall Satisfaction

Toyota has dominated the premium MPV segment in the 21st century. Toyota first entered the market with the robust Qualis which was abruptly replaced by the much more modern Innova. Launched in 2005, Toyota has always charged a premium on the Innova and despite that the sales numbers have always been on the up. In the last 11 years, the Innova’s price went up by a whopping Rs 6 lakh depending on the variant. So why were stingy Indians ready to shell out nearly Rs 20 lakh for a decade-old MPV? The answer is simple – peace of mind. There are still thousands of Qualis’s running on our roads with lakhs of kilometres on the odo and still feeling indestructible. This is a testament to the thorough reliability and engineering know-how of Toyota. Now Toyota is about to launch the next generation of the MPV and after driving the new Innova Crysta one thing is clear, they are going even more upmarket with this one, with a more sculpted styling and a completely redesigned interior which boasts of segment first features.

When you first lay your eyes on the Crysta, it is easy to see, Toyota has gone for a more evolutionary route and it looks very similar to the current Innova’s silhouette. But Toyota has added elements like the prominent crease which gives it a more dynamic look and the larger 17-inch rims add a bit of muscle. The angular quarter glass behind the C-pillar looks quite unique and adds character too. In the front, the large hexagonal grille dominates proceedings and the two slats on top neatly meet the angular projector headlamps which has DRls too. The rear end is simple but the boomerang-shaped tail lamps give it a sporty appearance. Overall the appearance is positive and the new generation Innova looks much more aspirational than before.

The new Innova is based on a brand-new chassis and to make the new ladder-frame extremely rigid, Toyota has added more cross-members and additional welding points. On the flip-side this has made the chassis much heavier than before and despite the weight-saving high tensile steel for the body, the Innova Crysta weighs nearly 200kg more than the old car. On the measuring scale the Crysta has grown in every direction too. It is a substantial 180mm longer, 60mm wider and 40mm taller than the old car. Incidentally, the wheelbase at 2750mm is exactly the same as the old car.


Arguably the biggest change comes on the inside of the new Innova. To begin with, the cabin feels spacious, open and crisply styled. The design is fresh, well-detailed and the swooping dash top looks really great without being overdone. The single piece of metal strip which runs across the top of the dashboard from the left most air vent to the right most looks classy and highlights the dash design. The manual transmission variant gets an all-black cabin which looks sporty, while the automatic top variant features brown upholstery which lends the cabin a more upmarket feel. Visibility from the high front seats is good and this makes it easy to drive especially in traffic. Despite the swooping dash, ergonomics are spot-on and everything from the touchscreen to the Air-con controls are tilted upwards for ease of use. The blue backlit instrument cluster looks modern and the digital centre screen hosts a comprehensive trip computer. USB and aux-in ports are cleverly placed in the middle for an easy access for front and rear passengers. As an observation, we would have preferred more USB ports especially considering it’s a premium seven-seater. The touchscreen is intuitive to use and it hosts various information like satellite navigation, eco display (which shows how efficiently you are driving), Bluetooth telephony and music system controls. On the downside I would have preferred the volume control to be a knob, instead of a button for easier access while driving. Overall quality is a big jump over the old car and Toyota has paid great attention to detail to make the car feel more premium. The touch points like the armrest on the doorpad is covered in soft velvety fabric, the chunky leather wrapped steering with large control button is great to hold, the gloss black finish on the front doorpads look classy (weirdly, the rear doorpad gets wood finish) and even the control stalks are of high order. But as you look further down, some of the bits disappoint. The sea of black hard plastics around the glovebox and doorpads look shiny and the graining could have been better too. Even the air-con buttons are too small and the chrome finish doesn’t look very convincing.


As far as engines are concerned the Innova has gone from being one of the slowest in its class to being the most powerful. The manual transmission is powered by a 2.4-litre which makes 150bhp at 3400rpm and 343Nm of torque between 1400rpm and 2800rpm. While to compensate for the extra weight and power-sapping torque converter transmission, the automatic variant motor displaces 2.8-litres which is good for 174bhp at 3400rpm and 360Nm of torque between 1200rpm and 3400rpm. Toyota claims the ARAI fuel efficiency figures for the 2.4-litre manual is 15.10kpl, and the 2.8-litre automatic is 14.29kpl

Let’s start with the manual transmission first. A turn of the key is all it takes to establish the fact that this new common-rail diesel engine under the hood of the Innova Crysta is leagues ahead of the earlier 2.5-litre motor. It’s much smoother, the machine-gun rattle heard during cold starts is much reduced and the nearly 50 per cent hike in power can be felt from the word go. Like before, power is available from the word go and the Innova Crysta accelerates with enthusiasm. This motor feels less strained, the engine is much more flexible due to the wider powerband, and overtaking is now much easier. It’s much more free-revving too and does not feel out of breath on top like the earlier motor. The refinement though better than before is still not the best and the motor does get quite noisy when you rev it hard. The gearbox has shorter throws as compared to the old car but still it feels rudimentary with its rubbery shifts and there are lot of vibrations seeping through, especially at idle. Toyota is offering driving modes too and unlike the Mahindra’s, the Innova is very usable in any given mode. In Eco mode there is a slight hesitation from the motor at low revs as you can feel a step in power around 2000rpm. Switch to normal mode and the power delivery becomes linear and in sport mode the motor feels very responsive and eager.

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